Silence is Screaming
This project was entirely based on the true story of the life of a seventh-grade student through his junior year in high school. It is nonfiction and nothing was added that makes it fiction anyway. I thought that if I was going to write about this specific subject, I was not going to sugarcoat it at all. People need to know that crime is out and about, and parents need to know that being overprotective is good sometimes. Note that names were changed to protect the confidentiality of the situation.
A New Me
It’s not easy making a name for yourself.
Where do you draw the line?
I never thought I’d be in this far.
Let’s have some fun and never change that for anyone.
Try not to miss me when I’m gone—A Day to Remember
Going into seventh grade I was a confident kid. I had as many friends as there were in the school. I would like to say I was well liked and didn’t hold any grudges against anyone.
The first day of seventh grade for every kid was an anxiety filled day. New teachers, new friends, and most importantly more girls. I was worried that I couldn’t find any of my classes through the crowded hallways filled with both kids that haven’t even heard of puberty before and those who looked as though they should be in college. After my first day of seventh grade I was a changed boy. I loved school and waking up each morning I couldn’t wait to see my new friends and teachers. I ended up joining the soccer team and being the highest scorer that year. After the soccer season was over there were no more sports that I played other than baseball but that wasn’t through the junior high because we didn’t have a school team. I was worried I wouldn’t be involved enough.
You are always told that if you don’t get involved you never know what you are missing. In this case I thought that not getting involved would mean missing out on the junior high experience. I remember walking into my science class one day and Mrs. Graham my teacher put in a movie and said that we were going to watch a demo movie on some science related activities for after school. This so called “sport” was called Science Olympiad. The movie showed kids having a blast at these competitions and winning medals. Once I saw the medals finding out how to be a part of this was consuming my day. I was one of the most competitive boys in Jenison. I stayed after class that day to talk with Mrs. Graham and she gave me a permission slip that I had to return within the next week in order to be on the team. Three days later I gave her my permission slip and found out there was a meeting I had to attend. It was the Kellye old boring meeting you have for every sport. Underlining the most important parts of the season, tournaments we would be attending, and how to make the team.
That’s where the catch was. You had to actually study extra to be on the team. You see, Science Olympiad was like the geek squad. Kids that have nothing better to do after school than to study more and try to win medals for being smart. I attended a couple extra classes after school. I took solar systems, maps, building, and my favorite one catapults. Except they called it something fancy something like trebuchet but that meant nothing to me, it looked like a catapult, therefore it was a catapult. I had over six extra hours of classes each week I attended after school, but once the tests came along for tryouts, I ended up making the team. I was very excited because our school’s Science Olympiad team was in the top three schools of our state.
A week or two went by and I was still taking six extra hours of classes after school and thought to myself that this would soon be getting very old. I was really enjoying my building and catapult classes, but none of the others, so I dropped the other classes. The teacher for my catapult class was named Mike, or Mr. Schaaf, but he insisted I called him by his first name which I thought was cool. He didn’t seem like a teacher to me, more like a buddy. He helped me with my catapult, and we became really tight. There was always something in the back of my head though that felt bad for the guy, but I could never pick out why. We would make several trips to home depot to pick up wood for the catapults and I remember the first time I got into his car. I opened the door to his old rustic charcoal colored GrandAm. Being a teenaged boy, I thought this car was the coolest. When he turned the car on, he had System of a Down playing. System of a Down was a band I listened to but was too hardcore for me to listen to all of the time, and most of their songs were about corruption and depressing shit anyway.
Mike turned down the music and said sorry I shouldn’t have let you hear that. We both looked at each other like oh get real. We stopped at the gas station and he got out of his car and asked if i wanted to get anything to drink. I told him I didn’t have any money so it’s ok. He responded with asking me if I liked mountain dew. I smiled and nodded my head. He got back into the car and handed me a cold Mountain Dew. I thought to myself, wow, a stranger buying me a pop. What a nice guy. Every time we went to Home Depot, he ended up buying me something at the gas station. It became so regular I didn’t even think about it anymore I just went in with him, grabbed my pop and rung it up with his. He always seemed pleased with himself whenever he bought me something. One day we got into the car and he told me that I owed him for all the pops he has bought me. I couldn’t tell whether or not he was serious for a second. Then he looked over at me and snickered. At that moment I knew he was kidding.
My life at home was great, actually great is an understatement. I always had the goal that every day I needed to make at least one person laugh about anything. I could almost always accomplish this goal at home if it hadn’t already been accomplished at school. Nothing made me happier than seeing my family happy. Happy? What is happiness? Is it feeling good about yourself, or is it seeing other people happy? It didn’t matter to me because I was feeling great about seeing my family happy. Every night my family would sit around the table and have dinner. After my two brothers were done complaining about how bad the food was, they would get up and make themselves a sandwich. I was always the one to at least try the food and eat it anyway. My mother was a great cook and she never got credit for it because we had a house full of picky boys. My dad would always ask if each of us boys had homework. Eric at the time was in fifth grade rarely ever had homework, and Matthew being a sophomore in high school kind of made it obvious.
Eric and me were so much alike. We both loved the same sports. We played soccer together, beat up on each other for fun, were interested in the same video games, and loved to skateboard with each other. Matthew, on the other hand was different from Eric and I. He was into Hip-hop dancing. He didn’t care for sports period. I always looked up to him and wanted to be just like him when I was his age, but he never said a word to me. I thought he didn’t like me. I didn’t know why, but he must have had a reason. I guess you could say that’s why Eric and I are so close. I always wanted an older brother to look out for me and protect me from every school bully there was, but I never did. This is what it was like for Eric, though. I didn’t let anyone touch him. Even when my friends came over, if they called him a name, I would get super defensive and turn into big brother Kyle. Throughout junior high Eric and I only got closer and closer. He was my pride and joy, I just didn’t realize it yet.