#SOL18 – WIP Chapter 5

My first year in middle school was going to be great!

I got to get away from the boys at my elementary school, for one thing.

It felt like a fresh start – a new beginning.

I was ready to make my mark and be seen!

But Jacob was already there, making his mark and making his bigger than life scene.

He was famous! I couldn’t go anywhere without someone asking if he was my brother and did I know he was taking math at the high school as an 8th grader. Yes, I knew. Yes, he’s great.

More than the math thing, he was a 6th grade mentor, so kids who he worked with came up to me to ask if we were brothers and told me how much he helped them like being in the middle school.

He was in Math Olympiad. When I joined as only a 6th grader, he placed 1st in our area and 2nd in the region. So much for making a mark.

When I joined band and chorus, I was called Little Jacob.

There were a few things I did that he didn’t do.

I helped out the science teacher after school in a club for other kids who really wanted to learn science. I did such a great job that the teacher asked me back the next semester, even when I didn’t have her class.

I joined student council as a 6th grader and went to our regional conference. I was the only boy there but had a good time.

Then, I lost my “best” friend, Brooke, in sixth grade. I say “best” because she wasn’t Wade, and was a girl. But we talked all the time and were very good friends. I thought.

One day at lunch, which was the only time I saw her during the day, she and her new 6th grade friends were rolling their eyes and sighing at one of the girls at the table because she kept asking if everyone was finished with what they were eating.

It wasn’t a big deal. She just seemed hungry.

The next day, Brooke said, “I don’t want Alanna sitting at our table anymore. She chews so loud and asks for everyone’s food.”

At first, I just agreed with her. I started to feel bad about that.

When we got back to the table, I announced, “Brooke, I don’t know why you don’t want Alanna sitting here anymore,” in front of everyone.

I realize now that this wasn’t my best move.

Anyway, Brooke and her other friends moved to a different table and Brooke stopped speaking to me at all.

Great way to try to make my mark in 6th grade – by getting rid of my friends, except Alanna, who was happy that I stuck up for her.

9 thoughts on “#SOL18 – WIP Chapter 5

  1. Oh, middle school is harder than elementary school. So hard to keep friends. One uncool thing and you are finished! This piece was so believable, so real. I felt for your middle child who has his awesome big brother – a treasure and a curse at the same time.

  2. It is hard being in an older brother’s shadow. I am one younger than my brother. The fact that Jack stood up for a friend speaks volumes about the kind of person he is. He has what matters.

  3. Your piece captures the voice of the middle school child. How brave to stand up for Alanna. The narrator is conflicted about it, too, which is exactly how he would feel as a sixth grader trying to make a mark. What a hard time middle school is for so many of our kids. Can you imagine writing a book with this character as the narrator? I’d like to know more about him and his family and his inner thoughts.

  4. This makes my heart hurt all over again for the friendships my daughter lost at that age– in similar fashion. It makes my heart hurt in advance for my son because his friends are few and precious, but I am sure that day will come.

    I do wonder a little about whether my son would say someone was making a “bigger than life” scene or how he would describe it. (He’s in sixth.) He might. I’ll have to ask. I’ve not had a conversation of that nature with him, and it makes me curious.

      1. Thank goodness. I have fretted about my comment all afternoon. It really did just strike me through the lens of my son, and I didn’t want to come across as critical. I am loving this series of posts!

      2. I wrote it down to check out with my kids at home. I really appreciated the honest insight. I want to be authentic and you are helping me achieve that! Thanks 🙂

  5. Jack standing up for Alanna shows his character. Middle school is a tough time! I am the oldest (quite a bit older) so never had to follow in the shadows of my brother. It has to be bittersweet!

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