November 11, 1982
Sam scooped the last of his mashed potatoes into his mouth and then dropped his fork onto his tray. He wiped off his mouth and then stared at the empty tray for a few seconds.
Can’t you stand up and do a dance or something? Sam thought as he stared at the tray. And make the day less boring?
After a few seconds, Sam sighed and picked up the tray. After dumping it out in the trashcan, he looked over at the cafeteria clock. There was still a good twenty-five minutes before his next class.
I guess that gives me some time to catch up on The Silver Key, he thought.
As Sam walked over to the cafeteria door, he noticed a group of people sitting at a nearby table. They were all talking and laughing quite loudly with each other. Although had a feeling he was making a very big mistake, he couldn’t help but turn and walk over to the table.
It took about twenty seconds for anyone at the table to notice that Sam was standing right there. After a few more seconds, everybody was staring at him. The majority of them had frowns on their faces and had expressions that said: “Why are you bugging us, loser?”
“Umm…hi,” Sam said, grinning slightly.
“Hi,” a boy with very long black hair said. “Do you need something?”
“My name is Sam. Sam Kruger. What’s y’all’s?”
“I’m Adolf,” an overweight boy with glasses and a goatee said. “Adolf Hitler.”
“Marilyn,” a blonde girl with a heavy amount of make-up said. “Marilyn Monroe.”
“And I’m Get The,” a boy with spiky hair said. “Get The Hell Outta’ Here.”
Everybody at the table busted out laughing. Sam stared at the floor. He felt his cheeks turn red.
“So, we were in the middle of a conversation here,” the long-haired boy said. “So could you…you know…”
The boy motioned with his hand to tell Sam to go away. Sam was about to turn around and walk off in sadness, but he kept his feet planted in the ground. He refused to give up that easily.
“Wh…what were you guys talking about?” Sam asked.
“Is that any of your business?” the long-haired boy replied.
“We were talking about your mom,” the spiky-haired boy said.
The group began laughing as if that was the funniest and most original joke ever. Sam’s face nearly dropped to the floor.
“I…I like talking to people,” he said, taking a deep breath. “I’m…I’m a pretty nice guy. What do you guys like talking about?”
The spiky-haired boy did a fake-cough into his hand and said “dork” really fast, causing people to chuckle once again. Sam began to feel a sinking feeling in his stomach.
“Nothing you would know about,” the long-haired boy said. “So could you please do us a favor and get lost?”
“We’d really appreciate it,” a girl with brown hair said.
“I…I know a lot of stuff,” Sam said.
“Sure you do,” the spiky-haired boy said.
“Do you know how to give back scratches?” the goateed boy asked. “You can stay if you do that.”
“You better keep your hands off my back,” the blonde girl said. “Unless you want your nose broken.”
“Or he can go buy us donuts,” the goateed boy said. “As long as he doesn’t touch them.”
“Or he can beat it,” the long-haired boy said. “Before I beat him.”
“Yeah, I like that idea,” the brown-haired girl said.
Sam stared at the ground and turned around.
“Never mind,” he said, walking away. “Sorry I bothered y’all.”
“Thank you,” Sam heard the long-haired boy say.
As Sam walked further away from the group, they began to continue their talking and laughing as if Sam was never there. Sam sadly exited the cafeteria and over to the school. He then entered the building and sat down at a nearby bench.
Thankfully, not many people were walking around the halls. That way he didn’t have to watch other students spend time happily with their friends and feel sorry for himself. He still had several minutes to read in peace.
Unfortunately, Sam could hardly focus even after he opened up The Silver Key. The faces of all the people at the table were stuck on his mind. Their insults would not leave his head. As the entire scene began to play out in his head, he asked himself the same question that he asked all too often.
Is this how’s it’s gonna’ be to be forever? Am I ever gonna’ find my own circle of friends? Am I just destined to be a lonely loser?
Sam hoped The Silver Key would be enough to get his mind off of all this. But that sinking feeling would not leave his stomach.