Grace had the best day at school. After Mrs. Holland cleaned up her finger, she made it back to class in enough time to play with glass vials, the microscope, and another slide. She loved looking at things under the microscope and see things wiggle and move. Walking home after school, she saw Alex walking up ahead and caught up to him.
“Hey, I saw you in the principals office today.” Grace said, concerned.
“I saw you in the nurses office.” Alex teased.
“What happened? Did you get in trouble?” Grace asked, worried.
“At recess today I snuck back into the classroom and ate other kids lunches.” Alex said, embarrassed.
Alex looked down at the ground and spoke.
“Damien took a double helping of dinner last night so I didn’t get to eat. I was so hungry I didn’t know what else to do. Why were you in the nurses office? I saw Nurse Holland putting a band aid on your finger.”
“Science lab.” Grace giggled. A few moments passed and they both got quiet as they continued walking down the block. Grace smiled, awkwardly.
“I’m sorry I’ve never really talked to you before. Hazel and I keep away from you because we’re afraid that if we become friends with you, Damien will pick on us, too. We feel awful that we always avoid you. We’re just too afraid.” Alex admitted.
“I understand. You need to protect yourselves. But if you ever come into a situation where you need something like food again, come ask me. I will share my dinner with you.” Grace offered.
“We don’t have anyone looking out for us at the orphanage, do we?” Alex said, quietly.
“I’ll look out for you.” Grace said, comfortingly.