Jim and Danny

Let me tell you about Jim. He loved reading, because it didn’t involve other people.He could escape into another world. How he liked that.

The real world was one of disappointments. He would love to have friends, but people thought he was weird, so they gave him a hard time.The more they teased, the farther he withdrew, resulting in even more teasing.It had come to the point he stopped trying. Why bother right.Every time he let people come close, it turned out is was for a prank or something.Jim decided he was better of alone, so he kept to himself, answered grown-ups is they asked questions, but ignored all other kids.

This lasted some years. He was kind of happy with his life, so that was good enough for him.Then one day at school there was this new kid. Danny. Danny had changed schools, because his mom found a new job, that was too far from his old school. His parents were divorced, and Danny had to live with his mom.

At first things where okay at school. Danny seemed to fit in and have a good time. Then one day one of the kids in class started to tell other kids about Danny’s dad. Danny had to live with his mom, because his dad was in jail. He had killed a neighbour! It didn’t take long for this story to reach everyone in school. Even though the teachers said it wasn’t true, all kids believed it. They started to give Danny a hard time.

That was the first time Jim was left alone. At first he liked that. Then he saw Danny grew more silent every day. But hey, wat could Jim do, right? At least they left him be. This went on for some time, until one day Danny didn’t come to school. The teachers said he was sick, but the kids speculated his dad had escaped prison and kidnapped of killed him. Jim seemed to be the only one that felt bad for Danny, so after class he went to his teacher to talk about it.She told Jim she couldn’t talk to him about it, but after a while gave him Danny’s address. It turned out both boys lived just one street away from each other.

It took Jim two days to decide to visit Danny. Since the new target was no longer available, the kids had started to give him a hard time again, and he felt more and more guilty about being glad Danny had taken the heat lately. That was why he was standing in front of a door, waiting nervously, because he had just rang the bell. A woman opened the door and asked wat he wanted. ‘Hello, my name is Jim. I am in the same class as Danny, and I would like to talk to him please.” The woman’s face turned dark and she closed the door. Jim stood there, baffled. Now what? After a few moments he decided to turn around and go home.

He talked to his parents about it at dinner. They didn’t know what to make of it either, but suggested Jim tried again, and so the next day he did. This time, the woman that had opened the door the day before, closed it as soon as she saw who had rang the bell. Jim went home again, but decided to keep trying every dat. The fifth day the woman opened the door and started talking very loud. “What do you want shrimp? Want to make fun of my boy some more. Wasn’t it enough to pester him at school? Leave him alone, or I swear to god, I’ll kill every single one of you muppets!” Jim just stood there, looking at the woman uncomfortably, while she closed the door again.

That wasn’t going to work. Doing the same thing with the same result wasn’t a smart thing to do, and so Jim started to write a letter. A letter that stated he knew how it felt to be picked on at school. How he himself had always been alone and how he had given up on finding a friend. He ended the letter asking Danny if it would be okay for them to try and become friends. He left his address and home phone number, do Danny would be able to reach him. He wrote he would understand if Danny didn’t take the letter serious, because he had been burned believing crap like this himself before, and if he didn’t want to talk to feel better soon and in the meantime he would maybe like to read a book that was one of Jim’s favourites. Jim then put the letter in the book. He had more than one copy of it, because he loved it so much and some of his copies had started to fall apart. He hoped Danny would like it as well.

The next day he pushed the book through the mail slot at Danny’s house on his way to school. His plan was to ring the doorbell on his way home, but before he reached the door it opened. Danny stood in the doorway looking at Jim like he was deciding if he there was a hungry lion standing in front of him, ready to slam the door. Jim just stood there, waiting. He knew how important it was to take your time in deciding on how to deal with other people. That was not something to take lightly. After about ten minutes of starting at each other Jim said: “Every word in the letter is true, but only you can decide what you want. I’ve kept to myself all this time as well. I would like a friend. I would like people to stop picking on me, and when I saw they started on you, I felt safe, but now I feel sorry for not standing up for you. Maybe if we try to stand up to them together, we have a chance. If we succeed, our life will be better. If we fail, at least we have a friend to share our pain with. One thing is for sure… If we don’t change anything, nothing changes.

Danny invited Jim in. They talked for a long time. Danny had been miserable at school. His dad wasn’t in jail at all, that was something they made up, because Danny didn’t want to go along stealing a chocolate bar at the supermarket. Both boys exchanged stories. It turned out they liked a lot of the same stuff, so they decided to try and face the others at school together.

Nothing changed. Instead of one person being picked on, they now had two. But guess what. Those two had found each other. They stayed best friends for life and because of all the crap they had to take, they grew strong and could take anything that came along. These days they both have a partner, a job they like and the best friend they could wish for. Sure, it would have been nice to fit in, but to what expense? They stayed true to themselves and each other, and in the long run it didn’t ruin their lives.