Matthew N

(back to This I Believe)



Reaching Out to People


When I was in the first grade, there was a new kid who came to my class. His name was Aidan. He came to the class with no friends, except for his assigned helper, who happened to have been one of my best friends since preschool, Thomas. It was reading time, and Aidan was looking for a book to read. I went up to him and even though I knew who he was, I said “I’m Matthew. Who are you?” He introduced himself, and it turns out he was a really nice guy. Within a couple of weeks, we were good friends. Aidan, Thomas, and I, soon did almost everything in school together. We wrote stories about dinosaurs and football-playing monkeys, did researches on states and animals, and played soccer and football together.


After one year, when we were in the second grade, a new wave of kids joined our class. We decided to reach out to some of them. Their names were Laric and Marc. I already knew Laric a little bit because he lived next door to my grandmother, but I didn’t know Marc very well. After a little while, they became our good friends too.


In the third grade, almost exactly two years after Aidan came to our class, he delivered shocking news to the rest of us. He was moving away to Midlothian, Virginia. When he finally moved, the rest of us knew we probably wouldn’t see him again, at least anytime soon.


I saw Aidan again that September, because my family was going to Virginia, and we went to Kings Dominion, a big amusement park, which was only 45 minutes away from his house.


The next time we saw Aidan, it was in fourth grade. Thomas and I weren’t in Marc and Laric’s class anymore, so we had started losing touch with them. He came down to Raleigh to do a camp with me and Thomas. We all had a lot of fun, but soon he had to leave again.


I haven’t seen Aidan since then, but we still receive Christmas cards from his family. We also recently got news that he had a baby sister. I still am friends with Thomas, because we have been in the same class for about 9 years. I sometimes see Laric, but I have seen Marc only once since we left his class, and it was only briefly. Although I haven’t really kept in touch with them, it still feels good to know that I reached out to people, and it made a big difference in their life. I still try to do that to this day, and I hope to continue reaching out to people in the future.