Once upon a time, in a world where your height played a large part in your day, a boy named Jeff was getting ready for school. Old enough to walk there himself, Jeff would often take the long route to school, as he enjoyed the peace and quiet that the walk offered him. That was what he told his teachers if he was ever late to school and what he told his parents if he was ever late getting home, anyway. The truth, however, was that he had learned several different ways of getting to school and was taking a different route every day. All because of a group of three boys who referred to themselves as The Gang of Three. Mostly out of spite, no one else at school referred to them as The Gang of Three; they just simply called them annoying. But the three annoying boys still found pleasure in finding something different about the kids at their school and making fun of them until they got upset. Unfortunately for Jeff, he did have something that was quite easy to make of: He was shrinking.
Ever since they had moved to Greenvale earlier in the year, Jeff had visibly started getting shorter. At his old school, Jeff was one of the tallest students in the class, but, over the past few weeks since they lived in Greenvale, Jeff had officially become the shortest grade five student in the school. And, his shrinking didn’t look like it was slowing down any time soon, and he had developed a fear of becoming one of the shortest students at Greenvale. Being a newer student meant that he was already a target for being picked on by some of the more bullish students, so noticeably shirking didn’t help his cause as he tried making some new friends. Naturally, The Gang of Three maliciously capitalized on Jeff’s daily changes in height, to the point where he now had to find alternative ways of getting to school each morning. It wasn’t all bad, though, as, one morning while he was walking on a concrete path that connected one street to another, he met Amy Sandal.
Amy was one of those students who could get along with anyone given half a chance, but, since she was very shy, most students didn’t give her even one-fifth of a chance, so they never really got to know that side of her. Amy had seen Jeff and had noticed his daily changes in height, but this was the first opportunity she had to speak with him. Amy was walking in the direction of the school and Jeff was walking in the opposite direction. Jeff noticed that the back of Amy’s school bag was unzipped.
“Your bag’s undone,” Jeff said as they walked past each other, Jeff keeping his hands in the pockets of school jumper.
“Oh, thanks,” Amy replied as she stopped to take her bag off. She noticed Jeff was walking in the wrong direction to be going to school and could see that his uniform was far too big for his body. “You know school’s this way, right?” she called out. Jeff stopped and turned around.
“Yeah, I walk a different way every day or else those boys try and find me before school.” Jeff tried to laugh off his nerves. “I think something about my height freaks them out.”
Amy felt sorry for Jeff. “You wanna walk with me? Maybe if you jump on my shoulders, we can scare them off together with our combined powers.” Jeff laughed and said thank you, but told Amy that he’d prefer just to keep going. “Suit yourself,” Amy said as she picked up her bag and put it on her back. “But, I’m walking with you, then.”
Amy walked over to Jeff which gave her a chance to see just how short Jeff actually was. Jeff appreciated that Amy didn’t try and hide the fact that she was looking at his height. Once they’d started to walk down the path, Amy asked Jeff why he was so short. Jeff wasn’t too sure how to answer, “Well, it’s funny, I…”
“HEY!” a voice yelled from behind the two of them.
Jeff and Amy turned around to see The Gang of Three staring at them from the end of the path.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…
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