FIRST DAY BACK

Lily knelt down and started picking up the books, trying to block out the laughs and stares.

She’d got it all wrong. Sneakers when everyone else had shoes. Short summer dress when everyone else wore leggings and tights. New plain backpack and all the cool girls had satchels. Hair plaited when the season’s look was shoulder-length and loose.

And when she couldn’t find her new locker, the pile of textbooks slipped and crashed onto the corridor floor.

She could feel the tears forming when the scruffy sandals appeared on the floor in front of her.

‘You okay, kid?’


Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

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67 responses to “FIRST DAY BACK”

  1. This is a wonderful story

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s tough being young and trying to fit in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s tough being middle-aged and trying to fit in, for teenagers it must be horrendous! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Dear Iain,

    At my forty year class reunion it was amazing to me to learn that the so-called popular kids had the same adolescent issues I did. Well told story of a traumatic first day.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  4. Very well done. It is hard to fit in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Trent, it certainly is, and at the time it all felt so important. Looking back, it seems so trivial now

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A fine description of an angst ridden school first day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a disastrous first day at grammar school. How this resonated… Very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh god, memories of my first day at grammar school…… grey ankle socks when everyone else was wearing knee highs, pinafore when everyone else was in skirts, mac that was the usual you’ll grow into it four sizes too big. Had I been a year later or my sister a year older, I could have had her hand-me-downs but we overlapped by a year. Mum and Dad did the best they could, I had good shoes and that mac was new.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No matter what, I always managed to be out of step with everyone else at my school, but as Rochelle says, only later do you realise everyone is going through the similar feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As someone who attended 7 different schools in 3 countries I can identify with Lily.
    Being different is the biggest crime for a child.
    I like that you conjured up a happy ending!

    PS Both Neil and you have used ‘Lily’ as the name. Is this coincidence or someone in the news?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Neil, felt like a happy ending was needed.
      If you look closely the girl is wearing a name tag on her top.

      Like

      1. Ah, okay, I deleted her from my photo, so didn’t notice.
        And, sorry to be pedantic, but I ain’t Neil!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Whoops! It’s either because you mentioned Neil, or because I’m over 40 (by two weeks) now and starting to lose it…

          Like

  9. Wonderful story about a terrible first day at school.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it got better in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. And yes, it did 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, you found my first and second grade memories. 2 schools in one year also had me in two grades. Moving mid school year made it very difficult. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. She’s not off to a good start but I think she will do ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Danny, seems like she won’t be alone for sure.

      Like

  12. A friend in need! Great story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. How many of us can relate to this! Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You’ve written that story with a lovely delicate touch. I loved the happy ending. I bet they’re still friends years later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For sure. Thank you Penny, always appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah! How fun that it seems we went for the same kind of ‘vibe’! 🙂
    Lovely.
    🙂
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, yep, great minds 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Excellent, Iain. You just described my first day of junior high. That was a long, long, time ago, so, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Like

  17. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. A simple act of kindness can make all the difference. Well told. You’ve captured that real or imagined reality for a lot of us.

    Everybody’s protagonist is named Lily this week. 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Good one, I can feel it have gone through similar situations

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, yes, and are going to be there for each other 🙂

      Like

  19. A friendly pair of shoes, Ken Kesey always said you could judge people on what shoes they were wearing, this person sounds like a saviour

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice, I like that 🙂

      Like

  20. So often those that stand out from the rest and don’t necessarily conform become the most successful in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If only they could see that at the time. Thanks Keith.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Hopefully, with a new friend like this, she will be okay. Nicely told.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz, I hope so too.

      Like

  22. Her knight in shining sandals has appeared!

    And following on from Keith’s comment – who wants to be a sheep? (Well, I guess at school everyone who doesn’t want to get picked on, but still…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps just pretend to be a sheep to get along and then… but why should they have to? Thanks Ali

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh this sets a first day scene perfectly. Great descriptions of the school group attitudes. She sounds like an individual. I hope the bullies don’t win.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. It’s amazing how many times those angels appear at the right time. I really enjoyed your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I was a farm boy in a school where my classmated fathers were doctors, lawyers, and highly-esteemed college football coaches. I can certainly relate. However, like Lily, there were a few kids who would reach out and help you to not feel so alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. All that first day anxiety wrapped up in your lovely story Iain. I could feel it.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Great story! Definitely been there! Never fit in anywhere. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – I hope you found those friends to help you through 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. What a beautiful little story. It almost brings healings to many terrible high school memories. Almost. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Ah that awkward feeling in a new school captured so well. Nice one.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Oh, just a hint of kindness always helps. You captured that well.

    Liked by 1 person

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