Cook-a-doodle-do. Time to wake up. Huh, I didn’t feel like it. But I had to-school. Pardon me, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Leth Berry and I am a thirteen-year-old girl, well almost, my birthday is only months away. My family just thinks that I am rushing over my ages. I live down Maple Avenue, in British Columbia, but at this point, I had to wake up and get ready. I got up, brushed my teeth, like usual, took a bath and ran downstairs for breakfast. “Hi Mom, hi dad”, I greeted my parents. “Hi Leth”, they replied back. Seconds later, I was nibbling on my food. “Want a ride?” my mom asked. “No I am fine, mom. I think I will walk,you know, walking is a good exercise. By the way, the school isn’t very far away”. “I suppose it is okay”, was her reply. Then I took off. As I was walking, I just remembered that we were expected to have a new student today. She is a girl. I wanted to find more about her, but I had to wait. So I started walking faster. I arrived at school on time and was ready to start the day in Mrs. Clements class. I didn’t have a locker buddy-unlike everyone else-so I was predicting that she would be mine. When she entered, my classmates started laughing. She was as tiny as a dwarf. I know what was right and what was wrong, like my parent always say, “Don't judge a book by its cover”. In this situation, it meant “Don't judge a person by its face”.
Instead of making fun of her, I walked up to her and said, “Hello, my name is Leth.” “Hi Leth, I am Shika.” “Hi Shika.” “Okay, class, we have a new student in our class. Would you like to introduce yourself?” “Hi my name is Shika and I am from Japan and I moved here just a few days ago.” “Thanks for the nice introduction, Shika. I am your homeroom teacher, Mr. Clements.” “As you can see on the schedule, we have language first period, and we are going to be working on story writing.” I hate story writing. It is so boring you know. I am fine with reading and my teacher says that if you like reading stories than you should be able to write them too. Wrong. Reading is like listening while writing is like talking about something. Agh, I just wish this day was over. Shika and I walked home together. She came to my house after school and helped me finish my projects. I found out that she is pretty smart, she knows the answer to almost everything that Mr. Clements asks. Ding! Dong! Her mom was here. It seemed like she only stayed here for fifteen minutes. It was such an enjoyable time with her. But, sadly, she had to leave.
At school, my classmates made fun of me and Shika, that was really mean. But Shika told me, “Make a strong fence in your mind. That fence lets the good actions and words come in and the mean and the bad actions and words bounce off. That fence is very useful in life.” I thanked her for the wonderful life tip. She really knows a lot. That day, I had history with Mr. Clements in which he kept on talking and talking about World War I. I was getting so bored that any minute I would fall asleep. “Class I also would like to inform you that there is a World War II. In this war Canada is an enemy of Japan. Therefore, many of our Japanese Canadians friends will face racism. I feel really sad for them,” he said.
After school, I found Shika in a bad mood so I thought that distracting her and cheering her up would make her feel better and sometimes asking the person about their feelings also helps. So I asked her what was wrong. She replied, “You know how Mr.Clements was talking about World War II and Japanese Canadians, well I am one.” “Really?” I asked. “Yeah, really” She replied back. “I wonder what is going to happen to us and Leth, I will never forget your kindness and our friendship.” “I can’t believe this, you just moved here a few days ago and know you are leaving me.” We walked home together, discussing our wonderful time and sharing cheerful memories. When I reached home, I was kind of really mad. This is World War II is not going to break mine and Shika’s friendship. It’s Not with a capital “N”. So I thought about this for awhile and out of nowhere, an idea came across my blank brain. I should make something for her so that she will remember me through her struggle. So I agreed on to making a special box, which had a picture of me and her, and that box will carry our friendship and courage. So I began to work.
After I was done, I put it in my bag so I won’t forget it the next morning. I might not even see her today. At school, I was happy that she was here. At least I can spend one more day with her and give her the special box. I gave her the box, and she replied, “Thank you very much”. “You seem kind of upset today”. “Yeah, you know about World War II, my parents received a mail yesterday, stating that today at eight thirty, a bus will be here to pick us up, we will leave and will be taken to camps in not so good conditions and also the government will seize our property.” “That’s really sad. I feel really bad for you. Just keep the box with you, it carries courage and our friendship. I hope you will never forget me.” “I never will.”
When I returned home, I was really upset. I went in my room and thought about the wonderful memories we had together. She was the best birthday gift anyone could ever have. My eyes filled with tears. I will miss you, my friend. I woke up early this morning, at eight thirty sharp, a bus was here, I watch her leave. She felt the box in her pocket and smiled. She sure was a good friend. I know I’m saying that about a million times, but I can’t just stop stating that, she has taught me many useful things, she has guided me the right and the correct path to live your life, I have learned so much from her, even in a such a short time. I started to cry as I saw her leave me. Now, I had nothing to do, except go under my bed. That’s all I did for a whole year. There was stuff over the news about Japanese Canadians, I couldn’t bear to hear that. One day, I was raking the leaves in the backyard, and my mom said, “Leth, honey, you should be thankful that you had a friend like Shika. Think about those who through their life never have a friend like her. So, maybe you should count yourself lucky”. I nodded, she was right.
Next day, as I was walking home from school, I ran into Limpa Lee, who was my old neighbor. How did she end up here? I thought. “So, Leth, what are you doing these days”. “Nothing”, was my reply. “Think about it, doing nothing is useless. Don’t waste that precious time.” So I think about it all the way home, about what she had said. It seemed like a useful advice. I didn’t know what to do. So after marveling for a bit, I light bulb lit up across my plain, empty brain. I started to write. Leth Berry, haven’t you got your own brain? Shika had been a brain for you, but you have yours that you need to use. So I started to write. I wrote until next summer. It was a wonderful experience.