Memoir – Silence

The following is a short personal narrative piece about meeting one of my best friends I met all the way back in elementary school. The narrative mostly focuses on the me as a person just trying to start a conversation with him.

Silence

An orange t-shirt, brown around the edges. That’s really all I remember he wore. I picture him with thick eyebrows, cause he was always so serious. Very thin, and deceptively fragile. I was always amazed by how quick he was. He usually didn’t say too much, but everybody liked him.

A long time ago this new kid came. I didn’t really talk with him. I didn’t really care, I didn’t have to talk with him, so I didn’t. I carried on with school. There wasn’t much for me to do. I stayed there on the bench, near the trees with the flowers and the bugs. I used to just sit on the benches outside, munching on the apples my mom packed me. I didn’t really have to talk to anyone. Watching people running around, playing with their friends, I mean, that was fine. With all that time to myself, and that was a lot of time, I got used to entertaining myself during those 15-minute breaks. I could watch the small creatures hiding around the flowers planted on the ground. I would watch the people playing tag, building rivers and dams in the sand pits, climbing the rope pyramid. I never really talked with anybody, I never really had anything to say to anybody anyways. I knew people though, I wasn’t completely lonely. My classmates sometimes came over for a bit to sit a while, and we’d talk. I felt like everyone was already friends and everyone knew each other from class.

Well, I knew everyone, except the new kid. I think I had mistaken apathy for shyness. When started seeing him around, talking with some other kids – let me tell you something, I used to be a huge Pokénerd. Like, I knew every single creature in this game and all their abilities, it was ridiculous. So naturally, when I heard him talking about Pokémon, I was immediately interested. Surprisingly, I hadn’t really found a person who liked Pokémon as much as I did, and though him just mentioning it didn’t mean that he necessarily liked it, but I wanted so much to have someone to talk to about it. I thought I just didn’t care to talk with him, but turns out, I just thought it was so hard to think of my first words to him. When I started seeing him around, I wanted to go and talk with him, but I would just sit there. “How can I talk to him without be rude?

Eventually, one day during break time, we were outside again, I sat back down on the bench. I stared at the ground. I was getting tired of this. I was overthinking this way too much, I mean especially for an 8-year-old. So when the kid walked by, I just forced myself to talk to him.

“Hi!”

You know, I felt so good after I started talking to him. And eventually, this conversation grew into a friendship that I would always treasure.

Rationale

I started my personal narrative off first introducing the new kid by describing what he looked like, as this character is the who I think about throughout the story. At the same time telling the reader that this narrative may not be totally accurate: “That’s all I remember he wore”.

The lack of dialogue in the narrative was to represent the idea of not speaking to anyone, until the end when I break the silence and resolve the conflict. The conflict being me not able to talk to the new kid. I wrote like a stream of consciousness to represent that idea of thinking too much, which is what prevents me from going up to the new kid to say something.

Throughout the narrative, I used low modality words and phrases like “really” or “didn’t have to” to show my shyness and indecisiveness to the reader. I also repeated some of phrases to make it seem a bit more natural.

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