Self Confidence

My dad taught me that everyone is just as afraid to meet you as you are them.  

The sidewalk loomed long and narrow . The three blocks looked as long as the mile she could normally ride on her horse.  But she knew it only led to the classroom full of strangers and that was the problem.  She didn’t know anyone.  Yesterday grandpa took her, but today she insisted she could do it herself.  She was not a baby.  The babies were all at home back on the farm.  She was so homesick but she would never admit that.

Determination makes her walk down the sidewalk towards her catechism classes in this town of strangers.

Her eyes widen when she sees the little girl pass her.  With her perfect blonde hair smooth and glinting in the sunlight and her perfect fitting pink dress – the girl looks new and beautiful. The girl’s  bike is pink also,  with pink and white fringes hanging from the handle-bars. She knows her, but she doesn’t.  Maureen is in her catechism class. She saw Maureen when Sister Sarah made everyone introduce themselves.

Girl sharing ice cream cone with dog

“Hi.  Don’t you have a bike to ride?” Maureen stops.

She shakes her head nervously, eyes dropping to the ground.  Even Maureen’s voice is pretty.  Light, airy and sweet.  She hates her own gruff, deep voice.  No, she doesn’t own a bike.  Her mommy and daddy can’t afford a bike.  She doesn’t know whether to be jealous or not.  Does she want a bike? She feels Maureen is about to laugh at her.  Her chin tilts and she looks up, glaring at Maureen.

“I have a horse.  Do you have a horse?”  Maybe her voice is gruff but she is ready to defend herself as she decides a horse is much better than a bike. She pulls her ‘too big’ sweater, worn and baggy, closer around her crooked homemade dress.  And pushes her own wild blonde hair off her face.

“Oh you are lucky. You have a real horse?”  Maureen smiles and dismounts from her shiny new bike. “Do you want to ride my bike?”

She smiles back and nods.  Climbing on the bike, she peddles the bike.  It is fun – but not nearly so much as riding a horse.

“Thank you. When you come visit me you can ride my horse.”  She dismounts and hands Maureen back her bike.  This day she realizes all is not as she fears.  This day she makes a new friend.

The Red Stallion