The new girl at Beverly Elementary School bonds with her homeroom crush the day her mom forgets to pack her lunch.
Tropes – First Love
“Want some of my cheesy Ritz crackers?”
The cafeteria was filled with the chattering of ravenous 5th graders. She was sitting in the corner, at the furthest table in the back, alone. While the rest of the kids had hot school lunches, or cold sandwiches from home, she just had a water bottle and a book. Her mom usually packed her lunch at night before going to bed but this time she forgot, and Hailey didn’t have $3 for the school lunch.
When she looked up from her book, there was a boy standing across the table with his arm out, crackers in hand. On the other side of the cafeteria, his friends stared and giggled at his boldness.
She blinked at him as he slid the packet of crackers over to her. “It’s okay. I packed an extra one today.”
She looked down at the crackers then back at him, reeling from the unexpected kindness. “Um, okay. Thanks, umm…Luke?” She said tentatively but she knew that was his name.
They were in the same class. They hadn’t spoken in the week since she started at Beverly Elementary but she already liked him. He was the only kid in class who hadn’t laughed when Miss Riva introduced her as “Miss Hailey Cupid”. It’s a dumb name. She would’ve laughed too but he didn’t.
After that she watched him from afar. His clothes were worn and faded. He wore the same faded green shirt every day and one of the soles was coming off the bottom of his beat up Keds, but he was a good reader. When Miss Riva called on him, Luke’s voice was clear and even-paced no matter what they were reading. He was also pretty good at math. He was the only one who got the right answer on the bonus word problem in today’s pop quiz.
Right now, he was beaming at her. “Yeah! And you’re Hailey, right?” He pointed at her open book. “What are you reading?”
She glanced down and blinked at the pages for a second. What was she reading? “Oh, I’m rereading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
“Cool! I love Harry Potter!” He pulled out the chair across from her and leaned forward as he sat, eyes wide with excitement. “Do you know what house you’re in?”
She smiled and said, “I’m Gryffindor,” before popping a cheesy Ritz cracker into her mouth.
He smirked. “I’m Slytherin. Guess that means we can’t be friends.”
She shook her head, looking solemn. “Too late. You gave me your crackers. We’re friends for life now.”
They grinned at each other and chatted for the rest of the lunch period about how cool it would be to fly on a broomstick or use magic to do their homework. Luke invited Hailey to sit at his lunch table the next day. They spent lunch together every day for the rest of the school year.