It was Friday afternoon as high school students began to filter out of the front entrance. As Tim, the starting quarterback of the football team, began to think of his weekend plans, an unusual site got his attention. Walking down the main sidewalk, a nerd was trying to carry all of his books home for the weekend, stacked 9 high. Meanwhile, one by one, other students began to bully and tease this studious boy, causing him to drop his books. Laughing initially, the second and third time this occurred, Tim became enraged.
Inspired to act, Tim moved out of his comfort zone, introducing himself to this boy with a ghostly face. Before he finished talking, this nerd faintly responded, “I know who you are, everyone does!” Feeling awkward, Tim began to make small talk, asking where he lived, how old he was and what he liked to do. Realizing he lived a few blocks away, Tim suggested, “why don’t I walk you home, I live right around the corner so nobody else gives you a hard time?” Afraid to reject this offer, they began to pass time in conversation. As they approached the nerd’s home, Tim humbled himself, asking if his new friend could tutor him in Algebra. Shocked by this request, this was the beginning of an unique, yet special friendship.
Two years later, this nerd went on to become valedictorian, nominated by Tim to give a speech at graduation. Shy and afraid, this boy trembled at the podium, staring at his note cards for a moment. Suddenly, the boy put his cards away, proclaiming, “I can’t do this!” Sharing from his heart, this nerd dropped a bomb shell on those in attendance. “Two years ago, I was on my way to commit suicide. On a Friday afternoon, I brought all my books home so my mom wouldn’t have to clear out my locker. On my way home, I started thinking about how I was going to do this until a stranger intervened. Bullied for the last time, I wanted to make these cruel people feel bad. Yet, Tim stepped in, befriended me and stopped me from carrying out my plan.” With not a dry eye in the house, this was the day when the star quarterback saved a nerd.
by Jay Mankus