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September 2, 1996
It had been almost a month since the Harrisons had taken Harmony in and while things seemed to be going smoothly they couldn’t help but feel that Harmony was constantly walking on egg shells around them. She had always been a quiet girl but she had withdrawn even further into herself since losing the lady she had grown to love and called Grandma Pat.
School was starting and they tried to get her excited about it, but Harmony didn’t like school. The fact that she would be going to a different school than the one she had been attending didn’t seem to make her like it any more or any less. School just was not her thing.
Mary Harrison had gotten up extra early to shower, dress and make a special first day of school breakfast for Harmony. Harmony barely touched the food on her plate and seemed less than thrilled with the new pink dress that had been chosen as her first day outfit and the matching book bag and lunchbox.
Gene Harrison drove the car the four blocks to school as his wife talked nonstop about how much she had loved third grade and was sure Harmony would too. Harmony sat in the backseat without saying a word.
There were no available parking spaces in front of the school so Gene let Harmony and his wife out of the car. Mary was to walk Harmony into the building while Gene circled the block. He would pick her up when he came back around.
Mary held onto the trembling hand of the scared little girl as they walked into the building and searched for room 26. Harmony said nothing as they walked into the class and saw the other kids sitting at tables talking to each other.
“Hi. I’m Max Rodriguez. Welcome to my third grade grade classroom.” He smiled and extended his hand to Harmony.
Harmony looked at Mary uncertainly and it wasn’t until after she saw Mary smile and nod her head that she reached out to shake the man’s hand.
“This is Harmony. She’s a little shy and she’s brand new to this school.” Mary explained.
“That’s ok, last year I was new at this school too.” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I was a little scared on my first day, so I understand how you feel.” He smiled at Harmony, but she lowered her head and stared at the floor. “I tell you what, why don’t you look around the room and pick the table you would like to sit at. I bet you’ll make friends in no time.”
Harmony looked at Mary who smiled. “It’s ok. I’ll be here to pick you up after school. We’ll go for ice cream and you can tell me all about your first day.”
Harmony quietly walked further into the room and sat in the first empty chair she saw. It was at a table with three other girls. Mr. Rodriguez and Mary Harrison watched from the door. “She’ll be fine.” He promised Mary as she sadly turned and exited the room.