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September 1, 1997
Leo and Harmony stood outside the school building holding hands. Harmony was close to tears and Leo tried to cheer her up as Mary and Gene watched from the car.
“Everything is going to be alright. You’ll see. You’re going to love fourth grade.”
“I won’t love it. I won’t ever love it. Why are we in different classes? I don’t want to stay here if we’re in different classes.” Harmony said as the tears that had been building up in her eyes began sliding down her cheeks.
“My class is right beside yours. We’ll see each other at lunch and on the playground. I’ll come over after school and we can do homework together.” Leo spoke patiently.
“We probably won’t even have the same homework.”
“That won’t matter, because whatever my homework is I’m still going to need your help to finish it.” Leo tried laughing and was happy to see Harmony make a faint attempt at a smile. “I’ve got your back no matter what and I don’t have to be sitting in the chair beside you for that.”
“Promise?” Harmony looked at him hopefully.
“Promise.” Leo gave Harmony’s hand a squeeze before turning to wave good bye to the Harrisons.
The Harrisons smiled in relief. They knew that if anyone could calm Harmony’s fears about school, about anything for that matter, it would be Leo. They returned Leo’s wave and were happy to see Harmony smiling as they drove away from the school.
Harmony searched the lunch table looking for Leo and was just starting to panic when she finally spotted him sitting at a corner table. Smiling she rushed over to where he sat saving her a seat.
“Leo! I’m so glad to see you. I’ve got the meanest teacher in the history of the world.” She talked excitedly as she put her things on the table and sat next to him.
“Harmony! I was getting worried. What took you so long?” Leo moved his things to make room for Harmony and her belongings at the small table.
“Mr. Hatchett wouldn’t release us for lunch until everyone stopped talking. Brooke and her gaggle of girls kept giggling. I was beginning to think we would never get out of there.”
Leo rolled his eyes. “Brooke? You’re stuck in a class with her again? How was everything else? Did you make any friends?”
“Hatchett kept us so busy there was no time for anything but work. There is a new girl in my class and I can already see Brooke making fun of her, so I might invite her to sit next to me. I remember how hard it is to be the new kid here.”
“I’m proud of you Harmony. You’re always nice to people and that’s a good thing. Now eat your lunch and then we’ll go sit outside until the bell rings.