Example of Braided Narrative
- Pages: 7
- Word count: 1677
- Category: School
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Everything was loud. The overstuffed bus of children was leaving the school parking lot for its normal route of sudden stops, unforgiving bumps, and of course, transporting students to their destinations. Opposite from every other child on the bus, I sit quietly in seat fourteen listening to the screaming laughter and shrill excitement of the conclusion of another school year. I sit there in silence because I knew that it would be my last bus ride home. I was trying to take everything in: the smell of the old brown bus seats, the half opened windows that tried to keep us cool, the pleasantly plump and incredibly sweet bus driver, and the jovial and rambunctious sounds of kids cackling and yelping. At every stop, I could literally feel my heart drop a little. As the bus neared my neighborhood, my mouth was completely dry. When I saw my house, my heart stopped. There was the moving truck. It was symbol of my leaving home, and the realization that the move was going to happen, and that I had no control over it.“Hello,” said a kind face to me as I entered my first eighth-grade class at a new school. “Hello,” I said back, not knowing how to take the gesture. I walked into a classroom full of new faces.
Everyone was gawking at the new kid. I thought to myself, “is it what I’m wearing? Do I look weird? Should I say something?” I did nothing but go to my assigned seat, and sat quietly just like I did on the bus months prior. As I sat in silence, I listened intently as the teacher floated across the room while calling roll. When I heard my name called, I tried to muster up the courage to address myself in a casual way, but I’m sure that it came out as a nervous “here.” As she finished roll call, each student was handed a mountain of forms and papers. Then the class slowly transformed into a parade of shouts and laughter. Everyone was welcoming each other back, except for me. I sat there in silence examining everyone. I think I get that from my dad. He was always the one to over analyze and study people. When I first detected that he did this, we were visiting a children’s arcade called Billy Bob’s. On his days off, my father would take me there to play games and eat pizza. Filled with bright flashing lights, fun filled games and amazing food; it was a place of fun and a mecca for all young children. Usually, I would just sit and eat pizza and play in the ball pit. But this particular time that we went, I wanted to play a game. Being the child that I was, I just wanted to hop right up to it and go. My skeptic father on other hand just sat back and watched the people in front of us play.
This arcade game was so complicated yet so appealing to the eyes of a young child. The flashing blue lights and the loud whistle-like sounds would draw you in to play. The objective was to put a coin token in a slot, slide it down a ramp, and try to aim it at one of the other slots that were spinning inside the game. The anticipation was pounding through my veins, and like any other five year old, I was impatient to try the game. My father, however, was patiently and silently observing, only furthering my desire to play. After a while, he let me play; I lost immediately. My father on the other hand stepped up to the game, deposited the coin, and easily made it in one of the slots. I watched in awe as the tickets poured out for my dad. My dad had won the game by simply observing and learning.When the class had ended, I scooped up my things and hurried out. I just wanted the day to be over, but I had yet to deal with every new kid’s nightmare: the lunchroom. I seriously felt like a martian. Everyone seemed to have their own friends, their own cliques, their own self-absorbed lives. I awkwardly made my way to the lunch line, and stood for what seemed like an eternity.
Being the nervous and shy person that I am, I constantly thought that eyes were watching me. As I picked up my lunch tray, I heard a voice behind me say, “Hey you!” I eagerly turned around. I thought to myself that maybe it’s a new friend! I was so elated with the fact that finally, someone wanted to talk to me! As the lunch line proceeded, I was getting hammered with questions: “Where are you from? Why are you here? What is your name?” Feeling a little overwhelmed, I answered the boy quickly as I got my lunch food. As we both exited the line, I thought I had obtained a new friend. I soon found out that I was wrong. With a slanderous tone, the boy said, “Just to let you know, I’m going to make fun of you for the rest of the year.” Then he strutted off into his group of friends and walked away. With broken hope, I scanned the cafeteria for an empty seat. I found one at the end of a deserted table, sat quietly again, and pondered on what the boy had said to me, and then I watched. I wondered to myself, what would my father have done in a situation like this? My father was sort of a bully/rebel in school. I remember him telling stories of his childhood before he tucked me in at night.
A couple stories that he told multiple times, probably to emphasize how wrong his actions were, are implanted in my mind forever. The first story is about this boy that he would repeatedly harass. My father would walk down the halls yelling at this kid calling him names such as “egghead.” He also told me of a time when he was younger, he got up on a desk in school, and tried to knock the clock off of the classroom wall. His teacher scolded him and told him that he was going to get the paddle if he did not take his seat. As soon as she turned her back, he leaped back up onto the desk, and with a swift move of his arm, knocked the clock off of the wall. He said that the teacher turned around with a face as red as a beet; she growled for him to get into the hall. I picture my dad strutting out of the classroom with a smug and accomplished little grin on his face. My father also had a really bad temper. He would never let anyone walk on top of him, and didn’t take orders well. He was very stubborn and always wanted to be in control of everything. He told me once that a boy made fun of him in school. My father was livid and had finally had enough, so he confronted the boy.
The confrontation was not pleasant; my dad ended beating the boy up and both of them were sent to the principal’s office. When he would tell me these stories, we would often laugh until we cried because of how shallow he used to be. Following those reminiscent bedtime stories was a lecture. Being regretful of his past decisions, he would always tell me that I shouldn’t be the type of person that he was when he was in school. He would make me promise to him that I would be a good student in school, and that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes that he did. But he would also tell me to stand up for myself and for what is right. Listening to my father, I would always say yes, and then he would leave me to fall asleep. As my day dragged on, I moped around the hallways of my new school going from class to class. I just wanted to disappear. Just before the last class of the day, I ran into that boy that I met in the lunch line. He walked by with his group of friends and murmured something under his breath. The whole group of boys laughed. I quickly told myself that I wasn’t going to put up with this for the rest of the year so I gathered the courage to shout something back at him.
“You got something to say?” I shouted. He slightly turned around and said no, and kept on walking. I felt a little empowered. I thought back to the incident of my father and the boy that he fought, and told myself that I was like my father. I felt good that I had stood up for myself just like my father had told me to do; it gave me a sense of confidence. As my school day ended, I seemed to relive the memories of how I watched my father that day at the arcade. I observed everyone and everything, taking in my new surroundings just as I had on the last bus ride I had at my old school. I also thought of the bedtime stories that my father would tell me. I thought of how he stood up for himself, and the morals that the stories had taught me. I felt that I took what he said and applied it to my life, and for this, I felt very connected to him. My first day in eighth-grade at a new school was rough, but I grew from it. I also discovered that I am very much like my father in some ways, and can use what I have experienced plus what he has taught, for whatever life throws at me. Whether it be a facing a bully, or whether it be adapting to my surroundings, I feel ready and well-equipped.