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Peter sits with the same group of his close friends every day at lunch - all girls - Summer, Morgan, Lanaya, Mikaila, and Hannah. And, when it came to letting new people sit with them, or into their group, they were really selective. They usually wouldn't let them.
They all shared the same interested and talked about the same stuff and felt the same way about most things, and so they were nervous that letting someone else into such a tight group would mess things up and that they wouldn't have anything in common with them.
They were kind of exclusive really. And this was all part of the lunchroom and school cafeteria scene - who sits where and with who.
One day, well into the school year, they were all sitting in the cafeteria as usual, eating lunch together, when this girl, Monica, came over to their table. Everyone at school knew who this girl was, because Monica had some unique mental issues and challenges, and they made themselves really obvious. She was "different."
She did speak, and was fine a lot of the time, but, in between talking and seemingly for no reason, she would make weird noises, and some odd movements too. Sometimes she would make odd grinding noises, or strange growling noises - stimming.
And, for some reason, Monica decided she really wanted to sit with Peter and his friends at their lunch table. They were really skeptical about it, and uncomfortable, but, finally, they all agreed that they had to do the right thing and let her sit with them at lunch.
At first it was fine, but then, rather quickly, it started to get a little weird, well, a lot weird. In the middle of their lunch she started yelling out, really loud, these coo-coo clock sounds, and then just sat there grinning at them all. She seemed more than just "different" now and they wouldn't let that different -ness go.
The whole group was really weirded out by that, and they decided that they wanted to find a way to not have to sit with her anymore. There was no way to do it without being really mean, and maybe they had a feeling that they might regret it, but they didn't let that stop them.
They came up with a plan to get rid of her - mean, yes - but effective. They bumped into her in the lunch line and told her that they were all planning to eat in the multi-purpose room and did she want to meet them there and sit with them for lunch? She got so excited, having no idea how mean they were actually being at that moment, and she ran off to the multi-purpose room while the rest of the group made their way through the lunch line.
Of course, they never followed her there - that was the plan. They just went and sat at their usual table in the lunch room without a single regret. They spent the entire lunch making fun of her, talking about how weird she was - and they all sat there laughing about how dumb she was. They deceived her.
The lunch monitor, their gym teacher, overheard what was going on and and yelled at them that they shouldn't be treating mentally challenged kids like that. That just because she was different didn't mean it was okay that they wouldn't let her sit with them at lunch. It got through to them, finally, and they felt really bad about it and were filled with regret.
They knew they had to make it up to her somehow, and so one day at lunch, while Monica was sitting sad and by herself, Peter and Morgan approached her and apologized for how they had abandoned her, and how they wouldn't let her sit with them at lunch just because she was different.
They invited her back and asked her to come sit with them from then on, and she forgave them, and said yes. She joined them there and, since they learned to be more accepting they also found out that she was an awesome, funny, smart and cool girl.
Now Monica and Peter are really close friends and do a lot together. They all hang out together at the lunch table, and do stuff after school, and he is really glad that he learned his lesson: you should never treat someone who is mentally challenged differently, and they are just like us.
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