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The Conceited Freak

by Mohamed Osama

One fine day, the students were sitting in their class when the principal made a surprise announcement, “We have a newcomer.” One of the students blurted out, “Get out. We don’t want new students!” Youssef, the new student, was a swollen-headed guy and just ignored the statement and sat in an empty seat in one of the corners of the classroom. Next day, he just kept talking about himself, so the students were reluctant to play or talk with him. On the following day, he kept poking them and was very nosy, as if he were a flying bumble bee stuck on a flower!

Days passed and the students got accustomed to the newcomer. In fact, some students even liked him because they thought he was cool. When it was quiz time, Youssef was the only one who got the full mark, but he kept showing off. Some students were annoyed because he was very conceited. Definitely, a lot of students weren’t his friends. One day, Youssef went to his grandfather and asked him, “What is the secret of life?”

The grandfather said, “Son, there are many secrets in life, but the most important one is friendship.”

The boy asked his grandfather for the reason people ran away when they saw him, to which his grandfather replied, “One reason could be that you are boastful or talk a lot about yourself.”

Youssef felt guilty about his attitude towards others and it was time for him to learn a lesson. That day, the school principal announced a dancing contest. Everyone chose a partner and so did Youssef, although very few liked him now. On the day of the event, Youssef missed a lot of steps and was about to lose, but his partner made great effort and won them the dance competition. Instead of thanking him, Youssef boastfully said, “I would have also won without you!”

Spring break came and, as usual, Youssef, boastfully thinking that he was unbeatable, challenged a younger boy to a one-on-one basketball game. The younger boy accepted the challenge, and Youssef’s grandfather watched the boys play. Surprisingly, the younger boy showed great skill and scored five times more than Youssef did and won the match, leaving Youssef shocked. He ran to his grandfather screaming, “How could I lose? I am older than him!”

The grandfather replied, “Son, the younger boy focused on scoring and using his positive energy, but you focused only on his being younger than you are. This is how he won.”

Youssef learned his lesson, and on the first day after vacation, he wrote an apology letter to all his classmates. He finally understood the meaning of a team and the importance of friendship. Incredibly, the students rallied around him, and he became a source of love. He felt exhilarated as he gained more friends. Friendship is a priceless gift, so we need to never regret having friends as they are always around when you need them the most.

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