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Candy adjusted her headband, took a deep breath and tried to calm down. There were butterflies bouncing around in her tummy. Looming before her was a humongous school building, with a ton of excited kids. The kids were hugging, laughing, and greeting each other after a very short summer vacation. Candy clutched her school bag tightly to her body for comfort and forced her legs to walk inside the building. What a morning it had been. Not only was it the day she had to start 5th grade at a totally new school in a completely new town, but on top of that she had left the house without her lucky ring. She hadn't taken it off since she got it. The ring was clear plastic filled with purple glitter. Her best friend Nikki had given it to her when they said goodbye. Her finger just didn't feel the same without it. Candy found her classroom quickly and sat down in the back of the room. She watched all of the kids enter and sit down. They were chatting away with excitement. She pulled out a rainbow colored pencil and swirled it around on her desk, staring at it, trying to ease her nervousness. The teacher came in and welcomed everyone back for the year. Candy was still playing with the pencil as she heard the teacher introduce herself as Mrs. Marsh. She bolted upright in her chair as she realized she was in the wrong classroom. Her brightly colored pencil sailed through the air across the room towards a boy sitting in the front row, smacking him right in the back of his head. It felt as if time had stopped, and it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Candy turned a bright shade of bubble gum pink with embarrassment. She got up, mumbled that she was 'so so sorry' and ran out of the classroom. She wished she could wake up from this nightmare. Candy reluctantly made her way to the main office. Once there, she was taken to the right classroom and introduced to the teacher. Relieved to be in the right place, she smiled shyly. She said hi, and took a seat in the back next to an empty desk. Candy sighed and thought of her old home, and all the friends she'd left behind. Most of all she thought of Nikki. She missed her so much as she sat looking down at her ring-less hand. Class went by fast and she was careful this time to keep all of her pencils on her desk. The bell rang for lunch and the halls filled as everyone made a dash for the cafeteria. Candy hadn't had time to make a lunch at home, so she got in the hot- lunch line. She smelled the pizza and tried to get in a better mood...maybe this place wasn't so bad after all. She got her pizza and grabbed an apple. Trying to hold her milk and balance the tray at the same time, the funny- shaped apple rolled slightly with each step she took. It was no use. Her third step, the pizza slid and the apple took a dive off the tray. Suddenly in a blur of motion, the girl who'd been next to her in line caught the apple and straightened her tray. "Whoa, careful," she said with a huge smile. Candy thanked her and smiled back. The girl picked up her own tray and moved closer, "My name's Lily, you're new aren't ya?" Candy shook her head yes, "I'm Candy." Lily linked her arm through Candy's and steered her toward a table, "C'mon Candy, you can sit with me and my friends." During lunch Candy met all of Lily's friends. They were all incredibly nice and she was amazed when she found out that all of them had been close friends their whole lives. Candy and Lily talked for the whole lunch period. They talked so much that they didn't even eat, and everyone at the table treated her like she was part of the group. As lunch was ending, Lily scooted her chair closer to Candy's and told her she had something to give her. Opening her school bag, she pulled out a cute plastic ring. Candy watched her with joy as Lily took her hand and put the ring in it. "It's yours. We all wear them, " she said with a giggle. "Now you're part of our group, they're our lucky friendship rings!" Candy's smile was huge as she looked down at the shimmering pink ring. All the girls welcomed her and they all exclaimed that she had to put it on right away. Candy thanked them all a million times and, in between giggles, she slipped the ring on her finger. Later that night at home, Candy found the ring from Nikki in her bed, discovering that it must have fallen off while she had been sleeping. How weird that on a day she lost one ring, she'd gotten another. What a strange day, she thought. Looking down at her hand, she slipped it on. Looking at the two rings she thought of Nikki, her best friend in the whole world, and she knew she'd never stop missing her. Then she thought about Lily and all the girls she'd met that day. They all had been so nice to her. Candy knew they'd all become great friends. She decided she would never take either ring off. One was a symbol of her great new friendships and the other was a reminder of an old best friend that she would absolutely never ever forget.

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