His nose was all 1)smooshed looking, like maybe his mom had dropped him when he was a baby. His ears were two - maybe even two and a half - sizes too big for his head. And his eyes! His eyes 2)bulged like they were ready to pop right out of their 3)sockets. His clothes were nice, Tim had to admit. But he was still the 4)homeliest kid he'd ever seen. So why was the new kid leaning on Jennifer Lawrence's 5)locker like they were best friends or something? She was a cheerleader and one of the coolest girls in school. And why was she smiling at him instead of twisting her nose all funny like she did when she looked at Tim? Strange, he thought. Really strange. By lunchtime, Tim had forgotten about the new kid. He sat down at his usual table - in the corner, all alone. Tim was a 6)loner. He wasn't as ugly as the new kid - just a little on the heavy side and kind of 7)nerdy. Nobody talked to Tim much, but he was used to it. He had adjusted. About halfway through his peanut 8)butter and 9)ketchup sandwich (he put ketchup on everything), Tim looked up and saw that kid again. He was holding his lunch 10)tray and standing over Jennifer, grinning like he'd just aced a math test. And she was 11)grinning, too. Then she moved over and made room on the bench next to her. Strange. Really strange. But even stranger was what the new kid did. Tim would have 12)plunked into that seat so fast, his lunch bag would have been left behind, just hanging in the air. But not his new kid. He shook his head, looked around and walked straight to Tim's table. "Mind if I join you?" he asked. Just like that. Mind if I join you? Like the entire eighth grade was fighting to sit at my table or something, Tim thought. "Sure," said Tim. "I mean no. I don't mind." So the kid sat down. And he came back, day after day, until they were friends. Real friends. Tim had never had a real friend before, but Jeff - that was his name - invited Tim to his house, on trips with his family and even hiking. Right - Tim hiking! Funny thins was... one day Tim realized he wasn't so heavy anymore. All that hiking, I guess, thought Tim. And kids were talking to him, nodding to him in the hallways, and even asking him questions about 13)assignments and things. And Tim was talking back to them. He wasn't a loner anymore. One day, when Jeff sat down at the table, Tim had to ask him. "Why did you sit with me that first day? Didn't Jen ask you to sit with her?" "Sure, she asked. But she didn't need me." "Need you?" "You did." "I did?" Tim hoped nobody was listening. This was a really 14)dumb conversation, he thought. "You were sitting all alone," Jeff explained. "You looked lonely and scared." "Scared?" "Uh huh, scared. I knew that look. I used to have one, too, just like it." Tim couldn't believe it. "Maybe you didn't notice, but I'm not exactly the best-looking guy in school," Jeff went on. "At my old school I sat alone. I was afraid to look up and see if anyone was laughing at me." "You?" Tim knew he sounded stupid, but he couldn't picture Jeff by himself. He was so outgoing. "Me. It took a friend to help me see that I wasn't alone because of my nose or my ears. I was alone because I never smiled or took an interest in other people. I was so concerned about myself that I never paid attention to anyone else. That's why I sat with you. To let you know someone cared. Jennifer already knew." "Oh, she knows, all right," Tim said as he watched two guys fighting to sit near her. Tim and Jeff both laughed. It felt good to laugh and I've been doing a lot of it lately, realized Tim. Then Tim looked at Jeff. Really looked. He isn't so bad looking, thought Tim. Oh, not handsome or anything like that. But he isn't homely. Jeff is my friend. That's when Tim realized that he was seeing Jeff for the first time. Months earlier all he had seen was a funny-looking nose and "15)Dumbo" ears. Now he was seeing Jeff, really seeing him.
他的鼻子又扁又平，仿佛小时候给母亲摔过似的。他的两只耳朵--或许是两只半吧--同脑袋比起来实在太大了。再看他的眼睛！凸出的眼珠子仿佛随时会掉出眼窝。他的衣冠整洁，这迪姆也不得不承认。尽管如此，迪姆还是觉得他是见过的孩子中最难看的。 那为什么这个新生却挨着詹妮弗·劳伦斯的储物柜--仿佛他俩是好朋友或别的什么似的。她是啦啦队的队长，也是学校里最迷人的女孩之一。为什么她会朝他微笑，不像从前她看到迪姆时只是皱起鼻子表情古怪？他想道：奇怪，太奇怪了。 到吃午餐时，迪姆已经忘了那名新生。他坐到老位置上--在角落里，独自一人。迪姆素来形只影单。他没有那名新生那么难看--只是有点儿胖，有点儿乏味罢了。别人都不怎么理他，可他已经习以为常了。他为此做过一番调整。 大概吃掉了半个花生番茄酱三明治后（迪姆什么都抹番茄酱），他抬起头来，又一次看见了那名新生。他端着午餐盘站着俯看詹妮弗，咧嘴笑得好像数学考了第一名似的。而她也是笑咪咪的。接着她挪了一下，腾出旁边的位置来。奇怪。真太奇怪了。 但更奇怪的是新生跟着做的事。换了是迪姆的话，一早“扑通”坐下，午餐早给抛到脑后，扔到爪洼国去了。但这新生可不是。他摇了摇头，朝四周瞧了瞧后，径直向迪姆的座位走来。 “我坐这你可介意？”他问。 瞧他说的。我坐这你可介意？似乎全体八年级的学生都抢着要坐我旁边似的。迪姆想道。 “当然，”迪姆说，“我是说不。我不介意。” 于是新生就坐下了。日复一日他都坐在这里，直到他们成了朋友。真正的朋友。 迪姆从没有过知心好友，但杰夫--那新生的名字--邀请迪姆去他的家，与他的家人一起出游，甚至一起徒步旅行。是的--迪姆去了徒步旅行！ 有趣的是……有一天迪姆发觉自己没那么胖了。迪姆想：我想是徒步旅行的功劳吧。孩子们开始和他说话、在走廊上朝他点头致意，甚至向他请教一些作业和其他问题。迪姆也与他们交谈。他不再形单影只了。 一日，杰夫坐在餐桌旁时，迪姆问他：“第一天你为什么和我坐在一块儿呢？难道詹妮弗没叫你和她坐吗？” “她是叫了。可她并不需要我呀。” “需要你？” “而你需要。” “我需要？” 迪姆希望没给别人听到。他想，这个谈话真太莫名其妙了。 “你当时一个人坐，”杰夫解释道。“你看起来既孤单又胆怯。” “胆怯？” “是啊，胆怯。我知道那种表情。我以前也有同感，一模一样。” 迪姆压根不能相信。 “可能你没注意到，但我的确不是学校里最好看的男生，”杰夫继续往下说，“我在原来那家学校也是一个人坐。我不敢抬起头看是不是正有人在嘲笑我。” "你吗？”迪姆觉得自己听起来好傻，可他就是想像不出杰夫一个人的模样。他是那么的乖巧伶俐。 “是我。后来有个朋友帮助我认识到，我并不是因为鼻子或耳朵长什么样才孤单的。我孤单是因为我从不微笑，从不关心他人。我太在意自己，所以从来没有注意过其他人。所以我和你坐在一块。让你知道是有人关心你的。詹妮弗早就知道了。” “噢，她知道了，好，”迪姆说的时候似乎看到两名男生为了坐在她身旁而打起架来。迪姆和杰夫都笑了起来。迪姆发现：笑的感觉真好，我近来没怎么笑过啊。 然后迪姆看着杰夫，很认真地看。迪姆想：他也没长得那么不顺眼嘛。唔，尽管不怎么英俊迷人，不过他并不难看。杰夫是我的朋友。迪姆第一次觉得他真正地了解了杰夫。几个月以前他只看到一个长着怪鼻子大耳朵的人。如今他却看到了杰夫，真正地看到了他。 1) smooshed a. 扁平 2) bulged a. 凸出的，膨胀的 3) socket n. 窝 4) homely a. 朴素的，难看的 5) locker n. 有锁的柜 6) loner n. 孤独的人，不合群的动物 7) nerdy a. 乏味的，讨厌的 8) butter n. 黄油 9) ketchup n. 番茄酱 10) tray n. 盘，托 11) gin v. 露齿笑 12) plunk v. 扑通落下 13) assignment n. 分配，任务 14) dumb a. 蠢的 15) Dumbo n. 一迪斯尼动画角色，大耳朵的小象。