Every morning she smiles at me in her spirit-restricting Catholic uniform. We exchange greetings to be polite. And we enjoy this. She is like me, or, I hope to be like her. I know more about her than what is said in our brief exchanges. I know which is her favorite pair of shoes, and that she walks more confidently in them. And I know the birthmark on her neck embarrasses her. I understand her. I know she understands something of me as well. And it is clear we are not friends. Indeed, our situation is entirely unspoken; she has become important to me, and I am confident that I have likewise come to have some significance for her. Our situation is hard to explain. We behave toward one another like a doorman acts toward one of his tenants. Perhaps I am but a doorman to her. I am merely someone who is polite to her, and for her to be polite to in return. It’s our implicit understanding and the soul of our enduring friendship.
Age 13, Grade 8
Brooklyn Friends School