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.

Lucia Steele
Age 13, Grade 8
Brooklyn Friends School
Gold Key

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