A fight. Yet another one. We stand at the center of the courtyard, shouting at each other, like we’ve been doing for years. Over and over again, we would stand here and yell insults at each other. Sometimes we were so mad, we would go to opposite sides of the courtyard and get messengers to run back and forth, sitting like two queens, too proud to move a step. It has been 6 years, and our feelings towards each other haven’t changed.
Kindergarten. You walk up to me and give me your hand. “Hi,” you say, looking at me. “Hi,” I say back, and take your hand. Good I think. A friend. But by the end of the first week, I know I was mistaken.
On the first day, our arguments go from whether Santa’s real to if Ms. Annie is the best teacher or not to whether vanilla or chocolate ice cream is better, like a penguin hopping from iceberg to iceberg; each one breaking as the penguin jumps off. Every time, she has to be right, even though I know that Santa’s real, because I have a picture of my friend on his lap!
On the second day, I chose the toy that she wanted from the toy bag. I swung sadly on the green chipped monkey bars all by myself during recess, under a clear blue sky that did not match my mood at all.
On the third day, I did not want to pair up with her to play chess. I got criticized for my every move from her chess-board three rows down.
On the fourth day, I chose to sit with my other friends for lunch. I had to walk up to the teacher and say that I was formally sorry for excluding her, while she watched with the gaze of a tiger, ready to pounce.
Finally, on the fifth day, I did not talk to her at all, to try and avoid trouble. Guess who got screamed at in the middle of the classroom once she finally caught onto the fact that I didn’t have laryngitis? I stood next to the red bookshelf and the wooden tables, helpless to this dominant whip of anger that came lashing out of a small kindergarten tyrant.
Flash forward again to the courtyard. I look into her eyes.
I see anger. Anger that I purposely provoking her into this argument.
I see pain. Pain that she’s losing a friend that she only holds onto by a string as thin as candyfloss.
Even though this is only one fight out of thousands and thousands against her ex-best friend from kindergarten,
even though it only originated from me saying that I bet I had a longer trip than hers to school and even though
everyone’s staring at us thinking, “What are they doing?” I see that hard, blazing look I’ve encountered so many
times, that says, “I have to win this argument. I have to win this. No matter what it takes.” No matter what it takes.
Age 12, Grade 7
Hunter College High School