Aren’t you like half Indian? That was the question she asked me while smacking her wad of gum between her pert pink lips. The bubble she blew was easily half the size of her heart-shaped face and matched the natural blonde highlights in her hair.
I’d heard stuff like that my whole life, so it didn’t really bother me, but the way she said it, like it was amazing . . . . It caught my attention. From then on we were best friends.
Fast forward eight years to our senior year of high school and here we are. I can’t believe it! We finally made it and stayed friends the whole time. It’s been rocky path, and I can’t totally blame it on Brenda. She may be on the ditsy side, but she’s loyal through and through.
Because I looked so different from every other kid around these parts when I moved here in fourth grade I was basically ostracized. No one talked to me except to make some kind of snide comment about my dark hair or skin.
My mom, bless her heart, did what she could to make excuses for the teasing and pranks, but I knew better. I knew the way we looked was what brought on the cruelty.
But not Brenda. No, when we became friends she stood up for me, defended my Native heritage, told the kids she wished she were Indian, too. Once she even dyed her hair super dark brown and practically cooked herself in the sun to try to change the paleness of her skin to match my own hue.
When I asked her about it, she said she was jealous. I didn’t believe her at first, but she’s always been honest with me. She was totally sincere. I loved her more for it. I couldn’t ask for a better friend.
“Okay, toots, let’s make our grand entrance!”
Yes, graduation day. A day marking an unexplored future full of possibilities.
“You got it, sister.”
One pale as the moon, one brown as the earth. Two hearts bound in friendship. This is truly a day to celebrate.
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