I like most of the kids at school, but some of them are mean. Most of the kids in my class are White. But me, Marvel Waits, and Asha Desai all have brown skin. I think we are like a team. Marvel is big and wears glasses. He looks kind of like Fat Albert from TV. Asha is Indian like me. She is my first Indian school friend. She is quiet. She never says anything and she doesn’t play with the other kids. She is so pretty and small and her eyes are very big and sad. One day, when I am a mommy I will have a baby and name her Asha. Sometimes I play with Asha because I know she feels scared. I want to take care of her. Marvel takes care of me. He reaches things that are high up. He stands next to me when other kids are being mean. We don’t play together but he is there with me. Me, and Marvel Waits, and Asha Desai are a team. The Brown Team.
On the playground there is a concrete barrel turned on its side. Its a good place to hide during recess. I am new at this school and I don’t have many friends. I am in the barrel sitting and singing to myself. A girl peeps her head in. She has dark skin and kinky hair pulled tightly into two braids on either side of her head. She looks at me with a smile on her face. “Hi.” she says. I say, “Hi.” She says, “Are you pregnant? Cause my mom told me that Indian people have babies when they are really young.” My face gets hot. “No.” I say. I am just fat.
Jeni is my best friend. I think she is the most beautiful girl in the world. She has white skin and long brown curly hair. She has cute freckles and big eyes. She is short like me. I think she looks like a princess. We laugh a lot together. She is very funny and she thinks I am very funny too. On the playground, Jeni comes running up to me. I am waiting for her on the hopscotch drawing on the black top. I am saving it for us today. She is crying and snot is running down her beautiful freckled nose. “What’s wrong Jeni?,” I say. She says, “Yesterday, at church, my pastor said that you are gonna go to Hell.” She’s crying more now and hugs me tight. “I don’t want you to go to Hell!” I hug her tight and rub her hair like mommy does when I am sad. Poor Jeni. I don’t want her to feel so bad, so I say, “No I am not. We don’t have Hell in my religion.” She breathes heavy, and calms down. “Really? Oh good!” she says. I throw the stone I’ve been holding in my hand and hop on one foot all the way to the end.