My friend Billy and I hit the playground, we ran to the farthest part of the play ground because no one played there. If they wanted to play basketball or kickball they would play in the area close to the drinking fountain. When we weren’t playing on the courts we could be found on the swings or monkey bars.
Billy and I pretended that we were in different places, like the Jungle, the Desert, or in the Ocean. One day we decided to play Peter Pan. “All right, here is where “Wendy” lives,” I said, pointing to a four-square section of the court. “And Peter Pan will live near that basketball hoop.” Billy liked my idea and we started to make up our game.
“Peter will be in trouble, so Wendy has to come in the middle of the night and save him,” Billy told me. “That sounds good… I think I’m going to be Tinkerbell.” I said, Suddenly Billy looked at me. ” But I want to be Tinkerbell today. He complained. I told him that I had thought of the idea first, he still whined. “Come on, Billy you can be Tinkerbell tomorrow,” I said, hoping he would drop it. “No! I’m going to be Tinker Bell today. It’s only fair”, he yelled. “How fair is that?” I asked. “It just is!” I sighed. This fight was going nowhere. “Okay,” I said,” either I get to be Tinkerbell, or we won’t play this game at all.”
Billy yelled at me that’s a stupid idea I guess that’s how girls with portuguese names are then he walked away. I stared at him as he walk toward the swings. I wondered what happened? What does me being portuguese have to do with the both of us wanting to be Tinkerbell? Up to that point I thought I was like everyone else. I knew that it really didn’t mean anything but it still wasn’t right or a nice thing to say. Just then the teachers blew their whistles, and recess was over. I told the teacher that Billy and I had gotten into a fight and she let us talk outside the classroom.
Talking to him didn’t seem to make a difference he didn’t seem to care that he had hurt my feelings. I didn’t know how much it had hurt until I realized I was yelling at him. I stopped and told him I was sorry. “It’s okay. What I said was rude and I shouldn’t have said it. I guess I’m the one that’s sorry,” he said. “Thank you, I whispered. “No problem. And I promise never to make fun of your last name again. Do you forgive me?” he asked. “Of course, I forgive you! I laughed as we held hands while walking back into the classroom.
Once a year Billy and I would go to Disneyland with his family. Billy and I continued to pretended he was Peter Pan and I was Tinkerbell even if we were to old to. Billy and I stayed best friends until high school then we went to different schools and eventually drifted apart.
I never forgot him or that he never insulted me again just as he promised. I always wondered who told Billy that I my last name was a portuguese name and that made me different from him? It’s obvious that an eight year old boy wouldn’t know something like that? Isn’t it? How did I know it was wrong of him or anyone to make fun of my name?