She was slowly shoving at the dirt beneath the swings she was sitting on that first day of school, all alone. I joined her, because there was something about her that said she was just like me; I later learned that she was new at school, 6 months newer than me, and her eyes had that wariness that comes with knowing that friends will probably not be easy to come by. But she was brave. She didn’t let my hijab come in the way of anything.
“What’s your name?”
“Zahra. And yours?”
“Nicole. Who is your teacher this year?”
“Oh, we are in the same class! We can be best friends?” *big grin*
And we were, until we left elementary school, and parted ways. She always yelled at the boys who tried to pick on us. Smart and beautiful, I wonder if she became the model she wanted to be.