Leon Barker

Making Friends

In August of 2000, I came to this country from Bristol in England. My family was moving to Boston due to my dad’s business requirements. I was slightly nervous because, back in England, we made fun of the Americans for being fat, lazy, and stupid. However once I got here, I found out that was just a misguided rumor. Most people here weren’t fat or lazy, and certainly not stupid. I even became friends with a few of them; including one of my best friends, Steven Tsaur.

BEEP…, BEEP…, BEEP…., I smacked the top of my brand new GE alarm clock as the continuous beeping echoed throughout the partially empty house. I sat up staying in that position for a few minutes, then stood up and moved downstairs to the kitchen. On the way down I passed through the unfinished sections of the house, including the walls were just fiberglass filling meant to fill the space between the wood frame working and create insulation. I ate my bowl of cheerios, and went back upstairs to change into my clothes. The house phone started to ring and a second later, my mom shouted up that the phone was for me. I picked up the phone and said “Who is it?"

Steven Tsaur answered explaining that he and a few other kids were going biking through the local park. Their moms wanted them to get exercise, and Steven asked me if I could go. Eager to make friends, I quickly answered “sure.” We agreed to meet in front of my house in 20 minutes. I showered and told my mom that I was going out to meet a friend.

I went into the garage and grabbed my sparkling new giant bike. It was slightly oversized because, my parents wanted a bike that would last me to college. When I opened the garage door, I saw a few kids already outside, some of whom I recognized as Jason Zhou and Najeeb Hasseem. Steven saw me and told me to follow them I followed them all the way to the park, then we went into a path in the back of park that led into the woods. After about two minutes of cycling through puddles, mud, and over sticks and rocks, I started to sweat and get hotter. There wasn’t any talking going on between us, just constant cycling with one of Steven’s friends in front. I took a mental note and decided that Americans were slightly too obsessive over getting things done. We finally got out and stopped cycling halfway across the baseball field in the park. We got off our bikes and just sat and caught our breath.

After a while, we got up and we started to move. We decided that we would go to my house so that we could stop for some refreshments like coke or whatever these kids liked. After that, we would go to Steven’s house to play on his Nintendo Game cube. On the way, Steven started to go faster and challenged me to beat him to my house. To get to my house from the park, you had to take a right turn. I was on the left side of Steven and he and I started to turn right, then he jerked left. I tried to brake, but it was too late. My front tire smashed into his back tire. His bike skidded and he went flying off the front. I immediately got off my bike and went to see if he was hurt. His face was all red and wrinkled up in pain. He said his arm hurt bad, and so I assumed that it was sprained or something like that. We went to Jason Zhou’s house and then called over Steven’s mom. She took him away to the hospital and the next day at school I found out that his arm was broken.

While he was at hospital, I didn’t go and visit him. I didn’t even send a note to apologize. But throughout this tragedy, Steven eventually forgave me and ever since we’ve been very close friends.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.