Sarah White was one of the kooky girls in my 6th grade class. She has curly, black wild hair and thick glasses. She used to wear the strangest combination of knit, tweed and polyester clothes and everyone in the class thought of her as weird. The word eccentric might come into our minds right now, but back into the psyche of eleven year olds, that word would have meant too much. For some unknown reason she invited me to her birthday party one year, which I was able to make because she only lived three blocks from the school. It was the first birthday party and I had ever gone too and she seemed so happy. I was so jealous that she had parents that would have a birthday party for her, and even more envious that she would have people show up. I knew that I had to bring a gift for her and with no money I had to be a bit creative. I knew that she liked to read so I had decided to give her something I had just discovered–romance novels. My Mom had joined the Harlequin book club and they were sending her new books every month or so. I looked though those books and found two that were gently used and wrapped them up in the Sunday comics. I worried about how good of a gift it was, and what the other girls were going to get her, and how she would react to mine.
That afternoon when I showed up to her house, she took the gift with a smile and showed me where the food and drinks were in her house. Later, when she opened it, I watched with slow dread the kind of faces she would make. Instead to my great shock, she flashed a huge smile and said she loved it. They were the only books that she had gotten and she said she loved to read. It was this kind of reaction that impressed on me how good a person could be. The kind of genuine politeness was unmatched in my short life and I knew that she had it all. Not only was she unique, and interesting but also she was nice. I was looking forward to having a new friend this accepting. However, a few months later she moved.
I had heard from a friend a few years later that she had changed. No longer was she awkward but had sprouted boobs and sold out to the high school clones with tons of boyfriend opportunities wherever she went. She wore tighter clothes, make up and ditched the glasses. Now when I think about it, I wonder if she ever did read those books I had given her, or threw them on a shelf to gather dust and get recycled in the move to her new life. Now I imagine that she went to college and fell love with her college sweet heart and married, became a teacher and lives in the suburbs where she further digressed from being a carefree young girl.