“Marisol,” Friend, Feb. 2016, 4–5
Alice watched the new girl walk out on the playground all alone. She tried to remember what the teacher said her name was. Marisol—that was it.
Alice’s friend Cassie ran up beside her. “Hey, are you coming to play tag?” Cassie asked.
Alice glanced at Marisol. “Cassie, should we invite the new girl to play with us?”
Cassie whispered, “I don’t know. But anyway, be quiet. She’ll hear you talking about her.”
“No, she won’t. Don’t you remember when Mrs. Johnson introduced her? Marisol only speaks Spanish,” Alice said. “Her family just moved here from Mexico.”
“How would we play with her if we can’t even talk to her?” Cassie asked. “Come on, they probably started tag without us.”
Alice didn’t move. Jesus would find a way to be kind if He were here, she thought. She took a deep breath. “Marisol!” she called and ran over to join her. Marisol’s face broke into a big grin.
While they played tag, Alice, Cassie, and Marisol found out they could talk to each other using motions and facial expressions. Marisol also knew some English words, like no, yes, go, and stop. Alice could tell Marisol was having fun because she laughed a lot when they played at recess and smiled whenever the girls tried to tell her something new.
But Alice wanted to do more to show Marisol they were friends. She started praying about what she could do. One night Alice remembered that her dad spoke Spanish. She ran downstairs and asked him how to say a few sentences. She practiced that night and the next morning until she could say the words perfectly.
Alice waited until recess was almost over to say what she’d practiced. “Marisol, ¿quires ser mi amiga?” Want to be my friend? She hoped she’d said it right.
Marisol’s face lit up in a big grin. “Sí, sí!” Yes.
Alice smiled back at her new friend. “Muy bien,” she said. “Yo también.” Good! Me too.
Marisol clapped her hands. “Sí. Muy bien.” She suddenly looked nervous. “Ahora yo,” she said. Now me. “New game?” Marisol asked with a shy smile. She pointed to herself, then pointed to Alice.
“Sí! Sí!” Alice said. For the last bit of recess, Marisol showed them a game she played in Mexico. It was kind of like hide-and-seek. Every day after that, Cassie, Alice, and Marisol played tag or games Marisol taught them. Marisol knew lots of fun games.
But a few weeks later, Marisol didn’t come to school. “She must be sick,” Cassie said.
Marisol was gone the next two days. When the rest of the class left for recess, Alice and Cassie stayed behind to ask Mrs. Johnson where their friend was.
“Oh, I forgot to announce it to the class. I’m sorry, girls, but Marisol moved. Her dad got a new job, and her family had to leave.”
Alice sank down into a chair. “But … she just got here!” Alice couldn’t believe Marisol was gone. Cassie shook her head and looked like she might cry.
Mrs. Johnson looked sad too. “Marisol wasn’t here for long, but you were her friends while she was here. That’s what counts.”
Cassie smiled a little. “I’ll remember her for a long time. I hope she remembers us.”
“I’m sure she will,” Mrs. Johnson said.
Alice and Cassie left the classroom and walked out to the playground.
“I’m glad we were friends with Marisol—even if she wasn’t here very long,” Cassie said.
“Yo también, Cassie,” Alice said. Me too.