Hannah Mabry

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Hannah(left), Glory(middle), me(right), my sister Nahla(middle) At a school assembly on Friday – Mathews Elementary – Fourth Grade

The first time I arrived in America, I was so shy and confused. I didn’t know the language, I was far away from my family in Indonesia, and everything was wonderful and shocking and miraculous all at once. Vending machines amazed me for goodness sake.

During Recess, I spied on Hannah and Quinn. Being 7, I thought, “wow, that game they’re playing sure looks fun”. Being only 7 years old, how are you supposed to strike up a conversation? Grown-ups talk to make new friends right? 14-year-olds talk to make new friends. But no seven-year-old “strikes-up-conversations”. So, being 7, I only did what my seven-year-old self thought was best. I followed them around the playground- um, stalked them if you will- and tried to become friends.

At first, well, they kinda-sorta-didn’t like me. But time went by, and my stalking at last harvested its fruits.

It wasn’t that serious actually. We were just kids being kids.

Once, she came over for a sleepover. I remember how we listened to music in my bedroom, laughed, told “scary” stories, tried to get away from my sister, and did everything but nothing.

We remained friends until middle school, when we rode the bus together to school. I still remember how we sat at the back of the empty bus with Natalie and a weirdo named Seth(but weird in the coolest way!) and laughed as it went up and down the hills. The hills of Texas bro!

Although we fought a lot, we always made up.

And on my birthday she gave me origami and a little origami frame with a drawing inside of the two of us that said BFF’s Forever.

I still keep it in my shoe box.

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