Jeffrey and I shared the same initials and he had taken my place of first seat on the left in the classroom by virtue of alphabet. I was convinced he and I should be friends, our common bond of initials providing enough certitiude for an 8 year old. We had a geographical friendship, our seating arrangment providing plenty of opportunity for conversation. He quickly gained a reputation of a good person to be friends with on the playground. He was by far the best spinner on the tire swing and was known for making more than one third grader sick.
Christy Dixon and Mary Anne Thompson would often look at him and giggle and then talk to each other behind books. They annoyed me as all girls my own age did. I felt incredibly smug when Jeffrey told me one day that he liked me more than the other girls because I wasn't always giggling. I did feel irritated however when I heard him telling Hugh White that he thought Christy and MaryAnne were the prettiest girls in the class.
I wasn't nearly as hurt as I should have been. I had never thought of myself as pretty and I would rather a boy think of me as fun to talk to rather than dumb and pretty. I was also the best artist in the class which in retrospect wasn't relative at all, but seemed to at the time. Besides, I had nursed a crush on Carl Cartee for years.