I changed school districts in the 4th grade.
I knew no one, and being shy 9-year-old me, making friends right away was a pipe dream.
But there was another new girl in school. Her name was Fatima. Whether it was due to our mutual newness or our often mispronounced names, we seemed to become best friends overnight.
Together, we carpooled to school. We swam in the ocean. We played Xbox for hours. We watched movies we were not supposed to. We stayed up late talking about boys and Spongebob until my mom shushed us to bed for the third time. Fatima understood the idiosyncrasies of my family — the words left unsaid at the dinner table or during an uncomfortably quiet car ride. What often made me feel so close to her were the words I did not have to say. She just already knew. For the first time in my life, I felt like I had a sister.
And then she moved.