I met Janelle in second grade, but we weren’t friends and she claims I wore the same pink dress with a cat on it every day. Likely. The next school year I was transferred to Sheridan Hill and didn’t see Janelle again until junior high, when she sat in front of me in like five classes because of alphabetical order. Then we were partners in French class. Then she had knee surgery and needed to be wheeled around, by yours truly. Then we were jointly shunned from dinner with our lunch-table friends before the 8th grade dance, thanks in part to Janelle’s crippled status. Then we swapped Christopher Pike novels and copies of Seventeen magazine and had sleepovers piled into the same bed with Sarah, and drank milkshakes made by Janelle’s dad, and dreamed about the future, and boys, and couldn’t believe we were leaving for college, and then — we kept in touch. And now I am visiting her in Taipei, and remembering how strong and radiant my good friend is, and am feeling lucky.

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