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:::sniff sniff:::

Alex looked over and saw the girl next to him crying big fat crocodile tears, her fists clenched tightly in her lap. "Hey girl, whassamatta?" he asked.

"N-nothing," she whispered.

"That's not true. I know what crying looks like. My dumb baby-sitter does it all the time when she's watching General Hospital and you're doing it now."

"What's General Hospital?" the girl asked as she looked up at him.

"It's some stupid show on tv that dumb girls like that girl over there with the long brown hair watch all the time. It's not cool like She-Ra, cause that's the bestest show ever."

"I don't know what She-Ra is either," she said quietly.

"Don't you got a tv at your house?"

"Mother says I'm only to watch edmu-edumacational programs. But sometimes when I go to my Bubbe's house, I get to see Looney Toons."

"Oh. What's a Bubbe?" the boy asked as he scratched his nose.

"She's my daddy's mommy and I love her the mostest."

"All right class! It's time to put the crayons away and get ready for juice time!" Miss Simon said over the din of 19 five year olds. Suddenly, the little girl started crying again and clenched her hands even tighter.

"You're crying again girl. Aren't you gonna say why?" Alex asked as he scooted his chair closer to hers.

Willow, head bowed, opened her chubby fists just enough to show Alex the bright yellow crayon that was snapped clean in two.

"I broke it," she whispered, "and now I'm gonna get kicked out of school for forever and ever."

Alex looked up and saw Miss Simon heading toward their table. Quickly, he grabbed the yellow crayon from Willow's hands and threw it on to the table on top of his picture of a pair of feet with wings flying towards the sun.

"Alexander, did you break this crayon?" she asked as she examined his drawing.

"Yep. Was pressing down on the sun too hard. I wanted my sun to be bright so it'll never go out" he said quickly.

"Well, try to be a bit more careful next time, all right? You and Willow go put away your drawings" With that, the teacher walked over to the next table.

"Why did you lie to the teacher?" Willow asked as they walked over to their cubbyholes to put their pictures away.

"Didn't want you to get in trouble. You're my friend and I'm asposed to make sure you don't get into trouble."

"We're friends?" she questioned, awestruck.

"Sure we are. I've never had one before 'cept my goldfishes Binky, but they died. My Uncle Rory kept forgettin' to tell me that I couldn't take 'em in the pool with me."

"I've never had a friend before neither. Would it be all right if we were friends for forever?"

"Okay. Oh, we should have special forever friend names for just us!"

"I'll call you...Xander. You can be my Xander."

"And you' Wills."