The first time I saw him during the summer before sixth grade, he was eating a Snickers bar on the doorstep of Jovanna’s old house. I was so mad when I saw him there, dripping a melted candy bar onto the lawn where Jovanna and I had played for years. I marched up to him from across the street and sternly ordered, “Put that Snickers bar down! How dare you drip chocolate over this lawn!”
He rolled his eyes and spoke bossily, with a mouthful of caramel and peanuts, “Why? Thith ith my houth, and I’m the both.”
“Well, my bestest friend lived here before you came along.”
“How is this my fault?” he asked as he swallowed his mouthful of Snickers bar.
I was stumped. It seemed silly to be blaming this new kid for Jovanna leaving, because everyone in our town knew, but it was more of a silent topic. Reluctantly, I apologized and sat down beside him. I don’t know what made me feel so down, but my eyes began to water. Soon, I began to sniffle, my vision blurry and my throat throbbing. I tried to hold them in, but it was like trying to hold back the ocean with a wall of chicken wire. Before I knew what was happening, I was full-out crying. I hadn’t cried since fourth grade when Marina Kay called me an ostrich because I tried to deny that nobody liked me like the way an ostrich stuck its head in the sand. “Snickers” (that was what I thought of him as) sat there awkwardly and looked completely helpless. I wiped my tears and got up. To my surprise, Snickers pulled me down. “I’ve heard about your friend’s dad. I’m so sorry. One of my closest friend’s sister got badly hurt in a car crash. She didn’t make it. I knew her really well. It still doesn’t feel real. I guess we’re on the same train.”
I was shocked that he would be so honest with me, a strange girl who had demanded him to throw away his candy out-of-the-blue. A hint of a smile peeked out as I said, “I’m so sorry. About your friend’s sister. And sorry I was such a jerk earlier. I don’t know what’s wrong with me” I suddenly noticed that there were gold flecks in his big, warm greyish-green eyes. He almost looked like Jovanna’s chocolate Lab puppy, Coco. Blushing, I sat back down. As he wrapped an arm around my shoulder with a warm smile, he inquired, “What’s your name?”
“Sara,” I replied with a giggle. “What’s yours? Snickers?”
“Haha. Very funny. No, my name’s Gilbert. But you can call me Snickers, if you insist.”
“Okay, Snickers.” I laughed as I wrapped my arm around his shoulders. He smelled like chocolate.