Kim and Craig sit with their parents at the T-Station on Wood Street. People bustle about the terminal, weaving about each other like diligent worker ants. They are going to Craig’s friend Grant’s house in Castle Shannon. It’s really easy to get there by taking the T.
As they get on the trolley and find a seat, Kim and Craig decide to play a game, and ask each other what their favorite part of Pittsburgh is.
“I don’t know” Kim says “I love everything about Pittsburgh. It seemed so big and scary when I first got here, but now it is my home.”
Meanwhile, Craig beams “I know my favorite part! The Pittsburgh Steelers!”
“Why the Steelers?”
“Because they have always been my favorite and thinking about the fun we had watching a game only makes them better.” Craig replied.
Kim answered with a huge smile “Then they are my favorite part of Pittsburgh too. Hey, what is your friends name again?”
“His name is Grant Armstrong. He’s really nice.”
Kim pondered, “How did you meet him if he lives so far away?”
“We went to the same pre-school” Craig explains, “He used to live near me but then he moved.” Craig began to tell Kim the story of how he became friends with Grant.
It was the first day of pre-school. After my parents said goodbye and left I was feeling scared and nervous. The teacher called to everyone, ‘Gather round, kids. I’m going to tell yinz a story.’ All the children sat close to the teacher and everyone else seemed excited for the story. I stayed where I was because I didn’t know anyone, and had no idea where to sit. But, when the teacher told me to come over, I noticed another little boy sitting by the door. Little did I know he would become my best friend.
I moved towards him and we both got closer but stayed just outside the circle of kids. We introduced ourselves to each other and listened to the teacher. Then the story ended and everyone was told to have some free time and play with the toys inside.
The other kids ran off in different directions, some played dress up with the dolls while others pretended to be in a restaurant with the toy kitchen and plastic food. But I just made my way back to the edge of the room. I saw the other little boy do the same.
Then the teacher instructed, “Alright, everyone, make a single file line, we’re going to go outside for a game of kickball.” The kids cheered and scrambled to make a line.
I was really excited to play outside. When the game of soccer began and I didn’t feel shy anymore.
Outside, Grant shuffled awkwardly. He liked reading more the sports and he wanted to go back inside. He saw the ball kicked to him.
“Grant!” I yelled, “It’s for you!”
“Wait!” Surprised, Grant missed the kick and the ball rolled away. He really wished he had a book right now.
After that, no one kicked to the ball to him anymore. I saw that and said, “Grant, run to the net! I’ll kick it to you!”
“No! Don’t do that!” Shouted another kid, “He’ll just miss it. Pass it to me!”
Grant frowned and I thought, I’d rather everyone play than score a point. Craig yelled again, “Here it comes, Grant!”
This time, Grant was ready. Grant kicked the ball and it goes straight into the net! Everyone cheered. I ran up to Grant, “Yeah! You did it! Good kick!”
Grant grinned, “Thanks for kicking it to me!” The boys high-fived each other happily.
The teacher shouted, “Class, we’re going inside! It’s snack time.”
As they lined up, Grant asked, “Craig, do you want to sit next to me?”
“Yes! I was going to ask you the same thing!”
We’ve been best friends ever since.
As Craig finishes his story, the trolley stops.
Kim said, “Wow! I would have never guessed you were ever shy.”
“Everyone’s shy at first!” Craig said, blushing a little. “After preschool, he moved here and couldn’t go to our elementary school.”
“That’s sad,” Kim said. “I’m glad you still get to play with him. I’m excited to meet him!”
“We’re going to have lots of fun.” Craig pointed, “Look, there’s his house!”
Standing by the door was a boy who waved excitedly at them. Craig and Kim ran to the doorstep, their parents trailing behind them.
“Hi, I’m Grant!”