Before Diane knew what she was saying, she blurted out, “I can be your friend! I’ll come see you again tomorrow after school.”
Lily clapped her hands and danced around in a circle, a huge smile brightening her face. “I have a friend! I have a friend!” Just then a bell rang loudly, and her smile disappeared.
“Oh no! Goodbye Diane!” She turned and ran toward the smaller building without another word.
Diane had been waiting for ages. She was going to have to go home soon for supper, but she still couldn’t see her new friend. Where was Lily?
She couldn’t stay any longer. It had been okay when she had the other girl to talk to, but without Lily’s cheerful smile, the building was making her nervous. Sadly, she turned for home.
“Wait, Diane! Wait!” Lily ran up to her side of the fence. Her face was dirty and streaky and the sleeve of her dress was torn.
“What happened?” Diane asked.
Lily looked like she might cry — she looked like she’d been crying already.
“One of the big girls said I was ugly and stupid and my parents didn’t want me and then they all laughed at me and poked me and ripped my dress.”
She stuck her chin out. “But now my friend Diane is here.”
Diane could feel herself getting angry. “Those girls are wrong.” She held out her hand to show her friend what she’d brought.
“You brought me a beautiful flower!” the other girl gasped. She reached through the fence and took the stem, ever so carefully. “It’s orange and I love it!”
“It’s a lily,” Diane said. “They grow all along the road by my house. It made me think of you.”
Lily — the girl — held her flower up to her face and brushed it along her cheek. “I’m a flower. I’m Lily.” She looked at Diane and smiled. “And I have a friend.”