When we lived on the Ilha do Governador in Rio, I made a pact with this kid at school. This wasn’t the Colégio Olavo Bilac, where I got in trouble with mom for stealing Jon’s much-treasured tin lockbox and selling it to another kid at school. This was the Montessori school, where we all just kind of floated around an open room with green throw rugs and hardwood floors, drawing or pinging away on musical instruments. This was in ’86, so it was probably second grade.
Anyway, I made a pact with this kid. We had been friends for a while, but he hadn’t been hanging around with me recently. One day we were all crammed into the school van, and I asked him why. It turned out his new friend said he couldn’t hang out with him and be friends with me too. And I said that was fine, we could be secret friends. We agreed to it.
Eventually I told my mom about this. And she told me that a real friend wouldn’t be a secret friend. Friends stick together.