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    The boys were nowhere near friends. They didn’t hate each other, but they didn’t know enough to hate straight away yet. Each kid would give the others about five minutes to fit in. Or not.

     They were varying levels of six years old, with their own sense of what the world owed them. They shared a willingness to call this whole first day of school a loss, and see what goodies they could extract from Mom and Dad at pickup time.

    Grant started. “I like football!” Maybe if he was loud they wouldn’t bully him. He hated bullies.

    “Me too,” said Ethan.

    “Me too,” said Quinn.

    Jack wanted to say “me too” but he didn’t know what football was.

    He watched them watch him. They glanced away, ready to ride their bridge of footballs to friendship without him.

    “I farted,” Jack said.

    They all rode a bridge of laughter instead.

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