July 1999

My name is Bradenton and I am 13 and I go to a middle school in Connecticut. As far back as I can remember I always liked boys. I finally got myself a boyfriend named James. He is also my best friend.

The thing though is I looking at the two of us, I am really surprised we became best friends. You see, I come from a family that has money. We have a nice house, and clothes, and can afford to do a lot of things and buy a lot of things. James, however, lives in a one bedroom apartment with his parents. The whole apartment has 3 rooms. His parents' bedroom, the kitchen, and a living room. As I don't count the bathroom as a room. James sleeps in the living room that also acts as his bedroom. Most of the clothes he wears are from second hand thrift stores. Some even are ripped and have holes. They don't have much money and seems that they barely have enough money to survive.

However, even with all this, I am also a little jealous of James. Yes, Jealous. He has a mom. Something I only had for the first 3 minutes of my life. My mom died while giving birth to me. She gave me life then hers was taken away. My dad never remarried, so I don't know what its like to have a mom. James however has a great mom. She is always friendly and kind to me. Treats me like I was her son. It is so nice to go to his apartment because she is there with a smile.

James taught me that being poor may be different from me, but in ways I am luckier than him, and in ways he is luckier than me. We shouldn't judge people from financial stature, but from who they are.


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