Squeaky will likely get along well with Gretchen and have a new appreciation of her brother.
Raymond is Squeaky’s older brother, but she thinks of him as a younger brother because he is mentally challenged. He acts more like a little boy. Squeaky is also very protective of him.
Sometimes I slip and say my little brother Raymond. But as any fool can see he’s much bigger and he’s older too. But a lot of people call him my little brother cause he needs looking after cause he’s not quite right.
Squeaky is very independent. Her insistence on protecting Raymond often causes a rift between her and other children her age. Squeaky doesn’t like the girls in her neighborhood because she considers them insincere. She has a particular problem with Gretchen, because she shares Squeaky’s favorite hobby—running.
Squeaky sees Gretchen as competition rather than a friend. She sees Raymond as a responsibility rather than a brother. However, on the day of the race everything changes. Gretchen comes in second place, helping Squeaky realize that she really is serious about running. Raymond also keeps pace with Squeaky, proving that he has talent as a runner.
In one race, Squeaky earns a potential friend and a new way to communicate with her brother. With both of them, she never quite felt comfortable before. Now she feels that they understand her.
And I look over at Gretchen wondering what the “P” stands for. And I smile. Cause she’s good, no doubt about it. Maybe she’d like to help me coach Raymond; she obviously is serious about running, as any fool can see.
For the first time, Squeaky is ready to let her guard down enough to make a friend. She also feels like Raymond can be more than just her “little” brother. She can coach him to be a runner, using what they have in common to come to an understanding and find common ground.