Squeaky went from thinking that Gretchen was not genuine to feeling that she could be friends with her when she learned she really could run.
Squeaky does not like the fact that girls are not honest with each other. She says that when girls smile at each other, they are not really smiling. Squeaky and Gretchen do not get along because they are both running in the May Day race, and because Squeaky thinks Gretchen stole her friend.
Squeaky’s objection to Gretchen is that she tells everyone that she can win the race. Squeaky takes her running seriously, and she feels like she has that race in the bag.
So as far as everyone’s concerned, I’m the fastest and that goes for Gretchen, too, who has put out the tale that she is going to win the first-place medal this year. Ridiculous. In the second place, she’s got short legs. In the third place, she’s got freckles. In the first place, no one can beat me and that’s all there is to it.
She is annoyed that Gretchen and her “sidekicks” act like Gretchen will win the race. Gretchen is new, and has been hanging around with friends that used to be Squeaky’s. That hurts. She feels that Gretchen doesn’t know what she is talking about because she is new. She is also jealous of Gretchen’s friends.
Squeaky’s perception of Gretchen changes completely when she comes in second place. Gretchen is not a poser after all! She is really a runner.
And she nods to congratulate me and then she smiles. And I smile. We stand there with this big smile of respect between us. It’s about as real a smile as girls can do for each other, considering we don’t practice real smiling every day …
Squeaky starts making all kinds of plans for hanging out with Gretchen, because now she has someone who likes running as much as she does. She even feels like Gretchen can help her train Raymond, because it turns out he can run too. Squeaky went from feeling lonely to feeling like she has a chance at a real friendship with Gretchen.