Raymond is right next to Squeaky on the other side of the fence, and runs next to her in the race keeping up with her.
Raymond is Squeaky’s brother. She spends most of her life taking care of him. She cares very deeply about him, even though it isn’t easy. Raymond is special.
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.
Raymond is “subject to fits of fantasy.” This means that he has a big imagination, and because he has a younger mental age due to his handicap, does not have the social filter to know that people will see his behavior as strange. Because of this, Squeaky often finds herself defending him when other kids make fun of him.
What matters to Squeaky more than anything is running. She wants to win the race, because her self-worth is tied up in the achievement. She does not have many friends because all of her time is spent with Raymond and her people skills are sort of lacking. She spends all of her time with Raymond, and since she spends all of her time practicing running, he soon gets good at it too.
I never walk if I can trot, and shame on Raymond if he can’t keep up. But of course he does, cause if he hangs back someone’s liable to walk up to him and get smart, or take his allowance from him, or ask him where he got that great big pumpkin head.
On the day of the race, Raymond also sticks closely by Squeaky. It is what she has taught him to do, and it is what he does for survival. He cannot be there in the race with her, so he does the next best thing—he stays right there on the other side of the fence next to her.
Then as I get into place I see that ole Raymond is on line on the other side of the fence, bending down with his fingers on the ground just like he knew what he was doing.
During the race, as Squeaky is running her heart out, she notices that Raymond is running too. It is his first race. He is not in the race, officially, but he is. He is running with her. She realizes that he is face, and she decides that he has a real skill, something that no one can take away from him. She is proud of him.
Squeaky decides that day that she can coach Raymond to be a runner. She feels that other people might see him as a person and not as strange, when they see he has a talent. She also sees something that she can have in common with him and share with him.