When I was at Holy Cross, Adam Mendez was my best friend in the first and second grades. Despite having a Spanish last name, he didn’t speak Spanish. I really don’t remember him when we were in kindergarten together, but I remember being happy to see on the first day of the first grade. Then he failed the second grade, but I still saw him a lot at lunch and after school. We were classmates again when I failed the fourth grade because my mother took my brothers and me to Mexico for three months during the school year. He was always funny and could make just about anybody laugh. He was the class clown and I always got in trouble for laughing at him. But he was so much fun that I didn’t mind. No matter what subject we were taught, Adam always found somethng funny to joke about and make the class laugh. In geography, he asked a lot of questions about Lake Titicaca, and in science, he purposely mispronounced the name of the planet Uranus. We spent a lot of time together because we lived on the same block. Sometimes we would go to his house after school, but I would have to leave before his mother came home from work so she wouldn’t know I was there. One day, we were wrestling on his back porch and I accidentally broke the screendoor window as I was falling backwards. Adam told me I had to stay until his mother came home so I could tell her what had happened. He didn’t want to get in trouble for the broken window. When I finally met his mother, I was surprised that she wasn’t Mexican. That explained why he didn’t speak Spanish. Anyway, she asked why I was there and I told her that I had accidentally broke the screendoor window. Since it was an accident, she told me to be more careful next time and go home. One day, we must have been in the fourth grade, Adam tells me that he can sing a whole song in Spanish. Of course, I didn’t believe him since he couldn’t speak Spanish. He said, “I can prove it. Come to my house and I’ll show you.” So we go to his house and he pulls out an LP with some Mexican singer on the album cover. He smiles mischievously as he puts the record on the phonograph. He strikes a pose of the Mexican singer on the album cover before the music begins. Then he begins singing along with the record. He sings, “Te quiero, te quiero, te quiero, te quiero …” And that’s all he sang. The whole song consisted of only the words “Te quiero” and nothing else. But true to his word, had sung a whole song in Spanish. I had to laugh because he had tricked me again.

¡Te quiero! ¡Te quiero! ¡Te quiero!