I leaned over Sara’s shoulder and looked at the letters she had on her rack and then at the Scrabble board. I wasn’t playing with her or the two other girls in the messy dorm room; I was waiting for another friend with whom I had plans. Although I knew all of the girls and Sara and I had a few classes together we were still just acquaintances.
Jen, the girl I was waiting for ran into the room, gave me a quick wave and an “I’ll be right out” and darted into the bathroom. I returned my attention back to the game. It wasn’t Sara’s turn yet and she was studying the Scrabble board and arranging her letters.
“I’ve got a word for you,” I said reaching over her shoulder and arranging the letters on her rack.
A B B E Y S M U T
“What is that?” Sara asked.
“Abbeysmut?” I asked. “You know…the stuff nuns do? In the abbey”
Sara frowned at me. “That is not a word.”
“Sure it is,” I insisted. “You can put it there,” I told her pointing at a spot on the board.
Sara shook her head. “I am not putting that on the board.” She started to rearrange the letters putting down a “real” word instead.
Jen came out a few minutes later ready to go and I left Sara and the other two girls to their game. But “abbeysmut” became a doorway of sorts. The classes we shared became common ground. And a friendship of epic proportion was born.