I was sitting across from one of my dad’s best friend’s step son. A newly immigrated twelve-year-old from Germany. His accent was thick and his English was blanketed in it. He was a tall and lanky, and the hair the color of lemons. I was sitting across from one of my favorite book characters ever. Rudy Steiner.
To explain to people who have not read The Book Thief, Rudy Steiner is a twelve-year-old boy who is a tall, lankly, running, soccer playing, thieving, German boy living in a poor stricken town during WWII.
Well here I was, playing this ‘Rudy’ in cards. I had taught him GoFish and he refused to say that, so he said, “No Fish,” or “Go Fishing.” He was cocky, refusing to admit defeat, just like my favorite character and all I could do was smile and tell him had lost. I played if later in chess and he beat me badly
I watched him play soccer with a tennis ball, since all our soccer balls had disappeared. He kicked it around and it reminded me of the part of the book where they said they had no ball so they made one.
I watched him eat more than anyone and stay as skinny as a rail, making me feel sick. And he even ate dessert afterwards.
I watched him ditch my brother to come hang out with me and my older sister. He had no fear of girls whatsoever, much like Rudy.
As I sat on my bed later, I realized this boy, this beautiful character was a blessing. How many times in your life do you get to meet one of your favorite characters? Not often enough. I know I’m going to see ‘Rudy’ a lot more because our dads are friends, and I’m glad because I believe Rudy and I are going to be good friends.