Junior builds a healthy, valuable relationship with a white girl named Penelope by telling her the truth that he is poor. When he first arrives at Rearden, Junior wants to fit into the white school so he pretends to be rich. Penelope and Junior were mutual friends, but later Junior starts to develop a love interest for Penelope so he “couldn’t lie to her anymore” (127) that he is poor because he wanted to develop a truthful meaningful and deep relationship with her. After the school dance, Junior didn’t have enough money to go to dinner with his friends and feed others. So, he ends up borrowing money from Roger. When everyone was going home from dinner Penelope asks Junior “are you poor?” (127)
Junior’s heartbeat starts to rise, and he starts to sweat as well. Junior was ready to lie to her, but Junior had no courage to lie to her cherubic face. Junior ends up telling the truth that he is poor and he was portraying someone else since the beginning. Junior was astonished by Penelope’s reaction after telling the truth because Penelope “starts crying for him” (129). Junior understands that Penelope was being a great friend because she was cornered about Junior’s life. After that, Penelope and Junior become best friends. They talked and laughed together almost every day. Junior realizes that letting Penelope into his life by telling her the truth strengthens their relationship.
Junior reconstructs a strong relationship with a boy named Rowdy by sharing personal issues and problems with him. Junior and Rowdy had a love and hate relationship. When Junior decides to leave the Wellpinit high school and head for Reardan, Rowdy takes Junior’s decision as a personal affront. He sees Junior as a traitor and, though Junior invites Rowdy to join him at Reardan, Rowdy reacts to being abandoned by renouncing Junior’s friendship. Junior always knew in his heart that Rowdy “would always be his best friend, no matter how much he hated him” (161). On Thanksgiving, Junior misses Rowdy during dinner, so he decides to make a cartoon for Rowdy. He goes to his house to give it to him to repair their friendship. When Junior arrives at Rowdy’s house, Rowdy’s dad opens the door and takes the cartoon.
Rowdy still is Irate at Junior for betraying him, but he doesn’t rip the cartoon that Junior made for him. Later on, Junior experiences three tragic deaths his grandmother, family friend, Eugene, and his sister Mary all die. Junior “wanted to find Rowdy and hug him and beg him to forgive Junior for leaving” (218) because Junior needs Rowdy during his toughest time. Overall, that leads to Rowdy forgiving Junior and rebuilding their deep full relationship.