One day two poor neighborhood girls named Lucy and Rachel (who are sisters) promise to be Esperanza’s friend if she will pitch in five dollars for a bike. Cathy wants Esperanza to avoid Lucy and Rachel because they “smell like a broom,” but Esperanza feels drawn to them and willingly gives up her friendship with Cathy for them. Esperanza uses the three dollars she has saved and takes two from Nenny and gives them to Lucy and Rachel.
Esperanza feels she has found the friends she longed for in chapter 3, “Boys & Girls.” As she does with the other Latinos moving in (except for Esperanza, seemingly), Cathy looks down on Rachel and Lucy, but Esperanza is perhaps drawn to them because they share her status as an “outsider.” These are people who could be real friends, who don’t look down on he based on her heritage.
The girls introduce themselves – Lucy and Rachel are Chicano girls from Texas, and they don’t laugh at Esperanza’s name like she expects them to. Even though Nenny technically owns part of the bike now, Esperanza decides to keep the bike and new friends to herself for a while. The three girls ride the bike together (seated on different parts of it) around the neighborhood, and Esperanza describes the crumbling buildings and dangerous avenues.
Having a bike as well as friends “of her own” is part of Esperanza’s desire for autonomy, and getting these things all at once – without having to share them with Nenny – is what makes this such a “good day.” Esperanza gives a larger picture of her neighborhood here – it is clearly poor and neglected by the rest of the city.