A Long Way Gone

Ishmael questions Esther, the nurse, when she asks if they can be friends. What does he explain when he says that he prefers to be alone?

A Long Way Gone - Chapter 17

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Even after Beah has begun rehabilitation, he is only able to call Esther a "temporary" friend. He has been living too long with the goal only to remain alive for one more day.
 He is living with emotional wounds that he is agraid to expose.