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“Clary is coming today! I wrote down in the little book I always kept under my pillow. “It’s been two years three months six days and ten hours since I last saw her. Not that I’m counting. Her mom has a job interview only 20 miles from my house today, and since 20 miles is closer than 2,000, she is flying out here for a visit! I can’t wait!” My hands trembled with excitement as I awaited her arrival. Looking down at my feet, I attempted to scrape some of the crusty mud off of the bottom of my cleats. I really should have changed out of my jersey, I thought. I had just assumed she would be here sooner. As if someone had read my mind, there was a knock on the front door. I dashed downstairs, threw the doors open, and gave Clary the biggest hug I possibly could.
“I missed you so much Clary!”
She just stood there stiffly as I hugged her, like an unresponsive doll. After a while, she finally spoke.
“People just call me Clarissa now.”
“Oh, okay.” I said, trying not to betray my confusion in my voice. Where was Clary’s sparkle?
“So I see you still play soccer” she said, eying my muddy jersey.
I scanned her up and down, expecting to find her in her usual ripped jeans with some t-shirt from one of the many teams she adores. Instead a pink skirt barely covers the back of her butt, and a close fitting tank top hugs the curves she didn’t used to have. I scrunch the edges of my jersey in my hands, as if holding it tight enough would turn it into a better outfit choice.
“Yeah, so far my team is undefeated. What about you.” I say, a smile returning to my voice. I doubt her team has nearly as good of a record.
“Oh, I quit years ago.” She said nonchalantly. Clary not playing soccer? Have pigs learned to fly?
We stood there, in awkward silence. Clary’s emotionless face was gazing off into the distance, and she was looking more like a Barbie than ever. Her hair was straightened until it was stick straight, her skin tone evened out by the many layers of makeup she had on, her eyes “enhanced” with at least eight different products. I tried to think about what I put on my face this morning. SPF 10 moisturizer.
“I, um, I like your nails.” I mutter, trying to find something to talk about. I think her nails were so bright than they were giving me a migraine. Hot pink with sparkles. Mine were chewed down to a stub.
“Thanks, I get them done every week. My agent requires it.”
“Oh yeah, I model now. I’m the face for the cutest clothing store back home.”
I stared at her in disbelief. Where was my best friend? Where was the girl who I would sit with for hours on end, making fun of girls the girls that put on to much make up, or wore to short of skirts? Where was the girl who was like my twin, who couldn’t care less about appearances, who loved soccer more than life, who made fun of the scary skinny models?
Clary saw the hurt look on my face. I saw a twinge of guilt hit her eyes.
“I should go” she mumbled, starting for the door.
“Wait! Don’t leave yet! We have so much to talk about! I mean, come on, we’re best friends, right?” I knew I didn’t sound convincing. Heck, I couldn’t even convince myself.
“No Emma. We were best friends. But I’ve grown into my own person now, and you’re stuck as your 10 year old self. I mean, my gosh, you haven’t changed at all! Did you even grow up in the slightest? I get it, we used to have so much in common, but did you really think that after two freaking years we would still be the same? Two years, 2,000 miles apart! And you expect us to still be close? I mean, think about it, I’ve been here all of five minutes and we’ve already ran out of things to talk about!”
I was about to break down in tears. How could Clary say things like this? She was my closest friend. She laughed when I laughed and cried when I cried. I would’ve risked my life for her, and she would’ve done the same.
“We’re just getting used to seeing each other again! Can’t we at least try being friends again? I mean, we were the closest friends in the world, why can’t we get some of that back?”
“Because I have a life now Emma! You have to move on. I can’t be your long distance best friend. I want to be able to grow up and do what I want with my life, and not have to worry about if an old friend approves of it! I mean, honestly, do you honestly think we’d still be best friends even if I hadn’t moved away?”
“Yes.” I said quietly, the whisper barely escaping my lips.
“You’re a freaking idiot. See you around, maybe.” She stepped back toward the door.
“Wait!” I called. She whipped her head around to look at me once more.
“You still have my cell number. Call me, and we can just talk. I won’t try and change you. We can just try and talk again, without and face to face pressure.” I said, pleading for her to give me one more shot.
“Yeah, whatever” she said as she slammed my front door.
She wasn’t going to call.
One tear fell on today’s page in my little book. The ink began to run, and the words meshed together in a black cloud.