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I missed her. I missed the Traci from the year before; the one who hated coming to training because she had to wear skirts; the one who loved soccer and would stand there with me at the goal and scream at the opposing team in foreign accents; the one that would run around the camp with me, scaring all the girls with a frog we caught. I missed that Traci, my Traci. What had happened to her?
I knew. Bradley happened. Bradley. The boy she had met on the bus coming to the camp grounds; the boy who, after knowing Traci for two hours, told her he loved her; the boy who changed my best friend Traci.
We were walking towards the dining hall when I looked at Traci. She had changed. I could tell. Her hair was pulled back and she was wearing a long skirt and fancy, frilly top. This was not Traci. Not the Traci I had come to know and love as my best friend. No, this was a different Traci. This was Bradley's Traci. "Traci," I chuckled, "What are you wearing?"
"Why?" she exclaimed, examining her outfit. "Does this top not match the skirt?"
I rolled my eyes. "No, I mean, you would never willingly choose to wear that. So, why are you?"
Traci looked into the clouds, a dreamy look crossing her face. "Bradley told me I looked good in skirts...."
"Bradley, again," I whispered under my breath.
"Did you say something?" she asked, cocking her head.
"No, no, nothing. I was just thinking, why are you changing yourself for a guy you met two days ago?"
"I'm not changing." she protested.
"Oh, come on," I scoffed, "You hate wearing skirts and you despise frills."
"I don't hate them. I just don't like them."
I was about to respond, telling her yet again that she had changed, when Bradley walked up. I had lost her again.
Bye, bye Traci. Off to class with your beloved Bradley. Don't worry about me, little old Marilyn will be just fine. Go, have fun with Bradley, I'll simply entertain myself by avoiding Mark. You remember him, don't you? The boy who, for the past four years, had a crush on me; the boy we used to spend hours everyday avoiding; the boy you used to help me escape from! But it's fine! Go, and have fun. I don't need your friendship. I'm fine on my own.
As if reading my thoughts, Traci turned around and yelled, "I'll see you tonight, okay?"
I faked a smile and gave her a half wave. Yeah, right, she'll see me tonight. She's probably already forgotten about me.
I turned around and began heading back to my cabin; I had lost my appetite. I hadn't gone more than a yard when I heard footsteps behind me. Maybe she hadn't forgotten. I spun around, a grin spread across my face.
"Hey, if it isn't Traci Siamese twin!" Traci's younger brother, Tim, joked. "How come you two aren't joined at the hip?"
I smiled. Tim had always had that affect on me. "You really have to ask?"
He chuckled. "I guess not. Is that the reason for the long face?"
I shrugged, as we walked, side by side. "Kinda....I guess it's that among other things,"
Tim stopped. He turned around and began walking the other way. "Where are you going?" I called. I was being abandoned by yet another friend. What was wrong with me?
Tim called back to me, "I can't have a conversation on an empty stomach. Come on,"
I rolled my eyes. Typical boy, always has food on the mind. I followed him, dragging slightly behind. Did he really want to spend time with me, or did he simply want lunch? Ugh, why were my friends so confusing?
Tim stopped short. A sly grin spread across his face. "What?" I asked, slightly nervous.
He didn't respond for a few short moments; when he finally did, all I heard was, "Race ya!" and he was gone.
It was summer. Summer is supposed to be the best time of the year. I could choose to either be miserable and pout all month about Traci ditching me for Bradley, or I could make the most of my summer with a friend who actually wants to spend time with me. It was my choice. Which would I make? Well, I wound up chasing Tim all the way to the dining hall, does that answer your question?