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Ivy and I used to do everything together:  music and ballet when we were little.  Fencing and T-ball when we got older.  Scrapbook making, modern dance, quilting, origami…  All these activities our parents signed us up for.  Some fun.  Some dumb.

I even helped her pick out Kermit, her first pet—the most adorable black and white Labrador/Dalmatian mutt you’ve ever seen.  We were nine then and Ivy said he could be my dog, too. 

We walked him every day, after school, taking turns holding his leash. 

I helped her give Kermit his first bath—a wet, soapy disaster. 

Helped her carry home his first big bag of dog food from Acme Pets (before we found out they delivered for free).

He really felt like my dog. 

Just like Ivy felt almost like a sister.

Then Eve O’Sullivan’s parents had twin boys.  They all moved to Brooklyn and everything changed. 

At first it was small stuff:  Eve and Ivy giggled over stuff that wasn’t even funny.  They had matching retro-rainbow flip-flops and thought it proved they were destined to be friends.  More likely, it meant that Urban Outfitters had a sale on flip-flops, but when I pointed this out, they accused me of being jealous.

One day the two of them set up a lemonade stand outside Ivy’s building. 

I asked if I could help out.  They said there wasn’t room.  And that was the beginning of the end.

The Ivy I knew disappeared—morphed into a different person:  A girl who had perfect hair and actually thought that made her better than everyone else. 

A girl who wore eye shadow in the sixth grade and real lipstick, not just tinted gloss. 

A girl whose socks always matched her shirts, which coordinated with her belts.  A girl who made fun of those who didn’t get their ears pierced because maybe they were afraid of needles. 

A girl who doled out dirty looks the way she used to pass out sticks of gum. 

In short, Ivy turned into someone I didn’t even know.  Someone I no longer even liked.  And yet, I still missed her.