Little Differences

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The back-door slides open and Jessie’s dog Caramel comes running out the house and across the yard like she is on fire. I’m sitting on the ground and she comes over and jumps up in my lap and starts slobbering all over my face. “Why does it seem that my face is a magnet for dog slobber?”, I ask Jessie as she walks over to the dogs and I. “Good question”, she says with a little giggle.

“Do you want to see the picture that I drew today in art class?”, Jessie asks me. “Sure”, I say. Jessie takes off her backpack and begins throwing things out looking for her drawing. After turning her backpack upside down and emptying out all its contents she finally finds her folded up picture. It’s a dragon eating an ice cream cone. “That’s a cool picture”, I say. “I wish I could draw that good”, I tell her. I am no artist. Whenever I try to draw it always ends up looking like something totally different than what I imagined. One time I tried to draw a gorilla eating a banana, but it came out looking like a bird riding a bike. How that happened I do not know, but it was funny looking.

“Let’s put your things back in your backpack before one of these puppies decides to eat your homework”, I tell Jessie. “Yeah, I don’t know how I’m going to explain that”, she says letting out a little giggle. As I’m scooping Jessie’s things up off the ground, something falls from a stack of papers.

It’s an envelope that says Samantha. “What is this, a letter from Samantha”, I ask. “No, it’s an invitation”, Jessie says hesitantly. “Invitation to what?”, I ask curiously. “To her sleepover. It’s the weekend after we come back from Sea World. Are you going”, Jessie asks. “No, she didn’t invite me. We’re not exactly friends”, I say. “Are you going”, I ask Jessie. “I don’t know yet. I’m thinking about it. I haven’t asked my parents yet, though” I nod my head and finish helping Jessie put her things up.

We run around the backyard and race the puppies until we are all tired out. We fall out on the ground and just stare up at the clouds.

At first, we say nothing. Then Jessie begins to speak. “Why don’t you like Samantha”, she questions me. “The same reason you don’t like Alani”, I say. “Fine. I won’t go if you don’t want me to”, she says. “No, go ahead and have lots of fun. Don’t let me stop you”, I reply.

Now things feel awkward because Jessie thinks I don’t want her to go because I didn’t get invited. It’s just that Samantha is not a nice person. “Jessie, it’s okay that I didn’t get invited. You did, so you should go. I’m just afraid that I’ll end up losing my best friend” Jessie looks at me with a concerned look on her face. “Katie, there is no way you will lose me. You and I are best friends forever”. “I guess you’re right”. Katie leans over and gives me a big hug, and this reassures me that we will always be best friends.

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