Kelsie was nagging me. Again. I had been minding my own business, sitting at the table and she had charged in, complaining.
I always tried to tune her out. Instead, I liked to remember the good times we had used to have together, although that seemed so long ago. I don’t know exactly when it was that Kelsie and I stopped getting along, maybe around the time I turned thirteen two years ago. It's all gone downhill from there, though. It seems I couldn’t even have a conversation with my owner without us getting into a fight.
“Anna, are you even listening to anything I’m saying?” Kelsie suddenly shouted, waving her hands in front of my face.
“Yes! I can hear you!” I snapped, “I’m an Aisha, I have two pairs of ears, I can hear everything you’re saying!”
“Don’t you start yelling at me! All I did was ask you a simple question,” Kelsie replied, a glare on her face. “Really, Anna, there’s no need to be mad.”
“No, I was sitting here, minding my own business, actually listening to you, and you accuse me of not paying attention.” I huffed.
This was exactly what started our fights. She instigated everything and then started blaming me. Nothing was ever Kelsie’s fault, it was always mine.
“See! You have no respect for me. I see you rolling your eyes and mocking me,” Kelsie said, a hurtful expression on her face.
“How am I mocking you?” I yelled.
“You always are!” she replied. “All the time!”
With that, I stood up and slammed my chair into the table. I needed to get out of this place right now. I stormed out of the house, leaving Kelsie standing there with an open mouth.
“You’ll come back! You always do!” Kelsie shouted after me. I ignored her and continued walking down the pathway away from my house.
I felt stupid, storming away in my robe and fuzzy cybunny slippers, but I hadn’t had time to grab anything else. If I was running away, I knew I would need more than that.
But deep inside, I simply couldn’t run away. I would never do that. Instead, I decided, I’d just go to Crystal’s house. I always went to Crystal when stuff like this happened.
Crystal was my best friend, but she was much more than that. We had a deep kind of mutual understanding; we were like soul sisters that had been separated at birth. She knew more about me than I even knew about myself.
I knocked on her door patiently. She answered almost immediately, opening it with a sad smile on her face. She looked perfect as always, her white Uni fur flawlessly brushed but with that permanent sadness in her bright blue eyes.
“I heard your door slam and I saw you walking over here,” she told me sympathetically.
The thing about Crystal was that she was different than everybody thought. At school she was beautiful and popular, everyone loved her. She had a wonderful personality to match with her winning smile and stunning looks. People thought she was perfect, and thus had a wonderful life. But they were wrong.
If you watched her closely, you’d know the smile that always seemed to be on her face was forced and fake. You’d see that her eyes were full of sorrow and her laughter never quite reached her eyes. Only I knew this, though. No one else suspected a thing, which was what showed Crystal that no one really knew her except me.
Lots of people always wondered why she was friends with me. I wasn’t popular or beautiful; at the most I was a wallflower. I was just another face you’d never notice in a crowd, a blue Aisha that was just kind of there. Crystal’s snooty friends always stared at me with disdain when I came over to talk to her and I knew they would never understand the kind of friendship we had.
“Let's go up to my room,” Crystal suggested, peering at the kitchen where her owner was. I nodded and walked toward her bedroom. I knew her house like the back of my hand because I spent so much time here.
I sat down on her bed and looked at her room. No one, not even her so-called friends from school, had ever seen her room. She never even let her owner come in here, because that’s how personal it was. It was a perfect example of how different she really was from what people thought of her.
You’d probably expect Crystal’s room to be all pink and fluffy, full of posters of boy bands and pictures of her posing with friends. But it was actually the exact opposite. The walls were black. Black with glow in the dark silver marker written words of hurt, wisdom and rejection. And joy. And feelings. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Some of the sayings I had even written myself. I loved just sitting in her room for hours, reading all the quotes over and over again in my head.
Crystal sat next to me on her bed and smiled. We didn’t need to talk. We had a mutual understanding. We could probably sit together in silence for days on end and we would never get bored. That’s how you know what true friendship is. You don’t need words, you just need each other.
“Me and Kelsie went at it again,” I whispered, the words tumbling out of my mouth.
“I know,” she replied. “I heard the shouting.”
My eyes welled up with tears of shame. Crystal patted me on the back as sobs poured out of my throat, my tears falling down my face like a waterfall.
“I just don’t get it. We used to be so close. And now-” A sob cut off my sentence before I could finish.
“Some people can’t accept change. You’ve grown and maybe she can’t handle it. Maybe she wants to remember you as her little Aisha, still innocent enough to sit around and play with plushies all day long,” she told me.
“I don’t know, we just don’t get along anymore,” I replied, wiping my eyes.
“It's probably just hard for her to watch you change so much,” she said. I nodded, sniffling as my tears finally ceased. I really had changed in the last couple of years. I had honestly grown up and faced the harsh reality of the real world.
“Well, it can’t stay like this forever. It can only rain for so long? Right?” I joked, reading off one of the quotes on her wall. She smiled back. Crystal basically survived on those wall quotes.
We sat in silence again, until I heard someone ring the doorbell of Crystal’s house. I got up and peered out her window, where I could see Kelsie, wearing a robe with her hair in curlers, coming to look for me. I groaned. I had known that I would have to face her eventually, but I hadn’t expected her to chase me down.
“She really does love you,” Crystal told me, grinning as Kelsie impatiently pounded on the door again.
“Yeah, in her own psychotic way,” I replied, upset. “Just watch, I’ll get home and we’ll end up fighting again. She just doesn’t get it.”
Crystal nodded, sadly and then picked up her silver marker, the one she used to write all the sayings on her wall. I watched her hoof as the pen glided across the wall. When she was done she looked at me, sadness in her eyes that only I knew. She had written only a single word on the wall.