Mayla, a.k.a. Emalie Maye, is an example of a friend who has changed. Back in sixth grade, she liked a lot of the same things Allisen liked. Then she moved away, and when Allisen finally gets to see her over a year later, she’s all the sudden into clothes, boys, and makeup—all things that Allisen finds BORING!
Allisen is both excited and apprehensive about hanging out with Mayla. After they’ve spent the afternoon together, she realizes that she and Mayla are even more different from each other than she’d originally thought, and decides that she doesn’t really want to hang out with Mayla again. She misses the old Emalie Maye. But when Allisen, Kim, Shevea, and Mayla go swimming together, Allisen realizes that she and Mayla still have some shared interests, and that in some ways, Mayla still is the same as she was back when she was Emalie Maye.
Allisen and Emalie Maye, as seventh-graders, are no longer best friends with each other like they were in sixth grade. They each have their own new friends, and their own set of interests and hobbies. But they are still friends with each other, despite their differences.