Back in seventh grade, Allisen considered Vee Maytag her friend for about a month. Maybe a little less. By ninth grade, Allisen knows Vee as nothing more than a nasty, conceited bully. Especially when Vee starts targeting Allisen with snide comments intended to demean and embarrass her.
But everything changes the day Allisen sees a different side of Vee. Unintentionally, she catches Vee at a very vulnerable moment and learns some things that Vee never meant to let slip. If she’d had her way, Vee never would have let Allisen find out the painful secrets of her home life. But as it turns out, that’s what starts to bridge the gap between the two very different girls.
Allisen calls Vee on the phone, and her kindness catches Vee off-guard. For a moment, Vee breaks down her walls again and gives Allisen some insight into her life and why she acts the way she does. Allisen responds with some gentle advice.
It doesn’t seem to have made a difference. That is, until Vee writes something kind about Allisen in their class PowerPoint, and Allisen realizes that she made an impact. She invites Vee to join her and her friends bowling, and when she does, everybody has a good time together—including Vee!
By this point, Vee has realized that Allisen is someone she can be real with. Not in public—never in public. But in private, she can ask Allisen questions that she’d never dare ask anyone else. She still isn’t quite brave enough to ask most of her questions in person—that’s why she creates an anonymous email address. But when Allisen calls her on it, Vee admits the truth and they have another heart-to-heart talk. Once again, Vee tells Allisen things she’s never told anybody else, and Allisen does her best to help by giving advice and sharing her own perspective.
Vee’s “friends”—Cristil, Amalia, Suzanne, and Suzette—see Vee the way she presents herself. They don’t know about the pain in her life, and they don’t bother to dig any deeper. Vee doesn’t feel like she can confide in them, the people she hangs out with every day, the way she can confide in Allisen, who she only talks to (in private) every once in a while.
Who would you consider to be Vee’s friend(s)?