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When Shannon first got to her new school in third grade, she was on her own, lonely, and the other kids seemed to think she was weird - until, finally, she met a great group of girls - five of them - and they all became the best of friends.
There was one girl in that group of third graders that stood out from the rest though - Celine - Shannon's BFF., her best friend. She was the gem of the group: creative, kind, smart - BUT - most of all, she was really into pink frilly things, and ponies and that kind of defined her. That style and those frilly, pretty things she loved never got old for Celine.
But as they got older, in the fifth grade and going through puberty, and Celine had still not changed her style, still loved frilly dresses and all the rest, those other girls started to judge her, make fun of her, comment about her, talk about her.
Those other girls - still Shannon's great friends - still really surprised her by how much they judged Celine, and how mean they were about it. They became mean girls. It seemed like they hated Celine because of her style and how she dressed, and maybe her bubbly sweet personality as well....
And Shannon, even though she felt it wasn't right, started to join in too - under peer pressure, but still, when she was with the other students, she would agree with the mean things they were saying. She'd go along with the the mean girls, the comments, the judgements, the insults, the rumors, the ridicule, the teasing, the gossip, the bullying. Even though is was awkward and made her feel bad and sad because deep inside she knew it was wrong, she still went along with it. How could she hate anyone, especially her best friend because of how she dressed?
It got worse when Shannon made stuff up, lied, telling the girls that she really didn't like Celine anymore and that she followed her everywhere. But the truth was, Shannon really loved Celine, really and truly her best friend, and she realized, that they followed each other everywhere, both of them.
But still, when she was with those other girls she lied to make it seem that she didn't like Celine, that she was a bad person and annoying and awkward to be around - like Celine was stalking her.
Sometimes, when Shannon was out with Celine and she caught the other girls giving her dirty looks, she would try to ditch Celine, and incredibly, Celine never found out about any of it, but she was heartbroken that Shannon would disappear on her, and the she no longer wanted to hang out as much. Shannon was hurting her, she knew it. She had somehow become a liar and a mean girl - and to her best friend of all people. Was it worth it just to be popular or to fit in?
How could she have don this to her best friend? She wonders if Celine would forgive her if she knew the truth. Would she be forgiven or would she be hated for the rest of her life for what she was doing?
All this drama went on for a long time, until finally, at the end of sixth grade, Shannon realized how wrong she had been. She realized how much she missed her best friend, and how silly and weak it was of her to act the way she had and to spread rumors about her BFF. And how bad it was that she betrayed her best friend in the world.
Shannon stopped the rumors, stopped the betrayal, ignored those other girls' gossip and got back to being best friends with Celine! She loved Celine and her love for her continues to grow every day.
Real friendship, after all, is about love and loyalty!
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