Traipsing your way through the wilderness that is the teenage years, you have finally found a friend unlike all others. You met under circumstances that you would both simultaneously and over-dramatically describe as tragic. And indeed, everything about that first day you met could be filed under bizarre and coincidental. But within five minutes of meeting each other, your classmates were asking if you were sisters.  Ten minutes later, you both had to take a breather to try and accept all the uncanny things you’d already found to have in common. You arrived in this new town on the same day, your siblings were at the same uni doing the same subject, and both of your tight-knit groups of friends gave you the same, exact send-off when you left your last beloved school.  And most importantly, you’d both rather be anywhere but here. You’ve been best friends ever since. You do everything together.  You banded together against all the evil and slightly weird girls at your same-sex high school and cooked up all sorts of schemes together.  When she needs you, you’re there in a heartbeat.  When you need someone to just listen, she happily lends not only one ear, but both.  You’re allies, amigos, bosom buddies, kindred spirits, blood sisters, BFFs.  The two of you are inseparable and don’t know what you would do without each other.

Then BAM!  The day comes when all that changes right before your eyes.  Suddenly, there’s someone more important than you in her life.  Someone more demanding of her attention.  Someone who sneakily sauntered into her life, an unseen threat to your power-duo. Charlie. Every time you turn around, they’re playing with each other or snuggling together. The peaceful-ness of your several-hour-long phone conversations is destroyed as Charlie constantly distracts your BFF.  The sleepovers are never the same anymore because Charlie is not to be disturbed by your late-night chortles and 3am bouts of karaoke.  Even a new boyfriend was never this disruptive to your friendship!

You don’t know what to do.  There’s no way you can win competing against Charlie; not when she’s a member of the family! She spends more hours with your now-distant best friend than you ever have. Wherever you go, Charlie is there.  She can’t be left home alone, so your best friend never comes out to see you anymore.  If you decide to go for an afternoon stroll with her, Charlie tags along. You’re dining together in front of the TV; Charlie tries to take your food from you. You sit down to wrap a present, Charlie messes it all up, prancing around you like she owns the joint.  Your supposed best friend even confuses your name with Charlie’s!  You find yourself thinking that even a new sibling wouldn’t have been this bad.

You tell yourself that you will and you must get used to Charlie.  You convince yourself that Charlie will grow on you.  If only she wasn’t so damn hyperactive!  It’s not long before she begins to jump all over you constantly as well.  Of course, this only serves to arouse suspicion in your mind about her motives, so you tread very carefully in the new territory. You can only guess at the politics behind Charlie’s sudden affection towards you, but are reluctant to make any sudden moves til you know the full story.  After all, you did find her sniffing around your bag.  And when you tried to confront her about it, Charlie tries to distract you by stealing your socks and running away!!  You’re just not sure where the two of you stand, whether to trust Charlie or not. Gosh, even a new best friend is easier to manoeuvre around than this.

But it’s not long before it becomes apparent to you that Charlie has actually managed to conquer at once, all three roles of boyfriend, sibling and new BFF, if not more.   Charlie’s arrival had you feeling abandoned, replaced and redundant.  But while you were busy trying to suss out your new position in lieu of her, the four-legged cutie managed to trot her way into your heart.  She’s no longer a competitor as you realise that this ball of fur is nothing if not lovable.  You can’t help but fall under her spell.  The two of you have regular phone conversations, you cooing to her while she licks the phone. During sleepovers, you find it hilarious to have her barking and panting along during karaoke hour and a lovely surprise when you wake up to find her snuggling next to you.

It seems now, that the tables have turned.  These days, your best friend is the one asking whom you care about more, her or Charlie?

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