"Late...again" Britney thought to herself. "And of course she's not answering." "Britney, we're ready for you", the coordinator said as Britney emerged onto the stage for her sequence. After her ballet performance and the fading applause as she exited the stage, she spotted her friend Jennifer backstage holding a white paper bag.
"What was the reason this time Jenny? Overslept? Phone fell in a lake? This was important to me Jenny and you promised you'd be on time."
"I'm really sorry Britney..."
"Well, what's the reason, why were you so late."
"Why are you getting so upset? I'm here aren't I?"
Britney pauses to look at Jennifer
"Brad showed up at my house..."
"You could've brought him! That's no excuse for...wait...what did you two do..."
"Britney..." Jennifer said as she reached out her hand to console her friend.
Fanning her away, Britney stormed off.
Running ahead of her, Jennifer started, "I know I screwed up and I'm sorry..."
"Look Jennifer, we've been friends for a very long time, but ever since...whatever happened, you haven't been the kind of friend I can trust and rely on. You know my situation with my family, you know my history and you know how important this was to me, that's what really hurts Jennifer. I needed you to be there...on time. You know what it means to me when I see you before a performance."
Sigh "I know, but maybe this will cheer you up."
Offering a smile and the treat in her hand, Jennifer extended her arm.
"I know that bag and smell anywhere. It's my favourite from Mario's, I know. The same favourite I told you I couldn't have the last time you were late because I'm in training for these performances and I have to watch what I eat."
Jennifer, struggling to say anything in response.
"Look Jenny, if this was the first time, I wouldn't be like this, but you've been late, absent, blowing me off for your boyfriend when we've already made plans and you've tried on many occasions to get me to have sex when you know how I feel about that, when you know I'm waiting for the right person. I don't know what it is, but I just feel like I don't know you anymore. You haven't been a very good friend to me lately, and I know that being someone's friend is a consistent thing and may even be a lot of work. I gave you the benefit of the doubt today, I held out hope for you and it's like I should've never invited you in the first place. I sent reminders, I called, I made sure you knew how important it was for you to be here, but like the last time and the time before that, the same result. I don't want to force you to do anything, I don't want you to feel obligated, I just want to be the friend you've been the years before, supportive and there for me."
"I am trying!"
"But you can't even give me a reason as to why you're late this time or even the last time, they've all been vague and oddly enough, have something to do with your boyfriend or some party or event at school. I support you Jenny, I just want the same for me. What changed...?"
"I know haven't been a good friend lately..."
"Lately...? Sorry, continue..."
"I don't know what to tell you other than I have changed a little and I'm not sure why. I'm not saying my change is an excuse to treat you differently, maybe our priorities are different because of where we are now, I don't know. But I have been trying, as best as I can, but it doesn't seem to be enough."
"Jenny, all I asked is that you were on time...on time. That cannot be asking for too much. You said our priorities must've changed, and yours clearly did, you don't consider me or our friendship a priority anymore..."
"Britney, please don't say that..."
"But that's what your actions tell me." Sigh "I don't want to feel like this anymore. It's exhausting. I love you Jennifer, I have so much love for you for what you've done for me and everything we've been through, but I can't do this anymore. These past 11 months, I've never experienced you like this and I don't think I can anymore..."
"What are you saying..?"
"I'm saying I don't think we can be friends anymore."
"I'm sorry you feel that way. You may be right. This is one promise I will keep though, I'll work on myself until I can be a better friend to you."
And with that, the two friends embraced and went on their respective ways.