Frenemy Switcheroo

by admin on March 1, 2011

I have a terrible friend who I’ll call “Emma” (always hated that name!). Me and Emma both applied to the same college and were accepted, and we were both ecstatic, being best friends at the time. However, Emma was diagnosed with a rare cancer right before we entered, and instead decided to wait a year to enter. Well, during that year I made a wonderful group of friends and had so much fun with them. But when Emma came back that second year, things took a turn for the worst.

Emma didn’t know anyone except for me when she entered, and I very generously allowed her to sit with my friends on the first day. They got along well, and Emma had quite a few classes with them. The second day, Emma and I didn’t have lunch together because of my dentist’s appointment. But when I came back to campus, I found out that SHE had lunch with MY friends WITHOUT me!!!

In the first few weeks of school, she had made friends with a handful of MY friends and was now sitting at lunch with us every day! Well, of course I was annoyed! Didn’t she know how to make her own friends? But I almost exploded one October morning!My friends and I were planning a halloween party, and of course they HAD to invite Emma! But what really got me angry was when I had to leave early for another party, and Emma asked if everyone wanted to come back to her dorm! Seriously, she was acting as if they were HER friends when I met them first!

Emma even invited me to lunch on day with a couple of friends. That’s right- she had the nerve to invite ME, even though they were MY friends! She made plans with them behind my back!

So I just decided to erase Emma from my life. I would ignore her and wouldn’t allow her to sit at the table with us! Of course, she had no other friends because she was mooching off of mine, so she sat alone. But when my mom called and asked how Emma was, she found out about my behavior and forced me to apologize to her. After that, I just decided to be the better person and not have anything to do with her!

To this day I ignore that stupid, tacky woman! 0225-11

So, readers, what was your reaction to this story?  Was it initially like mine where you come to the conclusion that the story writer is actually the obvious choice for deportation into Etiquette Hell instead of the intended target named Emma?  Were you gearing up to write a scathing commentary on how petty the OP was?  I was…that is until I noticed the name of the person sending in the story in the email header data.   It’s a very cleverly written story Emma.

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

lkb March 1, 2011 at 5:22 am

I guess I don’t understand the point of the story then.

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S. March 1, 2011 at 5:40 am

I called shenanigans right after the “rare cancer” that just happened to neatly clear up
(sorta like a pimple) in only a year. Not plausible. Try harder next time, little storyteller!

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Rosey March 1, 2011 at 5:52 am

I don’t understand why the story was posted. It’s obviously a troll and was obviously a troll without even knowing who wrote the story. It seems like it’s only encouraging trolls if their stories get posted just the same . . .

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Squashedfrog March 1, 2011 at 6:10 am

Ok I’m probably way out here..if I have got this right…Emma is actually the writer, writing the story in the voice the ‘friend’. In this way the ‘OP’ who is actually Emma herself, is mimicing the petty and childish behaviour of the friend to make a dramatic point and highlight the friend as selfish and quite oblivious to the ‘true’ situation – ie its written in such a way that the obvious reaction of the reader would be to throw “the OP” through the gates of Ehell, and throw away the key.

Sorry if this isn’t the case. I would say yes, the friend is being childish with the “you stole my friends!” scenario, but also the OP comes across as a little childish with the whole mimicking thing?

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RMMuir March 1, 2011 at 6:29 am

To be honest, I assumed it was a troll – a deliberate attempt to stir up drama on the site! If it is written by the one offended, that’s sad times. (And even if it wasn’t, poor Emma.) :(

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ferretrick March 1, 2011 at 6:35 am

I thought it was fake from about the 2nd paragraph. What I don’t understand is why you ran an obvious fake.

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admin March 1, 2011 at 9:48 am

Just because a story is unbelievable does not necessarily mean it did not happen. I could tell an eyepopping, jaw dropping firsthand account of heinous behavior I personally witnessed and if you didn’t know it came from me, you’d swear it was a fantasy or drama fabricated for attention. As one friend said to me, “Jeanne, if I didn’t know you in real life, I wouldn’t believe it.” But trust me, there are some profoundly bizarre, immature, greedy, evil people out there whose antics are off the charts.

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QueenofAllThings March 1, 2011 at 6:48 am

Almost got me! I initially thought this had to be a joke, but it’s March 1, not April 1, so …

Interesting, submitting the story from the SS’s point of view!

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Tundra March 1, 2011 at 6:54 am

LOL WUT is my response to this basically. So, it’s not ‘real’ or at least it’s written from Emma’s perspective to get back at her friend who was treating her badly so that we’d all react and tell off her friend.
Or, Emma was doing a lot more than this and this is just one side of it. Anyway, Emma’s done nothing wrong, as this story tells it. Why does the ‘OP’ care what her friends do after she’s gone from the party?

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AM in AL March 1, 2011 at 7:07 am

Oh Emma, how dare you expect to share HER friends!

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Mojo March 1, 2011 at 7:12 am

Yes, I initially thought it was a wind up – until you pointed out Emma wrote it.
A nice twist, and I hope her ‘friend’ eventually grew up.

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Vicky March 1, 2011 at 7:46 am

Is, is this a joke?

I sincerely hope so!

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--Lia March 1, 2011 at 8:25 am

I started to smile by the second paragraph, grin by the 3rd, and giggle out loud for the rest. My reaction is that this is a clever satire, over the top, and funny to boot. The writer puts her finger on how self-righteous girls that age can be. The detail about the rare form of cancer is what clinched it for me that the whole thing has to be taken tongue in cheek– and that’s not a bad thing. Humor and exaggeration can be a great way to make us take a look at those emotions that we’ve all felt on occasion and forgive ourselves for our irrationality.

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Amber March 1, 2011 at 8:29 am

Ha! Sounds like someone is calling out an old friend ;) Don’t worry, Emma, you’re better without her.

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Alkira6 March 1, 2011 at 8:43 am

Well, by the end I was laughing really hard. She needs to take lessons from the REAL trolls who try to come to sites and stir up poo.

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NooraK March 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

My first reaction was to wonder whether the writer was actually 12, and the situation actually occurred at a lower grade rather than college. Although, reading the notes, I’m not sure I’m really ready to give up my first reaction.

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Wheelchair Bling March 1, 2011 at 8:48 am

Huh. So is Emma trying to get a public beat-down administered to her original “friend”? Or does she just have really grade-school fantasies? Ah, well, you see it all on the net!

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Caper March 1, 2011 at 8:57 am

If I didn’t read the Admin’s comment, my comment would still have stayed the same, which was :

Was this story written by a 14 year old ?

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Aje March 1, 2011 at 9:05 am

Wait, so EMMA wrote this? grief how confusing….

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Buggles March 1, 2011 at 9:06 am

Are you for real? You don’t OWN these people. Emma is entitled to be friends with them just the same as you are. You sound like the terrible friend to me, not Emma. I think you must have forgotten that Emma has been going through cancer treatment! What kind of a friend are you?

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Just Laura March 1, 2011 at 9:07 am

I just about crushed my coffee cup in my hand in a blind rage after reading “I very generously allowed her to sit…”

Then I read what the admin wrote. I don’t know about “clever,” but it’s definitely different.

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Twik March 1, 2011 at 9:10 am

OK – first thought it was a particularly obvious troll, but I gather it’s really a subtle satire by Emma on her insane ex-friend. If so, sorry you were treated like that, Emma!

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Elizabeth March 1, 2011 at 9:17 am

I stumbled at sentence #2: “me and Emma” and college acceptance??

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Typo Tat March 1, 2011 at 9:17 am

The girl described here obviously needs to take the nearest shuttle back to planet earth. Question is, was that really how it happened?

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Abigail March 1, 2011 at 9:18 am

Yes, very fake. No one is this glib.

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Chocobo March 1, 2011 at 9:21 am

Haha, so Emma wrote this? Sounds like Emma’s friend isn’t too much of a friend, although this seems to happen often (in high school, college, work places…). People get possessive of their relationships, especially ones that make them feel like they are hot stuff, and lash out when someone else comes along who garners the same amount of attention. Or they simply aren’t that great of friends in the first place, and want time apart from different friend groups. Either way, unsurprising college age behavior, but tacky!

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bookworm March 1, 2011 at 9:23 am

I say they’ve both got a one-way ticket to E-hell simply by wasting their time at college worrying about petty things such as who made what friends when.

And I don’t quite understand your comment at the end. Is Emma making fun of herself? Or have you given some troll some attention?

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Daisy March 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

I don’t really underwtand why someone would send in their story like this, but if the OP is hoping for a career in creative writing, I suggest some remedial classes in vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure.

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carotte March 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

College? sounds more like a six yeard old behaviour!
The good thing is the group of friends that realised they were better off with Emma than with the other girl,
and Emma is better off without her former “friend”!

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Lynne March 1, 2011 at 9:41 am

Echoing those who thought it was a troll — and still do.

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KarenK March 1, 2011 at 9:42 am

I suspected something might be up at the point where she states that she “generously” allowed Emma to sit with her and her friends that first day.

Emma is well shed of this so-called friend.

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Gloria Shiner March 1, 2011 at 9:48 am

My take? It was actually written by a 12-year-old, not by a college student.

So, why was it included here? It’s not even a good example of creative writing.

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Just Laura March 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

LOL at Elizabeth – I cringed at the grammar as well!

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phoenix March 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

I don’t think it’s clever, I think it’s a cruel and manipulative way to make us reassure Emma that her friend was indeed terrible. I mean, look at all those cruel things Emma is pretending that her friend said!

If this had been submitted as a real story, I would have felt sorry for Emma. But once you start blatantly making up thoughts and phrases and attributing them to other people for a “clever” twist, you’re being childish and unfair. In my book, Emma is just as bad as her friend for this little stunt.

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Elizabeth March 1, 2011 at 10:04 am

Not impresssed.

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Jillybean March 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

I’d love to hear from Emma again. The story is outrageous, but like Admin points out, that doesn’t automatically make it untrue. I’d love to know if this is merely Emma’s perception of how it went down, or if there was a big blowout at some point and the frenemy actually SAID some of these things to Emma.

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N.R. March 1, 2011 at 10:38 am

When I was 15, I was kicked out of my parents house for some behavior best not described here. My Aunt and Uncle kindly took me in. Their son, was a year younger then myself, and we had grown up together fairly close, but because they lived outside of town, I knew no one in the area, and quickly became acquainted with his set of friends.
My cousin, was a controlling, dominant young man, and I, by the very nature of my situation, was just rather happy to have anybody at all to spend time with, that wouldn’t get me into further serious trouble. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long, within the group, for them to prefer my company, over that of my cousins, and his anger at the situation over the period of the next few years, ensured that he himself was ousted from his home, and his friendship group.
To this day, he has never forgiven me for my supposed displacement of him. On my part, I went on to lead a productive, happy, and crime free life. The same cannot be said of him. Mired in anger, bitterness, and hatred, his life has become an outstanding cautionary tale of bad choices, and wrong timings.
I can never look at a situation like this, without feeling great sorrow for the displaced person. At that age, the friends that one gains are vital for creating a secure social standing and personal image. If I could go back in time, I would encourage myself, to find other acquaintances. It may cost me, some comfort, but it would have saved me almost 20 years of regret as well, for losing the friendship of a man I saw as a brother.

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ashley March 1, 2011 at 10:44 am

I didn’t even read past the first couple paragraphs, because I really don’t understand the OP’s hissy fit she is having over Emma getting along with her friends….

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Jillybean March 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

@phoenix – who said Emma is pretending her friend said those things? Perhaps she did. I’d love for Emma to chime in.

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Abby March 1, 2011 at 11:05 am

I agree, sounds like Emma confronted her friend about why the friend was giving her the cold shoulder, the friend accused Emma of trying to move in on her friends, and Emma came to E-hell and posted a mocking entry from her friend’s point of view to show how ludicrious the friend was.

The writing style is a little juvenile, but I am guessing perhaps Emma is college-aged and is, out of spite, purposely sounding immature to mock the friend even more. I would say Emma is being a little petty, but if this story is true, being dropped by your best friend because you had the nerve to befriend her friends entitles you to a little pettiness, I think.

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Calliope March 1, 2011 at 11:17 am

I can appreciate that Emma was attempting to do something creative, but count me in with the others who would have preferred an account from Emma’s perspective to this. It read like a joke from beginning to end; never for a moment did I believe this was written by Emma’s former friend. Instead of focusing on how rude the friend was to Emma, my brain read the whole story in one of those whiny, nasal voices childish people affect when they’re imitating people they don’t like.

It’s too bad, because it seems like Emma was treated terribly, and a straightforward account of what happened would probably have garnered a lot of sympathy. Instead, I think this is destined to be one of those submissions that invite a lot of comments about writing style and ability. It’s been said many times that this isn’t a writing site, but when a submission is an attempt at creative writing, it’s bound to get commenters critiquing the OP. I’m a fiction writer, and I’m sure I’m not the only one here. Writers are a notoriously critical bunch.

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Ellie March 1, 2011 at 11:17 am

Phoenix, I think you hit the nail on the head quite nicely. I thought this story was too over the top to be a normal submission, and after the Admin’s comment I had to really think about it. Assuming that everything that happened to Emma was true as she wrote it, she can’t really predict what her friend was thinking at the time.

I can really say that the “OP’s” side of things, without any other info, was very selfish and babyish. I just can’t think of any reasonable or “justifiable” behavior (to the girl’s mind at least)for her to feel that Emma was poaching her friends. Wouldn’t a supposed best friend want to make her lifelong friend as comfortable as possible in a new college?

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livvy March 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

As said so well in Spinal Tap: “There’s a fine line between clever and stupid.” Definately, the line may be getting a bit trampled in the way the OP chose to call out the unnamed friend. That said, I can totally see this scenario happening – I think it’s probably happened to all of us, but usually at the first-grade level, not the college level.

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Kammy March 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

The writer doesn’t own her friends. They are free to hang out with whoever they want and eat lunch with whoever they want to. Seems like the writer is still a high school immature brat than a well adjusted college studen.

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AS March 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Ok, I am confused now. As admin said, I did feel sympathy for the character “Emma” in the story until I saw admin’s comment. Even if the person writing the story is called Emma, is this story real? And if real, I think Emma (the actual OP) is assuming way too much, and is being nasty to her friend apparently for the sole purpose of attracting sympathies from the readers. If not, it is a weird joke.

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Abbie March 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm

If I can ignore the way the story was written for a moment, I want to focus on the “meat” here. One person not liking an “old school” friend assimilating into a “new school” group of friends. Years ago I was friends with a group of people. In my mid 20s I came to understand that the group of people I was friends with were bad influences for me. I spent less time with the old group and worked to make new friends with healthier ambitions. After about threeyears, a woman from the old group began actively purusing a reconnection of our friendship. Since several years had past and I had changed a great deal, I decided to allow a rekindling of sorts with her….hoping that time had changed her also. Initially it appeared she had also moved away from the negative influences of our former group. Like me, she’d begun purusing a real career and appeared to be disinterested in “the old way of life” and all of its unhealthy habits. I began slowly introducing her and involving her with the ‘new’ group. Fortunately she and I are both fairly confident and comfortable in our skin. She made a few new close friends, some new aquiantences, and networks. I was very hesitant about her getting involved with the new friends…I worried instead of them influencing her positively, she’d drag them down. Still, I wanted to believe she had changed as I had. I was thrilled when she seemed to be ‘clicking” with the group. It never occurred to me the ‘new’ people belonged to me. Frankly, I did feel a slight pang of “GRRRRRR” when she made a very blatant and aggressive play for a man I’d confided in her I’d been on a few dates with and hoped it would go some where eventually, although he’d wanted to move a bit faster than I was comfortable with.
Unfortunately, within a year, she’d borrowed money from some, slept with a husband, used other’s connections for jobs she ultimately stole from, and most disappointing to me, the highschool gossipy behind the back mentality I’d hated in my old group had begun rearing its ugly head in the new group. Some of the ladies of my ‘new’ group began the catty behavior I’d seen in the ‘old’ group. She’d also attempted to bring some of the old group into the new group, which did not work well. Eventually, others in the group who had remained their normal hard working and people loving selves, and I quietly and slowly began including her less and less. Occassionally some of my group have asked me how I was friends with her (and the others from the old group they’d met) for so many years. If the question is asked nicely without attacking her, I will answer: I was the same sort of person. Events happened that allowed me to examine my life and make changes to better myself morally. She is now a (slow paying) border in the home of a married couple I think the world of, so I still have interactions with her. However, I do not invite her to events, nor do I discuss really much of anything around her as it only causes me difficulty. I am also not directly rude or hostile to her, despite my underlying dislike of her. There is no reason to be ugly to her, and I do not want to cause my friends difficulty with their tenant. Over the weekend I visited my friends (while the woman in question was at work). One of their other borders invited me a few weeks ago to a wonderful art show; I had the fortune of getting some tickets to another local art event in a few weeks and invited the newer house mate as we both enjoy that sort of thing and our significant others do not. Last night I got an email from the former friend berating me for not including her or inviting her to any events in my social calendar in six months. She pointed out how awful I am for this snub, since I “usually get tickets or passes as gifts and she really needs the chance to network with the rich types” and business owners and other such friends or networks I have access to thru my job. I hit delete. I do not know a kind way to tell her why I do not wish to maintain a friendship with her. This is unfortunate. If you removed my desire to work hard and professionally so I can live the lifestyle I like, she and I could easily be close friends again. She has many wonderful traits that I have time and again tried to allow to outweigh the negative. I never understood in my early 20s why some women feel ownership of their friends. Suddenly a decade later, I am starting to understand a little. My ‘friend’ lives by her own moral code and that is her right. I do miss her friendship sometimes. However, I do not wish to return to the gossipy or other negative mentalities. I have also made many wonderful friends since the initial demise of our friendship. I love these “new” people and I do not feel that she is able to treat them as well as they deserve. As we’ve grown older, her inclination to connect with people based on who they are/know has grown. Over time, I’ve built a nice client base of all different demographics and I am thankful to each of them for chosing my business’s services (and there by paying my rent!). It hurts me a great deal to know she is angry with me for keeping her away from my world yet it feels like the best option available.

That rather long ramble was to express this….Sometimes what appears to be women being possessive maybe a poor defense plan. If I’m painfully honest, I think I new back in the day that this woman had not undertaken the insane amount of work needed really change who you are inside. However, I wanted to believe she had and I naively thought my ‘new’ people could help raise her standards, not bring them down. I wish I’d been less open about my ‘new’ friends as some of my relationships still bear the scars of her drama. Yet if I had done that back then, would there have been a polite way to tell her “No, these are my friends and you can’t play with us!” ?????
Often I feel that us ladies have been told so many times how important it is we be polite, yet with little explanation, we have become pushovers. I have a difficult time finding ways to word negative news or thoughts out of fear of ‘being rude”.

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Barb March 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I’m on the fence as to the veracity of the post. It is an awkward situation that I did happen to see on occasion at my college, but from the “It’s just a fun story” outlook, I will say that the post was written with a few too many exclamation points to really make us believe and be sympathetic to “Emma’s” story.

From the “Gosh, kids are cruel” outlook, I have to say that I know people well into their 30s that still have the mentality that friends are people you control and treat like property, and it’s a shame that Emma and those college buddies had to deal with someone with that attitude.

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Bint March 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I laughed – although poor Emma, having to put up with this rubbish at college – and to have the ‘friends’ go along with it and make her sit on her own! Immature!

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Kat March 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Well, okay, first of all, I think the grammar is probably intentionally bad as part of Emma’s mockery of her frienemy.

With that said, I have trouble empathizing when the story is this over the top. I think Emma should have written from her own perspective.

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Rug Pilot March 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm

The relationship between or among other people are none of your business. This includes friends, nieghbors and ex-whatevers.

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kero March 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I think I rather hear from Emma’s real side of the story than some mocking of her vain friend.

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