“Jee-Anne! Jee-Anne! Jee-Anne!”
At the sound of her name, Jee-Anne ran downstairs, red pigtails flying, into her living room.
“What is it Gol-Lee?” Jee-Anne asked, panting.
“Oh Jee-Anne, you’ll never believe what I just got!” Gol-Lee exclaimed. She had her hands behind her back, her long dark braids covering the wriggling object her hands were clutching.
“Oh! Let me see!” Jee-Anne squealed. If Gol-Lee was excited about something, then Jee-Anne knew it had to be something big.
Gol-Lee took one big breath, then thrust the object out in front of her. Jee-Anne’s jaw dropped. Gol-Lee was cupping a tiny, fluffy, kitten.
“Meet Fluffy,” Gol-Lee said, grinning so widely her dimples showed.
“Oh Gol-Lee! This is too good of you!” Jee-Anne squealed. She felt as though her heart was going to explode with joy. She really did have the best friend in the world.
“This is an early birthday present for me, isn’t it?” Jee-Anne asked, already knowing the answer. “Oh Gol-Lee, I just love it!”
“Wait a second Jee-Anne,” Gol-Lee said, her dimples vanishing, her face falling. “H-he’s not for you.”
“Oh Gol-Lee I just – what!? Not for me!?” Jee-Anne’s jaw dropped. She couldn’t believe it. “Gol-Lee, you know I’ve wanted a cat ever since I can remember!”
“So have I,” Gol-Lee argued.
“You’re kidding right?”
“No, I’m not,” Gol-Lee said. “And anyway, I wanted to show him to you because –”
“How could you do this to me!” Jee-Anne screamed. The little kitten in Gol-Lee’s hands cowered in fright. “I thought you were my friend! I thought you knew me!”
“I do!” Gol-lee gasped, “Jee-Anne, I was going to –”
“Gol-Lee if you don’t give me that kitten right now, I’ll never forgive you.” Jee-Anne said, her voice stern yet quivering with fury.
Gol-Lee looked astonished.
“Jee-Anne, how could you say that?”
“You know I’ve wanted a kitten for forever!” Jee-Anne sighed, tears in her eyes, “and now whenever I go to your house, I’ll have to look at that adorable, sweet, lovable, squishy little furball and remember how my best friend wouldn't even let me have him.”
“Jee-Anne, this is ridiculous!” Gol-Lee exclaimed.
“No, you’re ridiculous!” Jee-Anne shot back, “I’m never talking to you again unless you give me that kitten!”
“Fine!” Gol-Lee said. Jee-Anne sealed her lips, and looked the other direction. She heard Gol-Lee’s hurried footsteps as she ran out the front door, and slammed it behind her.
The next day at school, Jee-Anne avoided Gol-Lee. She was still furious with her, and determined to do whatever she could to get that kitten. After history and grammar however, it became harder to stay away from Gol-Lee. She always relied on her best friend to get her through grammar class, Jee-Anne being dreadful at the subject, and Gol-Lee extremely well. And she couldn’t play tic-tac-toe with Nicolaus, because he would chew on her crayons and get them stuck in his teeth.
By lunch time, Jee-Anne was almost ready to give in. Almost. She was surprised when Gol-Lee came over to the table she had chosen, and sat next to her.
“Jee-Anne, I don’t want to fight,” Gol-Lee started.
“Good! I knew you would come to your senses! Now, when should I pick up Fluffy?” Jee-Anne asked happily.
“Jee-Anne, I’m not going to let you have my kitten.”
Jee-Anne groaned. Gol-Lee was still being stubborn! This was so unlike her, that Jee-Anne had to think for a second before she made her next move. Then, she grabbed the cookie out of Gol-Lee’s lunch bag.
“If you don’t give me that kitten, I’m going to eat your mom’s homemade fudgy chocolate cookie!” Jee-Anne cried.
“I’m sorry Jee-Anne, I’m not going to give you my kitten.”
“Fine then.” Jee-Anne showed the cookie in her mouth. Several people around the table stared at her, shocked at what she had just done. Gol-Lee scowled, surprised at Jee-Anne’s daring. She picked up her tray, and walked to another table across the lunch room.
Jee-Anne chewed slowly, savoring the sweet chocolate flavor, then swallowed, satisfied. If Gol-Lee wasn’t going to cave easily, she was going to have to make her.
The whole rest of the school day, Jee-Anne and Gol-Lee fought over everything. When they played dodgeball in P.E., Jee-Anne threw balls at Gol-Lee even though they were on the same team. During science, Gol-Lee chose Sarah for her experiment buddy instead of Jee-Anne. Right before math class, Jee-Anne stole Gol-Lee’s math homework from her backpack, and hid it in her back pocket so she couldn’t turn it in.
On their walk home from school, Gol-Lee ran a few blocks ahead of Jee-Anne so she wouldn’t have to walk home with her. Jee-Anne sighed. She was getting desperate. Gol-lee had still not cracked, and she had tried everything she could think of. There was only one option left.
Jee-Anne dropped her backpack off at her house, and checked her watch. It was fifteen minutes til four. Jee-Anne grinned. At exactly four o’clock, Gol-Lee would have to leave for her violin lesson. Jee-Anne hurried across the street to Gol-Lee’s house, and, checking first that the coast was clear, snuck through the back door. She could hear Gol-Lee’s mom talking in the living room, so she ran silently upstairs into Gol-Lee’s bedroom. Right as she walked through the door, she saw him. Fluffy was sleeping peacefully on Gol-Lee’s bed. Jee-Anne smiled. Cautiously, meticulously, Jee-Anne lifted the kitten in her arms, and sprinted out of the house.
Jee-Anne gasped at the shout. It was Gol-Lee! She must not have left for her violin lesson yet! Jee-Anne let out a terrified scream and ran as fast as she could toward her house. However, she knew Gol-Lee was catching up to her. Gol-Lee was taller and faster than Jee-Anne. Just as Jee-Anne reached her front porch, Gol-Lee grabbed the back of her shirt.
“Let go!” Jee Anne screeched, trying to pull away.
“Put down my kitten!” Gol-Lee shouted, grabbing the kitten’s back legs.
“Never! He’s mine!” Jee-Anne screamed back, yanking on the kitten’s front legs. The terrified kitten let out a petrified yowl, but the two girls continued to yank.
“You better let go Lilias Francis Fisher!” Jee-Anne screamed.
“Not until you do Annabell Gertrude Price!” Gol-Lee shouted.
“You traitor!” Jee-Anne screamed.
“You stealer!” Gol-Lee yelled back.
“You selfish backstabber!” Jee-Anne roared.
“I’m not a selfish backstabber! I was going to give you a kitten too!” Gol-Lee shouted. Jee-Anne stopped pulling. Gol-Lee stopped yanking too. The poor little kitten sighed with relief.
“What do you mean you were going to give me one too?” Jee-Anne asked, panting slightly.
Gol-Lee took a few deep breaths, then explained,
“My aunt was the one whose cat had kittens. She said I could take one over to show you, then you could come over and choose one too if your mom said you could have one.”
Jee-Anne stared at Gol-Lee, utterly shocked.
“I’m sorry Gol-Lee,” Jee-Anne muttered, her face turning red.
“That’s okay Jee-Anne,” Gol-lee said, “want to walk over after my violin lesson and pick which one you want?”
“Okay!” Jee-Anne said eagerly. The two best friends embraced. Fluffy meowed uncomfortably between them. Gol-Lee ran back over to her house, waving over her shoulder to Jee-Anne.
“Oh, but Gol-Lee!” Jee-Anne said, “How about I don’t ask my mom if I can have one. I’ll think she’ll like it more if it’s a surprise.”
Gol-Lee grinned, her dimples popping out.