BEST FRIENDS by Mindy Hardwick

Jamie and I are best friends. We have known each other since we were six weeks old. We met splashing around in plastic floaters at a baby swim program. Jamie listens when I tell him about fairies and dragons. He never laughs when I tell him that I believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Even if I am 12.
Jamie is my friend.
My best friend.
But after winter break, something changes. On the first day back to school, Jamie saunters down the hall. He tosses his water bottle into the trashcan and smiles at me. My face feels very hot, and I have to turn away. I pretend that I dropped something out of my bag. When I stand up, Jamie has his back to me. I mutter something about being late to class and dash off to science. My insides jump up and down like I’ve swallowed a fairy and she’s jumping on a trampoline.
At home, Mom says, “We haven’t seen Jamie for awhile.”
She’s right. Jamie hasn’t been over since I became a moosh ball every time I see him. I tell Mom that I’ll invite him over.
But, when I text Jamie, my stomach gets that funny squishy feeling again. I end up sending Jamie a garbled message. He writes back, “huh?” I want to hide under the covers until I can go away to college and forget him. This only makes me feel worse because Jamie is my best friend.

To read the complete story, go to iTunes.

Mindy Hardwick enjoys writing romance for all ages. Her tween novel, Stained Glass Summer, was published December 2011, and her young adult romance, Weaving Magic, was published in April 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing. Mindy taught seventh grade for six years and, during that time, supervised the after-school dances. She credits that experience for giving her the idea for “Best Friends.” If you’d like to hear more about tween characters Samantha and Jamie, “I Believe” an audio story, can be downloaded at Sniplits.
When Mindy is not writing, she facilitates a poetry workshop with teens at Denney Youth Juvenile Justice Center. Mindy’s flash fiction and narrative nonfiction about the youth have been published in Between the Lines and Glass Cases. Mindy is a frequent school and library presenter and is included on the Washington State Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster. You can learn more about her at:

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