Finding Lizzie
Karina, Age 12, Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Today, I'm no longer the same Stephanie Theodore. Before last night, I was Stephanie of Stephanie and Mia. But that was then, before Mia moved away. My best friend in the world just moved away.

I know I have to get out of bed and go to school. But I definitely don't want to today. I don't want to face the students of High Park School for the first time as a friendless person.

My mom just tells me to make new friends. She must be crazy. She knows I can't ever make new friends. Mia was my one and only friend, and she will be forever.

"Stephanie!" called my Dad, "It's time for you to get up and get to school. You're going to be late!"

That reminds me. I'll be walking to school alone, too. I groan and pull myself out of bed. After a lonely day at school, I walk home. As I walk down our street, I wonder what Mia is doing. I sleep restlessly that night, longing for a friend. But I know that the only friend I want is Mia.

My birthday is coming up, but for the first time in my life, I can't invite Mia to my party. It'll be fun with my other friends, but not the same. My parents keep hinting that they have a special surprise planned for my birthday. I can't imagine what it is.

Today is my birthday! I'm excited, but at the same time sad. As I walk up our front walk, I grab the mail. I sift through bills, cards from family, wishing me a happy birthday and a letter from Mia!

I dump all the other mail on the kitchen table, then head to my room. I sit on my bed and excitedly open the envelope. Mia sent a letter and a card. She tells me about her new home and how much she misses me, and wishes me happy birthday. She also sent a picture of her and her new house, and her new address.

Immediately, I write a reply.

When my parents arrive home from work, I tell them about the letter. I suddenly realize that my dad is grinning. Then I remember the surprise. Mom enters the house, carrying an adorable black lab puppy.

"Oh!" I exclaim, "Is it for me?"

"I'll call her Lizzie," I say finally, "Thank-you." Then I rush upstairs to write a new letter to Mia, telling her all about my new friend.


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