Stacy looked down the street, blinking away sudden tears as she pretended to check for traffic that was practically non-existent at this time of the day. It was a one-way street and all traffic turned out of the parking lot headed in the other direction. She remembered clearly those silly summer evenings spent scouring different home goods stores with Dinah, looking for the perfect dehydrator for her to take to Virginia with her when she moved for her nursing job. They had made plans for Stacy to come visit in the summer, when BWU shut down for a few weeks between terms. They had made plans for Dinah to come home in the winter and visit the Metroparks toboggan chutes. They had emailed regularly at least once a week for the first three months. Then it was every ten days, then twice a month. Then Drake introduced Dinah to Troy and Stacy had understood completely when her good friend had practically no time for her.
Then Harmony and Susan had cornered her at Heinke's, by the salad bar, and made sure she knew all the sordid details of Gretchen's new PR job which had resulted in her meeting up with Dinah and renewing their friendship. They had a message from Gretchen specifically for Stacy -- a bit of advice: stop pestering Dinah with her pitiful emails. They didn't even make her laugh anymore, although Gretchen found them rather amusing, especially where Stacy asked if she wanted her to send some of her grandmother's lemon mince bars for Christmas, since Dinah couldn't come home for the holidays that year.
That little detail had told Stacy all she needed to know. Dinah and Gretchen were close enough that Dinah let Gretchen read her emails.
Gretchen finally had what she wanted -- she was Dinah Ashcroft's best friend, and Stacy Belmont had finally been discarded, once and for all. It wasn't like it had been in elementary and middle school, when Dinah would drift away for a week or two and then come running back, apologetic over letting Gretchen and her crowd tempt her away. There was more to life than makeup and gossip magazines and boy bands, after all. This time, the change was permanent.