“We’re moving to Indianapolis!”   Rachel sobbed as she threw herself at her best friend, the only person she’d ever truly been close to besides Rider, the only person who believed that Rider was real.

“What!  When?”  Paige’s black curls jiggled as she slammed her locker shut and gasped.

Rachel slumped against the locker next to Paige’s.  “Next week — in the middle of the school year!  I can’t believe my parents are doing this to me.  It’s for my dad’s work.  He’ll lose his job if he doesn’t take this transfer.”

“That totally sucks!  But what about me?  At least you’ll have Rider with you.  I’m gonna be all alone in this cesspool of loneliness!   Who’s gonna hang out with me, huh?” Paige’s tone was sarcastic, but her face twisted with anxiety.

Rachel stuck out her lip in a pout.  “You totally suck!  I have to go to a whole new school in a new city where I don’t know anybody.  And it’s not exactly like having Rider around is gonna make me look like less of a chump sitting all by myself in the cafeteria.  I’m sure all the kids will be like, ‘Oh cool, this new girl talks to herself and acts like a weirdo, let’s go make friends with her!’ ”

Rachel wailed, tears threatening to spill from her eyes.  After a moment, she noticed the dorky-looking kid whose locker was on the other side of Paige’s staring at her.

“Yes, I know, I’m crazy!” she hollered at the gangly, pimply-faced boy who rolled his eyes as he slammed his locker and walked away, shaking his head.  “Geez, even the losers think I’m a freak-show.”  She buried her face in her hands and let the tears soak her palms.

“I’m sorry, Rach, I know it sucks for you.” Paige wrapped her arms  around Rachel’s heaving shoulders.  “This totally sucks for everybody.  Rider, you’re so lucky you don’t have to worry about making friends and fitting in.”

“Yeah, but I can’t get away from the crazy one I already have!” Rider’s voice echoed in Rachel’s mind, and Rachel giggled.  He always knew how to lighten the mood.

“You don’t even have to tell me.”  Paige held up her hand. “I know exactly what that rotten little dweeb is saying.  You know, I won’t mind getting away from your constant insults, Rider!”

“He says he won’t mind not having to look at your ugly mug all the time, either,” Rachel replied, sticking out her tongue.  Rider didn’t have control over her body, but sometimes it was hard to tell if she was acting out her own desires, or his.

“Well, if you’re leaving next week, then we just have to have an epic goodbye party this weekend.  Let’s do something fun like sneak into a night club or something!”  Paige’s eyes bugged out and her ringlets bobbed as she imagined a weekend wild enough to base another Hangover sequel on.

Rachel rolled her eyes.  “Whoa, there, party girl.  We have, like, a whole huge house to pack up this weekend.  My mom’s never gonna let me go out.”

“Hmm, total bummer.  I guess I’ll just have to come help you so you get done faster.  There will be pizza, won’t there? And maybe some of those cookies your mom makes…”

“I’ll see what I can do.”  Rachel smirked.  “Are you actually going to help or are you just gonna hang around, eating and distracting me?”

“That’s what I love about you, crazy girl — you know me so well!”  Paige smiled and threw her arms around her best friend.  The two embraced for what was probably a little longer than socially acceptable, but Rachel didn’t care.  Everyone thought they were weird anyway, so what did it matter?  Besides, in another week, she’d never have to see them again.