The Heart of an Athlete

Madison and Rachel have been best friends since preschool. When Madison and Rachel started 5th grade, Rachel said, “Can you come to my house today?”

“Sorry, but I’m the captain of the field hockey team, and apparently the best one so far. I can’t miss one practice,” said Madison. “But maybe we can have a sleepover on Saturday.”

“Okay, I will be there,” said Rachel.

When Madison got to field hockey practice, her teammates were doing drills. Madison went to her drill partner and co-captain, Kirsty.

“Sorry I’m late!” Madison said.

“That’s OK. I don’t blame you!” Kirsty said.

“So, what are we working on?” Madison asked.

“Jabs,” Kirsty replied.

The next day at school, Rachel stomped up to Madison and said angrily, “Where were you? I texted you sixty times last night!”

“I’m sorry. I was just texting my teammates about what they need to practice,” Madison said.

“Whatever happened to friends for life and having each other’s back?” Rachel shot back.

“I said I was sorry!” Madison said with a bitter tone.

“Well, I don’t want to hear your apologies. And you know what I also don’t want?” Rachel said.

“For me to me to keep playing field hockey?” Madison asked.

“No – I don’t want to go to your dumb sleepover on Saturday!” Rachel stormed off, leaving her best friend behind.

When Madison and Rachel got on the bus, they sat as far away as possible from each other. When Madison got home, she tried to rush past her sister, Alex.

Then Alex yelled, “Mom! Madison is home!”

“Alex!” Madison yelled softly.

“Hey, Madison!” Mom said.

“Hi, Mom.” Madison groaned while trying to crack a smile.

“How was school?” Mom asked.

“Fine… just fine,” Madison said.

“Ok, go get washed up. Chili for dinner,” said Mom.

“Ok,” Madison said and went up the stairs slowly.

The next day at school, Madison walked up to Rachel and said, “Rachel, I need to talk to you.”

“No, you don’t,” replied Rachel.

“I know you’re mad, and I don’t blame you, but I sent a text to my teammates saying I was going to have a sleepover,” Madison said fast.

“What! First you stop texting me and you go to texting your teammates, then you have a sleepover with them when it was just supposed to me and you!” yelled Rachel. “So if you want me to make new friends, I’ll make new friends,” Rachel , and ran away.

The next day, Madison saw Rachel in the middle of the CCP (Cute, Cool, and Popular) group. So Madison grabbed her teammates and walked up to Rachel.

“Things are about to get ugly in school,” Kirsty muttered to Grace, another girl on the field hockey team.

“So, Rachel, this is the girl who used to be friends with you?” Jessica, Rachel’s new best friend, sneered.

“Yes, but I can’t believe I was even friends with her!” Rachel laughed.

“Ok, Rachel, you have to stop – this is not you! For the last time, I’m sorry, but your doing this has gone way too far,” Madison said, and then turned to Jessica. “Jessica, you have to stop turning my best friend into something she’s not.”

Jessica glared at Madison like she was a wad of gum on her shoe and said, “Look, Madison, Rachel may have been your best friend in the past, but she isn’t right now.”

Madison looked at Rachel. Rachel smiled and winked. When they were little, that was the signal for I set them up or I have a plan. Madison turned back to Jessica, but before she could talk, Jessica said and grabbed Rachel’s arm, “Come on, Rachel. Let’s go get some lunch. I just have to use the bathroom quickly. Go on without me, I’ll meet you there.”

In the dining hall, Jessica had noodles with red sauce. She could not find Rachel, who was hiding in the crowd at Table 5. When Jessica was getting to the end of the bench to go sit down, Kirsty put out her leg and tripped Jessica.

Grace sneered. “So, Jessica, having a nice trip?”

The whole room cracked up with laughter. Jessica was covered in food stains, and she ended up on the school newspaper. The headline said:

More Sloppy Than Joe

After the lunch humiliation, Rachel wanted to write a note to Jessica about what she’d done. The note said:

Dear Jessica,

About lunch… I felt so so happy that that happened. You thought I would turn against my best friend, but nope – I turned against my fake best friend! For a moment I forgot who that was, but then I remembered, wait, I’m writing to her! You! So, why don’t you


  • Cry me a river!
  • Build a bridge!
  • And get over it!


Hoping you the worst. Your fake bestie, Rachel.

Rachel slipped the note into Jessica’s Locker.

Rachel was not looking forward to flute practice. Madam Kiska was going to cry about her no good ex-boyfriend. When Rachel did get to flute practice, Madam Kiska was ready to cry. She had tissues and no music stand. Rachel could not believe her parents were paying her teacher for their daughter to solve her problems. It was the worst two hours of Rachel’s life.

The next day, Rachel and Madison’s world was right again. Madison asked Rachel, “Hey, Rach, the team and I need a water girl. Would you be our water girl?”

“I’d love to,” Rachel said.

“Great! And about our sleepover — can the team join in? You kind of are part of it now, so will you come?” Madison asked.

“Yeah, I’m coming, and the team can join us anytime they want,” said Rachel.

But since Jessica’s world was not right, she wanted to make it right. Jessica walked up to Rachel and Madison. “Sorry, Rachel has other plans. Guess it wasn’t meant to be. Bye-bye,” Jessica said, pulling on Rachel’s arm, but Rachel held back. Everyone just glared at that girl. If anyone knew what Rachel’s plans were, it was Madison; she was Rachel’s best friend and would have known of any plans she had, and she didn’t have plans today.

“What?” said Jessica.

Principal Pearl came and said, “Jessica, they are looking at you because that is a lie.”

“She is my best friend, and you don’t know anything!” Jessica yelled and talked back.

“Well, maybe I don’t know everything, but I do know who is going to detention,” said Principal Pearl.

Jessica looked around and asked, “Who?”

“You! You are,” said Principal Pearl.

Then, before Rachel and Madison knew it, Saturday came. The big sleepover was here. The rules said that you could not wear make-up. When everyone came, they pigged out on M&Ms, pizza, ice cream sundaes, double fudge cupcakes, candy, chips, and washed everything down with soda. They were having way too much fun playing Truth or Dare and telling scary stories. Then, doorbell rang.

Madison yelled, “I’ll get it, Mom! I’ll be right back.”

Madison got to the door. Madison turned the doorknob very slowly and opened the door. It was Jessica.

“Jessica, what are you doing here?” asked Madison.

“I’m here for the sleepover. Duh,” said Jessica.

“I sorry – you weren’t invited because you’re such a fake. A Barbie doll is jealous,” Madison said, shooting Jessica a dirty look.

“Well, I’m still sleeping over,” said Jessica.

“You are right. You’re sleeping over. Over at your house. Even if you were on the list, my rules state no make-up, so goodbye,” Madison said, slamming the door in Jessica’s face. Madison went back to her room, happy with her world. She had the heart of an athlete.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *