Jen was probably Maria’s best friend, if Maria could allow herself to think this way. What about Amy, and Ava, and Nicole—and Wendy? How would they feel if Maria just outright picked a best friend? Maria never wanted any of her friends to feel bad. So even though she and Jen were best friends, she couldn’t admit this even to herself.
She and Jen had been good friends for so many years now. Only once, when Maria was working on losing her unwanted weight, did their friendship break up. Jen had been too much like Maria’s sister Claire. Maria wasn’t really conscious of thinking this, but she could feel the competition like it had been with Claire, and it made her turn away from her friend. Maria was losing excess weight by making personal changes, psychological discoveries about herself and her life-long eating problem. Her good friend, best friend, was still stuck in dieting and exercise.
Jen and Maria had always dieted together. They lost weight together. They were proud of themselves for having done this together. Then came the falling out; and later, too much later for both Jen and Maria, the reconciliation. Thank God they had reconciled before Jen got sick. What are good girl friends for if not to have things in common that bring them close. It was silly of them to let different weight-loss strategies stand between them.