A Story about a Girl Who Didn’t Exist

Bettina was a little girl who had a best friend, a very very best friend. She showed up outside in the cherry trees when it was adventure time, underneath the dinner table for sharing secrets, and in the attic when they were playing make believe with the dress-up box.

Bettina’s real name was Bethany, but no one called her that. They only used her nickname. Bettina was short with a round face and glasses, with curly, wavy, bright red hair. She had no freckles, but pale skin. So pale it was almost…. translucent. But depending on the way you looked at her, maybe she was actually tall, with an oval face, and hair that glowed in the radiant light. Or maybe you didn’t see her at all.

Bettina’s best friend was a girl named Allie. Allie Weird. Allie was the curious type, who walked with her thoughts in the clouds, and read with a pen in her hand. She was caring and imaginative, full of wondrous ideas and grandiose plans, like going for a trek in the backyard on the Iditarod Trail with her playful husky pup. Her parents didn’t approve of Bettina, you would wonder why. But you see, what you don’t know about Bettina is that she’s imaginary.

Oh, she’s quite real in Allie’s mind, but she doesn’t show up anywhere on the scale of one to real. She’s more like that number that’s opposite of one – no, not negative one, but even further beyond – imaginary one.

Bettina’s life was dictated completely by her best, best friend Allie, who decided when it was time for Bettina to show up or say goodbye. If one day Allie was preoccupied by school, or had a dinner guest who would mind, then Bettina could not come out to play. Sometimes Bettina would have to hide, behind Allie, in the closet, or plain in the open when Allie’s mother was around.

This child grew tired of living a life so lame, one in which herself was not enough to encounter a real last name. So Bettina took off, one day she was gone. Allie’s aunts simply thought she was done with the game. On the other side of the looking glass, Bettina threw a lovely bash. She called her own friends to come back from the grave. Anyone she wished would be there for her, whilst Allie, saddened, searched for her.

Snow angels, shadows, mirror images, and memories: these were all friends whose company Bettina sought at last. On the opposite frame, real numbers aside, anything and everyone was imaginary – and real! Bettina had a blast doing whatever she wished. She had a ball, walked the walk, turned up her heels, let loose, and sealed life with a kiss. Her friends came to life, well, life that didn’t exist. Then the real one, Allie, was left with only those who identified themselves as 3-D.


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