Humming a song to herself, Isabelle pranced and twirled across the house. In her hands, she carried several leotards and tutus, her dance wear from that week.
Sarah was busy doing laundry and insisted that all the dolls put away their towering piles of clothing. It was Isabelle’s last trip down the hall and then she would be free to do whatever she wanted!! It was Christmas break, after all. Christmas break should not be spent on chores and laundry, Isabelle thought.
Coming up to the wardrobe, Isabelle took down a hanger and began to hang up her leotards.
Out of the corner of her eye, she looked at the calendar – tomorrow was New Years!! Perhaps Jamie had a party in the works.
New Years meant a new Girl of the Year.
And a new GOTY meant that Jamie was going to be spilling the news to Lea in the most heartbreaking way possible. Any time soon.
Isabelle remembered the year she was told she was no longer the GOTY.. it was not a pleasant experience.
“I have to do something!!” Isabelle exclaimed, and looked around.
The only response she got was a small bark from Willow, who was busy chewing on her favorite shoe toy shaped like a slipper. Isabelle blushed, though no one was in the room. Sometimes she got a little carried away.
She composed herself, and finished putting away her clothes. Then she ran off to find Sarah as fast as she could. She would know what to do.
Isabelle found Sarah in the kitchen, cleaning the countertops. The other dolls were nowhere in sight. Probably putting away their clothing skyscrapers, Isabelle though. “Hey.. Sarah!” Isabelle said, “I need to talk to you.”
“Okay, what’s up?” Sarah asked, looking at Isabelle but scrubbing the counter at the same time. That was one of the things Isabelle loved about Sarah. She would listen to whatever you had to say, anytime, anywhere.
“Um, I just realized that it’s almost New Years.. and that means Lea’s time is almost up.” Isabelle stated. She watched Sarah’s face for any hints of a reaction. “That usually means Jamie is going announce it to her in some rude way. I don’t want Lea to be sad!”
Sarah kept quiet and listened to every word Isabelle said. When she had finished, Sarah took a breath. “I think.. that we need to find out who the GOTY is, and then tell Lea in the most gentle way possible.”
“I agree,” Isabelle said, “But how -”
She was interrupted by someone coming up the stairs. It was Lea, of all people. “Hey guys!!” She exclaimed, holding up Grace’s tablet, “I have the most exciting news!!”
Isabelle and Sarah’s mouths dropped open in surprise as they say a picture of the new GOTY on the tablet: Gabriela McBride. And Lea was smiling! She was never this excited. It was unusual to say the least.
Lea let Sarah and Isabelle look at the photo for a few more seconds before taking back the tablet.
“Isn’t she pretty?” Lea asked, talking super fast, “She does dance, like you, Isabelle!”
“That’s great…” Isabelle trailed off and grabbed the tablet from Lea. “Wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE!!”
“What?!” Sarah and Lea asked in unison.
Isabelle studied the photo once more before saying, “I think Jamie is the new GOTY.”
Sarah laughed. “That’s impossible.”
“It’s not. Look,” Isabelle said, turning the tablet around for Sarah to see, “They look exactly the same. The only thing different is their clothes.”
“Woah..” Lea whispered, “Freaky. Do you think -”
Sarah broke her off, “Lea. It’s not a clone.”
Lea closed her mouth and blushed. Being a Jedi was sometimes a bit difficult. “Sorry.”
The dolls all stood in silence staring at the photo.
“Well.. um,” Lea coughed, breaking the silence, “What should we do?”
“We have to tell her sometime, or she is going to be in for a nasty surprise.” Isabelle put in.
“I think we should just show her the photo and simply tell her.” Sarah said, “Then we’ll know how she’ll react, and what we can do to help her.”
“Yeah,” Isabelle agreed, “It’s going to be an extra big shock for her, since she isn’t even expecting to be replaced! Plus, the doll looks EXACTLY like her. Like a mirror copy.”
“Well, let’s go find her!” Lea said, and took off down the stairs with the tablet.
Isabelle and Sarah were right behind her.
The dolls found Jamie in the living room watching a fashion show. Tay was also there, but only because she was wanting to watch a sports game. They were in the middle of a heated argument during the commercial break when they walked in.
“Give me the remote, you’ve been watching this nonsense for far too long,” Tay pouted, crossing her arms.
Jamie shot her a superior look from the couch. “I was here first.”
“Well, I -” Tay looked up and saw her sisters. “Guys! Jamie has been watching this for hours and won’t give me the remote!! Can you PUH-LEASE tell her it is MY turn?!”
“Um..I..” Sarah said, ” I’m staying out of this. Jamie, I need you to turn off the TV, we have something to tell you.”
Usually Jamie would protest but the solemn looks on her sisters’ faces told her this was important. So she did it.
“What is it?” Jamie asked. Perhaps one of her favorite stores had gone out of business.
Sarah took a deep breath and pulled the tablet out from behind her back. A picture of Gabriela, GOTY 2017, showed on the screen. “This is the new GOTY.”
Jamie took the tablet and said, “Why are you showing me? Why not -” Jamie took another look at the screen and stared long and hard at it.
The other dolls held their breath, waiting for her reaction. Even Tay.
A look of astonishment, anger, and annoyance flashed across Jamie’s face. “What. In. The. World.” Her dark eyes were full of fury. “I cannot believe this.”
“I know, it’s a bit of a shock, and we don’t blame you!” Sarah said quickly, as not to make Jamie more upset.
“What is it? I can’t see!” Tay said, trying to get a better look at the new GOTY.
Jamie whipped the tablet around and Tay stared. Then she burst into peals of high-pitched laughter. “That is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen!!” She said between breaths.
The other dolls stared at Tay, hoping she would be quiet, and Jamie gave her the death glare.
“This is NOT funny. Do you REALIZE what they are doing?” Jamie said, more like shouting. “They replaced ME. Not a new similar doll, not one who has my same outfit, but nooo. A BRAND NEW DOLL THAT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE ME!!”
“Looks like me,” Tay laughed, “That’s funny.”
Jamie looked so angry Isabelle thought she was about to slam the tablet on the ground where it would shatter into a million pieces. Thankfully she didn’t, but Jamie burst into tears and fled from the room.
Sarah sighed. “That didn’t go well..”
Lea turned to Tay and frowned. “Tay! Why did you do that? You’ve hurt her feelings! How would you feel if that were you?”
Tay didn’t look amused anymore. In fact, she looked ashamed. Ashamed that she had bullied her sister, ashamed that she disappointed her best friend. “I’m sorry.” A tear leaked out of her eye and onto the floor.
“Tell that to Jamie.” Lea sighed, and left the room.
To be continued!
– American Girl Doll Artist