Pansy doesn't want to admit her fears:
In the spring they'll come with us. I wanted to say. And Anna will win Poohsticks, like always, and she'll be the first one down the steps to the falls. But I kept my words inside. Maybe I was afraid to say them out loud, afraid they would just disappear as soon as they were out of my mouth--as if by telling someone else how I get, I might keep my hopes from coming true. (p. 86)The book is full of Pansy's efforts to become extraordinary in order to be the type of friend Anna deserves. Some of her actions have funny, unexpected consequences. For example, she attempts to improve her Rollerblading skills but ends up being pulled by two huge dogs around a park. But her drive to redeem herself for her failures and be an extraordinary friend propels her forward.
Before Anna's brain surgery Pansy reflects,
No matter how worried or nervous I was, Anna always believed in me. And I knew she still did. I would never have put on skates, gone to the top of the list for Independent Reader, or joined Girl Scouts if it weren't for Anna. But now, it was my turn to be there for her. To believe that she as going to pull through this surgery, that she was going to come out of it stronger than ever before. That she was going to be Anna again and that she would be so proud of me for all I'd done. So I blocked out all those questions and concentrated on one thing: in less than two weeks, I'd be sure to have my best friend back. (p. 151)
She just lay there, her head drooping down, her eyes poking lifeless. She didn't seem to care if I was there or not. (p.196)When Anna drops her hand on the package of cookies, her family is ecstatic because she's finally using her right hand. But for Pansy, all is lost.
I'd imagined it all--Anna understanding my words when I told her about my goals, Anna looking at my badge and getting that I'd earned it for her. Now I knew that Anna hadn't understood that I was doing any of those things for her.
All my dreams about Anna's recovery instantly evaporated into the air. They were just dreams. That's all they were. (p.198)Pansy wrestles with the hard facts of Anna's illness and discovers that by following Anna's brave example she can conquer some of her own fears. In that way, Pansy finds her own path to extraordinary.