Gaby and I are sitting in the living room of her parent's house watching this year's Miss America pageant which has become our tradition. Ever since we've met we've been doing it. I'm working on an ad campaign I have due the next day, a costume for the Miss Lakeview County pageant Gaby needs and watching the pageant, all at the same time. I've become a very good at multitasking since joining the world of advertising. We can hear Lucia and Alejandro arguing in the kitchen. What else is new? I wish we could watch the pageant at my apartment where it's quiet but since we've been doing it this way since we were teenagers, why break tradition? I wish Gaby could live with me but currently my sister Lydia is so Gaby is still sadly living at home with her parents. But in a few months, we're going to start sharing an apartment we decided.

God, I love that woman. I'm so glad we became friends. We formed a great bond after we met. Plus, Gaby's luck changed when she met me. Soon she started winning everything. She always won best original costume when she put me in charge of designing her outfits. We're both very grateful for our friendship. I turn my attention back to the pageant.

"The runner-up is Miss New York, Mary Anne O'Keefe. Our first runner-up—"

"Miss Tennessee is first runner-up. Miss Texas has got it." Gaby says, looking down at the notebook where's she been keeping track.

"Stephanie Morgan! That means our 2002 Miss America is Miss Texas, Monica Clearwater!" The announcer on TV announces.

Gaby rolls her eyes, "It's always Miss Texas."

I finish with the cowgirl jacket I've been working on, "Stand up."

Gabrielle starts talking as she puts the jacket on. "You know that's the second year in a row a dancer's won. It's statistically proven that singing and dancing, and having a platform to do with children, and choking up during the interview, it's the only way to go. It's a guaranteed win."

She reaches over and grabs the clip keeping my bun in place.

"What?" I ask.

"May I, please?"

"What are you doing?" I ask.

"You need a new look." Gaby says.

"What do you mean a new look? Just...I'm..."

Gaby laughs and drags me over to the mirror.

"You're too plain." She says. She starts adjusting the jacket.

"What do you think?" She asks.

I laugh, "I think you need to take singing and dancing lessons."

A few nights later I have to get Gaby's costumes fitted for the Miss Lakeview County pageant which will be coming up soon. It's being held at the annual Lakeview Fun Fair. She was supposed to meet me at my apartment when I was finished work. She's always late. I peak my head outside my apartment and see her walking down the hallway with her current boyfriend. They stop in the middle of the hallway and I wave. Gaby gives Mark a quick kiss. I start giggling when I notice how passionate they're getting. She comes running down the hallway to my apartment.

"You can invite Mark in. He doesn't have to wait outside." I offer.

"That's not Mark. That's Rob." Gaby says.

I laugh, that girl has a new boyfriend all the time.

"What happened to Mark?" I ask.

Gaby shrugs, "He annoyed me."

I stare at Gaby in disbelief, "They sure come and go quickly."

Gaby ignores me and starts walking inside, "Come on, hurry. Let's fit this so Rob can drive me home."

Finally, it's time for the Miss Fairview pageant. We're at my apartment getting ready. Gaby's the bathroom throwing up. I'm assuming it's because of nerves.

"Gaby, are you all right?" I ask.

Gaby comes out of the bathroom, "No."

"Must be nerves." I say.

Gaby nods, "Must be." She looks dazed. "You got everything?"

"Yep, there's interview, evening, bathing suit..."

Gaby runs into the bathroom.

"...And your outfit for talent."

I frown. That doesn't sound good.

As the Miss Fairview pageant starts, the first contestant comes out. The pageant is starting out with the talent portion. Wait a minute...The first contestant Jewel Oborman is doing the same dance routine Gaby's doing. I check my program and that's not listed. Jewel's supposed to be doing interpretive dance, not twirling a fire baton. Hmm...Did Gaby tell her at registration her talent routine? This could be messy.

Suddenly I start laughing. Jewel's baton is stuck to her hand and she can't twirl it. For some reason, I have a feeling this was Gaby's idea. She's sabotaged girls before in order to win. I see Jewel look into the wings panicked, and then I notice Gaby giving her a thumbs up. Oh, yeah, Gaby definitely did this. Suddenly Gaby runs on stage with a fire extinguisher and puts the fire baton out, getting the excess from the extinguisher all over Jewel. Now she's spraying the extinguisher on Jewel on purpose. She's got a great big smile on her face. I put my head in my hands. I love Gaby but she does really stupid things sometimes.

"I'm so glad I could be here to help! This could've been a real tragedy." Gaby said. She's hamming up all the attention she's getting. "It could've been."

I sigh and roll my eyes. That girl sure loves to win.

Gaby and I are leaving the fair. I sure am exhausted. Pageants are exhausting. I have no idea how Gaby does it. Of course she was disqualified for her sabotage.

"Do you remember Sabrina Valentine, how she purposefully tripped Alexandra Brandt? Alexandra's nose has never been the same. She works at Wal-Mart now." Gaby laughs.

"Jesus, this is the fourth scandal I've been involved in." She says. "They've never proved anything though."

"Gaby, everything will be all right." I say.

"No, it won't." She replies. "I can't compete in the county anymore."

"Don't worry about it. We'll think of something. We can move to a different county." I say. "Everything will be fine. You'll see."

"Even if we move, I can't." Gaby says.

"Yes, you can. We'll figure it out." I insist.

"No, we won't!" She says.

Okay, now she's scaring me.

"Yes, we will." I say.

She stops in her tracks and we sit on a bench near the fairs's exit.

"Lynnie, I'm pregnant. It's not going to be fine. Rule number five in the handbook is mothers and legal guardians are ineligible. Ugh, I needed to win tonight. I needed the money."

She stands up and starts walking ahead of me. "Now I don't know what the hell I'm gonna do."

I run after her. "Stop, Gabby."

"No, it's over, Lynette." She says.

"No, listen to me!" I demand. "I'll figure it out. We'll figure it out. We've made it through a lot of stuff and we'll make it through this."

Gabby starts crying.

"Okay?" I say.

She shakes her head.

I chuckle as I remember a memory, "Do you remember when Kathleen Huckle accused you off destroying Megan Kelly's costume in the Little Miss Darling Princess Pageant? You thought your career was over then. It wasn't." I say, shaking my head. "So we're going to make it through this, okay?"

Gabby starts crying again.

"Now let me see that smile." I say.

Gabby barely smiles.

"Let me see it!" I encourage.

Gabby sarcastically smiles.

I smile and shake my head, "That's not the one I wanna see. I want to see that Miss America smile."

Gabby's still crying but she brightly smiles through her tears.

I laugh, "There it is! That's it! That's the one I was looking for."

I don't know what I'm going to do. I have never figured out a problem this big before. But we'll do something. It'll work out in the end. It always does.

To Be Continued