BFFs nurture long friendship from a distance
Monday, Jul. 14, 2014

BFFs nurture long friendship from a distance

Twelve-year-olds Isabella Malik, left, and her best friend, Fiona Lavery, got ice cream together when Fiona visited Mooresville recently. Fiona moved away in second grade, and the two have stayed in close touch through electronics and remained best friends ever since.

FIBE is the name of a secret beverage – non-alcoholic, of course – that 12-year-olds Isabella and Fiona concocted.

They made up its name by combining the first two letters of “Fiona” and “Bella.”

The girls met each other as 4-year-olds attending the Lowe’s YMCA preschool program and became BFFs (best friends forever).

Their 21st-century friendship has evolved into a modern version of old-fashioned pen pals. It embodies how, although technology has changed, friendship has not.

Isabella Malick of Mooresville performs with a band called the Glass Hammers, which she and her two sisters formed two years ago. The band entertained crowds at the July 3 YMCA event and on July 4 at Birkdale in Huntersville.

Fiona Lavery, who now lives in Rockland, N.Y., traveled alone by plane for the first time to cheer and give support to her friend.

Fiona and her family moved from Mooresville after she finished second grade. She is the granddaughter of Esther and Ben Lavery of Mooresville. Over the past five years, technology has kept the friendship alive between Isabella and her.

“When she first moved, we wrote letters to each other,” Isabella said, “but then we got phones and iPads.”

“Now we just Facetime and text each other,” Fiona added.

“I still have the notes and letters we wrote when she first moved,“ Isabella said.

“I’m pretty sure I do, too,” Fiona chimed in.

“Now we mostly ‘Snapchat.’ It’s like where you take a picture with a message and send it to each other. It disappears, like, after 10 seconds,” Isabella explained.

Do they ever talk to each other on a landline?

“No, not really. When you Facetime, you’re talking, so … ,” Fiona said.

“Before we had phones, we did talk on the telephone, but now it’s very rare that we ever talk on a landline,” said Isabella.

What does Fiona miss the most about Mooresville?

“I miss seeing them everyday. I used to walk to their house,” Fiona said. “I miss the lake a lot, too.”

Isabella said, “We give each other gifts when we see each other – even when it’s not a holiday.”

“Because we love each other,” Fiona said.

When they are in Mooresville together, they like to go to Bella Pottery, play golf at the Mooresville municipal golf course, go to the movies or Carowinds, and go tubing on the lake.

They love the cupcakes at SweetCakes in Cornelius and eat Nutella crepes together at La Patisserie.

They’ve attended Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift concerts together.

“We got to go in the pit, because we’re cool,” Fiona said. It’s probably irrelevant that no one had showed up to sit there, so the usher said they could move up.

Inventing summer beverages, dreaming of their future: Both want to go to college together in Oxford, England, and become the next president and vice president of the United States.

Then they will marry Italian men and live in Paris, which is why Fiona is learning Italian and Isabella is learning French. They call themselves Quote Masters.

“Even though we’re miles apart, we’re definitely sisters close at heart.” Isabella recited.

Fiona said, “Good friends are like stars: You don’t always see them, but they’re always there.”

On July 3, Fiona was there for Isabella, live and in person, not on Facetime.

Suzanne Ruff is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Suzanne? Email her at

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