- Friendless Fiona – Nikki: #64 (10 May 1986) – #72 (5 July 1976)
Fiona Scott was a popular, outgoing girl while her friend Tara Martin was much quieter and shy. Mrs Martin worked at a Folklore Museum and Fiona thought she looked a bit like a witch. Mrs Martin was also very protective of her daughter, so when Tara has an accident on her bike, she blames Fiona. It was Fiona that convinced Mrs Martin to let Tara come on a bike ride after Fiona had seemingly fixed her brakes. After the accident Mrs Martin said Fiona was not to see Tara again and if she had her way she’ll be left without a friend in the world. Soon after incidents begin to happen to make believe Fiona that Mrs Martin had actually put a curse on her and soon she’d be friendless just like Mrs Martin promised!
Fiona has a bad day worrying about Tara, and she is snappy with her other friends. She falls out with her friend Kim about a party and next she annoys people by being overly cautious. Her trying to be careful actually make things worse, when she distracts her friend Christine who is up a tree trying to get her Gran’s cat, the cat falls hurting itself. It becomes pretty clear that Fiona is becoming her own worse enemy. When Marie’s sister marks her for lateness she tries to get back at her by pretending the Head needs her as a joke, but that causes her to miss an audition. She is nervous about cycling and is convinced by Debbie to go on cycle but then Debbie thinks her nervousness was ploy to get John the boy she likes, as she cycles with him. When a new girl Sharon joins, she tries to make sure she doesn’t mix with others so they don’t turn her against Fiona, but then it turns out one of those people is her cousin!
So it continues, each episode a different friend is lost. Such as when Fiona and Rachel volunteer at a nursery and on the rainy day she tells kids story, but the next day is sunny and Rachel thinks they should run about. While they argue about it a kid has accident. When she joins a drama she ends up taking over her friend Jackie’s part after an attempt of helping her rehearse goes wrong. Things do get better when Jackie gets her part back, and Fiona becomes friendly with Nigel but after some accidents at rehearsal, Nigel thinks she’s trying to cause trouble. She decides she has to go to Mrs Martin and ask her to remove the curse. She has surprise when she gets to the Martins, Tara is home from hospital and Mrs Martin is being friendly. It turns out Tara readjusted the brakes on her bike because she thought they were too stiff, so it wasn’t Fiona’s fault. Mrs Martin didn’t place a curse she just said things out of worry. Fiona realise her attitude to her friends changed because she thought they blamed her for accident. Now she knows there’s no curse everything goes back to normal and best of all she has her best friend Tara by her side again.
While some instances, her friends are being unfair, such as Fiona being nervous about a bike ride as it was first one since accident, then she didn’t deserve to be accused of boy stealing when she gains a bit more confidence cycling. A lot of the time though, Fiona really does make things worse for herself and makes herself unlikeable. One of the worst examples of this is when she thinks Marie’s sister should not mark her up for being late and keeps arguing about it and then playing the “joke” on her, causing her to miss out on a good opportunity. She says mean things about her former friends to Sharon in attempt to keep her to herself. She also comes across as defensive and always having to have things her way, when Rachel wants to play games with the kids in the nursery, she gets in a huff, thinking she should be the one to decide. Or with the play insisting that Jackie stay longer to practice together causing them to be late to class and get detention, while Fiona finishes her work quickly and gets to go to rehearsal. She never questions her own behaviour because she blames it on an outside force, the “curse”.
The friend of the week formula can get a bit tiresome especially when Fiona comes across as unsympathetic at times. I was glad to see at the end it wasn’t actually a curse and it was Fiona’s own behaviour that caused her to lose friends. It does make her a bit more sympathetic as we realise that worry over her friend (who she has been unable to see), her own guilty feelings projected, making her think her other friends blamed her, and the harsh words by Mrs Martin are all the root of her self destructive behaviour. Once these are worries are lifted her attitude changes and she can begin to mend friendships.