Dear Abby: I am a 16-year-old girl from Serbia. I have been in the U.S. for two years, and I’m studying English in an ESL class. I read your column and could use some help to solve my problem because I am very upset.

I have known my best friend, “Vanessa,” for a year and a half. She is my age, and we were very close. She had to leave school because her family moved. I can’t visit her because she is too far away. I’m so afraid I am going to lose her. Can you help me?

– Sad in Buffalo

Dear Sad: You are obviously doing well in your ESL studies, and for that I congratulate you. Your and Vanessa’s no longer living close does not mean that you can’t still be friends. Though she has moved to a different geographical location, you can maintain a friendship, because she is as near as your phone or computer.

Because you want to still be a part of her life, keep her updated on what is going on in your life and ask her to do the same. That is the way long-distance relationships are maintained, and some of them have been known to last a lifetime.

Teen’s friends too expensive

Dear Abby: I am a single mother of a 12-year-old boy. Three or four of his friends are constantly over at our house, and I feel obligated to feed or entertain them. Their parents don’t send money for their meals and often don’t even call to check on them, so they are left spending the night here.

I don’t mind the boys staying with us, but I don’t think I should be expected to pay for their food and fun or feel guilty if my son and I eat and they don’t. Any suggestions?

– Single Mom in the South

Dear Single Mom: Call the boys’ parents and have a friendly chat with them. I agree that the current situation isn’t fair to you, and because the boys are at your home so often, their parents should be chipping in. Alternatively, start sending the boys home at dinner time.