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Sula becomes fast friends with Nel and they spend all of their time together.
As a young girl, Sula hears her mother tell her friends that while she loves Sula, she doesn't like her. This devastates her (she never forgets it) and she runs off with Nel. While they're playing in a grassy field, a little boy named Chicken Little finds them, and he and Sula climb a tree together. After helping him down, Sula starts to swing Chicken around by his hands. He slips and ends up in the river, where he drowns. Sula thinks that Shadrack has seen the accident, so she runs to his house, even though she is scared of him. She asks Shadrack if he saw what happened, but he simply says, "Always." Sula doesn't know what to make of this, and she runs off crying.
In 1923, Sula sees her mother, Hannah, killed in a fire, despite Eva's attempt to save her.
When Nel marries Jude, Sula leaves the Bottom. She returns ten years later, having gone to college and traveled. She and Nel pick up right where they left off, but Sula sleeps with Nel's husband (and then leaves him). Nel is so angry that she refuses to talk to Sula for years.
Some time after the affair with Jude, Sula gets involved with Ajax. At first they enjoy an easy, uncomplicated relationship with no strings. But soon Sula starts to feel possessive, and this makes Ajax leave. She eventually blames herself for his departure.
When we next encounter Sula, she is on the verge of death. Nel comes to visit her, but they fail to resolve any of their differences. Just after Nel leaves, Sula dies alone in Eva's bed. Although she doesn't understand Nel's anger, she dies thinking of her best friend.