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She Deserved Life
Of all the people to ever live, she was the best. She was funny but serious. Dumb yet intellectual. And most importantly, she took the time to care about me just like I cared about her...
We met in the usual way: at school. She was in my lit class and had no reason to say hello to me. When I walked in and saw her, I wished that she would, completely out of nowhere, say it anyway. I hoped that she would randomly choose to acknowledge my existence and furthermore our past six years of coexistence. We'd been going to school together since fifth grade when she moved here from Rhode Island. From the very first time she showed up at school she was golden. You would think that after those first few weeks of childish fascination with "the new girl" her stardom would have worn out or at least faded...it didn't. She charmed everyone she met and everyone she didn't.
After about four years of trying to make myself her friend, I quit trying and found my own circle. But that didn't mean that I didn't still carry a small and very top secret ounce of hope around that she would some day talk to me. Once in high school, she redefined cool. I had been thinking since seventh grade that it was impossible to be cooler than her, figures only she could accomplish it. By eleventh grade she had become a legend. She could party all night, come to school hung-over and still charm a passing grade out of each and every one of her teachers. This was the year that I met Miranda Allen.
We went through the first semester the way we always had, I was studying with a subtle smile behind my glasses while she was socializing and absorbing every bit of attention possible. It wasn’t until after we were assigned to be partners that I realized, she did this unintentionally. Her smile could captivate an entire classroom and she didn’t even notice; she was smiling to smile and that’s what she was concentrating on. We were told to do an outline of a biography we were to write on our partner. I was excited to be Miranda’s partner because I already knew her story, or so I thought. Turns out all I knew was that she moved to Illinois from Rhode Island when we were in the fifth grade, her life was crawling with social plans and she was dating a very hot and rebellious 19 year old. Because I couldn’t realistically turn those few pieces of information into an actual biography, we had to do the whole formal interview process that I had so hoped to avoid. We met for coffee at three and stayed until eight; I had a third of my original questions answered and now had a million new questions thought up, but not for the biography, just for me. Miranda was the most interesting, scatter-brained, exciting person I had ever met and I’d known her for years.
We started meeting a few times a week after school to work on our projects and eventually started doing weekends too. Somehow we weren’t accomplishing everything needed during our meetings. Within a week I knew everything about her and she was still a complete mystery, she always would be. My questions for her would go without answers. Where did she go at night? Why did she hang out with the awful people that she did? Most importantly, why did she have to be at the drug deal that night?
We both got C’s on our projects; I did mine but turned it in incomplete because I could never find an appropriate way to put her life together, in print or in my head. She just didn’t take the time to finish mine, why spend time writing something so boring when you can be out living life and enjoying the fast lane? I guess I did always question myself; did she really care about boring scholastic me? Was she just being nice, polite? I will never know, and it will always haunt me.
Great things came from that assignment. I got to know Miranda for who she was, not just who she appeared to be. I also got to know that I was worth knowing. She would spend hours on the phone with me, actively listening to me complain and rant about all of the bothersome aspects of my ordinary life and my amazing family. She barely ever cut me off to talk about herself, she wasn’t using me as a homework helper (as was to be expected), she never even pointed out the ridiculousness of my complaints. I had so much to be grateful for, everything to be happy about; she never pointed that out because she knew it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. We could have deep conversations about life, people, the future, anything. We could start talking about shopping and end up talking about the many job opportunities and general possibility’s that life had in store for each of us. I think that she liked the fact that I didn’t judge her; I never brushed her off as a druggy or an air-head. She was always just Miranda. And whether or not people believed it, she was my friend.
My other friends still refuse to believe that Miranda and I were ever friends, how that could even be possible. She was popular, adventurous and rebellious while I was smart, conservative, and responsible. We were opposites who were exactly what was needed for the other. After a month I considered her my best friend. She knew everything about me and wanted to know more. She wasn’t embarrassed to hang out with me or bored by our lame activities (movies, mall, and conversation). She knew I wasn’t like her, that I wouldn’t drink, do drugs or enjoy partying with people doing all of the above. We had a conversation about it and she was bold enough to promise me she would never put me in that kind of situation, that’s how I knew she cared. She was my friend and I loved her, that’s why a part of me was also destroyed on November 28.
It was a Friday night and I was going to the movies with my friend Luke. I had invited Miranda to join but she had refused saying that “tonight is about you and Luke”. She had planned on us dating and getting married and being my bridesmaid. Luke was just a friend and I wish more than anything that she would have just come with us. While I was watching the latest “best film of the year”, Miranda was getting ready to go to a party with her boyfriend, Scott. When he picked her up, they didn’t go straight to the party; they made a “supply run”. I was watching a bunch of people making fools of themselves while my best friend went on a drug run. Apparently the price had gone up since they’d left the house and Scott was now short on money. Instead of leaving with Miranda and ditching the drugs he stole the drugs and ditched Miranda. He ran even faster when he heard the gunshots.
When Luke and I got out of the movie my parents were there to take me home. I said goodbye to my friend and then followed my parents, to afraid to ask questions. What could be so serious that my parents drove out to the movies to get me instead of waiting until I got home. It took me ten minutes to realize that we weren’t going in the direction of my house and then two more to realize we were going to the hospital. I immediately started crying, thinking it was one of my brothers, then again, why would my parents have been so cool-headed about one of my brothers being hurt? They led me down the hall where I saw something horrifying. My beautiful Miranda, the explosion of life that I loved so much was gone. She didn’t smile when I came in the room. She couldn’t because there were tubes going in her mouth, her nose, her arms…she couldn’t even smile.
Turns out she had just woken up and was getting stronger; the doctors had been able to stop the bleeding temporarily until surgery the next morning. When they came into the waiting room saying my name I was nervous about what they would tell me. What they said was, thankfully, not what I was expecting: she could talk and she was asking for me. We’d only been allowed to talk for a few minutes. She made jokes about my “date” and I laughed along with her. I told her that I loved her but was still mad she hadn’t come along. She said looking back on it she wished she had. The last thing she said to me was thank you, thanks for being my friend. It was a reference to a joke I had made weeks before, but her eyes told me she meant it. She died that night from internal bleeding and couldn’t be helped on time. I loved her and she was just gone.
Of all the people to ever live, she was the best. She was funny but serious. Dumb yet intellectual. And most importantly, she took the time to care about me just like I cared about her...She was Miranda Allen, and she will be forever missed.