Kayla's Memory

By , York, AL
It was in Mr. Russell's creative writing class that the memory came back to haunt me. I had finished
the writing assignment and was passing the time watching a small insect continually fly into the
clear plastic covering over the bright fluorescent lights in the classroom. It might have been the
sound of the rain pounding against the window that stirred my thoughts; but, the next thing I knew,
I was transported back to a distant moment in time... I was staring up at the white ceiling. The
cold had not yet faded, and it was the first day of March. My brown hair hung around the middle of
my back, tickling my blue sweater. My ears were buzzing with Mrs. Peterson's voice, discussing
long division. It was a boring day, and I felt so alone. Kristen was not at school that day. I glanced
toward her desk and imagined her sitting there. If she was there I knew she would be mouthing words
to me, sharing inside jokes. Her large green eyes would make the day seem warmer, and her
personality would make me more comfortable. We went together like yin and yang. The board was filled
with black marker; the walls were white as snow. I looked toward the green cubby holes. My jacket
was in the one with my name written at the bottom, and I longed for it. I felt a cold chill run down
my spine as the large door squeaked open. The principle walked in, his khaki pants rubbing together
with every step he took. Behind him, the counselor followed. "Class, may I have your attention..."
Mrs. Peterson looked nervous and swept her blonde hair from her eyes. "Mrs. Moore has an
announcement she needs to make." "As you all know, Kristen was not able to make it to school today..."
Mrs. Moore strayed off, seeming unraveled. "This morning, on her way to school, Kristen was involved
in a car accident. I am sorry to tell you that she did not survive." Everything after that was
muffled. I looked down at the wooden desk. My eyes slowly made their way to a loose thread on my
blue jeans. I just focused on it, too shocked to accept what had been said. I looked around the
thirteen other students and back to Kristen's cold, empty desk. The room felt different and started to
close in on me. I thought of all the great times I had with her and the last time I saw her. My life
with my best friend flashed before me, reminding me of her laugh, her smile, and her odd sense of
humor. Soon I broke down and cried. I felt a hand on my shoulder as someone tried their best to
comfort me. I was too upset to pay attention to who it was. I walked over the gray tile to Kristen's
desk. I knelled down beside the desk and placed my head on the seat. I didn't know what else to do.
The day went by in a continuous blur, and an empty shadow fell over me. I was back in Mr. Russell's
classroom in a flash. Even though my body never left his blue and gray desk, my mind had been far
gone. My eyes were spotted with tears, and my soul had a flood of emotions. I looked around for the
insect that I had been watching earlier. I found it lingering around Mr. Russell's desk. Knowing
that the bug was still there gave me a certain degree of comfort. The bug circled Mr. Russell's
black laptop and made its way up and down a small stack of ungraded papers. I was engrossed in the
insect as it neared the window. I knew what would happen, and soon it became entangled in a spider
web. I wanted to jump up and free it, but that would change the course of nature. Who was I to do
that? The spider slowly approached its prey and wound it up into the web. I knew at that moment that
there was no way to dodge death... Kristen would again be near me one day.





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