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My Leafless Friend





Hi. My name’s Beverly. I’m twelve years old, and in seventh grade. But that’s not the point. Now that I have your attention, I’m going to get to the point. The point is my hair. My hair is a vibrant orange-crimson color, with a couple of wood-brown strands here and there. Well, it was. Until it fell out.

I wasn’t expecting it-the disease, I mean. It was on a brilliant summer day that all this happened. I was scared to look in the mirror on that day. I didn’t want to see what was there, looking back at me. I wanted to see what wasn’t there. I wanted to see my orange-crimson hair, with its wood-brown strands. It just wasn’t fair. Why should I be doomed to have a disease that only plagues a few? Why should those few be doomed to have this disease? Why did we have to stand out in a crowd, and for the wrong reasons? And most importantly, why couldn’t anyone answer my questions?

What was really eating me up inside was the fact that all I could do was sit around and do, well, nothing. All I could do was hang in there and hope for the best. The most frustrating thing about all of this though, was the fact that I didn’t have anyone I could relate to. I was alone in all of this. Every day, I’d pray to G-d that maybe, just maybe, I’d find someone who I could relate to(not that I wanted someone to be like me just so I’d have a friend, but rather that someone was already out there that I could talk to).



By this time summer was over, and fall had begun. At this point, the seasons were the last thing I cared about. All I cared about was finding a friend. One afternoon I was really bored, and decided to take a walk. I don’t normally take walks. It’s just not my thing. But on that autumn day, I felt like taking a walk and seeing what was going on in the world I hid myself from. At ten o’ clock on a Sunday afternoon, I put on my coat, put a hat over my bald head, and went outside. The air was crisp and pleasant. Just what I’d expect on a typical autumn day. I walked for a couple of minutes, taking in the scenery. But then I stopped. I was suddenly jealous of something I was looking at- an evergreen tree. Who would’ve thought that I’d be jealous of an inanimate object? But I just couldn’t help myself. I was envious of the tree’s beautiful leaves that dangled from its branches. I was jealous that a tree could hold on to its leaves, but I couldn’t hold on to my hair. I was so upset at that tree. It was as if it were secretly mocking me or something. I was getting really annoyed, so I started walking home.



But then I saw something that seemed rather odd. I saw a bald tree. A tree with no leaves to be exact. I stared at this tree for a minute or two. Then I looked at the ground, which I noticed was covered with leaves. I picked up a leaf and examined its orange-crimson coat and dry wood-brown veins going in all different directions through the leaf. Now I understood what had taken place here. The tree lost its leaves, just like I had lost my hair. I knew that this was a gift from G-d. I’d asked for a friend, someone I could relate to. And that’s exactly what I got. Sure my new friend couldn’t talk or do what any other friend could do, but I could relate to this new friend, which was the most important thing for me.



So anyways, my point is that on that day I found a friend. A friend I’d visit every afternoon for years to come. By early spring, my friend got her leaves back. That gave me hope that one day, I’d get mine back too.




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