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January 31, 2011
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I knew you were special. I was three, I was ignorant, and I was immature. But I knew you were special.
As we grew, we talked more. We played more. We loved more. And though there were plenty of other children in our classroom, in our school, in our city… I would choose you above all others. You seemed to understand me, even if we were only in third grade.
In the sixth grade, girls started getting weird. They wore make up. They did their hair. Looks were so important and everyone was so superficial, but you never changed. You still wore you curly brown hair in a messy ponytail, still had your gleaming glasses, and still maintained that pure, innocent look you'd always held. You didn't care about the looks people gave you, nor did listen to the teasing voices of insecure little girls. You were true to yourself.
This gave me reason to love you more.
In the eighth grade, I became worried. You seemed distant. You'd always lived in a world of your own. I could feel it. Whenever we were in class, you'd stare off into space. I always wondered what you were thinking, even in elementary school. You seem to be so calm, so relaxed. Like an angel. But now, your expression seemed pained and strained. Now more than ever, I wished to know what you thought…
In the tenth grade, you became quiet and reserved, barely answering my questions, never starting conversation. Your style changed. Your clothes got darker. Black was all I would see you in. Like a foreboding little rain cloud.
This isn't you.
I wanted to say something. I wanted to know what was wrong. But I didn't want to push you away. Anything but that…
And so I let it happen. I let you change. I let your clothes lose their saturation, their wonderful colors. I let your mood turn black, like a starless night sky. I let that light in your eyes dim. I let you disintegrate until you seemed to be an emotionless nothing.
I hated myself more than ever. I wanted to know what was plaguing your mind. I wanted to help. But I was selfish, and I couldn’t stand to lose you.
And then that night…that single night that changed everything. It was one in the morning and it was pouring rain. I woke up to a clap of thunder and looked out the window to the gray sky that darkened my room more than the evening sky.
And then I saw you.
You were sitting there on the cold, concrete sidewalk. I could see your body shake with melancholy tremors.
I got out of bed and pulled on some pants and a shirt. My body trembled and my stomach did somersaults. I knew something was wrong.
I didn't bother for a jacket. I just ran outside. I ran to you.
Your hands covered your face, and though it was raining, I could tell you were crying. I sat next to you and pulled you into my arms. I could feel your body quivering with each quiet sob. The rain was beginning to stop and soon became a pleasant drizzle.
And so we sat there. You sniffling and choking on your depression as I held you. Both drenched by the rain. I could tell you were tired as you began to quiet down. I rested my chin on the top of your head.
And in that moment, everything was perfect.
This is what I'd wanted. This is what I'd craved. And I felt that you wanted it too.
You looked up at me with tear-stained eyes. Your hair was plastered to your face and you looked horribly miserable. But I could see it. I could see that beautiful light shining in your eye. I could feel your body relax as though it hadn't done so in years. I felt myself come to tears as we looked at each other. It was like I was seeing you for the first time.
You reached a hand up and wiped away a salty tear from my cheek and buried your face in my neck.
And as we sat there in the rain, the moon the only light illuminating the dark street, I heard you whisper two words that made my life have a purpose again.
"Thank you."

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