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A girl I will never forget
It was on the first day of 6th grade at lunch when I first saw her; when I saw Marielle. I immediately knew that something was wrong with her. She was maybe 3 feet tall if not less, her skin was sickly white and she had the body of a three year old.
“What’s wrong with her?” the girl behind me asked me. I didn’t have an answer to give her. I had no idea who this mysterious girl was.
“She has lupus,” I was told by the brunette girl who I was pretty sure I knew from somewhere.
* * *
Sixth grade went by and seventh grade came rolling around. I was ready for a new year of middle school. As I stepped through the doors to the front entrance as no longer a wimpy sixth grader but instead a tough confident seventh grader Marielle was not on my mind. I was set on ruling the school that year and that was the only thing on my mind at that moment. At that place in time I was so caught up in my own ambitions that I couldn’t take time to wave hi to little, adorable, pale Marielle.
Marielle didn’t cross my mind until the second day of seventh grade. I was sitting in my first period social studies class and I saw Marielle walk in accompanied by her mother.
I learned in eighth grade that because of her having lupus and the young age(age 3) that she contracted it that it was hard for her to get around the school. It was especially difficult for her to get up and down the stairs without aide.
It really didn’t faze me that Marielle was in my Social Studies class at that time; after all I did not know her very well then.
* * *
It was June and Mrs. Wright (The favored gym teacher) was putting on a talent show and due to Marielle’s love of music, singing, acting and writing poetry she was definitely going to enter.
Later on Marielle’s love of poetry and music would become one of my friends and my most cherished memories of her.
One day in Social studies we had a substitute. As normal I finished my work early which although not my best work was adequate. I handed in my messy rushed sheet to the apathetic substitute. I had this substitute many times previous to that day and I knew that she didn’t care what we did as long as it wasn’t illegal and didn’t bother her.
Since Charlene was absent from school and Emma was consumed in her own conversation with Eric, I decided to go and talk to Marielle despite knowing that she really didn’t like me that much. I pulled up a chair to Marielle’s desk. Marielle looked up from writing her latest poem to me with her aggravated what I think were mahogany colored eyes.
“What’cha doing?” I asked, now thinking back at what I said I can admit that the sentence and the voice I said it in were both a little obnoxious.
“I’m writing a poem.” I being an extremely nosy person I wanted to know what Marielle was writing the poem about.
“What’s it about?” I asked.
“It’s about liking a boy.”
“Who do you like?” Marielle stared at me for about thirty seconds before answering.
“I don’t like anybody.” I knew she was lying. I knew the boy she liked mainly because most of the girls at our lunch table including me liked him also.
“Can I read it?” I pointed to the poem in Marielle’s purple notebook. Marielle quickly pulled her composition notebook towards her and began to guard the notebook with her short arms.
“No.” Marielle said almost yelling.
I sat there staring at Marielle’s notebook for at least 10 minutes before I said another word to Marielle.
“You write a lot, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I’m working on a story right now.” Marielle’s voice had mellowed out.
“How can you write a story, doesn’t that take a long time?”
“That’s why I write a little everyday.”
That was the last time until the last few weeks before the end of eighth grade that Marielle and I would have a decent conversation.
* * *
Eighth grade passed. It was already June and by then I had come to consider Marielle a friend. Marielle was getting sicker so she was coming to school less and less but this particular day Marielle was there. My science teacher was telling us our grades for the final project. Marielle as normal being the smart overachiever she was managed to get an A. My group didn’t do as well; actually my group did horrible; we only got a 69.
Since it was the third to last day of school everybody was still in the yearbook signing craze.
“Marielle can you sign my yearbook?” I asked as Marielle finished signing Dillon’s yearbook.
“Sure,” Marielle gently took my yearbook from my hands and with her little hands she wrote messily in my yearbook:
Omg! Can’t wait to be with you in high school. You are so funny and you make me laugh a lot. Remember not to get stuck with Dillon in a science group, get stuck with me. LOL, can’t wait, till high school.
Unfortunately what Marielle wrote in my yearbook about seeing each other in high school and being in science together would never happen. Marielle would never make it to high school.
The last time I saw Marielle was at eighth grade graduation. After exiting the gymnasium the way we had rehearsed the last week of school I walked slowly down the hallway carefully so I did not trip in my two-inch heels.
I spot Marielle’s little body slowly (although quicker than her normal speed) making her way down the hallway.
“For someone with such small feet you walk fast.” I said calling after Marielle.
“No I don’t.” Marielle joked.
“Marielle, Juanica.” I heard a loud, energetic, familiar voice call after Marielle and I. I turn around to see my good friend Lisa.
“We graduated,” Lisa yelled while Marielle, her and I skipped down the moderately crowded hallway.
“We’re 9th graders,” I said.
After graduation day I didn’t get to see Marielle in person again; not even at her funeral did I get to talk to her face to face.
During the summer after 8th grade Marielle and I still talked. I was even one of the few people who knew about the bone marrow transplant she was going to undergo at the beginning of August.
On the day that Marielle was scheduled to have her bone marrow transplant I called and wished her good luck. When I called her that day I was unaware that those would be the last words I would ever say to her while she was alive.
On November 3, 2008 I came home from hanging out at the park with my friends. I went on facebook like I do everyday and saw a status message that read: R.I.P Marielle you will be missed.
Then I saw one of my friend’s notes saying that Marielle died. I still couldn’t accept that Marielle was dead. I called one of Marielle’s best friends who confirmed that in fact Marielle had died that day. Once I heard the words ‘ Marielle’s dead’ I froze up and became void of any emotion. I felt absolutely nothing, I thought absolutely nothing, and I did absolutely nothing. I just sat in my room in completely numbness unable to do anything. The day Marielle died my world completely crashed.