January 24, 2009
By Brianna Durkin, Naperville, IL

"She's perfect." She says, gazing half lovingly into the crib where I lay. I was born today, but not for the love and joy of birth or for the "Hooray! I have a kid." feeling new mothers get. I was born a replacement. I didn't simply have this ability to be the perfect replacement thrust onto me. I was born with it. I was born to replace that daughter of hers that died a year ago, and I was even named after her. Brianna "Gabriella" , though she mistakingly calls me Gabriella all the time.

Who knew that years later I would play the replacement part again. A replacement to a girl who used to be my friend. Everyone loved her more and everyone wanted to be friends with her. I was her clone, "Chandler's Friend." or "That girl who hangs out with Chandler." All my other friends would only come to me when she wasn't around. I even remember at my own 13th birthday party she got more attention then I did. But when she went home, they all flocked around me.

Soon after, my being a replacement had become like a habit that I had absolutely no control over. Skylar, my first boyfriend, had stolen my heart. He locked it away in his special cage where plenty other hearts had been, but never gave me his heart in return. It still belonged to Her. Away in her cage and never to be mine. My heart would never be mine again, either, because I was replaced.

Now you have the power to continue my streak. You picked up the remains of my lonely forgotten heart that needs replacing, and tucked it near your own, but I am to beaten to care. I leave you and my heart behind. No longer the replacement, but the one who needed to be replaced.

The author's comments:
Don't let pain or suffering from the past affect your future.

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