Thank You, Steph This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   I was not the same person Friday morning that I was Thursday night. I will never be that person again. On Friday morning I woke up feeling good. I took a shower and walked into the hall with a towel turban on my head. My mother poked her head up the stairs and told me to call Johanna, that it was very, very, very important. We both laughed wondering what she found so life or death. Unfortunately it was the latter. I remember the whole conversation.

"Hello?"

"Hey Johanna, what is so important?" I asked, a hint of teasing in my voice.

"Steph's dead." That was it, exactly like that. I stumbled through the rest of the conversation in a fog but I remember that part perfectly.

I'm not going to tell you about Stephanie - she was the most outgoing, loving, in one word - coolest - person I ever met. But this is not about who she was or all the things she accomplished in her sixteen years on Earth. This is about my story of coming to terms with my own mortality.

I still have yet to mend my thoughts into a coherent pattern but my priorities and beliefs have undergone dramatic changes that I would like to try to explain. First, I feel that I have never truly appreciated the little things in life. Steph taught me that I should appreciate each day I have been given because I never know which breath could be my last. I have also realized that no matter how terrible things seem, they will always get better. The horror of having a friend die at sixteen is something I hope no one else has to go through. Part of being a teenager is strutting through life with a cocky attitude, doing stupid things that seem like a good idea at the time but we will live to regret. Right? Wrong, some of us do not get a chance to regret the things we have done.

I realize I will not always be living each day to its fullest, but I will try, as I am sure Steph would have had she known how limited her time was. I just wish we all realized that we could be swept away at any time. I learned something that morning, something I will never forget, something that hurt but taught a lesson and all I can say is "Thank you, Steph." c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback