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Not Even Friends This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Recently, a 19-year-old Congers girl named Melissa died in a car accident. Her passenger came out in perfect condition, and the 79-year-old woman who collided with her is okay also. Why her? I strongly believe in fate and I don't know exactly why her "time was up." When I think of Melissa, I also think of how our family friend, Gayle, was her best friend. I knew her. Does it make any rational sense for me to be freaked out? I met her two years ago, and at that time, who knew that two years later she would die in a car crash? Why did she die, and her passenger didn't even suffer a scratch? Why do things get so complicated?

It's like the story my mom tells me about when I was a baby. She and her friend, Marsha, decided to take me and Marsha's baby for a walk in the Brooklyn Heights park. They stopped at a store - my mom had to buy more baby wipes. Marsha said, "Oh, don't worry. I'll watch Lauren while you go in. Go ahead." Mom looked at me sleeping in my carriage and said, "No, it's all right. She might wake up and won't see me; she'll start to cry. I'd better take her. I'll only be a minute."

In that minute, Mom took me into the store and was walking down the aisle when she heard the most ear-piercing cry and shattering glass. She ran outside, only to see Marsha screaming fiercely at the sight of her baby. A car had jumped the curb at 45 m.p.h. and hit her baby's carriage, killing her baby.

Mom tells me that hours passed as she sat with Marsha, calling the police, an ambulance and her husband for her. When my dad came to pick up my mom, she says that no one can imagine how she was feeling leaving with her living baby, while Marsha was planning for a funeral. What if she'd left me?

Fate is so scary sometimes, especially when it hits home - hard. That 19-year-old girl from Congers stays with me; and I wasn't really friends with her - at all. 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.






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