September 29, 2008
By Hayley Overbay, Jonesboro, AR

She’s not just an ordinary girl. Her name is Hannah. She’s my role model, my hero, and one of the best friends I’ve ever had. This is why….

So I’m your average fourteen year old girl. Got the acne, and part of a social life, life’s good, till the day. It was February 8th, 2008. A beautiful Saturday morning, promising to be filled with love, joy, and laughter. But tragedy struck. My grandfather had passed away. I knew it was going to happen, but it never fails to be a shocker. With him gone reality finally set in. Liver cancer, what that meant, what we’d been expecting. All the late night scares, and trips to the hospital. I was numb. How could I live without my “PawPaw?” He was my coach, my mentor, my best friend. He promised he was always going to be there for me. When I learn to drive, graduate high school. Oh how could I possibly go on?
When Hannah found out she was very sympathetic, and told me that if I ever needed anything to call. Well the next few weeks marched on in a machine-like manner, with me never truly there. I was just going through the motions, never daring to let anyone see how confused and lost I really was. The only distraction I had was softball. Of course February happens to be the beginning of softball season so I busied myself with practice and such. It was usual for Hannah to come and pick me up and go practice on a normal day. But this time things were different, she wanted to help me and for some reason, unknown to me I let her in.
She took me under her wing, when no one else knew how to help. I was tired of the sympathy, I wanted to move on, and try to forget what was lost. Hannah wouldn’t let me do it. When I was ready to talk she was there, when I just wanted to cry there was her shoulder, warm and inviting. I don’t know how many nights Hannah and I just sat and talked. She’s the only person I’ve ever felt comfortable enough around to just let it all out.
You see, we supported each other. She was in the middle of a huge transition in her life also. Moving from Marked Tree High School, a 3A school and also where my dad teaches, to Nettleton High School, a 5A school. We met through softball. She was on the rise. A VERY successful softball player, at the age of sixteen, playing all state ball, and competing with the best of the best. However, she got mononucleosis during the high school season, and lost it all. She was there for me when I was at rock bottom, so I was going to be there for her. Things were tough, but the bad brought us together. We have a bond like no other. Even though the age difference, she’s the best friend I’ve ever had. That is why she’s my hero. My inspiration.

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