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Dear Alyssa

Dear Alyssa,

The ocean-like walls of my room calm me as I put my feet up and relax. My eyes scan the shades of blue, especially the collage of photos, contrasting and bright. One catches my eye. As I look up to the picture which still hangs on my wall to this day, my mind travels six years back to the days you were still here.

I was always a bit jealous of your extra long, brown hair that you took such pride in. I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to have to lose it, but for the amount of time you had it, it sure was gorgeous. I’m sure that was how we became friends. I gave a comment about how pretty your hair was, and you replied with a compliment for me.

We made such a great team. I remember how at Kid’s Cove, Mr. Kyle always gave us the most fun games to play after church, and told the best stories.
“Who wants to play duck duck goose!”
“My grandpa lives in England, he’s 111 years old. He’s the third oldest man in the world!”
“What do you all want to do today? Let’s take a vote.”
And of course, the one that sticks the most with me.
“We’re going to do a partner exercise today.”

We turned to each other and smiled the way kids do, determination in our big, hopeful eyes. The game was something we’d never heard of, and it was more of an activity. The two of us stood back to back, arms linked tight, sitting “criss cross applesauce.” On the count of three, we had to stand up as fast as we could without letting our arms separate. It was a competition, which pumped us up that much more. Who were the two girls to win the competition…? Us, of course. I don’t think we could have been more ecstatic from winning. We laughed as we watched others struggle with the seemingly simple and effortless activity, taking in so much pride, boosting our confidence, bringing us closer for the first time and building a beautiful memory.

Whenever I think of this memory, it’s always in slow motion, like a victory scene in a movie. I remember seeing you again after a good three or so years, when I moved schools and ended up sitting right by you. I noticed your hair was gone but never made a comment about it. I was worried you wouldn’t remember me, but you told me you couldn’t forget. That made me happy, because I sure didn’t forget about you. I’m so glad we were in that class together. You stuck it out and performed High School Musical and danced and laughed and smiled while fighting cancer. Everyone is so proud of you for that, and I'm so happy you did it, and that I could be there with you. I remember everything. From learning about God in Kid's Cove, to whispering and giggling about boys in Biology. And I always will.

I can’t be selfish and go on and on about how much I miss you, or the feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when someone mentions your name. I want you to know that I'm happy for you, you will never have to feel pain and struggle again. You can dance with the angels, effortlessly. You can lift your arm as high as you’d like while you pirouette without feeling pain in your shoulder or fatigue in your muscles. You are light, free, and happy. I love you Alyssa, and I'll always miss you. Thank you, for everything.

Love,

Millie



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