My Purple Beads
Author's note: A personal tragedy inspired me to write this piece.
Meet Meaghan.I met her in a detention. I thought nothing good comes from detention, but I start to see now why I needed to be there. I’m sitting at my table, working away, preparing to dig in to a full four hour incarceration. I wear a bracelet on my arm that says “TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS” and right across from me is a girl I know I need to help. I don’t even know her name and I know something is wrong. Just by the way she looks I can tell so much: She drinks, she’s depressed, and her parents don’t care anymore. I don’t know why, but God wanted me to be here. I get nervous thinking about talking to her. I say to myself “What if I completely get shunned and she doesn’t want to hear what I have to say?” But I know that it doesn’t matter. She’ll be stuck in her ways, but when the time comes I’ll know what I have to do.
So I talk to her during the break. I introduce myself and we talked for a little while. Her name was Meaghan and she was 16 years old. She asked what my bracelet meant, and I told her the story of why I came to be involved with the charity. I told her also about my life and what I’ve been through. But she doesn’t want to open up. Oh, well. I’ll keep trying.
After the break was over we went back to the classroom and I sat down next to her. She seemed reluctant at first but after a while she stopped etching away. There was supposed to be no talking during the detention but we ended up passing a note. She started to tell me how her family has been falling apart since her parents got a divorce and her older brother died. I asked her what he died from; she said he was a heroin addict. I never knew that there was this much pent up aggression and emotion in my own school.
I took a look at her friends that were sitting across the room. They looked no better than she did. They all looked like they just rolled out of bed. I could tell that some of these girls were in need of some serious help.
I told them the story of the charity called To Write Love on Her Arms. At first they seemed a bit reprehensive of what I was telling them, but as I started to say what the charity stands for they seemed to unravel at the thought of someone else going through the same things they did, so I went on. I told them of the power of love and healing. The look in their eyes was indescribable.