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The Loss of a Friend
It all started in elementary school—first grade to exact. I was the one girl that everybody hated. I was made fun of constantly, all the time—by everyone because I had coordination issues and couldn’t do simple things like cut along a dotted line. People in my grade made fun of me every single chance they got. People would pass me, older and younger whom I did not know, and just start laughing for no apparent reason. I went home every single day and cried in my parents’ laps for hours. I didn’t understand why so many people wanted to hurt me so much. The year was finally over, and I was happy for once. The next year wasn’t any different; however, third grade was the year that everything changed.
It started out the same as every other year, but then my teacher paired me with Lauren. I was just going to do what I always did which was do the work myself and put her name on it along with mine; but, she stopped me and said she’d split the work with me. She also started making casual conversation with me. I was not used to this type of friendly behavior and told her that no one had ever talked to me like that before and that everyone always made fun of me. “If you want to be cool, laugh at me like everyone else.”
“I don’t want to be cool.”
That was the nicest thing anyone ever said to me.
From that day forward we were inseparable. If we had the chance to get together, we would. We sat together at lunch every single day, and the teacher couldn’t keep us quiet to save her life.
OK, so you’d think that the time we’d spend the most together would be at recess, right? Wrong. Actually, that was the one time we weren’t together at all. See, Lauren was the adventurous type of girl. She used to get on the monkey bars and do all kinds of tricks, and I would watch from the other side of the playground because I was afraid of falling due to my coordination issues.
One day, I was watching her on the monkey bars. She was walking on top of them, and I was just thinking how cool it would be to be able to do what she did. I wished that I could have been that brave. Just then, she lost her footing. She tried to jump as she fell to grab the top of the rails of the monkey bars, but missed. She did a back flip in the air and landed hard on her back.
I figured the fall had hurt, but I hoped that it hadn’t actually hurt her badly. She didn’t move for several seconds, and I became scared. I ran towards her and could hear her crying so I knew that she wasn’t dead, and I was so happy about that.
When I finally reached her, I asked her if she was OK, and she shook her head sideways. I asked what was wrong, and she said that her back was hurting her worse than ever before. I offered to help her up and she screamed, “No, just go get Mrs. Owens, Brittanie!”
I ran as fast as I could and told the teacher what had happened. She ran back with me and took one look at Lauren and told me to go get the nurse immediately. “And tell her we need an ambulance,” she added as I ran off.
When I returned with the nurse, recess had ended, but I refused to leave Lauren. They let me stay because Lauren wanted me to, and I was too worried to leave her side.
An ambulance came and I went to class for the rest of the day. I went home and explained to my parents what had happened. Then, the next day, I sat down in my seat at school and stared at the door all day waiting for Lauren to walk in, but she never did. I went the next day and waited; again, Lauren did not come.
Finally, on the third day, I asked Mrs. Owens when Lauren would be back and if she was alright. She said that Lauren would not be back this year because she broke her back in three places and would be in the hospital for a while. I was really upset that I couldn’t see Lauren anymore and I prayed for her every day.
Two weeks later, my teacher took me aside after school and told me that the school had received a call from Lauren’s parents. I asked how she was doing and Mrs. Owens told me that Lauren had died late the night before. I went home and cried with my parents. There was a ceremony for her the next day at school.
I was really upset, and my grades were slipping even more than usual for most of what was left of the year. I missed my only friend.
The next year things went back to the way they were before Lauren. People were making fun of me again, and Lauren wasn’t there to stop them. By then, I had gotten used to the other kids remarks, and I no longer cried at all. Elementary day were the worst days I have ever had to endure. Luckily, things gradually got better as I reached middle school.