I remember the first day of second grade. I was nervous, as all kids are on the first day of school. I went to class and sat down, relieved that I had a few friends in my class. Then someone caught my eye.
I smiled; she skipped over and said, "Hi, my name is Susie*." I said hi as the teacher called the class to order. She plopped into the desk next to me. The teacher announced that we were going to color that morning, and passed out crayons and pictures. I got a pig. I sat searching through my crayon box for pink, and then I realized that the teacher had given me a pink-less crayon box. I was hysterical. I didn't know what to do. I was about to raise my hand and point out her mistake when Susie whispered, "You don't have a pink? Here, take mine."
From then on we were best friends. We were inseparable through the middle of fourth grade. She didn't show up to school one day, was absent the next day, and the day after that. As the days she was gone grew into weeks, and finally months, I began to get worried. I called her house one day after school to find out where she had been. Her mom answered the phone, sounding very tired. I asked for Susie and her mom said, "Honey, Susie is in the hospital. She's got a brain tumor." At my young age I didn't know what a tumor was, but I was smart and it didn't sound good to me.
I ran to my mom and told her all about it. As my mom explained to me what was wrong with my friend, I grew more and more upset. Cancer! My best friend had cancer! I spent every waking moment from that day on in the hospital by her side. I didn't eat, sleep, or do anything but pray and beg God not to take her.
She went into surgery on December 17th. I was sent home and even then, I didn't move from beside the phone waiting for news. My parents sent me to bed, and I was this close to being asleep when the phone jarred me awake. I heard my mom say, "Hello? Oh my goodness. Is she...? She is? Oh. I'm so sorry. No, I won't tell her unless she's awake." Then I heard a click and my mom turned to my dad and said, "We have to tell her."
I was out of my room in a flash, "Tell me what??"
"Oh honey. Susie is out of surgery."
"Why do you sound so sad?"
"She died, baby. The doctors caught the tumor too late. She didn't make it."
I gasped, "Mommy, she's gone? My best friend? Oh, Mommy!"
I didn't go to her funeral. I went to the viewing, and even that was too much to handle. I won't ever forget how she looked in her coffin. I walked to her coffin, whispered "Goodbye Susie" and fled the room. I sat on the bench outside the funeral home and sobbed until the funeral was over.
I miss her. I miss her so much that sometimes I want to curl up and die just so I can see her again. But I've learned over the years that she'll always be with me. And even though we're far apart, we'll always be together...and it's all because of a little pink crayon.
*Name has been changed