I filed quietly into the church. The sounds of quiet sobbing and soft condolences filled my ears. My mother was standing with me as we slowly moved forward in a never-ending line to say good-bye. Black and gray surrounded me in a cloud of heaviness. The church smelled of dying flowers. A cold, lonely feeling came over me. I pulled my sweater tighter around my body as I reluctantly approached the girl I once knew. Alicia was gone, and I stood staring at her open casket.
I began to cry. One tear followed another and another preceded the last. My mother was nearby passing out the Kleenex to my friends and I. My knees finally gave way as I sulked beside the casket. I felt defeated, like the whole world did not make any sense. For a few brief moments, I had found the reason why life was hard. Every feeling and emotion I ever had for her was coming out with ever tear that fell. Angry thoughts shuffled around in my head. "Why did she have to die? Why? Why?" My mother led me gently to my seat. The hardest day of my life had come and would pass with the setting of the sun.
I sat thinking of all of those days Alicia and I spent together after school; she took the time to teach me the game of volleyball. She took pride in her work. Every drill had to be done a certain way. She wouldnt accept anything but the best out of everyone. She was a senior, so everyone respected her. She never failed to make you laugh, even if the tension on the volleyball court was thick enough to cut through with a knife. Alicia and I worked together at Twisty Freeze. She was there when I made my first ice cream cone. We sat and talked about anything that came into our heads. She was a special girl to me. Who would have thought her life could end so soon? Who would have thought that one night, on her way home, the car she was in would steal her life?
I have learned a lot about myself and about life from her death. She taught me to smile, even when it is hard. She gave me the confidence to believe in myself and to try new things. She helped me to realize my potential. I have learned how to move past difficult times in my life, and how to deal with the pain. I have learned to appreciate my own life as a young person, and to make the most of every day, every moment I spend with my family and friends. Alicia is gone now. The grass on her grave has been growing for many years. But her memory in my heart goes on.
I have grown up a great deal since that rainy day in April. Life will never be the same for me. I find myself wishing that she had one more afternoon to play volleyball with me, or one more night to make ice cream cones and chat about life. But those days with her are gone forever, like a wave on a beach or a sunset in the spring. I know I will never forget her; it is hard to let go sometimes. But now my life has meaning because Alicia got her wings.
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