Thank You For Showing Me A Better Life

Sometimes, I have to wonder. What's the point? I mean, what's the point in living? In life? Maybe I'm depressed. That's possible. But really, I want to prove my point. Why would you want to stress yourself by trying to be great when eventually, you know that you're going to die. Some people may say that the point is to make a difference in the world. But really in time, the world will die, the people you made an impact on will die, your friends and family will die, so what's the point? I once scoffed at people who were always smiling, who cried at the smallest things. Who strived to be the best, not understanding why they worked so hard for nothing, just to die after a while.

I would stay quiet and watch in a dazed confusion; wasting away my life and wondering why they stressed themselves so much.

Then I met her. No, I'm not lesbian. I didn't fall in love with her. She was only five and I was fifteen. I was wallowing in self-pity by the park in a tree when she came up to me and smiled. I looked down at her, wondering what she wanted from me. I could tell from her clothes and messy hair that she didn't have much money, if any. She clutched a small stuffed bear with a missing eye and her hair was a mess of light brown hair draped over her shoulders and hung down to the small of her back. It was loose but for two small braids framing either side of her face. Her eyes were large and warm, her cheeks rosy. She had a small nose that turned up ever so slightly at the end. She wore a very dirty gray dress that was too short at the sleeves. It was torn in several places and she wore some very worn out brown sandals where the heels had worn out and the straps threatened to break at any second. I could tell just by looking at her that her life was horrible, and yet, here she was, smiling up at me as though she hadn't a care in the world.

'Hi!' She said cheerfully. I noticed that one of her front teeth had recently fallen out and even as she smiled at me her tongue wandered to the empty space. 'My name is Emily.' She beamed.

'Ana.' I said coldly before turning away and looking towards the horizon.

'That's a pretty name.' She was apparently unfazed by my tone. I sighed, thinking that it would take a while to get rid of her. Now, two years later, I'm so glad she was so persistent. I don't know where I would be it she had left me that day. But she didn't. In fact, she came back to see me every day after that. She would just talk, you know? In that way you would only hear from a child. She didn't go to school, her family didn't have enough money to by her the materials that she would have needed. Her father abandoned them when Emily was thirteen months and her mother was five months pregnant. Her little brother was born premature and fragile. Apparently, they had discovered that he was autistic. But none of this had tainted her outlook on the world. Not once had she thought that the world was cruel. Not once had she doubted whether there was a god, or someone up there looking after us. She still knew to love. She understood why people tried so hard, and when I asked her, she responded in a way far beyond her years.

'They want to be happy. They want to feel good about what they've done. People need to know that they've done something with their lives. They do the best they possibly can so that they can go home feeling proud of themselves. They want to be able to go home with the healthy satisfaction that they had done something. They want to feel that happy, fuzzy feeling and know that they have lived their lives how they want. They want to be happy.' It had taken me fifteen years to get an inkling of what she meant. I'm still figuring it out. It took Emily five years. She had a deeper comprehension of life in just five years than many people have in an entire lifetime.

She changed my outlook on life. I never scoffed at people trying to do something with their lives. Instead, I congratulate them. In fact, I've become one of them. Emily was a very special girl. She was pretty quiet. Preferring looking around and taking things in, understanding them, than talking and ruining the beautiful silence that we both held so dear. She would talk to me about funny things. Like what she thought it would be like when you died. She would never say that she would go to a happy place where the sun never set. Where you became a beautiful angel and bunnies hopped around. Where birdies and kitty cats were abundant. She said that she thought it would be dark. But that it wouldn't be suffocating, but peaceful. She said that there would be no noise, but there would never be total silence. She was more mature than any young girl should ever have to be. She never had time to be a child. Her childhood stripped from her. Yet she wasn't upset. She didn't blame the world. She never cried or said that it wasn't fair. She never screamed of frustration. She was wonderful.

Emily Blayke was hit by a bus nine months after I met her. She didn't make it. I became very close with Emily's mother, who was less than seven years my senior. She was homeless, nearly clothless and loved her little boy more than anything, especially since Emily's death. We helped each other through the first few weeks after the tragedy, crying on each other's shoulders, holding each other into the night. My parents understood. I even had her family over for diner every once in a while and we took in Emily's little brother Tyler as a sponsor child. We give them money, clothes, food, all of the essentials. I felt as though I needed to write this in her memory, today was the two year anniversary of our meeting. I will place this in an envelope on her grave with a red rose, she always loved their beauty and scent.

Thank you for showing me the beauty of life, Emily. You will never be forgotten. Thank you.