A Lesson Never Learned

Kayla - Norfolk, Virginia
Entered on December 1, 2008

I believe people should never complain.

I remember it as if it were recently. I remember when I use to have a best friend. Her name was Hannah and she lived directly down the street from my house. She and I would have the deepest and most thoughtful conversations. That was until junior high school began. Then I slowly watched a painful transformation. From then on our converations were all vanity and negative. Hannah would constantly complain, “Kayla, just look at my face! It is disgusting! Ugh, my body is so imperfect! My family is not exactly perfect either. Why can I just be like everyone else? I hate everything about myself!” I just wanted to isolate myself from such a pessimist; in my opinion there was nothing wrong with her whatsoever. Secretly, I envied her. Hannah actually had the life I wanted. I just never complained.

As time passed on, nothing changed. After multiple conversations, I would tell Hannah, “Stop complaining girl. You are so much better off than millions of people in the world. And plus no one is perfect.” But my advice just seemed to go through one ear and out the other. The countless conversations lead to the drifting of out friendship.

Even to this very day I replay that life changing moment. I was waiting quietly and patiently on the front steps of my house for my mother to arrive and take me to dance class. Just minutes ago I have texted Hannah. Hannah was on her way home with her family, just coming from Olive Garden. In her text message she promised that she would stop by to see me; we had not seen each other for at least two weeks.

I waited. I waited. I waited. I slightly tilted my head and stared angrily down the street. No sign of Hannah. Little did I know that Hannah would never walk down my street again. After about an hour of patient waiting, my mother finally arrived at my house about an hour late. My mother explained her tardiness to me and said that traffic was extremely backed up; there was a terrible vehicle accident. At my young age I did not have the ability to put two and two together; as a result, the thought of Hannah and her strange absence slipped pass my mind.

After my relaxing dance class, I was bubbly and filled with excitement. My mother pulled the light green vehicle into the drive way. I saw my father outside with my next door neighbor talking. I was so happy to see him that I ran and jumped in his arms. My father tried his best to put on a smile; however, it was not believable and very bland. My father said to me solemnly, “Kayla, I don’t know how to tell you this, but Hannah is in the hospital and she is hurt really badly and is in a coma.” I was in a state of shock. My mood had changed completely. To my surprise I did not shed a single tear. Later that week, I visited Hannah at the hospital and saw that the rest of her family did not even suffer from a scratch in the car accident. Hannah, unfortunately, was the only one injured. Hannah had severe burns all over the surface of her body and face. I could not believe this was Hannah, my best friend; she looked similar to a black skinned monster. Her ears, nose, hair, lips, and baby soft skin were gone. I was devastated and that is where I cried my saltiest tears. Months later, Hannah, my best friend never woke up from the coma and died.

Life, unfortunately, comes with painful lessons. At the age of nine, I learned such a powerful lesson through one of life’s most painful experiences, death. Unfortunately, Hannah never learned this powerful lesson. This lesson would have probably saved her life. You can learn a lesson from this. Not like I did, but through Hannah’s story. Neve complain; anything can be taken away from you in a blink of an eye.