by Hané L., 13

I found myself again one morning when I opened the window and smelled the fresh daisies growing in the background. I ran outside and danced under the sunshine and nothing had felt that warm in a long time. The rays on my skin and the grass beneath my feet; nothing had been that normal in so long. I found myself in the novels I read and the songs I played while riding shotgun. I found myself while walking along the beach and witnessing the sun setting. It was beautiful, and when the sun rose the next day, I found myself while trying to tie my curtains up. I made myself some hot coffee and I thought to myself, “I’m going to be alright.”

Because I found myself pacing at 1 a.m. and we laughed under the stars and I remembered that the world is so much bigger than I am and there is so much more out there than what we have. I found the warmth of living and breathing after all the tragedy. I found myself as the person I was before I realized that bruises weren’t just physical. I found that person I once was. I found the person who still believes that life is good.

– Dedicated to Maria, my best friend.

Red Bank, New Jersey