My Little Mermaid
Ariell. Her name was Ariell. I've literally known her since the day I was born, and we were destined to become best friends. Our parents are best friends, Our older sisters and brothers, too. She lived in the neighboring state, about 3 hours away, but that didn't stop us. Our families got together several times a year, and every one of them are an extension of my immediate family. She was burdened with muscular dystrophy, and all of her 21 years were a jumble of hospital visits, surgeries, and new machinery. But she never complained. Not one single time did I hear her utter words of displeasure at her condition. She was the strongest person I have ever know. The most giving. The funniest. The most full of life. I never thought I would have to face a day in this life without her, let alone years. I can't be more glad of the time we had together, but the biggest regret of my entire life--something that I just can't let go of--is that in the last 6 months I saw her, we had begun to grow apart. We were still best friends, but we were both so caught up in college, and God knows what else, that we hadn't shared our lives with each other as much. I kept telling myself that the next time we got together (which was always a few weeks away) I would ask her what was happening, tell her what was going on with me, reminisce of when we were kids, and become closer than we ever had. But I didn't. She slipped away in her sleep, so peacefully, so comfortable, like a certain little mermaid she was named for, gliding through the ocean waves. And there was nothing I could do. Nothing any of us could do. I still talk to her, whispers in the dark filled with clips of my current life. I imagine she is listening, and saving all her witty responses for the day we meet again. Until then, I'm keeping her close. I'm getting a tattoo of The Little Mermaid, one that is simple and elegant, dark and hauntingly beautiful. Just like her. My Ariell. My Little Mermaid.