Strength of the Moon
Elizabeth, Age 11, Monument, CO

"Mom, you're kidding, right?" I asked. "You need to be kidding!"

"Keli, I'm not kidding," Mom said. "It's true."

"You're lying!" I cried. "Don't lie to me!" I ran upstairs and sat on my bed, my mind finally beginning to absorb the shock. The only friend I'd ever had, Kathrenn, was moving from our small North Carolina town to New York City. How could she adjust--and just as important, how could I adjust?

I got to see Kathrenn once that summer. We were at the airport, both in tears right outside security. Finally, a guard came up and told us that, for safety reasons, we needed to move through the security line immediately.

"Keli," Kathrenn whispered quickly, "I'm gonna miss you. I'm gonna miss you like nothing I've ever missed before. But I'm gonna be strong, 'cause I know that's what you're gonna do. Even though I'm not strong."

"Ditto." It was my last word to Kathrenn before she left. The security guard cleared his throat, and Ms. McField pulled her away.

When we where little, Kathrenn and I made up "midnight moon." On New Year's Eve at midnight, we would look at the moon and get this feeling that you don't normally get looking at the moon. We had stopped when we were eight, but for some reason, I wasn't tired until midnight, and at midnight, I somehow felt like I should look at the moon. Suddenly, I felt this warmth rush through me, like when we were little, but even stronger, and I know Kathrenn was looking at the moon, too. And suddenly I knew that no matter how far apart we were, we would never truly lose each other.

Sometimes, destiny tosses out a friendship as strong as the moon.

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