Sophia, Age 13, Coquitlam, BC

After running around the lake, I sat down on a white bench. There was a sign, but I didn’t bother to read it, until a little girl ran to me and said, “You’re sitting on a bench that was just painted.”

I stared at her, not knowing what to do. So I looked behind me. The sign said, “Just Painted. DO NOT SIT.” I quickly stood up and looked at my behind. It was marked with white lines and my dark t-shirt was marked with white lines too! I screamed in my head, but forced myself not to let it out.

The little girl was giggling. I shot a fierce look at her, but she didn’t stop giggling.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“I can’t tell you.”


“Because you’re a stranger.”

I sighed. I said, “I’m Rachel. I’m fifteen years old. What is your name, sweetie?”

The girl sighed as if she was a teenager. She said, “I’m Trina. Thirteen.” she scoffed, and then continued, “And don’t call me ‘sweetie.’ That just sounds weird.”

I was shocked by her age and the way she talked to me. A girl, who was half the size I was, was thirteen. Only two years younger!

“Why are you staring at me like that?” Trina asked. I hadn’t realized I was staring at her until I felt that my nose had been wrinkled and my mouth was slightly opened. I quickly made a straight face and looked away from her.

“Run along now. I have some running to do.” I said trying to talk normally.

“I have some running to do too!” Trina said.

Then suddenly, she sat right beside the spot where I sat on the bench! She stayed there for a moment, and then got up. She said, smiling, “I did that so that you wouldn’t feel embarrassed.” I smiled, relieved that Trina wasn’t so bad after all.

So, after that day, we became best friends. More like best sisters. She was the best sister I could ever have. We ran around the lake everyday after I came back from school. I learned a lot more about her and her past.

But the one thing I was so worried about was where she was living. She only had a stuffed toy to keep her company, and she had to sleep on the sidewalks. I felt horrible when she told me that. She showed me her stuffed toy once. Its name was Lilly. She was naïve for a thirteen-year-old. She started acting very childish, since the first time we met.

I invited her over to my house and introduced her to my family. Trina was so polite and had excellent manners. I let her sleep for a night at my house, but she broke down in the middle of the night.

“I miss Mommy!” she cried.

I wanted to laugh so hard, but I held it in and read her some of my favourite books, and it calmed her down. We laughed when there was a funny part and cried when there was a sad part.

The next day, I was walking out onto my front porch to pick up the newspaper for my dad, when in the corner of my eye, I saw a construction sight. There were engineers building a small apartment building. At first, I thought it was just an apartment building moving into my neighbourhood, but I thought about Trina, and how she could find a home in the apartment.

I walked to one of the engineers and asked what they were building.

“A care centre for the homeless.” the engineer replied. “We’re going to provide everything and it’s going to be free.”

I was so relieved that there was going to be a place where Trina could finally sleep comfortably. I ran back home and told Trina about the news and she was even more excited than I was!

The building was finished a couple of months later. Trina and I continued to run together at the park. Then one day, when the building was opened in public, Trina quickly packed up her things  from my home. I helped her, and when we were finally finished, Trina waved good-bye to my family, and I walked her to the care centre. We were practically first in line.

We entered the building and there stood three desks: two on each side and one in the middle. We waited for the first three homeless people to pass the desks.

Soon, we were called to a desk on the right side. The lady at the desk helped Trina choose a room, and Trina chose a room on the second floor.

Trina got her keys, and sprinted upstairs, anxious to know what her new home would look like. As soon as Trina opened her door, we could see the pure white sheets of the bed, a clean washroom, and a big television with a flat-screen computer. We both screamed with delight. Trina ambled to her window and opened he long, silky curtains. To my surprise, I could see my room window on the other side! I could see my bed, my desk, and my closet door! I screamed so loudly with jubilee and told her that we could always see each other every day.

So from that day and on, we kept in touch and still ran around the lake everyday when I came home from school.

It has been almost twelve years since I first met Trina, and I am so proud that I met her because I wouldn’t be this happy without her.

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