The sky is gray today. A sudden gust of wind blows my way, and I shiver. The birds' chirps sound solemn, remorseful, bleak. Maybe they know about Natalie. She was alive yesterday. Now she's gone.
I find the tattered photo album Mom had for us, titled "Nadine and Natalie: The Early Years". Polaroids of our first time at the beach, first day of kindergarten, us and our several American Girl dolls posing for a quick pic. A single tear forms in the corner of my eye, and slides down my flushed cheeks. I gently close the book.
Everything was so much more exciting with Natalie. I was never afraid with her. We ventured through elementary school, junior high, and every other childhood experience together. We were partners in crime. Best friends. Sisters. But now I'm in high school. I need her more than anything. But she isn't here.
A bright woode contraption is placed before me. A flower. Vibrantly painted, with vivid detail, every leaf and petal was meticulously created. It's a whirligig. Upon closer inspection, I notice that the name "Lea" is inscribed on the backside. For some odd reason, the simple woodworking brings me great joy. Beauty found when you least expect it.
"It will be okay", I tell myself. "I will be okay." Natalie would've wanted me to be happy. And I am happy.
"Did I ever tell you why I chose 'Nadine' as your name?" Dad asked. "No, why?" I was curious. "Your name means hope, Nadine." "Have hope, you'll be alright."