They're acting like she's dead. Or worse, like she never even existed. They took her name off the school roll, and her parents act like they never had a daughter. We're supposed to just move on. But I haven't, and I know I'm not the only one.
My parents tell me to stop blaming myself, that it isn't my fault. But it is. I was babysitting Katie at the last minute, and Emily didn't want to go without me. I told her to go anyway, I didn't mind if I was left out, I wanted her to have some fun without worrying about me for once. She said she had a bad feeling, like something awful was going to happen. I laughed and said, "what's the worst that could happen?" I didn't know.
She set off to see the shooting stars at the Hill. Of course, that's just what we called them. They could be meteors, or comets, or anything. All we knew about them was that they defied logic. People had spent months figuring out patterns of when they should appear, only to be stupefied when future sighting didn't fit the pattern. Us kids didn't mind. It meant we could go out at night, every night, and there would always be a chance of seeing them. But Emily and I never seen them before had we? The only two people in Ariel Falls who hadn't. At least she got to see them once. Now along with Emily, they're pretending the shooting stars never existed. I'm just unlucky, I suppose. I'd been to the Hill, but the shooting stars never appeared. I was scared to go face all the others there without Emily by my side, so she'd never go without me. People teased us, but I didn't care, and Emily pretended not to. Every now and then someone said something that really hurt her, but she's good at hiding her feeling, so they didn't know. But I could always tell.
Emily had been my best friend for as long as I could remember. She means more to me than anything. I'm trying to go on like everyone wants me to. But I'm scared. What if she blames me? What if she doesn't want to come back? What if I can't find her for years and years? You see, I had made a decision. If no one else is going to find her, I will. No matter how hard it is. No matter how long it takes. I swear it.