Fifteen year old Jade Hayes barely glanced at the too small, too formal, casket that held Emily Mitchell. Her younger brother, Jackson, was a welcome distraction in her arms. It was rather disturbing that someone so obviously young, sweet, and innocent could die – was dead.
Jade looked back down at the casket of the girl that she didn't really know and her arms tightened involuntarily around Jackson. She moved forward, towards Corporal Mitchell, his wife, and their son.
Dylan Mitchell watched numbly as Officer Hayes daughter tightened her hold on her baby brother. She moved forward and as Officer Hayes shook Dylan's dad's hand, and Mrs. Hayes enfolded his mom in a comforting hug, the girl turned towards him.
"I'm sorry about your little sister." She told him softly. She looked back at her brother, who huddled behind their dad, adding, "I don't know what I'd do if I lost one of my brothers."
He didn't answer just then and she moved away.
As Jade turned away from her grieving peer, she was only barely close enough to hear him whisper, "You'd cry when no one was around and wish that you had been a better sibling."
Even so, she didn't think it was a comment that he had meant for her to hear.
Making sure he could hear her, she offered, "I'll be praying for you and your family."
Corporal Mitchell's son, she'd learned from her father that his name was Dylan, continued to haunt her thoughts over the course of the next few weeks. She wished that there was something she could think of doing for him.
Eventually she voiced the thought to her mother.
"He's coming back to school tomorrow isn't he?" Kayla Hayes asked her daughter.
"So just write him a note or something. You would be surprised at just how much starting the day off knowing that someone cares will brighten the whole day up."
"You want me to actually hand him the note? What if I embarrass him? Or myself?"
"Well, then slip it into his locker or something like that. If you're that concerned, you don't even have to sign your name."
"That's a good idea, Mama! Thank you!"
Jade hopped off the barstool and dashed into her bedroom. She took out a notebook from her desk and stared at the array of ink pens in the desk. She ended up choosing her favorite color – jade. She sat down cross-legged on her bed and stared at the blank piece of notebook paper.
Now she "just" had to decide what to write. She picked up her Bible from her side table and flipped to the New Testament, scanning the book of Matthew. She stopped at chapter two and verse eighteen: "In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not."
That was what the Mitchells were going through, and how they were responding. But Jade instinctively knew that that was not what the bubbly girl in the photographs would want.
Jade carefully copied the verse onto her notebook paper using her best handwriting. Under that, she wrote the reference, and wrote her thought, "Sometimes I watched Emily when I was sitting behind her in church. She was always smiling and laughing. Do you think she would like seeing you like this? I'm still praying for you and your family."
It wasn't what she had set out to write, but still…
Jade didn't sign it. Instead, she drew a simple robe and halo, like angels wore in all of the pictures. Then she folded it in fourths.
And that was exactly how Dylan found it in his locker the next morning. He took it home with him, reading and rereading it.
At first, it had been a wakeup call. The writer of the note was right. This wasn't what his sister would want. She would want happiness: for him, for their parents, and for everyone.
However, by Wednesday afternoon, he was harboring an ever-growing curiosity. Just who had written the note? He knew three things about the writer by studying the note.
It was a girl. What self-respecting guy drew an angel's outfit, using sparkly ink no less?
She went to his school – after all, it had been placed in his locker during school hours.
She sat in the row behind him and his parents in church, and since Baptists religiously sat in the same pew week after week, this was a pretty big clue. It narrowed down his list to two people.
Mary Glenn and Jade Hayes. Mary was a senior, and she hadn't said a handful of words to him in the entire time she had known him – which was his whole life. He'd known Jade for a much shorter period of time, but she still seemed like the more likely candidate.
He began to think on the best way to contact her back. She obviously didn't want to talk face to face, not that he was good at that sort of thing any way, but he wanted to thank her all the same.
Finally it hit him. Just write her back! But how to get it to her? He sat tapping his pencil against his notebook on his desk, puzzling over this problem. Slowly the idea formed.
The girl had admitted that she watched Emily during church, so if he put a letter on the back of Emily's seat, where she could see it, would she get it? He thought so.
Okay, so this is a reposted version of my original story with the same title, just in case you read that. Please review this! I really need the motivation right now! Thank you in advance!:)