I read what was written and when I looked up, she was gone. The following day, Christmas, I woke up early and excitedly readied myself, thinking of her. I hurriedly went to flower shop and bought a dozen pink roses, for Demi.

They lived in an exclusive subdivision. Upon reaching their house, I told the guard who I was and that I was looking for Demi. The guard stared at me, sadness and amazement in his eyes and told me to wait as he called the owner of the house. As I looked after him while he was going inside the house, I noticed that the house was brightly lit. A woman soon came out and walked towards me, smiling sadly.

"Hi, I'm Maria, Demi's mother. Please come inside, Joe."

While we were walking towards the mansion, she explained to me why she knew me very well. Demi had always been talking about her friend, Joe. I hardly understood what she was saying. I was busy thinking why Demi's mother was crying while she spoke to me. As we came near the great hall of the house, it dawned on me that there was a wake inside. 'Maybe, a relative passed away,' I thought, but deep in my heart, I was trembling and afraid.

As we entered the hall, where so many people were silently mourning while others were praying and shaking, I asked her mother. "Where is Demi?"

She held my hand and silently, led me to the coffin which was surrounded by flowers; pink roses, nothing but pink roses. No words could explain how I felt when I gazed at the coffin and saw who was lying there. The same beautiful girl I met. A man came beside me. I knew he was Demi's father.

"We are so glad you came, Joe. Demi talked of you all the time. She even asked that her phone be buried with her. She said that in that way, you could still send her messages and you would always be with her."

I couldn't believe what the man was telling me. My mind was in limbo. "But how can this be? We just saw each other yesterday."

"That can't be possible. She passed away three days ago. She had been suffering from a heart disease since she was a child," said her father.

"But..." I couldn't find the words to say.

"She told us not to bother reaching you," her mother said, still in tears, "she said you will come, and here you are."

Pain and bitterness overwhelmed me. I cried silently beside her, staring at her lovely face, memorizing every line of my friend's face; a face I knew I would never forget for as long as I live.

After the internment that afternoon, I went to the chapel she had told me she went to every day. Sitting there praying and crying to God, I held my phone and typed:

"U taught me how 2 care; u taught me how 2 be kind; u showed me how 2 like someone; u showed me how 2 love; but theres 1 thing u didnt teach me & it hurts so much - u didnt teach me how 2 let go. I LOVE YOU"

I sent the message, and though I knew she wouldn't be able to hold her cell phone again, I knew in my heart she would get my message. I never expected a reply, yet as my phone beeped again, I felt a shiver down my spine. The sender's number did not appear on the screen, and tears rolled down my cheeks as I read the message.

"Let go of the hand of the person u love, but dont let go of God's hand. For if u hold on 2 his hand, he may be holding the hand of the person u love and in that way you can hold each other again."

"I will never forget you, Demi and will never let go..." I vowed to her and to myself as I left the church.

Who else cried at the end of this story? *raises hand shamelessly.*