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Do you remember your world when you were a small child Can you picture a single day as a 3rd Grader Better yet, can you picture one as a kindergartener Do you remember your old views and dreams I do. I remember my past so very vividly: the games, the friends, the hopes, the ignorant bliss. I remember playing house with the girl who would be my first love. We would make Witchs Brew in the back and play Olympics in the front. I remember playing twisted games of Ghost in the Graveyard with the rest of the kids on my street.

The rules didnt make sense, ut werent those the funnest games of all I remember thinking that smoking, drinking, swearing, gangs, and guys getting their ears pierced were all bad things. I remember my friends agreeing with me. Things change, though, dont they Whether you want them to or not, they change. As you get older you make little exceptions. Just this once. One more little thing. This is the absolute last thing! , and everyones favorite, Maybe this wont be so bad. It never really stops. Change happens without asking, too. Friends move. You move. Fights occur. People just drift apart.

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People die. Change happens. All of this tends to shape that perfect future you once had. My life changed way more than I ever wanted it to. I have changed. My family has changed. The city I grew up in has changed. But most important, my friends have changed. The girl I played with, the girl I loved, shunned me. We havent spoken in forever. I havent heard from the guy I consider still to be my best friend in over a year. A girl who is like a sister to me is on the verge of becoming a woman. Yet another close friend has had to grow up far too fast, practically supporting his whole family.

The most heart-wrenching change for me came from a girl who used to live near me– one I used to date. In recent years she got in with the wrong crowd. She hurt those who loved her. Later she got into trouble with the law. We now talk frequently on the phone. She is trying to go straight. Shes failing. I was talking to her just a day or two before Thanksgiving. After a while she asked if she could call me back. She told me she was about to make a drug deal for her boyfriend. It wasnt a lie. The actions of and situations with my friends cause a deep hole in my soul, a pain that is never filled.

When a friend ells me shes had a miscarriage, a buddy is so busy with supporting others that he misses the best time of his life, or I can only watch helplessly as a person I care deeply about hurts him- or herself in more ways than they could possibly know, my stomach tightens, my head feels heavy, and my heart breaks. I offer those people my support, love, and prayers. Its the very least I can give them after theyve been so gracious as to be known as my friends. I try to give more. If I hang in there just a little longer, maybe shell pull through! Maybe hell come back! Everything will eventually turn out okay.

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