Fahrenheit 451 was a quick summer read. Her English class discussed it on the first day of school. They had talked about how one person had made a difference in the world. She did not believe that one person could do so much damage. The book was fiction as well as the thought. She thought to herself, one battle can't win a war.

Somehow the discussion of Roe versus Wade came up in the small, newly cleaned classroom. Roe versus Wade was brought to the higher courts to be decided. It did not change the United States because it was small, it changed the United States because it was just the opposite.

She fell in love in sixth grade. It sounds like a joke considering the age, but when you're in sixth grade you think of yourself as an adult, like you were going to college in a year. She, a twelve-year-old, clinically depressed student at Potomac Middle School, had loved everything about him. He, a muscular, dirty-blonde, jew froed lacrosse phened also attended the miniature, private school. Cherry, the name her friends called her, had loved him for what seemed forever. Robert loved her best friend, Paula. This was unrequited love.

Cherry had known Paula since first grade. They had been the closest of friends for the soon-to-be six years they had known each other. Paula always took Cherry for granted. Cherry was generous and would "share her toys," while Paula would hoard them. Cherry shared her secret—the crush on Robert—with Paula and Paula returned the favor by "going out" with Robert. One can imagine how Cherry felt; lost, broken, depressed. No one likes to be betrayed, no matter how old one is.

So after a couple of weeks Paula broke up with Robert; she never really liked him. Cherry and Robert began to talk and become better friends; she helped mend the wounds Paula made. They talked on the phone many nights for long hours and told each other secrets that they had never told. Cherry learned that Robert had developed a crush on a pretty girl named Catherine. One can imagine how Cherry felt; miserable, but happy that Robert was comfortable enough to confide with her.

Meanwhile, Cherry's depression was worsening. Her parents never knew, because she never told. It had all started at a summer camp where a counselor had forced intercourse on her. Cherry felt guilty, like she had done something wrong to deserve such a punishment, so she never told. Cherry just thought about it and let the bullet seep deeper into the skin, waiting for it to kill.

Cherry would cut herself at night with a razor she kept in her dresser. She felt that maybe physical pain would dull her mental pain like sports temporarily cures stress. Cherry wore long-sleeved shirts on cold days and sweatbands on hot.

No one noticed the cuts. Cherry felt invisible, but relieved at the same time. She did not want to be caught, she knew that cutting was "bad," even though it made her feel better.

Cherry's depression grew worse when her dog died. The dog had been the only being there to comfort her during times of great sadness. Suicide had never been an option with the dog alive, but now that he was not, Cherry's options dramatically changed. She just wanted out; this life was too much for her.

One night Cherry sat on her bed, staring out the window. Tears fell, she did not know why she was crying. Her right hand moved over her pillow, then under. She felt the steak knife's handle then tightened her grip. She had stolen the knife from the kitchen the night before. Cherry let the knife slide over her arm, right over the major vessel in her left arm. She watched the blood pour like a cut maraschino cherry. Once she was the innocent, pure, 7-up filled glass, now she was the shirley temple diluted with juice.

Suddenly, Robert floated through her head. Why didn't she tell him everything? Why hadn't she told him about her depression, about her crush? He had confided in her, why hadn't she confided in him? Cherry grabbed a couple tissues from the box beside her bed and applied pressure to the newly cut wound. Cherry realized that the cut had not even been deep enough to kill her, just deep enough to scar.

Cherry walked into school the next day with a bandaged arm covered by a sweatshirt. During recess, she pulled Robert off to the side of the lacrosse field. Cherry explained how she had always loved him and how she was sorry she had never told him. He laughed and replied, "Too bad, I don't like you." Cherry swallowed her tears. She would not cry at school, it would be all over when she took the bus home.

The door was a little sticky when Cherry pushed it open and stumbled into her home, soon to be her graveyard. Cherry climbed the stairs and raced to her room. She had had all her furniture since she was in diapers. Her mother called the furniture "Cheryl's baby bunks." Cherry thought, more like life furniture. She would never be able to pick another color of paint for her room, never buy new bed sheets. Everything that seemed so small began to feel so big.

Cherry reached for the knife that was hidden in her pillow case. She was about to begin a suicide letter when the phone rand. It was Robert. He apologized about being so mean to her, he told her that he had no right, and he told her that he loved her. Cherry washed the knife and put it back in the kitchen. She realized that little things can make a difference, many small battles can win a war, and one person can make a huge difference.