"The Brilliance of an Innocent"

Only once in a lifetime do you meet that one person who makes you feel good about yourself every time you see them; someone who seems to radiate a sort of sunshine and innocence to the world; who has everything figured out but doesn't yet have even an inkling of their potential. They will never know how greatly they've affected your life. For me, Emily was that person. When we met, my life shook as though hit by a meteoroid, and although I'd scarcely noticed yet, she had begun to work her magic on me from the very second of the initial impact.

We hardly knew one another in the beginning—a beginning that seems so long ago. As we grew accustomed to one another, she, at the bottom of her heart, I'm sure, realized that her mission here was to use her God-given talent of finding beauty. Meanwhile, I started to find that Emily was a rare catch in a sea of fishy fair-weather friends. Like I've often said, she was an insane ball of energy and never could resist a good time.

My favorite aspect of Emily was that whether she was break dancing on my porch wearing a dog costume or dreaming up crazy ideas for building nests at sleepovers, she could always make a situation brighter and more interesting. In her eyes, a bland situation could always use more color, and at first, it seemed blasphemous to me. Eventually, I grew accustomed to her brilliance.