It seemed as if one thousand years passed as that thought went through my mind. I felt like I was in a trance. "No." I said. This wasn't happening. It wasn't real. It was just a terrible, horrible nightmare. I pinched myself. I didn't wake up. It was real.

"How?" I said breathlessly. When Aunt Ellen didn't answer, I asked her again, louder this time.

"How?" I shouted

"She was hit by a car." my aunt said.

I did the only thing I could do. I ran.

Out of the office, out of the hallway, out of school. I didn't even stop to take a breath until I reached the scene of the accident. There were cones all around. I spotted a small, light blue backpack in the middle of the scene. It was ripped and covered. with blood. Maya's. I sat down and started to cry.

"Today," the priest said, "We are celebrating the life of Madeleine Jane Bennet."

Such a tiny casket. It was all wrong. No mother should have to go her child's funeral.

People went up and said how wonderful Maya was, and the memories she gave them when she was alive. I wondered why you have to die to have people say nice things about you. It was a nice thing to do, though.