The most beautiful smile I ever saw was the morning of Janelle's graduation. She was finally going to go to school with the big kids. See Janelle was about to turn 6 and will be starting grade 1 in the fall. She was wearing her 'fancy' dress; a beautiful, sea-foam-blue that bellows when you twirl; and her 'good' shoes; black Mary-Jane’s. Those are the ones we save for special occasions. Janelle was my little sister and we always played tea together whenever we found the time. This morning; however, we did not have the time.
The sun was bright that morning so all our windows were opened. The birds sang in harmony and the light wind made the trees dance. I looked at my mom and dad figuring out the schedule for the day. Mom always worries about how the house looks. And that is when sleepy-head walks in, Craig, my older brother, he sleeps in all the time. He should be in university but he dropped out last year. Mom and dad worry about him, but they're trying to keep it to themselves. He walks over and picks up Janelle and twirls her in the air. This makes her giggle. He puts her down and kisser her on the head and goes to make some toasts for breakfast.
As I'm watching everyone doing their own thing, I realize how excited I am to see Janelle so happy. For the last year, she was sad everyday, except when we played tea. Playing tea always made her smile. But today, she's happy. And that makes me smile.
So, after breakfast we all get into the minivan and head off to Janelle's graduation. Janelle is talking none-stop to everyone. You should've seen the classroom. The kindergarten kids had decorated the class themselves and they were so proud of the decorations they had done. Janelle was bringing us from decoration to decoration to point out which ones she made. She introduced us to her friends and her teachers. After 15 to 20 minutes, the parents gathered to talk with other parents, and this is when I decided to go sit down and simply watch everyone. Janelle looked over at me, came over and sat down beside me. I just put my arm around her and kissed her on the head. She took a book out of her school bag and was letting me read some of her favorite stories.
At this time, the teacher started getting everyone's attention; and everyone started making their way to sit down. Mom and dad sat on the other side of Janelle, and Craig came around to sit on this side of her. All of a sudden Janelle jumped up and started screaming at Craig saying that he was 'about to sit on Emily'. My parents looked horrified and Craig turned as white as a ghost. The teacher asked if we were waiting for someone else. My dad and Craig where trying to calm Janelle down, unsuccessfully, and my mother began to explain to the teacher how I died last year in a car accident. Janelle was still yelling at Craig to not 'hurt Emily again like you did last year.' I leaned over, hugged her and gave her a kiss on the head. I told her I was alright and I'll be waiting at home to play tea with her. And I left. I could simply not bear to see the pain on my parents' face or the guilt in my brother's eyes. It wasn't his fault the drunk driver hit us, but he still felt guilty.