I have known him all of my life. I cant think of a time when he wasnt part of my life. I am a 10-year-old girl and my friend was named Steve. I looked up the word friend in the dictionary, and it stated that a friend is someone of affection that is not a relative. I think that the dictionary is wrong. My friend loved me. He teased me. He carried me on his back. He ran with me. He called me on the phone and ate with me and chased me and tickled me. He gave me presents and I gave him presents, too. I always think of him and he never forgot me. A friend is much more than affection.
I am a runner. I like to run long distances. I practice running almost every day. Most of the time it is for two or three miles. I also win a lot of races. Steve was a runner, too. He ran every morning. He would tease me and say that he was much better. I told him that I would be in the Olympics someday and he would just get to watch. We like to kid around a lot. He would tell me his time running and I would tell him mine. I was always close. Hed better be better than me; he was 6 foot 3, and Im less than 5 feet tall.
Steve lived in Washington, D.C. I stayed with him last winter to run in a Junior Olympic National Race. He and I ate Egg McMuffins about an hour before the race. I was so full I could barely run. My mom about had a heart attack when she found out that we had just eaten. I ran that race the best that I could. It was freezing cold and I just felt terrible. I did not do as well as I wanted to. I did not want to disappoint Steve. I came in eighth place. I cried at the end of the race. Steve came and scooped me up in his arms and told me how proud he was of me. I will never forget how nice it was to have someone love me even when I sort of messed up. We had a plan, though. This year at the race we would eat right and not before the race. We would call each other and practice a lot. He has to be in great shape for his job, and I needed to be that way to get back to the Junior Olympics. He was coming to my race again. I could hardly wait.
Steve was soldier. He loved being a soldier. He told me that it was important for a man to love his country and to be willing to defend it. He lived in a lot of countries. He fought in a lot of wars. He was in Granada, Desert Storm and stuff. He got hurt and they gave him a Purple Heart. He did not do things for a medal. He really did want to do everything so his country could stay free. He told me about how important it is to be free. He said that in a lot of countries there are children who cant go to school and play and do all the things I can do. Steve would call my mom and tell here he was safe where ever he was in the world. My mom would always ask him questions about what kind of things he was doing and stuff. We prayed for him always when he was at war or something like that. I loved him so much.
My friend Steve died in the Pentagon on Sept. 11. I know that he tried to help other people get out of the room he was in and that he fell asleep from the fire. I dont understand how someone could do something so awful to my friend. If they had tried to meet him they would have found a new friend for themselves. He was a kind man. I will run my race this November without him there. Each step I take I will remember him. I will try to do my best, because I know he would be proud of me. Steve will never be far from my heart. I will always love him and miss him and in every race he will be with me.
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