Back in the tail end of my seventh grade year I was walking down the hall to my locker when I saw a girl, hands and knees on the hall floor, was picking up papers, books, clothes, and other miscellaneous things that she had dropped. Attending a small town school you usually know everyone by name, but this girl was a new face, for I did not recognize her. I knelt down and helped the name-less girl pick up her scattered belongings. Since we were both going the same way I helped her carry her load to class, which was the same as mine. I realized then that she was the new girl that always sat towards the back of the classroom, acting invisible to the world. I saw her stuff on the desk beside mine and said, "You can sit by me today", with a smile. The time we had before class I learned that her name was Abby, that she liked four-wheelers, the color blue and that she had a Labrador puppy named Elliot and that her family had just moved her from Colorado, cause her dad found another job after being laid off at his current place of employment. After school I was invited over to her house for some homemade cookies, pop and a bit of television watching. The afternoon passed with a few laughs and small talk as we got to learn more about one another on a personal level.
We continued to hang out with one another after school and occasionally on the weekends. We always ended up sitting next to one another in the cafeteria for lunch. The years went by, we graduated eighth grade and then we were freshies in the 'big' world of High School. We kind of separated over these long yet short four years, making brief contact every once in a while. Finally, three weeks before our high school graduation I got a note in my locker from Abby asking if we could talk. A random act. Was worried that I had done something wrong.
Abby reminded me of the day we had first met. "Did you ever wonder why I was carrying all those things home that day?" she asked. "You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn't want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mother's sleeping pills and I was going to go home and commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So see Ruby, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more. You saved my life."
(This event in my life still sticks with me to this day, and I will never forget it. I felt like I had played a major role in my life at a very young age. So as you can see, a simple gesture can go just as far as to save another's life.)