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Jess and I met at nursery and became best friends straight away. I liked her curly blonde hair and the way she could make anything funny. We went through everything together. We were almost like sisters, we were inseparable. She was one of the funniest, sociable girls in our year and I was quite shy, but we told each other everything and I knew we would be friends for life.

We would give each other silly makeovers, make up fantasy kingdoms where we were fairy princess who rode on pure white Pegasus ponies, go exploring down in the woods, sleep over each other’s houses nearly every day. She could change a frown into a smile when I felt down, she would understand my problems and help solve them, she was worth more than gold and would give all the love a heart could hold. She was always there for me, and I thought we would never be apart.

One day we were playing in the sea, when Jess got caught in a rip current. She couldn’t swim very well, she just flailed about helplessly. As the current pulled her further out to sea, I stood in the shallow water, frozen to the spot. The lifeguards reached her just as her blonde head sank beneath the waves. They pulled her out of the water, she was conscious but had inhaled a lot of water. They had her taken to the nearest hospital.

I visited her in hospital that evening. She looked absolutely fine, I didn’t understand why she was in hospital. The doctor explained that they needed to observe Jess, in case she was affected by secondary drowning. He reassured me that she would be fine, it was just a precaution.

The next day I got a call from Jess’s mum, telling me that my beautiful, laughing friend Jess had died. I felt numb. I couldn’t even cry, I just staggered downstairs to my mum.

Even now I can’t really believe she is gone. It’s like she got off the bus too early. All I can do is think of the happy times we shared together. In my head, Jess is smiling and shaking her golden curls in the sunshine. That’s how I will always remember her.

We would comfort each other when we were down, when we were ill we would make sure everyone in the class would send a get well card, we were first to sign the plaster when bones were broken,

Then one day Jess wasn’t at school. I was confused, she hadn’t said that she wouldn’t be in. I felt like she had betrayed me, or like she didn’t want to be my friend any more. When I got home my mum told me Jess had been taken into hospital after having bad chest pains. I visited her in hospital that evening, when I saw her in

When I got home my mum told me Jess had been taken into hospital after feeling faint and dizzy, and eventually becoming unconscious. Jess was diabetic and I wondered if it had anything to do with her collapsing.

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