I remember vividly the days Merry Anne would dash across the dirt roads, her brown curls bouncing, as she scurried away from those chasing her. She would glance behind her every now and then to see those who were close behind. The morning sun reflected in her green eyes and a smile was always spread widely across her little pink lips.
I was never swift enough to even brush the hem of her dress on those hot, spring days the school children would play tag. I am not sure anyone was capable of such a task, no one but Roger Scott, that is. But even this did not diminish the grin on Merry Anne's face.
I suppose one could say this is how Merry Anne received her nickname. She never grew weary of smiling, she was never in despair, never in sorrow. Perhaps it is for these exact reasons that everyone desired to be her friend. She always treated you in the way you would want to be treated. She was always kind, and never greedy.
Never in my life have I known anyone more perfect than Merry Anne.
I watched her grow old as well. I recall sitting crouched in the corner on the evening of the Spring Time dance several years later watching as a love with a very familiar Roger Scott began to bloom. He slid his hands down to her hips as she swayed them back and forth to the gentle beat of the music. A bold shade of red colored her cheeks.
I found myself hovering above this romance until the day they wed. She was stunningly beautiful in her white gown that cascaded to the floor as she stepped down the isle on the arm of her beloved father. I knew that with such a sincerity in their love, their marriage would prove to be very wonderful and prosperous.
That same red blush stained her cheeks for numerous years to come, even though that smooth, young skin became wrinkled and aged. She and Roger still thoroughly enjoyed their long walks on the beach and there picnics in the park. And of course, Roger and all her old friends from the school days still called her Merry Anne. They had known her to be no one else, the way that smile never faded, but only shined.
It was not until a bitter cold day in late autumn when that smile vanished.
Leaves fell from the trees as we walked across the damp grass. She wrapped her black overcoat tighter around her shoulders as a soft breeze tugged on the strands of her white hair. Kneeling down, she placed her bouquet of flowers beside the gravestone. Her fingers caressed smoothly along the grey rock as a tear rolled down her cheek. She lifted her little, round glasses and dabbed her eyes with the handkerchief from the pocket of her jacket.
I knew her lifelong happiness was gone forever. I can see it now, a gravestone beside Roger's with her name, Anne Lidia Conner Scott, imprinted across it. Of course no one sees this mentality I am inventing. No one sees, know one recognizes who I am, who I once was.
I was Merry Anne.