I live for spontaneity but I’m not good at making new friends. I’m more likely to return an old postcard than a new phone call and I’m not very good at mailing things anyways. The day I met her she asked me if I wanted to go back to her dorm room and I decided not to make up an excuse this time. We talked about the importance of smiling at strangers and the power of a good hug. We both found big meaning in small moments, hid our sadness with giggle fits and enjoyed crafting and talking nonsense into the late hours of the night. But now, most of my memories of her are ones I’ve created out of stories I was told by those who were with her in a place I’ve never been. When I think of her, I picture her with a pixie hair cut I never saw in clothes of colors I never knew. The story I remember most was of her last morning on earth, and how she spent it drawing a mandala- a symbol of universal balance meant to inspire inner peace. I picture her drawing and meditating into the ascending spiral patterns on the page, and I wonder what clouded her mind so much she couldn’t shake it. I wonder why she couldn’t laugh it off or cry it out. I wonder if she tried. When I’m lost in thought, I think of Katie and the mandala, and I realize that even my darkest hours are incomparable to the lifetime we’ll spend with out her. I wonder if a stranger had smiled at her that day if things could have been different.