I hold the purple polished stone in my hand and take my seat as soon as the other three get their own stones. They showed them off to our classmates. “Look at how big mine is,” they said. “That means I’m the better writer since it’s so big!” I slid my rock back into the lavender drawstring bag it came ink and hid it in my desk. I wasn’t a good writer. Mine was the smallest of them all, and I didn’t like it at all.
We wrote our fourth letter to our pen pals, and I told her about my stone and how I got it. I hadn’t told anyone at the new school about it. I told her I didn’t like it as much anymore. I wondered what she’d think. The new letters came a few weeks later, and she wrote, saying the rock sounded magical. My pen pal loved how I describe everything to her and that maybe the rock has cool powers. Maybe it did.
I lost the lavender bag, but the stone came with me to school every day. We wrote a lot in that class. My teacher said my writing was getting better every time and gave me a small blue notebook. He told me to write any ideas I had down, and maybe one day, I could tell lots of stories. I took the notebook, and set it down in the shelf in my desk, right next to my stone. I loved that little purple stone.
I lost my stone, and I was having trouble in my English class. My English teacher asked me what was happening, and I told her about it. She told me that I could do just fine without it. I tried to believe her, but that little stone was so important to me. I looked for it every single day. It left
I found a new love for science, but I couldn’t get my words out like I used to. I searched every other day for my little writing stone. Instead, I entered the science fair. I got third place.
I used a journal at Sea Camp, writing about our adventures for the three days we were there, learning about the ocean and all that lived in the vast waters. My journal was the one thing that let me gather my thoughts through the days and the place where I wrote my science notes. I still hadn’t found my stone.
My journal was my only friend when I started high school. I got caught up in the swim team and made new friends. Every day I improved my swimming, yet I abandoned my search for that little stone.
My English teacher told me I should join the creative writing club on campus, but I couldn’t. My schedule was packed, and I never had much time to write, unless it was late at night. Writing was something I never thought I could do again.
I met with an old classmate from third grade. I asked him if he remembered the purple stones we got as a prize when we were little, and he said he did, but lost it a long time ago. He thought it was still on the playground back in elementary school.
I found a small white box in my closet, inside a huge brown box, underneath a stack of old notebooks and board games. The box felt like it contained the answer to the universe, the answer to all my high school problems. I pulled the top off, expecting stars to explode out, but instead, I find an old science fair pin, a red, white, and blue paper star, a pressed penny, and a small, purple stone. I smiled. It was the best answer I could possibly find.