When I was in kindergarten, first grade, and second and third, there was one girl that I hated more than anyone else. Her name was Hannah, and I remember that because she would make a big deal out of the fact that it was the same backwards and forwards. She was the biggest know-it-all you could ever imagine. She would spell the word “exasperation” at you until you obeyed her command. She was snotty and unkind, and she never had any time for me.
One Friday out of every single month, our school would sell crowns made of star garland, with curled ribbon hanging from the back. I wanted one of these more than anything, but they cost one WHOLE dollar, and my mother refused to give me the money, on the grounds that I wouldn't know what to do with it once I got it home.
Now Hannah got one of these crowns every time they were sold, and I would watch her with extreme jealousy as she walked down to the buses, her golden curls bouncing and mingling with the different colored ribbons. I wanted so much just to BE her, to spell with confidence, to know everything, to wear the beautiful star halo, and to have those luscious curls to mix with the ribbons trailing from the back.
One day I found a discarded star crown on the ground, and I carried it home, keeping it safe in my room. It was my little secret from the world, this small peace of Hannah that I got to copy and have for my self. A while into third grade, or maybe it was fourth, Hannah moved away, and I became the smartest person in class. I didn't have the curls, or the money for a star halo every month, but I still found myself with a joy that was all my own. I don't remember what happened to that star crown that I stowed away, but I wish I could wear it every single day.