By Anne E. Johnson -
Lara’s best friend Sandy always came over after school. They would have snacks and talk and play. One day Sandy just sat quietly on the couch, looking sad.
“What’s wrong?” Lara said. “Don’t you want an apple?”
“I’m not hungry,” Sandy said. “I’m sad about my birthday party.”
“But a party should make you happy,” said Lara. “We’re all coming to your party next Saturday. You’ll get lots of presents. And I bet your mom will make a cake.”
Sandy frowned. “Mom says I can’t have a birthday party. John is sick again.”
John was Sandy’s little brother. He was often sick. Sometimes he even had to go stay in the hospital.
Sandy started crying. “I want a birthday party.”
“Don’t be sad, Sandy,” Lara said, trying to cheer her up. “Come on, let’s find something to do.” They sat together on the couch and watched Sandy’s favorite cartoon. Although she stopped crying and had an apple, she still looked sad. They played a board game, and Lara let Sandy win. But she still looked sad.
After Sandy went home, Lara thought about her friend. She kept thinking about her during dinner. She was still thinking about her when she got into bed. Sandy couldn’t sleep. Wearing her teddy bear PJ’s, she walked into the den. Her dad was reading a book.
“Hi, honey,” said Dad. “Why aren’t you in bed?”
She sat down on the plush carpet and picked at it. “My friend Sandy is sad,” said Lara. “She can’t have a birthday party because her brother is sick.”
“That’s too bad,” said Dad. “It’s hard when someone is sick all the time.”
“I wish I could make him get better.”