Grace was five years old. She had brown hair and eyes, small hands, and a smile full of joy and laughter. Her best friend's name was Daniel, and he had black hair, big eyes, and was one of the nicest friends Grace ever had. They went over each other's houses all the time and partnered up in preschool for projects and group activities, until one day, when Grace's father came home with bad news. Her friend Daniel was in the hospital with what her dad said was a scary virus.
Now, Grace didn't immediately get up to go to the hospital to see her best friend. Why? Because she was terrified of hospitals. Needles scared her and doctors made her nervous. This was one of Grace's fears. Her dad told her Daniel would surely love it if she could go see him, as the hospital was allowing guests. Grace didn't respond. She was afraid, and her fear captured her, making her unable to do what her father wanted her to do. Grace hid in her room for the rest of the night.
The next day, Grace woke up as usual and went to school. It wasn't the same. At playtime, she sat at the drawing table and stared at her crayons instead of playing with the other children. She missed having Daniel there. It didn't take long for the teacher to notice she wasn't being herself. The teacher asked Grace to come out into the hallway. When the teacher asked her what was wrong, Grace told her that Daniel was in the hospital, but she was too afraid to go see him. "I'm going to tell you a story," said the teacher.
The pair sat down at a table in the hallway and Grace's teacher started to talk.
"Once upon a time, there was a little girl, and she was deathly afraid of heights. So afraid, that when the carnival came to town and all her friends wanted to go on the Ferris Wheel, she was left out. The day came where her friends were all planning to go to the carnival. Her best friend, Julie, was very sad because if the little girl didn't go, Julie wouldn't have a partner to go on the Ferris Wheel with her. This made the little girl even more sad. Right before her friends left for the carnival, she decided she didn't want her friend to be alone and she went with her to the carnival. When she got there, she was terrified. However, she found the courage to get on the Ferris Wheel with her friend, and she was no longer afraid."
"Why are you telling me this?" asked Grace
"Because Grace," her teacher said, "Sometimes we are afraid of something that prevents us from being there for our friends. By going on that Ferris Wheel, the little girl realized heights weren't so bad. Maybe hospitals aren't as scary as you think."
After school, Grace got home from the bus and ran into her house to find her father.
"Dad! Can we go visit Daniel? Please?"
"What made you change your mind?" her father asked.
"Sometimes we are afraid of something that prevents us from being there for our friends. Maybe the hospital isn't so scary."
Her father laughed and put his coat on. The two got into the car and drove to the hospital.
When they arrived, Grace held onto her father's hand tightly and walked into the hospital cautiously. When they get to Daniel's room, his mother was sitting next to him. "He hasn't woken up all day," she whispered.
"Hi Daniel," Grace whispered to him. She looked up at her father with a sad look on her face, "How sick is he?" she asked.
Daniel's mother responded, "He will be fine in a week or so. He just needs rest and medicine. I'm glad you could come to see him, Grace."
Just then, Daniel's eyes fluttered open. He was elated to see his friend. Daniel, however, wasn't allowed to get out of bed. Grace bravely let her father's hand go and opened her backpack. She had
She brought crayons so they could draw pictures, like they did at play time at school. Daniel's mother and Grace's father excused themselves and went to the cafeteria to get a drink.
Grace looked at the tubes coming out of Daniel's arm and nose. "Does it hurt?" She asked.
"It's just a little uncomfortable," Daniel answered, "But the medicine they give me makes me feel better. Grace looked around the room nervously.
Daniel spoke up, "The hospital isn't scary at all. Everything is very clean and everyone is very nice. And they'll get me home as soon as they can!"
Grace smiled at Daniel and took out her paper. The two started to draw, now that Grace wasn't scared anymore. She was so afraid of hospitals before, but she realized it's just like an extra large nurse's room. The doctors would take care of her friend, and she was there for company. Sometimes, Grace thought, we are afraid of something without knowing what it is. It takes a good friend to help you realize that scary things aren't so bad when you get to know them.