Green is my favorite color now. Growing up, it was always pink, the typical “girly color.” But it’s green now, because green is your favorite color.

Green used to mean spring, and spring meant pollen, and pollen meant allergies so I hated green. But green is my favorite color now because it reminds me of you.

When I think of green, I mean pastel green, not puke green. Pastel green is the perfect color to symbolize you because you’re so soft and vulnerable, and that makes you so beautiful and lovable.

Green means sunshine. It means easy smiles, a kind heart, and the warmest hugs in the world. Can you believe that a fake marriage on Facebook set up by a mutual friend led to all this?

Green means study sessions and cramming material in our heads right before a test in class. It reminds me of our shared fondness of literature. Oscar Wilde is still my favorite.

Green is me telling you every so often, 我爱你 because you went to China and you know what it means now. But I truly mean what I say every single time I say it, because of how important you are in my life.

Green also means loneliness because you’re on the other side of the country and I miss you so much. There is so much physical distance between the two of us, but that doesn’t mean we should disconnect. I’m sorry I haven’t written you more often.

Sometimes you were a dark, forest green but you didn’t want anyone to notice this change in color. You hid your true thoughts and feelings and pain behind this mask of smiles. Behind that pastel green. Despite being friends, I would have known nothing had someone not told me. I’m sorry for not noticing. I promise I’ll be better.

Green to me is how other people feel about seeing fireflies on warm summer nights, or drinking honey lemon tea on a cold winter day. Green is snuggling into a warm bed with a fuzzy blanket and your favorite book. Green is a color I never once never thought about, but it’s now something I can’t live without.

Green is my favorite color because it reminds me of you.

—By Michelle W., 18