It was an yellow ribbon, folded around to make a heart-shaped loop. She wore it on a pin, right above her heart. Other kids wore red ribbons, for AIDS , or green ribbons, for environmental awareness. One girl wore a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon. But Zoe wore yellow.
“Is that one of those ‘Support Our Troops’ ribbons?” A boy asked her, passing in the hallway.
“No,” she replied. “No, it’s not.”
She heard many rumors about her ribbon. That it was from her boyfriend, hence the heart. That she was colorblind, and meant to wear the popular AIDS ribbon. But none came close to the truth, and yet no one was willing to just ask. There was a sadness, a sense of pain about Zoe that day that no one wanted to be involved in.
Finally, a girl found the courage to question her. “Why do you wear that ribbon?” she asked.
“It’s a suicide awareness ribbon,” Zoe answered. And then the answer that shocked everyone, shattered whatever they had thought into thousands of tiny pieces, “My sister killed herself last night.”