My special doll is called Anne. To others, she looks beat up and abused. To me, these are the marks of love.

Anne has been everywhere with me. I got her for my sixth birthday, and nine years later, we are still inseparable. I have taken her to school and summer camp and on vacation. She has visited my grandparents' houses, in New York and Florida.

I was often quite sad as a small child, and withdrew into Anne. She became my friend, my confidante, and my secret-keeper. The more I loved her, the more my love for her grew. I tucked her into bed each night and dressed her every morning.

In sixth grade, I discovered my future high school, a boarding school in North Carolina. As soon as I decided to go, I knew Anne would be coming with me. At school, she sits primly on my shelf, staring straight ahead. To all others, Anne appears to be relic of the past, a toy I once played with and keep for sentimental reasons. But Anne and I know the truth. She may be "just a doll", but she is my best friend!