She was sitting behind me, wearing a turquoise shirt and matching eye-shadow. I wore jeans rolled up at the cuffs and an old camp t-shirt, no make-up. She said her favorite magazine was Vanity Fair, mine was National Geographic. She could have given Reese Witherspoon a run for her money and I could partner with Jane Goodall nicely. It was the first day of class and this girl was clearly out of mine.

She smiled, I smiled, and we shared perfunctionary hellos, because we had to. Our professor was one of those charismatic types, the kind that makes you laugh because they are. She had us fill out little 3x5 index cards with superlatives and names and things, trade with another classmate, and introduce them to the rest of Introduction to Mass Media, Communications 201, section B. I traded mine with the girl sitting behind me.

Her name was Kelly and I didn't know we'd be friends. It wasn't until later that I found out that she would've said National Geographic if she'd thought of it, but that Vanity Fair was the first thing that came to mind. I also found out that she likes vintage clothes. And when I tell her she looks like Reese Witherspoon she laughs and rolls her eyes and says "Oh. . . " That when she really looks like Reese. She's the only other person I've ever met who actually wants to be an editor (but secretly wants to write), and loves true-blue black and white photography. She loves God, and I know that's kind of a given when I say I'm friends with someone, but she really does. If you didn't know it from the sparkle in her eyes, you might catch it in the middle of a really deep conversation when she nods her head in agreement with something you just said. Something only people who really love God agree about.

Tonight I called her and left an incognito message on her voicemail. She called me back and just laughed for ten seconds. We said we loved each other at the end. And missed each other.

Who would have thought I'd miss a girl who likes Vanity Fair and blue eye-shadow?

December 2005