it was 8th grade….first period english class. i don’t remember the teacher but i remember it was a woman teacher. i got to class early (my bus was typically early) and was sitting there rereading the story that we had homework on and taylor and leslie came in the room. i don’t remember if they were together or just happened to register in my mind that they came in around the same time. taylor took her seat next to me (assigned seating was awesome….or not). and leslie took her place across from us facing us. so looked at me and asked “alison, what is up with the watering can?” i looked down beside my seat and saw a green plastic watering can right next to my seat. without thinking i looked at her and said, “i’m trying to grow.” (being that i was shorter than most…and still am leslie and taylor busted out laughing and we all got so tickled that we laughed until we cried and the teacher started class and told us to stop it). that day on began a relationship that i was blessed to have known.
i have so many memories of our time together. there are so many that i don’t know how to narrow down my favorites to share. i know that if i were to write them all i would run out of space.
i invited a friend to go to the beach and at the last minute (thursday night) she backed out. friday morning i asked leslie (and her mommy) if she could go with me. they both said yes so that afternoon we piled in the car with my parents and brother and headed to the beach. i feel so sorry for my parents because i don’t think we stopped talking the entire way down. we went to play putt putt but it was too busy so we went next door to a maze. leslie and i took off and will rolled his eyes…we found the middle of the maze and stamped our tickets and found the way out of the maze in great time (but not good enough to get a few tee shirt) then we went to the observation deck and watched will get through the maze. we were up there laughing at how confused he was. leslie was the one that talked him out of the maze because i was laughing too hard at giving him a wrong turn. we stuck the tickets in my purse and went shopping. we went into a kite shop (leslie said it made her happy because of all the bright colors). we bought something because the guy at the desk was cute…and while we were checking out we flirted with him. he flirted back. we said bye and went on our way. we got to the other side of the shopping center and found a pay phone (for people who don’t know what that is…there used to be blue boxes that had a phone with a metal cord attached to them and you would put coins in and dial people and talk inside this little booth type thing. if you got a good phone booth there would be a phone book attached to the booth). when we got to the pay phone leslie went in and got the phone book…looked up the number…put a few coins in and dialed the kite store and asked for the guy (i couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what his name was). when he got on the phone she said hang on and thrust the phone into my hands so i could get his number. i got it. we were so excited…me cause i had this hot guys number and her because she helped me and we danced around the boardwalk with my brother. the next day i repaid the favor and helped her get the number from a guy at the nike store. needless to say those numbers didn’t turn into any relationships…but we had fun and she gave me confidence! on that trip she bought a necklace. it was blue (it had to be blue). she tried on a million of them before i helped her narrow down the one that she got. she wore it a lot and each time i saw it i was reminded of the times at the beach. (like when we danced on the boardwalk, when we had to run 2 miles to not be late meeting my dad for curfew, going to the flea market and buying a star and blue elephant).
another year has passed and today 12-5-12 would be her 29th birthday. we would go out to dinner or talk on the phone if she were still here. we would be laughing at how silly we were and how much fun we had. we would be laughing at our conversations about boys and life in general. it would be a great day.
when she died i asked her mom if i could have two things. i wanted the blue elephant from the flea market and the blue necklace that i helped her pick out on our beach trip. her mom was so wonderful that she said i could have them both. and today i still cherish them.
at our wedding my something blue was that blue necklace that we picked out together. i wrapped it around the stems of my flowers and while i was walking down the aisle with one arm linked with my dad, my other hand was touching the plastic beads…it was like i was holding her hand too.
so today since i am not in charlotte and i can’t take flowers to her…i wear blue and think of leslie and the beautiful person that she would have been….but more importantly the beautiful person that she was and the imprint that she left in my life.
happy birthday beautiful.