The Boys.

I must be getting old.

In the past two days, two boys have been on my mind. Both of them are on their way to the LDS mission field, one to Argentina the other to South Carolina. At some time in my 19 years of life, both have been my best friends. 

Stephen. Steph-an. Muntch. Let’s start with his brother. When I was 15, I decided I would learn the art of dance. I was determined to overcome my clumsy, foot smashing ways so I wouldn’t be embarrassed when I went to prom. At this point, I was both shy and socially inept. For three long weeks I joined the Social Dance Club. Let me tell you, there’s nothing social about it. Socially awkward, maybe. I danced with guys that didn’t know how to lead, guys who couldn’t figure out where to put their hands, and worst of all guys who smelled like ranch dressing. After two weeks, I was I still couldn’t move my feet in a coordinated fashion, and I smelled like old salad.

Enter Peter. One day, an adorable blond boy waltzes up to me and seeing my dancing woes, tries to teach me to do a simple step. After a while, he gives up. I quit the social dance club soon after. Sorry if you were waiting for a dramatic ending where we eloped to Paris.

Fast forward one year. I walk into the AP English, still socially inept but not bashful. I think life would have been easier if I had stayed shy. It would have saved from many awkward conversations. There’s a kid in the middle of the class, and I instinctively know that he’s Peter’s brother. I sit down next to him, and scare him half to death because I don’t know how to shut up. I don’t remember the exact conversation, but he probably said one word for every 1000 that I said. Poor guy. Maybe it was because he listened to every annoying thing I said, or maybe it was because I couldn’t his his toehead, but that day I decided we were going to be friends. And thus starts the slightly dysfunctional relationship of Allee and Stephen. It goes something like this:

Allee bugs Stephen.
Allee taunts Stephen.
Stephen smirks
Allee won’t stop talking
Stephen complains
Allee buys Stephen some cookies.

I already had a job that year saving lives at the good ‘ole Gene Fullmer, but for some reason Stephen, who worked at West Jordan Middle School as a swim teacher/lifeguard got to talking about his job, and I decided, for some insane reason, I needed another job. I met Stephen September of my junior year of high school, and by the end of October I was working at the middle school. As it turns out, that decision defined me for a few years, but that’s a story for another day.

Duct Tape DOES fix everything

That year, especially that summer, Stephen became my go-to guy. Of course, that naturally happens when you spend six hours a day together. We taught lessons together, I tried to get the kids to love me more than him (usually they picked him), and we bonded over gummy snacks, cookies, and water aerobics. I still drove him crazy, but somehow it all balanced out. He was the only guy that I would ever talk to about other guys, and he would tell me straight out what was annoying about girls.

There are so many things I could say, and so many stories I could tell, but I try not to be a boring blogger. When college hit, Stephen and I grew apart a little. At first I was hurt, but realized quickly that it’s impossible for everybody we meet to stay in our lives. Most people just stay long enough to leave a hand print on our hearts. I wish I could be in Salt Lake for his farewell, but some things don’t happen. He came to Logan a few weeks ago. We had a grand time eating Aggie Ice Cream and singing Billy Gilman at the top of our lungs. Oh, and we kind of ripped his pants. Pray that the Argentinian people don’t mind.

I stole this. 
I’m the strangled one. He’s the shocked one.

I don’t have as much to say about this one, not because I don’t care, but because I don’t know. This is my of favorite people in the entire world. Tyson. Being three months apart, he was the only cousin my age. We were born to be best friends. Even though I was older, he was always smarter than me. He had better hand writing. He was better at Pokemon blue. I remember the day he moved to Illinois when we were in 5th grade. I was probably the saddest 10 year-old you’ve ever seen. Even though he lived half way across the country, we would exchange these goofy emails with way too many emoticons. By the time he moved back, I was in super-awkward stage, and he was cool. Still is. I don’t know what happened except that for every cool point he got, I got an awkward one. Once we hit high school, we stopped talking, even when we saw each other. At his farewell Sunday, I gave him a hug, walked out the door, and instantly regretted the past few years.  I still hold a little hope that someday we’ll be friends again. I didn’t realize how much he’d grown up until I was listening to his farewell talk. Those West Virginians don’t know what they’re in for.

I’m proud of these boys. I hope to be as good as them someday.

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