24 October 2007

"i'll be smiling on saturday. know that there are others just as excited for you as you are. nothing is better than watching the gospel of jesus christ change lives. i've been able to hear/see the change that you have experienced and i am so impressed. you are doing awesome. the difference is huge. you were always intelligent; you just seemed lost. you are a hard worker that gets what she puts her mind to, now you notice that there is a higher power to help you out. it makes one happy, to know that they aren't alone. even if the world turns its back on them someone is there to bring them home."

i have the most amazing friends. i cannot wait to serve then come home!

17 October 2007

it's funny how memories hit you

today i remembered driver's ed summer school.

i remembered the elation i experienced each time ryan took his seat next to me. i remembered comparing in my mind his doodle covered notes to my clean, crisp pages. summer was tres chaud. chuy's hair matched the heat rising from the asphalt. the best days of that month were the ones when he'd tell my mom to skip his house as a stop because he was coming over to ours. i worked so hard to play it cool, but my heart was on my sleeve and everyone knew it.

ryan and i had a little contest to see who would get the higher grade. we didn't speak of the competition, but all odds suggested i'd come out on top. on one of our tests he got one hundred percent and i missed one: "at what time during a rainstorm is the road most slick?" the options don't matter. i'm sure i'll never forget the correct answer (a few minutes after the storm starts, while oil and water are turning over each other on the asphalt) or ryan's comment, "i'm never driving with you in rain."

i don't think i ever got to drive with him in the rain. but on sunny days his driving lessons were the best. "see jade, you have to stop behind the line." i loved jeeps. he drove a cherokee. and i loved him.

a couple of weeks before the car accident, he showed up at the elder's quorum party at our house and coerced me into swimming with him. we swam for hours in our clothes, mostly oblivious to the army of onlooking adults. he rode his bike home and i walked to his house to watch a movie after changing into a drier outfit.

the tuesday after school started, three days before he died, we went to a shady dairy queen off of alexander. my appetite was always somewhere else when i was around him but i worked hard to choose the ice cream that would appear most attractive. sammi was with us. we laughed and laughed. he forced her to sit in the back so that i could have the front seat.

months after he died i was signed on to aim and his screenname popped up, "chuy869." for a split second my heart jumped like old times and i wondered if i would come up with anything entertaining enough to gain his approval.

one sunday at a fireside he told me i looked really hot. i never ever knew how genuine his comments were. my hair was down and long, my make up was like always. i was wearing my favorite lucky jean skirt and a salmon t-shirt from the polo outlet. i felt plain. the next day sammi told me that when they got home he kept talking about how "hot" i looked. i don't think i wore that outfit again.

freshman year car rides from chs to home were my favorite. sammi and i would laugh from the courtyard to the steps in front of the tennis courts. once we were both sick and coughing so we had loogie spitting contests. we were silly and had so much fun. we'd get into lolly's white car and wait and wait and wait for ryan. usually he would sit in the back with me and lolly would repeat over and over, "ryan, stop touching jade." i wished she would stop.

rat race became my favorite movie when he told me, "you're the best at playing with hair because you'll keep going for hours and hours." but that was only for him. after the movie casey came and picked him up, i went home and dreamed.

all of this went down five and a half years ago. i don't remember it every day. i don't remember it every month. i wonder what i'll reminisce about in five years, when i'm twenty five years old and still putting off real life. i wonder if the memories i'm creating now will be as bittersweet. and a lot i wonder about how ryan thinks i'm doing. i wonder if he hates the decisions i've made, or hates people in my life. i wonder if he's rooting for a certain major, or knows whether or not i'll marry one day. i'm sure he's excited about my mission and i'm sure he's serving his own. i wonder what would have happened to me if he hadn't gone. chris pfau predicted that i'd date chuy for a while then move to kyler bentsen and become unchaste. i wonder.