All the country schools where I grew up, went from K-8th grade. After that the 10-15 students from the graduating class start going to the "big" Jr. High in Tahlequah. Ninth grade is when I met Haley. We had 4th hour Yearbook together and would talk to each other on occasions. She had her friends and I had mine. I'm pretty sure that was the year that my parents considered selling me to the traveling circus because I didn't have the best of friends who weren't the best of influences on me.
The summer before our tenth grade is when we really became friends. I remember being bored that summer and spent a lot of time going through the phone book trying to figure out if So-And-So was the daughter of Mike and Michelle or James and Karla. One day though I discovered Haley had her own phone line. We talked a lot that summer and even had a few sleep overs.
In 10th grade we had lunch together. And in 11th grade we had lunch together. And in 12th grade we had lunch together. I only remember having one more class with her throughout high school (but my memory isn't what it use to be), but before school, at lunch, afterschool, and weekends you would always find us together. Haley was my best friend. Haley and I went to all the home foot ball games and sat down front with our friends to yell for our team. I was the first person to let Haley drive. Being a few months older I got my license first and one weekend we took my mom's car out on the dirt road I lived on. Then I pulled over and told her to drive. I think she had fun that day. The only thing that really irritated me was the fact that she's so much prettier then I am. I almost hated it when boys called me because it wasn't because they liked me. Every single one of them tried to use me to get to her.
Haley and I both started out in college together and tried to take as many classes together as possible, but due to schedules and personal likes and dislikes only managed a couple, but we still had lunch together. Haley started dating Nick that year. He was still in high school but she really liked him and I liked that he didn't use to me to get to her. Throughout the next year and half we drifted like friends do in and out of each others lives. While she was busy getting to know Nick and hanging out with him and his friends I was getting to know new people and hanging out with old friends, but we never lost touch.
In May of 1998 the clothing store I was working at closed it's doors. The owner from the flower shop a couple doors down came and offered me a job just a day after I had taken a job at the dealership. Even though I really wanted to work in the flower shop I new I couldn't quit a job I hadn't even started (or as I really like to think, fate stepped in). The owner of the flower shop respected me for that and asked if I knew anyone who was looking for a job. I immediately thought of Haley. The owner thanked me and left. Haley started working there about a week later.
About a year later I walked down the aisle to marry my Nick (and funny enough we only got confused once when talking on the phone about our Nicks). Haley was my only bride's maid. She was the only one that I considered close enough to stand up for me that day. Not long after the I-Do's I moved across the state and after nine long months Peanut came along too. At first I was really disappointed that no one, not even Haley came all the way out to see me but the weekend of Peanut's first birthday there she and her Nick were.
Our lives have taken us down different paths but one thing remains the same. Haley is my best friend and always will be. A few weeks ago she called me up and told me that after nine years she's finally ready to marry that Nick of hers. The wedding's in October! I can't wait. I, of course, get to stand up with her on her big day.