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And I'll always love you.

I remember that the day I turned sixteen I invited a few friends over to my house. For some reason, every girl except my cousin canceled and only the boys showed up.

I wound up sitting in my living room with Candyce, Anthony, Charlie, Rodney, Marc and Allen. I think I was seeing Marc at the time, and Allen was going to the military academy. His eye was blackened and swollen from that fight at Crestwood Park, and it looked absolutely awful. He opted for wearing a bandanna across it in some fashion or another most days that he went out.

I remember that I had a wonderful time, even though all we did was play video games on my living room couch.

The first time my dad ever laid eyes on Allen, he had walked me to my car after school. Dad asked me what I was doing with such a large boy, told me that he looked like he could absolutely crush me, that he looked scary. But after people got to know him, they realized that Allen was one of the sweetest, gentlest boys in the world.

After he broke his leg, my dad would actually go out of his way for me every morning to pick Allen up from his house to save him the hobble to school. I really appreciated that. In reality, my dad is typical - he hates the idea of me dating, he hates the idea of me growing up, but he wasn't stupid. He knew how much Allen meant to me.

I have so much to say about him that I don't know if I'll ever be finished talking. I could write a book on this boy, and maybe someday I'll try. Anyway, I'll just end this with: Thanks for the memories, my forever best friend.

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