The first time Stephanie Grav and I met we were in Jr High and I thought she was crazy. I spent the first few times we talked just smiling and nodding because she was just so out there. And then I remember one day telling her about these books I found in the library Dragonsong and Dragonsinger and how they were just so awesome. She told me about her favorite book series, the Nightworld by L. J. Smith, and a friendship was born. Any time we found a new book series, we just had to tell each other about it, and share the books with each other (after we had read them enough to dog ear them of course)
I remember begging my Dad to let me spend the night at Stephanie's house (even though it was technically supposed to be his time to spend with me) and going to see Blade in theaters. I remember talking about Highlander and how cute Methos or Richie were. I remember writing fanfiction, back before we knew what fanfiction was, and writing each other into our stories. Stephanie is the basis for Malena, Sybil, and a whole host of others. I don't think there's a story that I've written that she isn't included in in some shape or form.
After high school I introduced her to hockey and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Now, not only did we talk about books and Buffy, but we also started giggling over hockey players, and waiting outside of the Pond and Disney Ice to meet them. Steph went a little crazy then, got a bit obsessive, and I did what I could to try to calm her down, but once she got going on something, she didn't stop, so all I could do was hang on and go along for the ride.
And what a ride it was.
Unfortunately, that ride ended tonight. Three weeks ago Stephanie had a stroke, something I thought she was going to get over, because she was doing so well when I saw her last. However due to complications, she passed away tonight at the age of 27, just a few weeks shy of her birthday, and suddenly the world seems a little less bright, and a little less crazy.
I will miss you so much Steph. I will miss you forcing books on me that I will never read but always smile and accepted because they were from you. I will miss you sending your texts to me at midnight about Sons of Anarchy or about how the Ducks where doing in this game even though you knew I had switched allegiances to the Kings five years ago. I'll miss hanging out at Bella Terra and Barnes and Noble. Running around Disneyland. I'll miss your smile, your laugh.
Rest in peace friend, and don't cause too much trouble upstairs before I get there, okay?