Copyright 2011 Melissa Stevens
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For my husband and children, without them and their unyielding support this would never have come to be.
For the girls from the Cafe, you know who you are, I never would have found the courage to do this without you.
It was early June, and I had big plans for my weekend. Today I was going hiking over a new trail with Brandon, my best friend. We'd been friends since kindergarten and I thought of him almost like one of my brothers, only he didn't torment me like they did.
It was Friday, and the day had dawned beautiful and clear. We had planned for a full day trip, letting our families know where we were going to be. I had even packed my lunch the night before so I had one less thing to do before I could leave that morning.
At just after six, the sun and I had both been up for almost an hour, and I was nearly ready. I ran the brush through my hair, smoothing it into the ponytail I was forming in the back of my head. Winding an elastic tie around the tail of hair I had created, I turned and looked out the window, and saw a familiar car pull into a parking space in the lot below me. I picked up the brush and finished brushing out my hair as I watched the tall athletic frame climb out of the car and head around the end of the building. I was packing the last of my things into my backpack when his knock sounded on my front door.