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I met my best friend, Allen, my seventh grade year; he was the new kid and ended up being seated next to me in both English and Advisory (which was basically homeroom with a different name). It was probably the end of that school year that we started talking on the phone and otherwise being friendly outside of school, and our friendship escalated from there.
We were in classes together for a good three years after having met. In that time period we took part in the junior high and early high school dating scene off and on, and were on the phone so often that my dad figured it had become my personal property. Around the middle of our Sophomore year, however, Allen left to attend military academy. And without being able to see each other every day, we eventually lost contact.
After a couple of months of being out of each other's daily lives, we were no longer on one another's minds - until one night, somewhere around the end of summer vacation in between Sophomore and Junior year, Allen called me. I was so surprised to see his name pop up on my cell phone that I stopped what I was doing to answer, and from somewhere around 7 that night until 7 the next morning we talked. I'm not even kidding. We talked straight through the night, and it just seemed so natural.
From then on I was glued to the phone, and for a while there his family pretty much expected any call after school hours to be from me. We talked about anything and everything. And we were there for each other through everything. He eventually transferred back and the routine continued for (almost) the rest of high school.
On March 19, 2008, Allen killed himself. It was the one day that week that I didn't call him, but when he didn't answer the next day I didn't think anything of it. Not until his girlfriend called me later that night and told me what happened. I was devastated. I had never been so close to anyone in my entire life, at least not someone who wasn't family, and I didn't know how to cope. It messed me up for a long time.
Daniel (Boyfriend) was friends with Allen's brother. He hasn't lived with family since he was young, at least not permanently, and ever since he left his mom's house at about 13 (if I remember correctly) he has sort of hopped houses. One of those houses was Allen's, so he was practically a brother to him. He's the only guy I've been involved with since Allen's death who has completely understood my pain.
Then in March of this year, Daniel's dad died. He had been suffering from lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, the results of being a heavy smoker for most of his life. I only got to meet him once before I learned he was sick, a few months before Daniel and I started dating, and probably only a few times afterward.
The last day I saw him was horrible. He was in his room in a hospital-style bed. He couldn't talk, could hardly move. We all stood around the bed and talked to him, and Daniel held his hand and had him feel my stomach. He told him that, should we have a boy, we were naming our baby after him. And though Daniel has an older brother named after his dad, everyone thought it was perfect.
And we're having a boy. That's why, Come October, will be naming our baby Mark Allen.
And while we originally wanted a name that would be much less common and much more original, I don't think we could have come up with anything better.