Her name was Rosanna.
Her hair was always perfect and shiny and she was the first person I ever knew with an electric pencil sharpener.
In the seventh grade she typed all of her reports and showed them to me before she handed them in. She ran the 110 yard dash in about 10 seconds and she was beautiful, thin and Italian.
Her birthday is today.
Because my birthday is on the 28th of this month, Rosanna and I were placed (as with California law) in the class below where we should have been placed. We were both smart, so we excelled in class, even more so because we were older.
She and I played the clarinet, but she was first chair and I was about fourth chair.
Her beauty was second to her stunning personality. In all of the terrible, horrible childhood stages from middle school to high school - she was never mean to me. She had a decency in her that lived deep inside her heart. One that was rare then, one that belonged in angel.
Still, I have spent my life chasing the Rosanna's of the world. Just a little bit prettier; just a smidgen smarter; just a tad faster than me.
It has been my grief and a bit of my motivation.
Happy Birthday, Rosanna.
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