Hair in her eyes, glasses perched on the end of her nose, ill-fitting clothes and a perpetual smile, appearance doesn't seem to matter to Allie, who long ago decided she was going to be an author--not a writer, an author. She walks down the street today with her nose in a book and I wonder how she walks and reads without running into a tree or falling over the cracks in the sidewalk. When I tell her that later, she giggles and tells me it has happened before.
I see her sitting in class, alone, reading whatever book she is reading at the moment. She was on a steady diet of R. L. Stine when I first met her as a seventh grader. I was bound and determined to get her to read something else. Allie was just as bound and determined to read what she wanted, no matter what I, or anyone else, had to say about it. Today, she still loves her teenage horror novels or once in awhile a love story, but you still aren't going to get her to read anything but what she wants.
When I happen upon her at lunch, it is often with a notebook and pen in hand. Not a diary keeper, she is constantly scribbling in them, usually another chapter in another novel she is writing. I wish I was as prolific as she. Constantly on the lookout for new readers for her work, she needs fresh eyes to appreciate and marvel at what she has written.
One day, I imagine, she will finally publish her first novel. She will still have her bangs hanging in her eyes. She'll still have to push her glasses up from the end of her nose. Clothes still won't mean a thing to her. She will tell the world that all she ever wanted in life was to be an author. She will go on and on about all the writing and reading she did to prepare for the day her first book was published.
And I will be proud to say, I knew her along the way.