Isabelle Riley was not your usual kind of girl. She was wild and fearless and her wardrobe was full of jeans and jumpers. Her favourite color was black and she loved rock music. She didn’t own one single dress or skirt and she hated the color pink. Her room walls held many band and sport posters, and she had a closet just full of all her sports gear. Isabelle Riley wore sneakers and never wore make up. She played guitar and the drums and her favourite food was burgers, the big ones with double the meat. She loved extra salt on her chips and her favourite drink was a chocolate milkshake, double the chocolate.
I was completely in love with Isabelle Riley.
See, the thing with Isabelle Riley was that you had to refer to her as Isabelle Riley. Her full name was her title. Isabelle was a completely different person than Isabelle Riley was. Same with Izzy, Iz or any other nickname people came up with for her. She was just Isabelle Riley, and everyone knew it.
I remember when I first met Isabelle Riley. I was eleven and it was a rainy and extremely cold day. The grass was muddy and the sky was grey and Isabelle Riley was playing soccer in the park across from my house. I could barely see her through the heavy rain but as soon as I saw a pair of black gym shorts moving around and cleats kicking a football, I ran out into the park.
I asked her what she was doing, and she just looked at me and told me she was playing soccer. Then, she asked if I’d like to join. The wind was so fierce and the rain was so heavy and powerful that her question made me burst into laughter.
"You’re crazy!" I told her. "Who are you?"
And she just smiled. But it wasn’t your typical smile. It wasn’t the simple smile that made your eyes crinkle or your teeth show, it was an Isabelle Riley smile. "I’m Isabelle Riley."
Isabelle Riley and I played soccer until 9:30 that night. We swore, and chatted, and cheered, and tackled each other, and kicked the ball at one another, and we lay on the muddy ground and we laughed. We laughed like we had never laughed before. And that was the day I became friends with Isabelle Riley. It was the day my life completely changed.
I had never been closer to anyone than I was with Isabelle Riley. We quickly bonded and spent every minute from then on with each other. We sat next to each other in every class, helped each other cheat in tests, plotted ways to steal the cake in the staffroom, sang extra loud in assemblies, played on the same soccer team, played soccer after school with each other anyway, played guitar together. Everything. And I quickly got to love everything about Isabelle Riley. Her quiet mum and loud father, her older sister that obsessed over fashion and make up and who was the complete opposite to Isabelle Riley. I loved the way that she spoke, how her eyes lit up and her lips curved, and I loved the way her short brown hair always sat untamed and messy. I loved how everything was always an adventure with her, nothing was ever boring with...