She’s so pretty. Her laugh just asks you to laugh along. She’s so smart, too. Knows anything, it seems like, that’s worth knowing. She has many strong opinions and rock-solid faith. And when she’s up on that stage, no matter what she’s doing, you can see her passion in everything she does, and her joy just shining out for all to see. She reminds me of a blue star. Why? I don’t know. But maybe because she shines so brightly, that you could not lose your way, even if you tried. And blue? I’m not sure, but it may have something to do with the fact that I just love the color blue, and I love her. But I love orange too, and she is not orange. Perhaps because orange is sort of a wilder color, and though she can be vociferous at times, she is not wild. She is calm when you see her, and smiling, too. I know she does not always smile, and she has worries and problems all her own. But she can hide them under her smooth, calm, unruffled surface with ease, and I am quite envious. Not to say she is not truthful, though. In fact, if you need to hear the truth, you should go to her, because she is one who would tell you the truth if no one else would. Many people would not be beyond twisting the facts so that they sound better, but not her, and her honesty is so refreshing. I used to think that I had a good vocabulary. Not anymore. She would put a dictionary to shame. She knows the right word for any occasion, the phrase that just sums it all up, while I’m still turning the pages of my thesaurus. And she never, ever compromises. Ever. And when I look around me at how selfish and mixed up and upside down this world seems to be, it is encouraging to know that there are those, like her, who won’t back down. I asked her once what she wanted most for her birthday, and she said that it was for her grandparents to be saved. I thought how unselfish she was, kicked myself, and made a metal note to emulate her. Because, really, everyone should. I think of truth and honesty, brains and beauty, and a far, blue star. That is what I think about when I think of Alyssa.