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Kayleigh has skin the color of light lattes you’d see all around a coffee shop. She’s a few inches shorter than me, which is still pretty tall considering sometimes I feel like a giant. Her hair is as curly as a black goldendoodle and her eyes are brown like the inside of an M&M. She has a slight baby face and perfect teeth thanks to the braces she sported for about a year or our friendship. She’s so talented at makeup and fashion that I wouldn’t be surprised if she landed a job being a pristine cosmetologist when she’s old enough.
Kayleigh, or Kay for short, and I first met when she drove from her hometown to Agawam to see a concert: a concert I was attending as well. At around that time, people were getting “social media famous”, so of course, the guy performing in the concert started off on YouTube. We both had VIP tickets to meet him that day, and both ended up waiting an hour in the wrong line. The first thing we ever said to each other was her offering a piece of gum to my friend Brandy and me.
“Hey do either of you guys want any gum?’’ she asked politely.
“Yes, definitely,” Brandy and I responded in sync.
We both took the gum gratefully and decided to strike up a conversation with the girls that had been so nice to us thus far.
“So,” I started. The two brought their attention away from their phones and to me. “Who are you guys here to see?” I continued.
“We’re here to meet Jacob Whitesides,” Kay’s friend, Sam, responded.
“So are we!” Brandy and I said enthusiastically. We exchanged a look that said Hey, let’s stick with them.
Kay then spoke up.
“I don’t think we’re in the right line. I asked a few people around and they all have a higher upgrade than us.”
“Should we ask someone where our line us?” Brandy inquired. We all agreed, and found out that we were, in fact, in the wrong spot.
Then, all four of us went to join a line that seemed to go on for miles rather than a small group huddled around a sign. Us four talked up a storm that day, and we found out how much we had in common. All four kept in touch for a bit, but Kay and I haven’t stopped talking since.
After meeting each other for the first time, we exchanged social media and kept in touch. We decided one day that FaceTiming might be easier than texting. After that day, video chatting was our “thing”. It was a nearly daily experience for months on end. During those next months, we saw each other three more times: meeting the same guy that brought us together again at two of his other concerts in North Hampton and New Haven, and she also came over my house for 2 days during the following Christmas break. Distance was always a problem between us, but when those few visits were over, we tried to plan seeing each other as often as possible, which wasn’t often at all because neither of us have cars or a way of transportation to each other.
The next time we saw each other was the following August on the one year anniversary of us meeting for the first time, the 24th. We both decided to snatch some VIP tickets for another artist we both are very fond of, Bea Miller. She was an opening act for Fifth Harmony in Albany, and we both went, in hopes of spending as much possible time together, which ended up being the entire day. After the meet and greet nerves were gone from her, her friend Abby, my friend Maddy, and me, we went to our seats and enjoyed the opening acts. Then, Kay came to where Maddy and I were sitting during the intermission right before the main act.
“Do you guys want to come up to fourth row with me? There’s a seat next to me open and one in the row before for you Maddy.”
Maddy and I gaped at each other and nodded vigorously.
“Okay, so I’ve done this before. So because they’re not actually your seats and you don’t have the tickets for them just walk confidently to the seat and nobody will question it.”
We listened closely and followed through with the plan. It went by flawlessly.
We saw each other again in the following September when we went through the same plan but at another Jacob concert and she got me into second row. Though, the next really memorable event was in March 2016.
“Hey Maya, have you gone to a Pressplay yet?” she asked randomly one day on FaceTime.
“No,” I responded. “Why?”
“They’re holding one in Boston in March? Can you see if you can go?”
“Yes, I’ll definitely ask,” I said, already imagining how it would go.
We counted down the days until we’d see each other. Once the day came, my parents and I got in our car and drove to Boston. Once we got to the hotel the event was being held in, we followed the signs to the ballroom and got my ticket. My parents left to walk around the city a after a little bit of looking, I found Kay. In this particular event’s fanbase, she’s pretty popular because of all the friendships she has with the acts. She’s so friendly with them that we went backstage and then later, on stage. We helped her perform a song in front of about two thousand people by using the cup song as a beat.
Although I deem myself as a pretty confident person, I wouldn’t have as much as I do without Kay. If she wasn’t there, who’d push me to go on a stage in front of thousands, sneak up to a seat at a concert, or ask a stranger if they want a piece of gum?