My sister recently reunited with her college roommate/best friend and this made me think of Alicia, my first close female friend. We met at JMU – she was my marching partner for all four years I was in the band and we hit it off immediately. I had been a part of a “clique” of girls in middle school but by the time high school rolled around, our group had dissolved for various reasons and I was left without a truly close girlfriend. It was so much easier to be friends with the guys, especially considering I had been in classes with the same women more or less since third grade. They were the stereotypical “mean girls” and would only be friends with you if you shunned the people they told you to, so I didn’t even try to relate to them. Alicia never went in for playing games in our friendship — she was a “what you see is what you get” kind of person from day one and she remains one of the most genuine and sweet women I’ve ever met. We keep in touch through Facebook, although we haven’t seen each other since graduation, a rather sad fact which we need to change at some point in the future. I’m so thankful for Alicia’s friendship and for the example of sisterhood she gave me when I met her 21 years ago.