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We met when we were sixteen.

You asked me to be your girlfriend in a text and subsequently broke up with me in the same way. I was pretty pissed for a while, but when the anger subsided we struck up a friendship.

You were probably one of the few people that I felt like who could really “get” me, and I could always trust you to have my back. That meant a lot to me. It still does.

I hadn’t talked to you since before the pandemic, and I’m not sure what exactly was going on in your life (apart from posts on social media) but the news of your death shook me to my core.

Whenever we would bump, whether at a bar or in between classes, you would greet me with the warmest smile. You would ask me how I’ve been doing, what I’ve been up to, and most importantly to tell my cat that you said “hi”.

And then you would tell me that I needed to write more. You always said that. You were actually the first person to encourage me to start sharing my poems, and for a while I did. You said that I should try to get published, but I didn’t think I was good enough for that. You were more creative and thoughtful than I could ever be.

I am so grateful to have known you, Josh.

Thank you for everything.

Michaela Shaw is currently the vice president and senior editor of the Her Campus chapter at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Michaela is also a member of Active Minds, Alpha Kappa Delta, the National Society for Leadership and Success, Sociology Club, and Psi Chi. She also volunteers with Hopeful Hearts, a grief support group for children and families. After completing an internship, she will graduate in August with a dual baccalaureate in psychology and sociology and a minor in child and adult advocacy studies. She intends on pursuing a master's degree in social work with a concentration on children, youth, and families. She likes video games, reading, rainy days, vinyl records, Thai food, and spending time with her cat, Ron. 
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