I was 17 and looking for a little bit of privacy to go squeeze the mountainous pimple that had suddenly erupted on my chin when I met her.

She was 15 and beautiful. She had long flowing blonde hair and eyes that sparkled with wisdom that belied her youthful appearance. She was sitting on the edge of the white porcelain sink in a small school bathroom, sobbing. Her nose was red and she looked heart broken.

My plan to plunder my pimple in privacy evaporated with one look at her saddened face. I briefly thought about backing out quietly and going to find another washroom, one that wasn't filled with weeping teen girls but she looked up at me and caught my eyes with her tear filled gaze.

I don't know why, but she beckoned to me. I introduced myself and asked if she was all right. I struggled to find the appropriate words to comfort her but in the end I floundered with inarticulate stammering.

I did the only thing I knew to do, something completely out of character for my reserved and bashful teenaged nature. I hugged her. And in those fleeting seconds we became fast friends, sharing the pain of rejection and humiliation and a myriad of other painful feelings teenaged girls are burdened with during their hormonal years.

I didn't expect to see her again as I was two grades ahead of her and wandering the halls of thousands of other angst ridden teens, but our paths crossed again the next day. It was meant to be. Soon we were inseparable, seeking one another out during lunch hours and finding solace in the dark corners of the school's drama room.

She didn't mind that I had a raging crush on her older brother, and I didn't mind that she was two years younger than me. We talked. We discussed everything from our parental woes, poetry and our futures that burned brightly before us.

We would go for long walks in the dark hours of the night, talking endlessly about everything and nothing with a great sense of self-importance as we wandered the city streets under the starry nights. Soon she had a car and our world opened up before us, the two of us driving down ribbons of pavement while listening to music pulsing from the speakers.

I went to my first coffee shop with her in the university area, surrounded by poets and musicians, while drinking cappuccinos and Oranginas. We would lose ourselves for hours in the tiny little used bookstores that speckled the district and laugh ourselves silly in the aisles of the music store.

She loved F. Scott Fitzgerald. She gave me my first copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. I gave her an old edition of Alice in Wonderland and a hologram image of the mad hatter's tea party I caught her coveting once in a store. I shared my passion for Henry David Thoreau with her and she rewarded me with an ancient copy of his essay, Walking.

She ignited my imagination and fueled my hunger for the written word by surprising me with books I'd never thought to buy myself. "Here, you'll enjoy this. Trust me," she'd laugh as I looked at her dubiously with my eyebrow arched. William Faulkner's Sanctuary and Knut Hamsun's Growth of the Soil. She was right. She knew me better than I had yet managed to know myself.

We grew older and apart, our nightly walks now limited to midnight pizza sessions at Boston Pizza where she would fill me in on her travels. She was an exotic jewel to my stable of friends, pushing my boundaries and stretching my intelligence.

She'd share her exploits and adventures of travel with me over coffee, while I would wish my life were half as exciting. She would laugh at my wistfulness and tell me not to worry, she knew I would one day see the wonders of the world myself. She would then fall silent and tell me she admired me. My strength of conviction and my complete assurance of what I wanted my future to look like. Hers was like water, she'd tell me, shifting depending on the tide from the moon.

She was the friend I held dearest in my heart and the only person I sought approval from. The day I had to tell her I was pregnant with my first child was the most nervous afternoon of my life. I worried I would break her heart, disappoint her with my choices.

She looked at me, with her long blonde hair pulled back haphazardly and smiled and said I would make an amazing mother. She surprised me days later with a beautiful edition of the Snow Queen and East O' The Sun and West O' The Moon. She smiled when she handed me the books and laughed that I had better make damn sure my baby was well read.

It didn't matter if we saw each other frequently or not, our hearts reconnected instantly the moment we came into contact, no matter the time or distance that had separated us. She was one of those rare once in a lifetime friends. The type that convinces you it is perfectly acceptable to swallow the worm in the tequila bottle and then holds your hair back as you puke it back up in her parent's bathroom.

I didn't get enough time with my friend. She passed away too young, too suddenly while exploring the beauty of Cambodia. She died instantly and in a single heartbeat lives forever changed as her beauty and possibility was extinguished.

I carry her with me in my heart and nuzzle her memory close. She still inspires me to be the writer I dreamed of being and the mother she promised I could be.

Today is her birthday and while she celebrates it in the vast ethereal world, dancing in the wind while holding my son in her arms, I'm sitting on my couch in my cottage, writing for her, to her.

Happy birthday Sam, my sweet Samantha. Thank you for enriching my life so. Thank you for believing in me when I couldn't believe in myself. One day I will have you over in my castle in the sky.

Until then, friend, know that I miss you.