Today’s Groupon said something about cupcakes. I don’t know why, but as soon as I saw it pop up in my inbox I wanted to call my best friend. Because really, how great would it be to work out all of life’s challenges with your best friend over cupcakes? And that got me thinking about Allison and Emily. So without going on about cupcakes and making you hungry, take a gander at the next character introduction: Allison.
Allison is a sweet girl. Coy and almost meek. On the surface she seems like the kind of girl that doesn’t really get it. She’s shy, impressionable and a little behind the times. But realizing that first impressions are not always correct, Emily’s opinion of Allison changes over time.
Allison comes from a tight knit family in the Midwest. She lives on campus, but takes an interest in the Greek system almost immediately. She’s petite, with small doll-like features and chin length blond curly hair. She befriends Emily the first day of school without judgment or agenda. And, as time passes, her warmth and caring nature shine through any preconceived notions Emily may have had.
To say that I based Allison on any one individual would be like saying I only like one brand of chocolate. How is that even possible? When I started writing Allison’s character I pictured her as an average college student. Then as time passed, she grew into an amazing woman and friend to Emily. And I must admit, I’ve met girls like Allison who later evolved into incredible women. And I’m fortunate to call those women my friends today.
Allison is Emily’s support system. It’s no secret that I’m aiming the book’s theme at young women. And I often think we devalue the importance of friendship and support, especially at that age. Emily goes through a great deal during her journey through young adulthood, and the support of her friends is a large part of why she is able to carry on. Allison is the backbone of that support. Allison is friendship.
Below is an excerpt from Call Me Emily.
Allison and I met for coffee bright and early Monday morning. Our Bistro was bustling with college students. I got there before her and grabbed a table in the back. Although I had met a few people, I didn’t see anyone I knew. I tapped my fingernails on the table and sipped my coffee as I watched people walk by and waited for Allison. She arrived without Melinda and Heather, which was what I was hoping for. They were nice girls, but seemed very self-involve.
“So what have you been up to?” she asked, or shall I say accused. I called you a couple of times this weekend; what’s up?”
“Oh it’s been crazy with this new job,” I said and she nodded. “Oh, and I went out on a couple of dates.” I looked down at my feet and smiled. “Other than that, I was around. I didn’t have a message from you.”
“What? Who?” Allison prodded. “Don’t tell me, that guy from the club?” she asked and I nodded.
“So, What’s going on there?” she continued, taking a sip of her coffee.
“Just a couple of dates, Allison. He’s fun.”
“Huh. And hot!” She made an attempt to wink at me. I thought it was cute. I shrugged my shoulders in agreement. “So Spanish Girl, do you want to go shopping with me this afternoon?”
“Totally, but you can stop calling me Spanish Girl; Graham has.”
“Really, how did that come about? My guess is …well, never mind … you tell,” she said taking another sip of her coffee.
“You know, just spending time together.” Allison didn’t buy it, but I thought I’d try to sell it.
“So have you?”
“Allison!” I was surprised she was so forward. I guessed her association with Melinda and Heather was changing her a bit. Not quite the awkward and quiet Michigan girl anymore. “No, we haven’t. So far just a couple of amazing kisses.” I looked at the ceiling when I said “amazing” hoping she would get the point.
“That’s what I was thinking actually. That good huh?”
I sighed. “That good.” We both sipped our coffee at the same time. I had a hard time creating a seal with my lips due to the large smile I had plastered across them.