Once again, enter Kara....

Re: my previous entry, 'A hair rock band, and a red-haired girl'—not everyone appears in my life, stays for a while, and completely vanishes shortly thereafter.

The fable of Kara, as told through the lens of my eye, has a little bit of magic, a little bit of luck, and a lot of good will. All too infrequently, a person appears in your life who, through their own personality and force of will, effects a subtle change in the lives around them.Maybe it would be a little easier if I believed in fairy godmothers. If I did, it would suit my personality just fine to believe in a blonde, saucy, soccer-playing fairy godmother—from New Jersey, no less. After all, who needs a magic wand when you've got tact, a chemical engineering degree, and a soccer ball?

There was, once upon a time, a struggling English major (of my height, weight, general build, and hair color) that rather impetuously decided to drive from Arkansas to Alabama to meet an electrical engineering major (of Jeff's general height, weight, general build, and hair color). It was more than just a bit of an impulsive decision, and it caused this unthinking literary girl to create a bit of a problem.

Where would she stay?

According to unpublished reports, the electrical engineering major raced downstairs in the Theta Tau house to find someone that the unthinking travelling literature major could stay with.

Enter Kara, who had crashspace.

So the literature major drove seven hours, got lost a few times, but eventually found her way to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She met the engineering boy and found him to be quite a bit more intriguing than she'd planned, and was—very late in the evening I might add—returned to Kara's place to sleep the night away.

Except they did not. This should have been predicted, of course: the gods of fables instinctively know that a Jerseyite soccer-player-and-chemical-engineering major and an Arkansan literary-geek would find so much to talk about that they would stay up, giggling and telling stories, until well past three a.m.

They would also know that two years later, when the Arkansan literary-geek and the engineering boy decided to get married, that the original choice for maid of honor would vanish off the face of the earth two months before the wedding date.

Once again, enter Kara….

…who had since moved to Phoenix, and said the most wonderful words the tearful and panicking bride-to-be had heard in quite some time:

"I have enough frequent-flyer miles to come to the wedding. You tell me what the maid of honor dress is supposed to be like. I will have one made here, and I'll be there for the wedding and no one will know the difference."

(I should note—this only works in fairy tales. Don't try this at home, boys and girls.)

The dress details were provided, many phone calls made from Arkansas to Arizona, and plans began to take shape. Kara arrived in Arkansas the day before the wedding with a dress in tow whose incredible, improbable match to the other dresses made the bride's mother gasp in astonishment and then hug Kara over and over.

As she said, no one ever knew the difference—and when the bride's veil fell off during the wedding kiss, she deftly reached behind the bride and caught it with a wink and a grin to the bride.

* * *

That, my friends, is who just popped back up in my life. Kara, who has since married, had a house built, and has changed jobs a time or two. Still there, still laughing. She wrote me to tell me that her mother-in-law finally succumbed to the cancer she had fought so long, and that it made Kara rethink her life a bit. She's working fewer hours now and spending more time with her husband—another engineer.

She always brightens my life when she pops back into it. It's always a little unexpected, but this time it was more amusing than usual: the day that her email arrived, I had been thinking about her and wondering how she was doing.

Somehow she just knows. Even if she doesn't consciously realize it. She would laugh if she saw this entry, or saw how I'd described her, but I don't think she'd ever dispute the fact that she's always found a way to turn up in my life when I needed her.

If that's not a friend with a touch of fairy godmother, I don't know what is.