Last fall, when I did the 24 to 30 series, I only wrote about 7 of my 8 co-best friends. The only holdover was the youngest of the Elite 8. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: Meeting Jade Trevino.
How I first came across this moment? At the time me and Jade met in the Spring of 2009, we lived on opposite coasts: she lived in Jacksonville, close to the Atlantic Ocean, and I was residing in Tokyo, not far from the Pacific Ocean. A whole 7150 miles separated us geographically. I met her almost the same way I met a certain other person I knew from Jacksonville. This was before she got married so she went by Jade Dupree in those days. I was intrigued by her current situation: a young woman in her early 20s whom was a single mother to twin toddlers that were “allergic to pretty much every food out there”. I think she was similarly intrigued by my current situation: a young black guy in his mid-20s whom was living in Tokyo. Our respective situations was probably why we kicked it off as friends so easily. Early on, we exchanged a lot of emails and MySpace messages. Then, we progressed to actual phone conversations. There was this one time in May 2009 that we literally talked on the phone for 17:42…and I’m not talking about minutes and seconds, there. It was one of the greatest conversations I ever had. When I took my month-long leave, spanning June and July of 2009, Jade convinced me to set aside my boycott of Florida and visit Jacksonville. I preferred not to fly down so I gassed up the Midnight Blue Express and made the trek from the Magic City to the River City to hang out with her for a couple of days. And that’s pretty much how we met.
What it meant to me then? At the time, meet Jade in person was about expanding my social circle a little bit. Up until that point, the only people that I kept close with outside of immediate family were my then Super 6 co-best friends…pretty much everybody except Jade and Jacque. She was a pleasant host in Jacksonville, softening my very hard feelings toward the city and the state at-large.
What it means to me now? Today, Jade—as mentioned earlier—is one the Elite 8. We had a bit of a rough patch a few years back between her move from Jacksonville to Houston but we got past it and we’ve been all cylinders go since. She serves as one of my moral compasses, mostly in part because she can very easily read through the curves I throw. She’s very quick to tell me “you said this but I know you mean this”. I can’t understate Jade’s impact with regards to my reintegration into the State of Florida. My co-best friend and accountant, Deondrea Jones, was a beneficiary of that as it essentially opened the door for me to shoot down into Tampa to attend her wedding. A couple of months back, I made the trip to Houston to see her get married and during her reception, where she met my girlfriend in person, she whispered to me that I was next. Hmmm…