After that, I saw him more and more, and to be truthful, I am not exactly sure when Beau crossed over to being my own personal friend and not a friend of a friend. We hung out like crazy senior year and especially the summer afterward. My dad met Beau on a church trip and instantly fell in love with him. He and Beau were on kitchen duty, making breakfast, and my dad asked Beau how much milk he had put in whatever it was they were mixing and his reply was, "oh, just a few mouthfuls." I remember my dad saying, "I really like that Beau guy."And from then on, it was almost like he became a pseudo brother to me and my family. One time my mom swore she was going to claim Beau on her taxes. He would come over on the weekends and bring a movie, and we'd both end up asleep before the trailers were done. My parents would walk through the living room in the middle of the night, find us asleep, and just throw a blanket on each of us and go back to bed. One time Beau had fallen asleep at our house when my cousin Sam was visiting. Her mother Phoebe called early one morning and Beau, still asleep, woke up to the phone ringing answered, "Simmons residence." My Aunt Phoebe asked for my dad. Beau took the phone to my father and my aunt questioned, "Patrick, who in the world was that guy?! And why is he at your house so early?" His response, "Oh, that's just Beau. He's here a lot. What's up?" Ha. We've seen each other through a lot over the years, and there is more to come.
Here is a nice little montage of us throughout the years...
Beau's 19th birthday at Shoguns
One of the many times he just showed up to my sister and my first house.
That one time when Jacob let us roam around Channel 11's studio (where he works), to which we quoted Anchorman with vigor.
When I took a weekend trip up to Fayetteville to visit Beau while he lived there, working on his doctorate.
When Beau lived in a huge old house with a million boys.
When Beau and I got tattoos together, his first one.
Hanging out on Dickson Street
His going away party when he went to Africa with the Peace Corps
Beau's 25th birthday
My 23rd birthday
Beau coming back from the Peace Corps
Probably the first photo we took together. We were on a church trip doing a team building exercise. My mom snapped this of us with my dad. It is one of my favorite photos.
The night of his 25th birthday, this awesome girl showed up with this chocolate cake with chocolate icing and two Barbie dolls, mud wrestling atop. And wouldn't you know it, a few years later he married her and now they are having a bebe.
Some of my favorite memories include Beau:
- him taking me on a tour of UCA my senior year and the class I happened to be walking in was doing a debate about pornography. Yeah, that will pretty much seal any friendship, just fyi.
- the one time that he and Jacob (mentioned above) rode Beau's scooter on what would have been a 12 minute drive to my house by car, in the middle of the winter. They nearly collapsed upon arrival and my dad threw a blanket in the dryer for a few minutes, then threw it on them. It was just like that scene from Dumb and Dumber, without the snot.
- the time we went on a spontaneous trip to Dallas to see Saves the Day and when he picked me up, neither one of us noticed the condom which had been stretched over his back wiper...then he got pulled over (and the look on the cop's face.ha), then he had a flat. But I experienced Whataburger for the first time with him while we got his tire fixed. And we even made it to the concert on time. :)
- the one time his tire just completely flew off after we saw John Mayer in Little Rock. He had gotten my sister and I tickets for our birthdays. And driving down Chenal, his tire literally flew off and was never to be seen again. Him calling his mother, "Mom. It's Beau. I'm fine but my tire just flew off."
- when we road tripped to California the summer after Freshman year.
- him teaching me how to knit in college.
- The one time I was taking him out for his birthday Freshman year to Shogun's and was beyond naïve and only brought my checkbook, which they don't accept, so he ended up having to pay for his own birthday dinner.
- Getting tattoos together my senior year of college. Mine took 7 minutes, his took HOURS.
- When he tried to teach me how to drive a stick shift on a gravel road in Judsonia. Yeah...that was good times.
- The times he would randomly just show up without warning. Once in Crossett: showed up at my apartment door step. I had nothing to eat at my apartment so we went to Taco Bell, and the woman serving us had a huge neck tattoo that said "Steve" and when she went to get our food, he quietly said to me, "Gosh, I sure hope there is a guy named Steve out there with a neck tattoo that says 'Tina'"
- Aaaand the time he took me as his date to a random African wedding in Dallas that was 5 hours long after the reception, and we drove straight back to Arkansas...and I taught the next day. Oh, to be young again..
- Most importantly, the time when my father died, and Beau spent every night with me, holding my hand until I fell asleep. He drove to and from Conway every day for at least a week, and even after that, he saw me very often. Once he invited me to stay with him at this huge house he lived in with all these boys in Conway because I had to be in Arkadelphia early the next morning. My father's death was still very fresh, and I remember the cool white sheets on his bed and the light from the moon casting through the windows, and the sound of the fan. And I remember how I tried to be as quiet as I could as I wept during the night but on the other side of the bed, he seemed to know and before I knew it, he enveloped me in his arms and held me in the most unselfish way. In that comfortable way, like your family. In a way that everyone should be held at least once in their life.
Beau, I just couldn't be happier for you and where you are in life. I am thankful for all of our memories together and for our futures. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey, and thank you for being in mine. I pray you and Sydney enjoy every minute of Molly and that she knows every day just how lucky she is to have parents like you. You already are a terrific father.