// Danny and I, just before my sophomore homecoming dance. We were both 16. //
I still feel like I'm being fooled, like this couldn't be real. Or that it's a terrible joke or a dream. I wish it were a dream.
Danny and I met at a cotillion class when we were 14. I remember the night we met. We had a Halloween-themed class, since it was close to that time, and everyone was allowed to dress up in costume. During the dance lesson portion of the class we were given a ladies choice dance. There were around 100 others in this class, and out of all the boys there I gravitated right to him - he was dressed as Indiana Jones, and he had painted a fake beard on his face with what looked like marker. We joked about it right away, "You chose me for my stunningly manly beard, didn't you?". We were dance partners at all of the lessons from then on out, and became instant friends. It's one of my most fond memories of all of my teenager years - meeting Danny.
We didn't go to the same school, but we talked on the phone several times a week and we were great friends throughout high school. He even took me to my sophomore Homecoming. He was a friend of Tyler's, too. (I mentioned that, and how that was a part of Tyler and I's history together here in "our story".) After I left for college, though, I hardly ever saw him. We hadn't seen each other or physically spoken in probably four years - I don't really count facebook, although I kept "in contact" with him through that. But it was on my "to-do's" for a long time to call and catch up with him. I just always assumed there was more time to do it... That I had ... forever. I regret very much that I didn't get to do that.
I will miss him sorely. Tyler described Danny really well, he said, "He was fiercely loyal. I mean, once you were his friend - that was it. You were his friend for life no matter what." I feel that no matter that we hadn't seen each other or been a part of each other's lives for some time, that it's true that no matter the time and distance that had separated us, he would have been there for me - because he was my friend for life. And I for him. He was such a good-hearted person. I had nothing but love for him. I am so heartbroken about his death, and very sad for his family.
Rest in peace Daniel Vincent Kastl.