I️ called Mal Malpal, but she of course had a never-ending list of nicknames for me – Mizzle, Missoula Humes, M, and M dawg to name a few. Her brain was this brilliant, sometimes baffling masterpiece, and her nicknames were just one beautiful part of that. There were countless Mallory sayings – two of my favorites were “We are the sexy MaMaMas”, for “Mallory, Maya, and Makiko” when we were roommates sophomore year, and “bedtime for bonzo”, which was what Mal would say when it was time to go to sleep.

Mal was a weirdo, but the weird parts of us were the same. We were both clumsy and didn’t have full control of our long, lanky limbs, we loved belting out the Rent soundtrack in the dorm showers, and we were veryyy gullible. Well, some people call it gullible, I like to think of it as optimistic. We would essentially believe anything people told us – no matter what. Instantly just so wide-eyed and excited.

We instantly became best friends when we became roommates, and from then on we were friend soulmates. Mal approached EVERY single thing she did wholeheartedly – especially her friendships. Even when we weren’t in the same city anymore, she was always SO excited to dig into the lives of the people she loved. It was always “Okay, I’m gonna quickly answer this question about me, but how was the date with that boy? Or, send me a photo of you guys hanging out!, or, How was the Misterwives concert last night”?. She was a compassionate, excitable listener who wanted to put your life before hers, and you always wanted to share the best news with her.

She was also SO expressive, so often texting wasn’t enough. It was best to see those classic Mal facial reactions live. You know what I’m talking about: the confused one, the shocked one, the giddy one. But then Mal was also courageous in her candor. She knew how to talk you through the hard decisions, delicately, and with a wisdom that far surpassed our years. Her follow-up questions would hit you DEEP.

I’m gonna miss those follow-up questions. I’m gonna miss those facial expressions. I’m gonna miss having a partner in crime just as gullible as me. But I feel so, so lucky to have had those moments with her, and I will never, ever, ever forget them. I love you so much, Malpal.