It was the summer of 2014. Twenty-one years old. I dreamt of California during the day and partied like I lived in Miami during the night. Lana Del Rey was always on repeat. I embraced the moments of uncertainty and thrived in the chaos that came from them. After all, I was studying fashion business and was well aware that the best ideas came from those crazy enough to make things happen. My roommate at the time and I loved the life we lived. We worked hard, studied just as hard and we encouraged one another to be as adventurous as possible. Hell, we even made a pact to always keep condoms in the apartment because no unexpected pregnancy would ruin this sweet, sweet life for us. These selfish moments were ours, if only for a summer, if only for three months.
The same summer of carefree adventures a girl came into my life. Internet friends. Twitter follower. Ya know, the usual virtual friendship during this era. She called it “sliding into my DMs” because “we just had to be friends.” I was out of the country at the moment on vacation with my mom, but I promised I would meet up with her the first weekend I returned to ISU. I didn’t think too much of it besides hell yes, another fun girl friend to live through this crazy ride with. Since that day, we tweeted at each other, favorited one another’s obnoxious sassy one liners and texted each other’s going out outfits. Usual girl stuff. No big deal. We officially met at a house party like we planned we would. We partied together a few times after that, but did not spend nearly enough time together.
Fast forward to the next summer. I decided to take my free-spirited soul out of the country once again. This time out of the continent. Europe. Italy. Florence. I was studying abroad to further my education in fashion marketing. I was having the time of my life and my roommate and I were already best friends. Everything was perfect. It was June 4th. I was heading back to my Italian apartment in a rush after my evening class to pick up my small luggage because we were leaving to the French Riviera for the weekend. On my way out of the building, I reached for my phone and saw that one of my group messages was blowing up. Nothing unusual until I opened those text messages. It was still the morning of June 4th in Chicago and my friend texted me that Darcy had been in accident and passed away. It was one of the worst text messages to read while you’re living across the world. I couldn’t believe it. I had just watched her snapchat story a couple hours prior to this exact moment. This was one of my biggest fears when I was planning this trip. I was afraid of losing someone and not being there to see them one last time.
I’ve continued to wake up with the urge to write about this specific summer and my friendship with Darcy, but I feared I wouldn’t have adequate words to describe her and how much light she brought into this world. Fuck. It wasn’t even a light. It was a fire. (I mean, she was naturally a redhead.) It was a spark of bliss and radiance of youth. This morning, I couldn’t sleep. This morning I knew it was the day I had to share Darcy with the world, but most importantly with the people who didn’t know her. I owed this to her.
There is a Darcy in all of us. She is the fire within you when you see the person you’re in love with across the dance floor, the spontaneity you feel when you want to chase your dreams, and the passion you have before you turn 18 and society inconveniently throws rules at you. Darcy Chobar was a beautiful human being because she was not afraid to show the world who she truly was, she loved hard, and lived exactly the way she wanted. As all of you should. Pick out flowers for your girl. Have wine and pizza delivered to your honey. Go do that thing that scares the hell out of you. And take pictures. Take lots of pictures for the ‘gram. Because I know she would be happy I encouraged you all to do this.
Till we twerk again, Darcy. 💜💜💜