I still remember it clear as day the first time I met Beka. It was early 1991, and I had been in Toowoomba for maybe two weeks. I had just moved into that dodgie place across the paddock from school, which looked like it had been put together overnight. It was a hot afternoon, and I was hanging out in the common room by myself. I hadn't met too many people yet, I was feeling homesick, and missing my friends. A girl came in to get a drink of water, she smiled at me and said hi, then she was gone again.
A while later, I heard someone singing. It wasn't anything in particular, just some sort of scale or something, but it was the voice that caught my attention. It was just so beautiful. I can't really put it into words, but it was such a crystal clear sound it didn't seem possible that it was being made by a human being. I walked down the hall towards the sound of the singing, and peeked in through an open door. It was the same girl from earlier, singing while she unpacked.
That was my introduction to Beka. I can't tell you what the exact date was, or what I was wearing. But I remember exactly what Bek was wearing, and I can still hear the amazing sound of her voice.
This morning I learned that Beka had passed away after a four year battle with cancer. I have known for some time that this was coming, but it is still hard to accept. I have lots of memories of Beka, but I think the one I cherish the most is of our first meeting and that initial shock of realization that that beautiful girl was the source of that most wondrous sound.