Yesterday felt like the start of summer. My room is almost completely sorted out now, which helps me feel so much calmer (this is necessary at the moment) – and just as I was finishing up, Becki called me out of the blue and asked me to come over.
I felt like we were ten again, until (having enjoyed a beautifully pleasant walk to my best friend’s house a mile and a half away) I stepped into her garden and found her surrounded by university prospectuses. We looked through them together and compiled her ‘yes’ pile which she is likely to apply to. Both a terrifying and wonderful thought – bringing home this absolute realisation of ‘growing up’ – but I am so proud of her, going to university to do what she loves, because she loves it (in my view, going to university for the reason it was created). And yet, there was something odd about the whole scenario – because it still felt as though we were ten.
In an attempt, perhaps, to highlight this aching juxtaposition, we chalked out hopscotch on the pavement and ate delicious cheese on toast; took photos and decided to have an impromptu barbecue. But then we made phone calls, first to Owen who did not respond. Next to Victoria – once such a close friend, but I haven’t seen her since September. Then Jamie rang in response to our call, hungover – and I didn’t feel ten anymore.
To go from that call from Becki which had reminded me so much of our girlhood, to the almost-adult walk, to the sixth-form university considerations, to primary playground games and daisy-chains, to giggly pre-teen phone calls that then turned sour upon the realisation that people who were once so close to me are now so distant, or that current friend who in his late-night antics with his mates had reminded me of this inescapable seventeen-year-old life… It was jarring. I had enjoyed, for those small hours, forgetting the stress of young-adult years and regressing to primary school age.
Owen responded – he had been revising – and said he would come over for the barbecue. I can’t describe the happiness I felt at seeing him: it had been too long. We lay in the sun and talked about school and exams and the past and the future, and took photos, and laughed like the old times. That’s the wonderful thing about these particular friendships: when they are rekindled, even if just for a few hours, it feels as though no time has passed since we last saw each other, and we get on the same as we always have done. What incredible friendship; how truly lucky I am to share it.