I stared out the window, at the same time paying attention to the vibrant chatter of my sister and best friends, the twins Megan and Kayla. The four of us rode in their small white car on the highway circling round the Puget Sound to a small town across the Sound from Seattle. Towering trees filled the landscape and hills dominated the vista. In the far distance I could distinguish a ridge of white-tipped mountains. Adrenaline surged through each of us, the combined joy of being together at last, and the prospect of an evening on our own, going out to eat and then hanging out to giggle about attractive guys and a miscellany of other subjects. How different I felt from the past few visits, the past few years of estrangement and distance and scattered communication. Even stranger it seemed that here we were, on our own, spending time together in Seattle, whereas a few years ago we had said goodbye, on the cusp of our high-school years. Now we were juniors in high school, applying to our choice universities and preparing to step into the wide world. The radio boomed the song, “Rather Be”, and the lyrics couldn’t have been more fitting.
With every step we take, Kyoto to The Bay
Strolling so casually
We’re different and the same, gave you another name
Switch up the batteries
If you gave me a chance I would take it
It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it
Know with all of your heart, you can’t shame me
When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be
There’s no place I’d rather be . . . those words echoed in my mind as I reflected on how much this time together meant. True, my sister Abby and I lived in Texas. Our respective colleges are located in Texas, while Megan and Kayla live in Washington, and plan on attending universities there. Honestly, I couldn’t, and still can’t, help but think how different it all is. Before, I would have balked against change, I would have hung back and tried to escape in my head, unwilling to face the reality of having to say goodbye after every visit with these dear friends. I would rather push them away instead of embracing the time we could spend with them. Sad, but true. And then the denial would set in. It’s fine that we no longer live close to each other. I don’t really fit with them as close friends. It’s better like this. We’re too different. Different kinds of lives, friends, interests—everything! Those processing sessions always ended with a shrug and a ‘whatever.’ I had developed a way to cope with the major change, when my best friends since the age of five had moved in eighth grade to the Northwest. It seemed easier than dealing with the pain. Sure, we’ve shared in traumatic physical pain—Megan and I had been in a terrifying boat accident when we were six. The four of us will always remember that harrowing time, and even when I tried to push away, those memories of the accident and how we came out of it together with our families united will never leave
So, we cruised down the highway towards the small coastal town with small shops and restaurants and neighborhoods. We walked into a Mexican restaurant, laughing and talking rapturously. And, I think it really began to hit me how much I loved it, how much I loved us together. True, the four of us exhibit vividly unique personalities. And that’s what makes the four of us so magnetic, it’s how we click. And the more I embrace this fact, the more I can appreciate how enjoyable these visits can be.
Friendship is not about how many interests two people share in common—rather, it is a rich background of shared experiences and emotions.