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cup of tea

13 Mar

In Mr. Turner’s ninth grade religion class, alongside monster doodles and eyes drawn in my notebook, I wrote and underlined: Relationships are the essence of life. It’s simple and obvious, and not even poetic, but it was something I felt I should remember at the time. I’m not going to tell you that everything in existence is, in some way, related to you. It’s too easy to say that. And it’s too easy to say that even the absence of a relationship is a relationship. I just want to tell you a little about the relationship I have with a girl who I hadn’t seen since fourth grade, when we played Mary-Kate and Ashley in The Hamburger on the school playground. In the years she’s been in Texas, my memories of her have mixed with ideas of who I think she is now or who she might have been but was never able to show me during those two short years we were best friends. A month ago when she told me she’d be in town for the first time in fourteen or fifteen years, I was nervous. I know how badly I’d wanted her back in fifth grade and sixth grade, but I’m twenty-four now and I felt I’d changed too much to be the same person she’d probably pictured returning to. Still, for old time’s sake, I knew we had to meet again. With my mom, brother, and fiance (that’s still strange to say), I met with my fourth grade buddy/pen pal/Ashley to my Mary-Kate, and her mom and dad at an ice cream place in Kaneohe, and it was nice. So nice. I felt that even if we hadn’t had nostalgia on our sides, we might still find reasons to be really good friends. Everything worked out wonderfully, and we talked and we laughed over our little cups of ice cream, and when we hugged each other goodbye in the parking lot outside, I remembered what it was like to miss her. And somehow, that felt really nice.

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