Two nights ago, I had dinner with two of my closest friends from college. The last time we saw each other was four months ago so there was no shame whatsoever when we literally had a good eight to ten second group hug in the middle of the mall. There was no squealing – we don’t squeal which, I think, is a big reason why we get along so well. There was, however, laughter. A lot of it. That’s how we like our friendship. Words can’t explain how much I love these two human beings and the peculiar friendship we have. We talk about depressing topics with a smile on our face because we’re not the type of friends who would feel sorry for one another; we’re more the type who would say things like “So you’re sad? Don’t be. You look horrible when you are.” Back in college, whenever I felt like crying, I’d go to them first but it wasn’t to cry on their shoulders. I’d go to them because I know they could easily make the feeling go away. They’re crazy wonderful, those two.
At one point during dinner, we had a pretty serious moment. We talked about how us seeing each other again for the first time in four months made us realize just how much we’ve grown up. I think the word we used was “matured”. Throughout dinner, we talked about family conflicts, work and financial struggles and, the ever-present subject in all conversations: love.
The last time we saw each other, I was already happily single, Euna was just a week away from committing to her first serious relationship (by serious relationship, I mean a relationship not established in high school) and Ria was in the It’s Complicated phase – the one after a relationship ends, not the one before a relationship begins. So after not having talked to the both of them for almost as long as I haven’t seen them, I asked them how things were in that aspect of their life. It kind of went something like this.
I ask Ria if Van, her ex-girlfriend, was still pursuing her.
She says, “No, we don’t talk anymore. I don’t even know what she’s been up to lately.”
“Are you okay with that?” asks Euna.
Ria smiles. “Yes, I’m actually very happy. And it feels good to be happy.”
“Yes, that’s how I felt too after Louie and I broke up,” I say. “And it still feels good now.”
And then Euna, who’s known to say the most bizarre things in the most ordinary conversations, says something so ingenuous that, when she said it, it was like my heart lit up for a moment as though acknowledging its truthfulness.
“It always feels good to take care of yourself.”
Yes. Yes, it does.