“This party is not conducive to catching up. What are you up to tomorrow? We can grab lunch.” 

“You’re meeting doesn’t end until 2pm and I don’t want to get stuck in rush hour traffic.” 

The look on his face was devastation, but he knew I was right. Part of me missed my friends so much I almost wanted to make the exception so I could spend time with them, but I had to be practical. My gas tank was running low anyway from driving around to see people and do stuff. I was tired. My SUV was loaded down with people and my stuff all day long. By 10pm when I was ready to leave the party is when we finally got to talking and he wanted updates on my life. I was updated out. 

” It’s a no. I get it. Gotta adult properly. I’m really glad you came anyway.” 

He gave me a long bear hug, which was always awkward because he was so skinny I could wrap my arms around him twice if I were flexible enough. You were practically forced into a hug with the person next to you by lack of room in the tiny house and having to talk into the persons ear directly to be heard over the noise.

“I’ll give you a call soon if nothing else. Have a nice long talk. Drive safely Em.” 

The next morning I was tempted to call him and ask if he still wanted to do a late lunch, but it was going to be too much of a stretch. That’s the hard part of having friends you don’t get to see to often. You see them during events, where you can’t really have heart to hearts, but you both want to, so you end up awkwardly bending your inflexible schedule to try to make it all work. Because it’s worth it. They’re worth it. 

We met for lunch around 3pm. I didn’t get out of Illinois until around 6pm. Peak of rush hour in Milwaukee. 

College friends have a special place in your heart . You did most of your growing up as an adult with those people. They were the family you chose, so when you graduate, it becomes kind of endearingly stressful to navigate when to have “family reunions.” You’re tired from long drives.  Your even more tired from the long night of large groups of people crammed into the tiny house acting as venue for the reunion. But never too tired to grab a beer with your sleep deprived long time partner in crime the next day. 

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