Our story today takes us back to the beginning, way back to the start of our first year of university when everything was awkward and we were fresh-faced and, well, also awkward.
We met during Frosh. As older students forced beer down our throats and shouted chants at us that were supposed to be rousing, we smiled along with the crowd in an attempt to keep up at any cost. It was Beach Day, a day-long drinking event that takes students outside of Montreal to a man-made beach for sweaty dancing and $10 shots of tequila, that brought us together. We grew tired and sat together on the grass, chatting stiltedly and wondering when we could go home (this story makes us sound so fun, right?!)
But it wasn’t just the two of us. From that moment on, “Sam, Kelly, & Reina” was as much of a thing as “Rachel, Monica, & Phoebe”, or “Lizzie, Gordo, & Miranda.”
We bonded at that fake beach, and then we bonded over cooking and late nights of silly laughter, ritualistic coffee dates and experiments with skittles-infused vodka. It was with Reina that we relished the utter freedom afforded to us at university and had chocolate chip cookies with wine for dinner, nutrition be damned. It was with Reina that we explored our new home and made it our own.
But there was a wrinkle to this beautiful friendship. Reina was on exchange from Japan – an adventurer in Montreal there to take a dip in our lives, not to truly immerse herself in it. While we hunted for our apartment for the next year, Reina was making her arrangements to head back to Tokyo. Toward April her impending departure cast a shadow over every joyful interaction. If only things didn’t have to change.
But change they must and change they always do. Reina visited me in Philadelphia and Sam in Vancouver on her meandering journey back home, and she was the most fun, cheerful, up-for-anything guest you could ever hope for. I think back on that weekend filled with laughs and hikes and the thrills of Hershey Park with such warmth, such fondness. The next year we kept the trio alive thanks to the glory of modern technology, and we dreamed of the day she could be our guest again.
And finally she is and we’re back to our old tricks at the beginning of our third year.
We went to pick her up at the airport and had a completely stereotypical run-and-hug reunion at the arrival gate, and immediately went for pizza at our old favorite restaurant (enormous suitcase in tow). Once we were stuffed we stopped on campus en route to our apartment and things got a little emotional.
We sampled exotic Kit-Kat flavors she had brought for us and got coffee at our old Starbucks and watched Totoro and dressed up for Halloween. It’s like she never left.
She is here until Friday! We can’t wait to fill the week with memories to last us until we can visit her!