Veronica flew out to California to spend a week of Christmas break with me–a familiar routine in VP friendships. It was the first time she had come to CA since the summer after sophomore year, but I had begged her to come out as a late birthday present, and being the incredibly gracious friend she is, obliged. And so, for several days, we trekked about southern California, going as far as we could possibly go in a day’s drive.
The last time I saw Veronica, I was at the Newark airport falling to pieces—VPSA friendships and open-ended goodbyes will do that to you. We were going off to college, one in Texas and one in Massachusetts, none of us sure when our paths would cross again. Seeing her a mere six months later was a much less daunting wait than anticipated (a welcome surprise regardless).
So here we were, one semester of college under our belts, both with our different five-month stories to tell. Having spent the last few years of our life in the same classes with the same friends, hearing her spout off names of people I had never heard of was jarring at first. But soon, after hours in the car and in coffee shops and on beaches, our individual college experiences, and friends, and more-than-friends (@Veronica) seemed to come to life in each other’s minds.
In between the catching up on life, we went to Santa Barbara and San Diego, perused around Los Angeles, got caught in the rain in Long Beach, and spent hours upon hours every day driving in heavy traffic and on open road. This was home, and Veronica was high school, and for a small period of time, Texas and college and all the responsibilities and worries that came with them seemed so miniscule.
I soon said goodbye to Veronica and to California and headed back to UT, where I am again for yet another semester. But these goodbyes felt easier than the first time I left for college. Even though I again was leaving home for five months, and I again didn’t know if I was going to next see Veronica in three months, or six, or twelve, or eighteen, my heart rested easier this time, more comforted, and more hopeful.