101 Miles Till Home

by Erica

676.

Our Snapchat streak is at 676.

This obnoxiously long and overall useless achievement has been, since day 1, one of our frantic flails to hold onto this friendship we hold dear. Calling each other best friends even though we lived on opposite corners of the United States always seemed ambitious–surely there were hundreds of other people within a mile radius of us that could fit the bill instead. But our online high school directed our lives into a head-on collision at just the right instant, sending the both of us spiraling into a friendship neither one of us had prepared for.

Conversations in Organic Chemistry soon transcended the classroom, and eventually we settled into the routine that still holds true today. Since junior year, we’ve spent weeks together exploring New York and sitting in hotels in Pennsylvania and going from beach to beach in California. The amount of stupid conversations we’ve had and arguably risky decisions we’ve made is abounding–the need to condense three months of adventure into a single weekend is forever ingrained in our minds.

But this unexpectedness, this sporadicity, this surprise in every turn lends to a friendship worth bragging about and a bevy of stories worth sharing. When people ask me about my happiest memories, my favorite trips, and my wildest adventures, this friendship in all its glory comes to mind every time. Granted, goodbyes are always agonizing and ‘see you soon’s never seem promising enough; but time goes on, sometimes dragging, sometimes flying, until our countdowns hit zero and we say hello again. It’s an unpleasant progression, but such is the nature of it all.

This whole long-distance friendship manifests itself in the occasional Skype call, the unending stream of texts, and the collaborative blog that would cause less rifts in the relationship if some people (me) actually started writing posts when they (me) said they would. Roasting each other on social media has become the norm–perhaps peppering conversations with joking ‘I hate you’s and other feigned remarks will somehow make it easier to cope with being apart.

We now go to college thirty times closer to each other than we went to high school, and admittedly an hour-and-a-half drive is nothing to scoff at when it used to be forty. But some days, anything farther than walking distance still seems like too much.

Regardless, whether it be three thousand or one hundred miles apart, I’m forever thankful for this friendship and everything it entails. I would have never spent so much time in NYC, or cultivated such an intense passion for zoos, or fully understood the resilience of friendship despite time zones and state lines–and a life void of those things doesn’t seem like much of a life at all.

This was supposed to be some kind of birthday homage, but I, true to character, didn’t finish writing until four days too late. Happy late birthday, Allison, and thanks for everything.

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