Like we used to

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"People are each other's alcohol." My mother used to say. I would lift my head, buried deep in a book, and announce, "I don't need people, I have better friends in books."

It’s been a few years; I'm married and have kids around me but every day I feel a knot in my stomach. Is it okay to be lonely when surrounded by people?

I remember the best part of my life - college. I had finally found friends outside of a book. We were four friends who did everything together, whether it was skipping classes to complete assignments for another class, eating food, pooling in money to buy booze, celebrating every small achievement.

For four years, there were three extensions of me. There was no depression, no loneliness and three times the happiness. I should be thankful that for four years my mind achieved peace and a peculiar kind of love that shatters conventional romance.

Sometime during my musings, I pick up my phone and scroll way down in my chats to find those people. We have barely exchanged any words in ten years. We still know how the other is doing but the magical spell is broken.

Is it an unspoken rule of adulthood that you have to date, get a job, get married, have kids? Can't you spend the rest of your life with your best friends in a tiny dormitory room where your whole world could fit?

I close my eyes for a few seconds and ask everyone to jump on a conference call.

"It is urgent." I write.

They all join in and I'm bombarded with questions.

"What happened?"
"What's the matter?"
"Are you alright?"

I let out a breath to stop my tears.

"Can we talk for a while like we used to?"



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18 comments
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I hope their response was positive! There's no reason for them to not still enjoy their friendship.

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Absolutely, sometimes friendships take off where we left things

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Most friendship ends after school, no communication, no nothing. It's so sad

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It seems evident by the enthusiasm of the friends' response that all is well and friendship is still waiting. Sometimes we neglect important stuff because life gets in the way.

Thank you for posting this story in the Ink Well community. We appreciate that you engage with other authors.

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I love this, @diebitch. It's so great how the narrator finally reaches out to her friends, almost as if she's making a crisis call — and in a way it is, but not the way they think. She just has a deep longing for the way things used to be when they always had their cozy dorm and people right there who could provide comfort and companionship. This is beautifully done.

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Thanks Jayna, this was semi-autobiographical, although it was embellished to make a story

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I will leave my head buried in the book indeed...
Nice work
I enjoyed reading

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A melancholic tale of growing older and moving through the different stages of life, yearning for the good old days. Nostalgia can be a trickster.

I read about a research study in which older participants "re-lived" their younger days by recreating how they used to live in their youth. The researchers found that after some time, people's biological age changed. They actually became years younger by recreating and reliving their past. You story had me thinking of this.

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Wow! I have to check this out because it gives me an idea

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This is so relatable, except it felt awkward for me but at least we still message now and then.

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