Ten thirty at night, and my moping was interrupted by the shrill sound of the telephone. I knew before it was answered that it was the call I'd been waiting for. She sounded sleepy, having just woken up--it was one o' clock in Durham, still, late by her standards--and didn't show the birthday enthusiasm yet. It would kick in soon, I was sure. I sat down cross-legged on the bed and settled myself comfortably for a long chat. Not that it had been long, not since we last talked (only yesterday), but it had been long in so many other ways. It's not everyday that you wish your best-friend-for-fifteen-years (or since "the beginning of time", as she put it) a happy twentieth, after all.
We dug up every memory we could find. And I was still thinking long after we'd hung up. From the first day we'd met when I walked into class I-A, the new girl, and was slightly intimidated by the intelligent, short-haired girl in the row next to me who could spell "shampoo" with ease, to the day we got to know we'd be going to the same college. I remembered our excited plans to become dancers when we grew up (something she accomplished, I might add) and go running off to the mountains to visit my grandparents. Our western music classes with Mr. Brown in the basement, when we'd cheerily sing anything from the Titanic soundtrack to "Billy Boy". Our batik classes and the time she fooled the teacher into believing we were sisters so I wouldn't get into trouble. Our belief that making a wish on an eyelash would come true, and how we pulled out eyelashes to make more wishes. Our Barbie craze and our Harry Potter craze and our vampire craze. Birthday parties and frilly frocks and party hats. Hide and seek and chase. Hot chocolate fudge and Pizza Hut. Cupboard rummaging and glares. Weird photographs. Albums of memories. Walks in the college lawns and talks on the benches. Homework and notes and practical files. Gifts from every holiday. Farewells and sleepovers and long long conversations.
PS- Happy birthday, again, and many more to come!