It can’t be that uncommon to make plans with a friend, only to never execute them for the following three years due to busy schedules – or so I tell myself. As young 15 year olds, we had excitedly drawn up the perfect sleepover plan filled with Teen Vogue readings and Animal Crossing. Yes, we were indeed still at an age of certain naivety, in which we relished in more infantile entertainments. And to be entirely honest, I still have yet to outgrow my childish ideas of fun. (Watching some of the adults around me, I don’t believe there is a deadline for that.)
Over the past week, I reconnected with a high school friend. We never lost touch despite not messaging each other for months. That’s the beauty of friendship; it comes and goes, fading in your memory until the next time you talk. You realise that so little time has flown by between you, despite the months since your last proper conversation. You quickly catch up on all that you’ve missed, strolling through the streets of Paris, commenting on the latest fashion, devouring falafels and giggling behind teacups and scones… A perfect afternoon in a Parisian setting, but it isn’t enough for us.
A couple days later, we meet again, under the pouring rain – a foreboding of the upcoming floods that would immobilise much of Paris. And on this occasion, we stand on the deck of the Concorde Atlantique, two bottles of beer and a pack of cigarettes between us. The cigarettes are only for tonight, we promise. It’s a promise that we will keep. Strange, I thought then. Only three years ago, we were innocent, little girls who stuck by the rules, never putting a toe out of line. Funny how much we have changed since then. But what is time, if not for changing?
As the night drags on, we move downstairs to the beat of electro and pop. Occasionally, smoke clouds the flashing lights and we struggle to see each other through the mist. Not that it matters, because we know that we will always be there for one another.
The clock strikes 00:30. We aren’t Cinderella’s, but we run. Through the puddles, stumbling down the steps, tearing through the underground tunnels. The last train back into the suburbs never waits. We take escalator after escalator, shoving the train ticket into the machine, our footsteps resonating through the halls. Hearts pumping, we collapse breathless into our seats as the train sounds its beep, hardly believing our luck. The chunky heels on my feet were unforgiving in our race.
There is a certain beauty to high school friendship once you graduate and only the ones that truly matter survive. Undergoing the same education, having experienced similar hardships and being there for each other through the tumultuous period of teenage years; everything leaves its mark on us. It’s intangible but there nevertheless, we simply understand each other – no further explanations needed. Friendship is, and always will be magical.