I Met My Best Childhood Friends After 8 Years, And Everything Was Differently The Same
If you grew up with your childhood friends, consider yourself privileged.
You see, I come from a Latin American country that is going through an economic and social crisis. It’s not new news, it’s been like it for decades. My teenage years coincided with the hardest years for the economy. So many people began to migrate to other countries to escape the crisis.
Saying goodbye to friends and family became very common. Almost every week someone you know told you that they had plans to leave. By the time I finished school, 5 of my best friends were already living in other countries.
You must understand one thing, people didn’t move where they wanted, but where they could. They left family, businesses, and careers behind just to survive in another country.
Today we all have jobs, some are married, we don’t talk very often but the connection was never totally lost.
Something very unlikely happened recently, with odds of 1 in a million, if you ask me.
3 of my best friends, who have lived in other countries around the world for years, decided to come to visit for a while. None of this was planned, it just happened.
There were visa problems, flight rescheduling, unfinished immigration status, but in the end, the planets aligned.
For the first time in 8 years, we were at least 4 of the gang in the same country.
Obviously, we talked about hanging out together, traveling, and making up for the lost years. I was excited, too excited, but at the same time worried.
I usually get too attached to memories of something. Nostalgia keeps me from enjoying things because it doesn’t feel the same as when I was a child. Things never feel the same as when you were a kid, that’s the problem.
What if we’ve all changed too much? What if we don’t like each other anymore? What if we can’t have a good time like before?
I was afraid of ruining those memories that I have, of one of the best times of my life. I was terrified to find out that my best friends weren’t even my friends anymore.
My palms were sweating, my knees were weak, and my arms were heavy. Luckily there was no vomit on my sweater or Mom’s spaghetti.
The reunion was like returning to a place from your childhood. Like going back to Grandma’s house every summer. Only this time, that place was people.
At first, we catch up, we tell stories about each country we all live in, and about being an adult. We laughed and had a few drinks.
For a moment, I was not an adult with a job, debts, and worries. For a moment, for a single second, I was 16 years old, there was no problem in the world, and I was happy.
The jokes, the laughs, the stories. Everything remained intact over the years. We were, in fact, different people, but the friendship was the same. Inside we were all the same teenagers without worries or responsibilities.
The passing of the hours felt as natural as the changing of the seasons. We realized that many things have not changed and apparently never will. We shared stories, we cried a little, and we reminded each other of the love we feel for each other.
That day I discovered how to stop time.
You just have to go back to the place where you were once truly happy. I also discovered that sometimes places are people.
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