At Both Ends

Hey! Let me know if I can call you.”

I checked patiently for a reply.

There was none.

Maybe he’s asleep.. or maybe…

The familiar call notification on Messenger played.

It was him.

On video.

“Hey! What’s up?”

“I heard about what happened. How are you now?”

“Yeah… we’re getting old…”

I can’t remember the last time we talked. It could have been months. It could have been a year. I’m not sure, but what I’m sure of is it’s been a while given that I can’t exactly remember.

You told me about the ‘incident’ as if it was an every day matter. Like it’s a given, given where we are now. It could have been an awkward conversation but we quickly fell into our old pattern. You with your snide, witty remarks, me with my self-depreciation humor and the tendency to wrinkle my nose while laughing.

We talked about the present and yet it felt like we were back in that small creek beside our classroom. The one we usually go to after class, right before we go our separate ways for dinner and bed time. We talked about our current struggles. And even though we’re no longer as updated as before, it felt like we were just talking about them on the roof deck of your condo, in our drunken state, while the chilly air of the wee hours touch our faces.

Things are very different now, I know, but it never felt like it during those 24 minutes of digital conversation.

That’s what I love most about our friendship. No frills, no dramas, no reading between the lines. No passive aggressiveness, no guilt trips, no secret resentments.

Most especially, we have our pause. That even though we don’t talk as much as we’d like to, we just pick up from where we left off last time. As if nothing changed even though it’s very apparent from the the aged, weathered versions of ourselves we see on our screens.

I would like to talk more but our rant fest about how shitty life is at the moment both made us at a loss for words.

“Hey, I have to go. It’s midnight here and I really need to rest.”

“Yes, I have to prep for lunch, too. The little one’s calling.”

We both said our goodbyes and I love yous, smiling at each other, miles and time zones apart. I don’t know when we’ll talk again. It might take weeks, months, or even a year. But I’m not quite bothered.

We both know that the phone rings at both ends.

It doesn’t really matter who makes the first call. The other side will always pick up.

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