A year of isolation and separation, and the time has finally come to distantly greet those we have missed for as long as COVID19 has lasted. About a week ago, I met with my beloved friends from the seventh grade, and we shared a wonderful reunion together that was long awaited since March of 2020.
Belting Korean pop in my best friend's car, five of us smiled behind our masks as we arrived at our destination. There we met a couple more friends, and we journeyed off towards our shopping destinations in joy. One thing I noticed was different was our comfortableness around each other. A year ago, we would've casually talked about our week, and scurried off to locations without second thought. Now, we experienced moments of awkwardness around each other, and wondered what others wanted to do. I will admit that it will take time to gain most of our relationships back, but I know one thing is for sure—we missed each other and we were still the close friends we used to be.
The first half of the day was over, and we said our farewells to the friends we may not be seeing much of until COVID 19 is completely over. Pumped and chattery, four of us rode back to my best friend's house and sat around a dimly lit table with board games at our side. We interrogated each other with the most heartwarming and hilarious games that made us throw back our heads in laughter until our throats were scratchy. Energetic from a starchy breakfast and a caffeinated drink from the mall, I was particularly weak with efforts in holding back my laughs, but it all resulted in an even more memorable time.
The room's light was a soft warm glow that shone through the window as the sun set that night. Tired but not yet finished, a friend took out a Japanese cheesecake from the fridge and set it down on the table. The four of us gently poked waxy candles into the spongy cake, and ran to the kitchen for a match. I placed my camera against a glass cup as we lifted our water cups to a toast of reunion.
With exhausted breaths of a full day, we closed our eyes and reminisced over the past year, and our time we spent apart. On a long-awaited count of three, we blew out the four candles of our friendship and smiled as the thin smoke shot out towards the sky.
In desperation, the fluffy cake was split evenly into eighths, and we devoured the goodness that sat on our paper plates. Full and ready to end the night, we sat on velvet pillows in the living room with two of us in the front and two of us in the back. Screaming and yelling at each other playfully, our wonderful night ended in a Nintendo game marathon as we raced each other in Mario Kart 8 and river-rafted in Mario Party.
Sad that the night was coming to a close, we all jumped in the car once again, and were driven home. We said farewell with waves of thanks and hopes to see each other soon. Until next time.
"I may not have expressed it much, but I'm really happy I got to see you guys. Really happy."