It was gloomy day in Manhattan. The sky was a sea of dark clouds threatening to burst. The streets of the city looked darker still as skyscrapers cast long shadows on roads and each other. Crowds of people were making their way to work, many of them carrying paper cups steaming with hot coffee. Coffee – just thinking of the beverage made me want to stop at the nearest Starbucks and get one for myself. I decided that would be the first thing I did when I reached the mall and began going over my shopping list in my mind.
Just as I approached my destination, the clouds exploded and it stared to rain in torrents. I ran the few feet to the entrance of the mall and went in. I did not need a map to know where the coffee shop was located. I had spent a lot of time here since my school days when I would spend Saturday nights at the gaming center with my friends. A chirpy young waitress greeted me with a big smile. I smiled back and ordered a black coffee and club sandwich. Flipping through a fashion magazine I had bought on the way, I waited for my coffee.
“Becky?” came a voice from behind me, “Rebecca Tyler?” I looked up and saw a girl, about my age, having half a smile and half a confused frown on her face. “Yes?” I replied, automatically assuming the same expression as I tried to figure out how I knew this girl. She was a tall brunette with a pleasant face that I somehow knew. Then the girl gave a huge smile and I knew. “Stella!” I exclaimed as I got to my feet,
“God! It’s been ages!”
“Since 6th grade?” she beamed as she gave me a hug. “Yeah, you said you were moving to Boston,” I recalled. “Well, I am back!” she said, twirling around on her toes. “Still into ballet?” I asked, smiling as I remembered how we looked as two 11 year olds, wearing pink tutus, giving broken toothed smiles. “Forever!” Stella exclaimed and we laughed. She was in town for a few days visiting an aunt. Stella’s appearance had changed a lot but, then again, so had mine. We were not teenage imitations of Britney Spears anymore!
We sat there at the coffee shop, had two rounds of coffee and spoke without a pause. We talked about other friends and where they were now.
We spoke about all the things that had happened in our lives in the past years. We went to the gaming center which was renovated now and played our favorite racing game. It somehow seemed more fun than racing a real car! Having found a friend from my childhood reminded me just how carefree we were back then. One of the biggest worries on our minds was homework. I tried to remember the pure happiness of being a child.
Stella and I spent hours just walking around the mall we visited as children and felt like little girls again. We exchanged addresses and phone numbers and promised to meet up every month with our other friends in the city. Of course, we are not always able to keep this promise but whenever we do get together, it feels like we are reliving our childhood. It’s a great feeling.