we’re sitting around a table heavy with roast dinners. the first time the four of us have been together in years. marriages have happened. babies too. break ups and heart break and all of the things that come in between.
i say ‘this birthday i will be closer to fifty than to twenty’… silence for a second, then
‘your birthday will be the nineteenth anniversary of me losing my virginity in a field by your old house…’ silence, then…
we’re laughing until we’re holding our bellies and our faces hurt and we’re all talking at once like
‘oh shit yeah, was that…’
‘argh, i remember! he was…’
‘have a vagina party to celebrate’
‘I mean, not awful…’
my friend picks up a piece of ham that her daughter dropped on the table and my other friend’s baby starts to hiccup and they both go back to being mums just for a second before someone says ‘do yo remember when…’ and we’re howling again and other people in the pub turn to look at us but we’re fifteen and stealing nail varnishes from superdrug and smoking stolen cigarettes so we don’t see their disapproval.
and as we leave we hug those big full body hugs that come from a lifetime of knowing
from losing virginities in fields
from bunking off school and all those things we did together and all the things we did apart
from being closer to fifty than twenty and having those hugs that come from a lifetime of knowing.
Cover Photo by Miles Farnsworth