Whenever I speak about them, I don’t call them my friends. Our relationship is special and it needs a qualifier to describe who they are and what they mean to me. So I refer to them as my old roommates because living together made us closer than friends, and more like family. Even though it’s been many years since we last lived together, this still holds true.
We met as grad students at Emerson College. All three of us came from the New York-New Jersey area and were new to Boston. The close quarters of grad school housing only helped our friendship to flourish. At the end of the year, another New Yorker joined us, and the four of us moved off-campus. Our new digs, a railroad-style apartment, was much larger, but in need of a major face-lift. As young women living in the city, we didn’t mind residing in a self-proclaimed student slum. We were too busy having fun.
Graduations and jobs inevitably ended our time of living together. My roommates left Massachusetts – for New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico, while I found a cute studio apartment and stayed in Boston. Although we often go for long periods of time without seeing one another, we stay in close contact.
Last winter, New York was the first of the roommates to visit me in my new home, arriving only a few weeks after I’d moved in. She could see beyond the bare walls and the pile of cartons in every room, to what it would become with time. And her enthusiasm for me was palpable.
In early November, New Jersey and New Mexico came to town for a conference and stayed with me for a couple of nights. My first over-night guests since the big home reno was completed. This symbolism was not lost on me.
We talk, we text. And when I’m lucky enough to spend time with any of these three amazing women, we don’t miss a beat. Time and age do not matter. We feel as if we’ve never lived apart. I’m sure we always will.