Ruby

It’s Saturday night and I’m in Will’s basement. He’s the lead singer of our band, Llama Sanchez, so I’m here often for practice. It smells like incense and air freshener. I hand Zach the Boyfriend (we’re “official” now) the black trench coat I bought him at Savers that afternoon. I greet everyone else and join a discussion about whether it would be cool for Will to light his ukulele on fire. Morgan doesn’t think so.

We are listening to the Smiths. Everyone here likes good music, and all of them—including Jack, Sam, and Ben, who have a band called Diatribe—could be amazing musicians, like as a career. One day, people will say, “Isn’t it awesome that they all used to hang out?”

It’s pouring, and freezing, but we walk to the elementary school playground anyway. I’m in a velvet tank top and Ben is wearing a short-sleeved Led Zepplin tee, and we try to outlast each other: who will take cover first? I cave after about half an hour and get into Zach the Boyfriend’s trench coat, so Ben wins. It’s inky dark out and soon we are back. I throw my socks and the coat and some other stuff in Will’s dryer. We try and fail to make a fort, and laugh when someone throws a shoe at Ben’s head. Ben, Zach, and I cuddle on the couch together. The trench coat is out of the dryer and doubles as a very warm makeshift blanket.

I love these people dearly. All I ever wanted was this, a solid group of friends who aren’t friends by default, but who actually like and respect each other. I haven’t known them long, but they are all wonderful and kind and smart, and I don’t know how I ever lived without them. I take back everything I ever said about friendship being overrated, and I stand by what I always believed to be true: good friends are worth waiting for. ♦