Nikki was my first college friend. We met the day we moved into our dorm â€“ West Hall on the UNT campus, or Ghetto Fabulous as it was more affectionately called.
I was with my roommate who at the time I thought would be a great friend. We had gone down to the lobby to check out the cafeteria menu, and we ran into two girls, one of whom was wearing a plaid fisherman had identical to one I had. We started talking. My roommate didnâ€™t last long, but my friendship with those girls did.
Nikki and Regina, the hat girl, lived in a triple with Amber. Amberâ€™s high school friend, Allison, also lived in the dorm. The five of us quickly bonded over our loathing of the dorm we lived in and our disappointment that only loser boys seemed to live there. We were inseparable. I donâ€™t know how I would have survived that first year if I hadnâ€™t formed that group. I certainly wouldnâ€™t know nearly as much about late 90s pop music, or Szechwan, or how to save melted chapstick. I wouldnâ€™t be able to quote Sifl & Olly, or know how fake a Hello Kitty suicide, or be an honorary member of the Wu-Tang Clan. I wouldnâ€™t have to fight the desire to yell, â€œDRESSED IN PURPLE, DRESSED IN PURPLE, WALKIN DOWN THE STREET!â€ every time I see someone in a purple shirt. As dumb as it sounds looking back, and as ridiculously lame Iâ€™m sure we were, I needed those things. I needed that year to be fun. And it was.
Amber, Allison and I all transferred after our freshman year, and Nikki and Regina did the same a semester later. I have stayed in touch with the other three intermittently, but Nikki stuck. Itâ€™s unreal to me that weâ€™ve been friends for eight years. Especially since we havenâ€™t seen each other regularly in the last seven.
Nikki was around during my very first conversations with Aaron, months before we thought about dating. I called her the second he left after our first date. She stayed up late the night before my wedding, ironing and â€˜stitchwitchery-ingâ€™ table runners with my dad. Weâ€™ve been through boyfriends, weddings, multiple cross-country moves, loss, new jobs, new cities, new lives. We are miles away from the people we were when we met, but I think weâ€™re better friends today than weâ€™ve ever been. Somehow our friendship grew and evolved along with us, something Iâ€™m learning is a rare thing. There arenâ€™t many people I can say that about.
Nikki was in town this weekend, and for I think the first time since college, we got to just hang out. Neither of us was just stopping by on our way somewhere else. We shopped, we ate, we got pedicures, we shopped, we think we saw the running of the Olympic torch, we ate again, we tried to go to a sold-out Imogen Heap show, and we shopped some more. I got to spend real quality time with one of my favorite friends that I never see often enough. We caught up on our 26-year-old selves and laughed at how different they are than our 18-year-old ones. I look forward to the day when our 40-year-old selves are doing the same thing.