Got a call from my friend the Professor last week. He told me he was heading out to India to visit his brother. I'm leaving on Friday he said. We have to meet before that - can't go 2 years without a proper meet up and a last pint together!
And so, after work today, I headed over to The Artful Dodger on Isabella street and we met and talked and laughed and remembered. We'd met almost 7 years ago; I was hired by York's International department to run one of their student programs, he was hired to be my right hand. It was a bit of a rocky start, but we worked through our differences and ended up friends. Real friends. The kind that last and endure.
His girlfriend joined us later. A young little thing with the glow of graduation still on her. She's so perfect for him, and I love seeing how great they are together. Excited about her first trip to India, she chatters on asking about this... about that...
Finally it was time. The hands on the clock had be marching steadily as we sipped our pints. I stood up to leave and took an astonishingly long time to gather my belongings, delaying the moment.
A hug to Freckles. Email me if you need anything - like shopping tips! Then over to Professor. He envelopes me in a big hug. I find myself tearing up. Take care of yourself I whisper. Be nice to Freckles. She's good for you. Without her you'll probably go back to being a bastard - more so than usual - and I won't even be around to kick some sense into you.
He nodded, but still I didn't let go. I gave him a quick kiss and left. I didn't look back. It was too hard. Besides, I didn't want them to see that I was crying.
The cool night air stung my cheeks as I walked over to the subway. I took a deep breath to steady myself and thought - this was only the first. How was I to get through all the others?