It was the beginning of my sophomore year of high school. I had just returned to my alma mater after a half-semester stint in New Jersey. All of the friends I’d made in the first half of my freshman year found their way back to me and, though I was glad to see them, it turned out that they would not become my tribe.
No, my tribe was waiting just below the horizon, about to break over and bathe me in the light of lifelong friendship.
Due to a minor snafu with transferring my credits from NJ, it turned out that not only was I barred from participating in Drivers Ed but I also had to enroll in a freshman level course, World History.
And so it came to be that I met Dia (and Obi Wan, but that’s a story for another day). She was as much a firecracker then as she is now, refusing to take anyone’s shit. And she was and is hilarious. The exact details of how we met elude me; all I know is that we became fast friends.
We spent World History and lunches together and would often meet up at the infamous Main Street outside of our school’s hallowed halls. We shared one crazy, amazing Spring Break together in 2005. There was a dumb little incident that almost ended our friendship; I’m so glad we got past it.
We kept in touch as I graduated to a local college and she entered her senior year. Continued to keep in touch after I moved away to New Jersey for the second time (only this time it stuck). Hubby and I flew down to attend her wedding a couple of years later. And every time that I visited Miami before and after, I knew I could count on seeing my Dia Dear.
But this time, the tables turned! She flew up to visit me here in the north! We spent four jam-packed, awesome days together. We explored all that the heart of Montclair had to offer and even made it up to Eagle Rock. We got lash lifts together. We ferried around the Hudson River, first to the Statue of Liberty and then to Battery Park. We explored the FiDi, fed some squirrels and pigeons at City Hall, then crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to explore DUMBO. We shared an amazing brunch and then attended not just one but two shows in a single day, Network on Broadway and the BTS concert at MetLife Stadium. And on our final day together, we went on a scary, buggy safari through a local park and took some beautiful photos along the way.
It’s been a week to the day since Dia returned home, and I’ve missed her every one of them. But it’s ok because I know we’ll see each other again soon. And I know she’ll be back to take another bite of the Big Apple because the first wasn’t nearly big enough.