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It was dark and stormy (you know, your typical tale) and the power had just gone out (it went out as soon as I walked in the door, which became the joke of the evening). The house was filled with candles reflecting off the silverware on the long table and the huge windows facing the gravel road running down the hill and into the woods. The stove was on too, stocked with firewood, the chimney flue rising up through the high ceiling.

I miss those days. Sleepovers up in the balcony-attic. We’d be hyper before the evening was out, all us girlz. Our hyper-ness would lead to pillow fights and the like. Firelight would flicker off the ceiling and I’d lay on top of my sleeping bag, too hot to sleep, caught at the moment when you told the others goodnight but knew none of them had slipped off into slumber yet.

Earlier in the evening we’d skate around the wood floors in our socks, brightly colored and often mismatched. We’d listen to Rosemarie’s stories as she mixed up a salad and pulled something out of the oven. I’d be at the center of all the fun, being the oldest but acting the youngest.

Then comes college. Then comes boyfriends. Then come our life paths that create new backgrounds, smudging our similarities. And I feel like the glue, the centerpiece holding our strands of friendship together. Intact, but changed.