We ate at the two unhealthiest fast food places we could think of, Taco Bell and Dairy Queen, which happen to be conveniently located right next to each other on Wharncliffe Road, also known as the express route to heart disease.
One of the many things I love about spending time with these girls is how comfortable and easy it always is. They've watched me go through phases and changes and hard times, and they understand why I am the way I am. They knew me when I was shy and awkward and wore this godawful yellow-and-pumpkin-orange coat because I couldn't tell my mom I didn't like it. ("It's Columbia. That's cool, right? That's what the kids are wearing?" Yes, but they're wearing it in colours that don't resemble Thanksgiving décor.) Basically, I can do anything I want around them and know they won't even blink, because I've already done something sillier, geekier, or just plain dumber.
On a childish whim, we drove through the quiet streets of my old neighbourhood looking for somewhere to play. Heather parked her car in a pool of yellow light on Victor St, in front of Alayna's house, where I used to go every morning before we walked to school together. We called her cell phone but there was no answer, so the three of us got out and walked into an empty, unlit playground surrounded by grass and trees. Belvedere Park, it's called, and when I lived around the corner I used to go there all the time with my little brothers and sisters and play tag or hide and seek or race to the "good swings" in the corner. They're not there any more, sadly, but there is a shiny new jungle gym. We played and climbed and swung and slid and laughed at each other and ourselves and the sheer randomness of being together, the three of us, for the first time in six weeks, in a playground well after dark.
On the drive home I tuned the radio to the only station I can even tolerate. A sweet song came on just as Heather was dropping me off, and I said "Listen to this, it's really good." I opened the passenger door and slid out, a little clumsily with my huge bag. "I know a place where no cars go." She probably didn't know what I was talking about, but she laughed anyway because she's used to me not making sense. I love that.