It was late, Sunday. The night was still save for the fall breeze that gently pushed its way through the boughs of the trees causing a faint ripple of sound to float through the otherwise silent air. Slowly my friends had began leaving Sacramento, migrating to their respective colleges. I waved at Kevin’s taillights as he drove off toward L.A. He had school the next day and had stayed as long as possible. I couldn’t escape the slight tinge of melancholy that had suddenly developed in my chest. I glanced at Evan, and by the look on his face he had fallen victim to the same calamity: the feeling of loss that comes from being without a best friend, even if it is only for a short while. That was the problem with having such close friends, I thought to myself as I walked back into my house–you can’t stand the time apart.
About an hour and a half later, I received a call from Kevin. He sounded a little frantic as he described how he had made it all the way to Modesto before realizing that he had forgotten his laptop at home and didn’t know what to do. I saw only one solution to his problem, and when I told Evan we were taking a trip, he only smiled and grabbed his keys.
The distance didn’t matter. The time spent covering that distance didn’t matter. And the gas that it took to cover that distance didn’t matter either. All that mattered was that my friend needed help. Evan, I knew, shared a similar loyalty.
The three of us had always been there for each other. We would drop absolutely anything to help each other, simply because our friend–our brother–needed us and not because we felt pity for him but because we knew he needed us.
As Evan and I left Kevin’s house, the laptop bag in hand, I began to look back at some of the times that we had helped each other during a really trying time. Both Kevin and Evan were the first to come to my aid when my grandmother passed away last summer, and Kevin and I were there for Evan when his parents divorced, all of us still so young. Understandably, driving for hours to deliver a laptop to a friend isn’t so dire or emotionally affecting, but it was still important especially to Kevin, already nervous for his first day of college.
As we drove down the dark highway, pairs of white lights glided past us every few seconds, the ghosts of which languished in our retinas for brief moments. We jokingly complained about Kevin’s ineptitude; we joked that this was exactly something he would do; and we laughed at the fact that this would not be the last time something similar would happen.
We finally arrived to Rest Stop 13: Westley Southbound, where Kevin had been waiting for a little over an hour. Our reunion was short. Kevin motioned us over to his car. He said thanks as he grabbed the laptop and laughed, making some sort of snide comment about himself. We talked for only a minute longer and then said our good-byes. I walked back to Evan’s truck, already discussing something entirely new and different, our journey and the impetus for such already forgotten. I believe it is no big deal to drive a hundred miles to help a friend.