Last year, one of my best friends, who basically became like another roommate, was Brian. He lived across the hall from me and Meagan in Flannery (or the Big Flan, as Brian liked to call it).
Brian, his roommate Tommy, Meagan, Jen, and I spent many hours discussing everything from religion and the meaning of life to the dining hall options and the infamously sporadic Baltimore weather. We had regular meals together sitting in a circle on the fuzzy blue rug in our room, usually from Sghetti’s, which was never really as good as we thought it was.
We went out to Baltimore restaurants, movies, and neighborhoods together (not gonna lie, the group definitely benefited from the presence of me and Tommy, two native
Baltimoreans), and celebrated birthdays like it was nobody’s business.
We played pranks on each other, including, but not limited to when the girls found a random sock in the laundry and put it on the boys’ door with masking tape, then it went back and forth between our rooms for about a month. For some reason, we thought it was quite humorous. And then there’s the giant cardboard spider the gang took from the hallway around Halloween and tucked it in-between the covers of my bed. Needless to say, I had quite a surprise one night.
Brian and Tommy were very different, and yet very similar. They were brought together for no reason other than a random roommate pairing, and from that, grew a lasting and
unbreakable bond, quite like the bond Jen, Meagan, and I have. Together, the five of us had a special dynamic, and we became the best of friends throughout freshman year (even if it was really only so we could borrow Brian and Tommy’s famous Scorpion vacuum … haha just kidding, of course).
In January, Brian and Meagan started dating, something we all saw coming and couldn’t have been happier about. But in June, I got a phone call from Brian. He had gotten into the University Notre Dame, and his dream had come true.
Though Brian transferred his and Meagan’s relationship has been stronger than ever, and the five of us have remained just as close, even if a lot of it has to be through Skype, texting, and Facebook chat. For his birthday in September, Meagan sent him a gift and
homemade card, and he opened it while the three girls watched on the other end of a Skype chat.
For a couple days this week, we have all had the enormous gift of hosting Brian here at Loyola while he’s on his fall break from Notre Dame. He stayed with Tommy (who lives three floors below us now), but we were all together in the girls’ room frequently, as per usual.
When Meagan and I picked him up from the airport on Sunday afternoon (which shows just how much I love this kid because I had to listen to the end of the Ravens game on the radio), he ran out to greet me with a big bear hug, wearing his Loyola Superfans t-shirt, of course.
Throughout the next few days, we all had some of our famous late-night conversations, ordered out from Sghetti’s, and cooked a dinner with a group of friends and enjoyed a game night together. But somehow, some things seemed to be vastly different from the
times we all spent together in the Big Flan. Our late-night conversations were less about the meaning of life and more about the meanings of our lives, and what we were planing to do with them. Sghetti’s wasn’t quite as good as we remembered it being last year, and for some reason we ate it around the dining room table like civilized human beings instead of on the rug in our bedroom. And cooking a meal actually meant preparing vegetables, garlic bread, and pasta and sauce, not throwing Easy Mac or Soup at Hand in the microwave in the dorm.
After we took a group picture on the last night, Tommy, always making wise observations said, “Wow, we all really look like adults in this picture … so much more so than we did last year.” I guess he was right. It’s only been a year since we were all becoming comfortable with each other and getting to know each other’s quirks and oddities. But now I’m comfortable knowing that these are best friends for a lifetime, and change of school or change of residence can have no effect on that. We’ll always have each other, and we’ll always have the Big Flan.