"Are you home?" she said.
I was. I was in bed, curled up under my favorite blanket and warm with sleep. I'd been in Phoenix for four days for my brother's wedding. Four days was not enough for me to want to come back home. It was, however, enough of family drama and tireless self-instrospection...and of a friendless vacation.
I have photos and funny stories and observations from the airport...all to come as soon as I can get to them...Meanwhile, I twisted and turned beneath the covers while Kim talked at record pace. She does this often. Talks fast, covering everything and anything while I sit and listen. Sometimes it drives me crazy...because I can't keep up. But it's her and it's comforting. And it made waking up miles away from the mountains and back in my little apartment in my small town a lot easier.
Later, Rachel calls and asks me to stop at the house for a minute before going to work. She's frantically wrapping birthday presents in brightly colored paper with orange ribbon. It's her daughter's 10th birthday. She zips around her living room and pulls tape from her sock. We talk fast, because I have work and she has a brithday party. "You have no idea how much I missed you," she says and pulls me into a tight hug. I wasn't gone long but that's how it is with the friends that matter. And I felt loved. And missed.
My apartment doesn't feel like a home anymore. Like my home. This town hasn't felt like home in a long time. But talking to Kim... At Rachel's house... It always feels like home.