I screamed far too loud for early morning when she told me. Unnecessary, really.
"I'm engaged!" I heard from the other end of the line three years ago. Engaged. My best friend.
I was in bed, screaming in shock and delight. I remember my roommate knocking on my door. "Are you OK?" she asked. My best friend just got engaged in the passenger seat of a car. I was ecstatic.
I met her during freshmen orientation my first weekend of college. I knew her then as "Lori from Princeton," (the municipality, not the university). I knew everyone then as "(insert name here) from (insert town here)."
Matt from Sheboygan. Alison from Boscobel. Crystal from Berlin. Lori from Princeton.
But I bonded with Lori from Princeton. We shared stories of high school cross country. Ex-boyfriends. Roommates. Homesickness. Because clearly we were homesick two days after our parents said goodbye.
In the short time I attended college with her (I transferred after freshman year), we created a history. Corn mazes. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. Dirty, dirty Boscobel. Frisbee in the rain. Dipshit. Old loves. New loves. And the inevitable Break Up.
Before our college debut ended that year, our friendship came to a halt. An argument here. A fight there. Harsh words. And that was all it took. We went our separate ways, only to reunite months later after we each lived life a little longer and decided, "Wait a minute. (Lori, Krista) from (Princeton, Beloit) is supposed to be a part of this."
And so it was.
It's been over six years since freshmen orientation. She was there for me when my grandpa died almost five years ago. I was there for her when Dipshit broke her heart. Again. We spent summers on the lake at her parents house. Made bets on who'd be the first to marry. She swore she'd be the last. She was the first. Named our future children, and dreamed up perfect husbands. I cried like a baby at her wedding when, during the ceremony, she reached up to wipe a tear from her new husband's cheek.
She found the perfect husband. And she'll stand up for me when I marry my own next summer.
But recently her dreams came full circle. Her life reached a milestone far beyond surviving homesickness as an 18-year-old college freshman. Beyond heartbreaks. Beyond new friendships and an old life. She's become more than Lori from Princeton.
I screamed just as loudly this time, if not more, as I stood in her kitchen. Happiness burst out of us as I grabbed her into a hug when she told me.