We welcomed the new year on a bridge.
It was me, Bea, Maggie, Barby, and Abraham.
Said bridge, a slab of concrete above a southern creek, can be found inside the subdivision where my family lives, in a place called Nuvali. (Bea recently asked if Nuvali meant New Valley and the truth is that I don't know. But wouldn't it be so great if it did?)
The last song I remember Abraham singing before the clock struck 12 was Edwin Mc Cain's I'll Be. It sounds laughable because it drips with the iconic cheesiness of the early 2000's but the truth is that it carries a special kind of nostalgia for me, for us.
He had sung it for me before alongside a bunch of our closest friends. They surprised me in my garage one evening, a row of candles arranged in the shape of a heart, their smiles lit by the warmest glow.
Whenever he sings it in the present day I am transported back to that moment. I become the girl coming home from school, the girl who steps into the garage unsuspectingly, the girl assaulted by such a grand gesture of love. It is both sweet and a little sad.
Hearing it on the bridge that night, a few minutes before the new year hit, made me think many things.
It made think of how old we are, how he sang it for me when I was just 18 years old and how we're moving towards our mid-30's now; it made me think of how our set of friends have changed since that night yet how we are inexplicably still together anyway. It made me think of how lucky we are to have shared that moment, how we'll always hear the song and remember it, how infinitely lucky we remain to be that we can share this, this right here, right now, how I can't freeze time and so I write.
The five of us sat in a circle on the bridge and held hands. Happy new year, we all murmured. There were fireworks in the background. There didn't need to be any for the moment to be perfect but there they were anyway, specks in the darkness, like candles in a garage but perhaps even better.