Last weekend was L's birthday, otherwise known as the first time A, J, H, K and B had seen each other face-to-face in well over a year. Even N was present, although she was still quiet as usual. It would be lovely to say everyone instantly felt as if no time had passed and they were all best friends again, but nothing is ever that simple.
A refused to talk to manipulative K. After discovering she had been driving a wedge between A and L and lying to a bunch of other people about A she announced she would never speak to K again. She's sticking to that vow. And these days A and L have become good friends again. J crossed the floor and tried to clear the air by chatting to B and K, but after ten minutes of K's fake smiles and declarations about how much she'd missed J, J had to down a glass of tequila and coke and back away, quickly. She tried talking to H but H carefully avoided eye contact and sat straight-backed with boyfriend accidental date. Accidental date didn't speak to anyone at the party other than H and L's grandma despite L's efforts to get him to speak to him. B actually seemed much like her old self, before she got in her post-R depression and started agreeing with everything K said. Apparently she has a new job and uni course and a bunch of new friends. Talking to her, J realised how much she'd missed B and remembered what good friends they'd once been. Of course the main reason she's stopped being such good friends with B was K and that problem still exists. K hasn't changed.
A stuck to chatting to M and G as well as her and L's large group of mutual uni mates. It was clear whose 'side' had the numbers- and it wasn't the one consisting of H, accidental date, B and K. A actually ended up talking to H after a drinking contest with one of her uni mates. She was drunk, but her friend was passed out on the ground with his best mate's hand down his throat scraping out the vomit. L considered calling an ambulance but her suggestion was vetoed along with J's suggestion of shoving a fork down his throat to make him throw up. H wasn't drinking and apparently accidental date doesn't drink. Ever. The idea horrified A but she tried to place nice. In the end though she was just left horrified by everything that H now is. H seems empty, a shell of her former. If H had had a worst nightmare back when we were all good friends, her life now would have been it. It wasn't just that she was dressed and acting conservatively. It wasn't just the fact that she apparently no longer drinks or goes out or goes to gigs. It's not just that she lives in the suburbs with a guy whose hand she was holding the entire night. It wasn't just that she had no interest in talking to new people when new people used to be one of her favourite things. It wasn't just that she now apparently has no desire to travel anywhere. It was all of that and also the look in her eyes. She was missing the glint, the passion, that she once had. The H that we know and love is gone.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, B, K and H all left early. L was left to party with A, J, M, G and a few of her uni friends. Someone threw up in L's bed and L was determined to find out who it was. M blamed J who was walking around glazed and dazed after two many tequilas. J blamed N who is known to throw up whenever she has more than a small sherry. N blamed the uni guy who got in the drinking contest with A. M found him passed out in L's bathroom about 6am (this was after the ground vomit incident) having covered all the walls in dirt and grass.
The next morning at 9am the drinking contest loser drove home. No one can quite work out how he managed to get home without getting arrested or getting into a crash.