The halls were resting from the bustle of the girls and their families moving up and down, in and out, through and through with box after box of freshman necessities. Just when it seemed the ancient building could finally breath a sigh through its mortar, the morning sunlight warmed the rooms and filled them with the sparkle of floating hopes….
The doors closed simultaneously. Both girls looked across the quiet dormitory hallway and smiled shyly. They walked toward the elevator and stood facing the closed door. They struck up a polite early morning conversation.
“Hi. On the way to registration?”
“Yeap, are you? A…. for Anderson.”
“Yes. I‘m a B for Benton. Want to walk together?”
Their brunette hair shown in the September sunlight and their brown eyes twinkled as the girls made their way across campus. The sound of their flip-flops echoed through the empty courtyards, as they tried to find a common bond.
Melissa was from the state’s largest western city and Lucy, a barely populated farm town in the eastern tip.
Melissa had two sisters and divorced parents and Lucy, two brothers and parents that had been together forever.
Melissa’s father was a self-made millionaire and Lucy’s, a school teacher.
Melissa was Episcopalian and Lucy, a home-grown Southern Baptist.
The walk ended at the registration tables and so should have the friendship, but God was at work…
….the halls were ringing with the laughter of the girls as their stories moved up and down, in and out, and through and through the rooms. The ancient building never tired of listening to this chatter night after night. A contented chuckle seem to ripple through its mortar as moonlight painted the rooms and filled them with the magic of boundless dreams ….
“Do you think he’s the one?” Lucy asked breathlessly.
“I think so. My dad is going to die.”
“Maybe not. Going to talk to your dad is sooo romantic.” Lucy replied.
“Either way, I’m transferring home at the end of the year. Might as well, since you’re leaving.” Melissa threw a pillow at her friend.
Lucy ducked and said, “You know I’m not a city girl. I’m going to finish college at home. We’ll stay in touch….”
Melissa and Lucy felt their separate plans calling them away from each other, but they shared all their hopes and dreams as they spent that year taking so many steps into their lives. And where a friendship was so young, God was laying a foundation ….
….the halls echoed the shouts of good-byes up and down, in and out, and through and through the rooms. The ancient building’s awning drooped a little at the ends and bits of mortar crumbled to the ground in the May sunshine. The tears pooled in Lucy’s eyes as Melissa drove away. They both were remembering the promises of their good-bye…
“Let’s write every day.”
“And call at least once a week.”
“Two visits a year?”
Ohhh, how the girls meant it! And ohhh, how they did it! At least for the first few years. It was easy. Weddings to plan; careers to compare; babies to name. Long distance, late night phone calls for advice, comfort, laughter. They held each others hands when they could and each others hearts when they couldn’t.
Melissa and Lucy spent year after year building their busy lives. Slowly, all their plans and work began to pull them away from each other. Phone calls became less frequent, emails replaced letters, visits became semi-yearly. But God wasn’t finished laying bricks. Until….
…. In the shiny glass and chrome building the halls were filled with the bustle of families moving up and down, in and out, and through and through asking doctors and nurses what would be necessary to heal their loved ones. Although it seemed this sterile building would suffocate Melissa, she never looked up from her vigil. Even when the door opened quietly.
“Good morning. Want to walk together?”
Melissa looked across the still hospital room to see Lucy, her brunette hair now sprinkled with gray.
She reached for her old friend and their brown eyes filled with tears of love and remembrance as they locked arms.
“Sure,” she answered.
And ohhh, how God smiled down on that friendship he had built.
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