It’s a Friday.

“Do  you want to dance?” the dark haired, slightly exotic looking guy says.

“Depends. Are you going to make it weird?” I ask, loudly, trying to be heard over the sound of Pravda’s speakers.

Maybe it was the couple of drinks I had, or the shot of fireball I insisted we take, but for some reason, I missed one of my closest friends, Rachel, sending me telepathic “HE’S A CREEPER” messages, during this entire back and forth.

It’s very telling of our friendship – me, the sassy one, with a tendency to overlook details and welcome the unknown, and Rachel, the meticulous, determined one – the one who eventually refused to dance with us, informing me that the guy dancing with me (and yes, making it weird although he said he would not), had been gawking at us awkwardly the entire night.

My friendship with Rachel is serendipitous, and kind of incredible. We started out as friends of convenience and obligation – our boyfriends (at the time) worked together, and we often found ourselves in the same social situations.  We bonded over our mutual faith, ambition, and a similar sense of humor.

Although we’re different – again, myself, the hippie dippie hipster, and Rachel, the southern belle, constantly find ourselves in parallel emotionally and spiritually. We both have very firm stances on what we want, are seeking God, and love brunch.

That’s probably what led us to Wilmington, one of my favorite, and most familiar places on Earth, on the weekend of her 27th birthday. We had arrived late Friday evening, and immediately changed, and went out to the bars.

I showed her all of my favorite places -we went dancing at Pravda, and followed up with drinks at Cape Fear Wine and Beer. The next day, it continued – The Basics, where we sipped coffee and got the same benedict, The Husk, where we sipped cool beers, and Elijah’s – where we ordered way too many oysters and made each other laugh.

Martinis at Elijahs
Martinis at Elijahs

It might be one of my new favorite memories, sitting at the bar, waiting for our table, giggling about the night before.

“That bartender was pushy,” I exclaimed, taking a swig of my extra dirty martini. “Just because guys buy me drinks doesn’t mean I have to talk to them.”

Rachel agreed.

“I won’t be summoned by drinks,” Rachel declared. “If we spent all of our time talking to guys who sent us drinks, we’d never have any time for ourselves.”

By the river.
By the river.

We both burst out laughing, and I remember thinking of all the other times that Rachel and I were cracking up about something awkward.

There was the time at Landmark, where a girl vomited right behind us, and had to be carried out. We both exchanged disgusted looks, and Rachel blurted out, “Seriously?” We went home and watched New Girl. 

There was the time that we were at my friend Nout’s house – and Shana, made faces in response to something someone was saying. Rachel took pictures, and we giggled looking at all of the hilarious expressions she was making.

A few moments of many – that I couldn’t help but think about, and be grateful for, as Rachel and I hopped around downtown Wilmington. I drank a super sweet drink called a Pretty Pretty Princess at KGB, Rachel fell in love with Caprice Bistro, and we sent selfie snapchats to Shana.

By the time we headed back to our Airbnb, we both felt peaceful and full. That’s the magic of Wilmington, but also, the nature of our friendship. By the time we headed back to Raleigh for scheduled massages (that was actually a surprise party/pub crawl for Rachel at Clouds Brewing), we were relaxed and renewed.

Rache’s surprise birthday princess pub crawl.

Happy Birthday, Rachel.