My phone buzzed next to me, and I opened my eyes just long enough to see it was my friend Keena calling. Fuck that. I’ll call her tomorrow. I threw my phone on my nightstand (where it belonged), and dove back under the covers.
I would have missed her second call had it not been for one thing—I wear a Fitbit. If you own one, you know it vibrates when there’s an incoming call. Even though I was twenty-percent conscious, I knew what two calls meant. One phone calls means, Hey I’m bored, you still up? Two calls means, I’m in trouble. Get your ass up.
“Girl I need your help.” See? You don’t ignore the back-to-back phone dial.
Tuesday night was one of those evenings where I passed out before ten. [I’m saying before ten because it sounds a lot less embarrassing than nine-thirty.] A little after eleven, my half-asleep self was listening to Keena recount her evening. A friend from home came to DC to visit. The two went out to dinner. He got incredibly (understatement of the week) drunk. He threw up over every square inch of her bathroom.
“I need you to drive his car, and follow me back to the metro. And girl, this is going to be a two-hour ordeal.”
Before I type my response, I want to make one small plea in self-defense: I was half-asleep during this conversation. I didn’t fully grasp the situation until after the conversation ended.
Ok here it goes.
“There is nothing I would rather do less.”
COULD I BE A BIGGER BITCH???
And because she was covered in Clorox wipes and throwing out every last item in her bathroom, she didn’t chew my ass out like I deserved.
“Ok, I’ll call Kim!” she responded, and hung up. I rolled over and went back to sleep.
For all of…three seconds. My eyes shot open, and I realized the level of shit (or in this case, vomit) my friend was in. Homegirl (who does a lot for me), explicitly said, I need your help, and I told her I had better things to do. I.e., sleep.
This^^^^goes against everything I’m against.
On my list of Ten Commandments, Friends are not convenient—make the effort, is #3. If someone is important to you, you better show it. Skip the hollow I love you boo’s and BFF foreva’s and make actionable steps to show you care. Bring food when they’re sick, assist in rearranging their living room, and show up to parties located outside your neighborhood.
And for the love of everything good, do not fall back asleep when someone pukes in their bathroom.
I was wide-awake, firing off texts saying I was an asshole, and of course I would drive to the middle of Virginia to get her hammered friend home. Kim—heroine of the evening—beat me to it. She answered on the first half ring and said, “What do you need?” before anyone had the chance to say “Hi.”
Now that’s how you do it.
I apologized to Keena three times—Tuesday night via text, Wednesday morning via phone, and Wednesday night in person. When I showed up at her apartment door, sweaty, tired, and gross from a ten-mile practice with my running group; her first question was, “Yo you want me to make you a protein smoothie?” Then she hopped off the couch and made me one.
Like I said—you don’t tell friends they matter. You show them.