Rachel —– Merilla

separation anxiety (noun):
1. a state of distress felt at the prospect of being separated from a familiar or beloved person.
2. what we happen to be going through right now

We write to you this week from 400 miles apart. We have been apart since Thursday afternoon due to visits with our respective family and friends that have brought us off the Tufts campus for the long weekend. If we’re to be quite honest with y’all, it’s been a really tough 72 hours. You never really know how dependent you are on your best friend until you realize that you can’t truly enjoy eating omelettes and mozzarella sticks at Carm without them. We’ve decided to document our separation this weekend in hopes of discovering we aren’t essentially an old married couple. As it turns out, we are exactly that.

Thursday (Day I):

I am on the T going to the airport, reluctantly processing the fact that I’m leaving Tufts for an extended period of time. I don’t like change.

Merilla: Where do you want to eat dinner: Carm or Dewick? What are the potato options?
Me: Uhhhh I’ve already left Tufts.
Merilla: I can’t do this. I’m already a mess.

This is going to be a long weekend.

I’m sitting alone at Carm at Rachel and my favorite table: first four-person table on the left. I stare at my empty plate, but I can’t bring myself to move. We have a system. Once we finish eating, I tell Rachel I’m done. Then, two minutes later, she gets up. Then, 10 seconds later, I get up. Maybe I’ll just wait here until she gets back on Monday.

Friday (Day II):

I have reached the hardest part of my journey: the gym. This is my opportunity to prove to myself and the world that I can be my own, self-sufficient person. Of course I have Merilla send me our workout schedule and I text her periodically with updates on my squat techniques. I finish our workout with minimal embarrassment, and now, I think that I can actually function on my own (cue Les Mis music).

There are omelettes and mozzarella sticks at Carm tonight, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to enjoy these delicacies without Rachel. She loves mozzarella sticks. Maybe I just won’t tell her. I try to keep myself busy, but it’s just not the same. No one laughs at my jokes as hard as Rachel does. Actually, no one else laughs at my jokes period. I’m so proud of her for going to the gym without me, but even that doesn’t get me off the couch after watching How to Get Away with Murder for four hours.

Saturday (Day III):

I wake up with a jolt. I reach for my phone.

Me: Oh my god. I had a dream a baked potato was chasing me through the woods like Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf.
Merilla: Trippy.

Rachel had a dream that a baked potato was chasing her through the woods. I didn’t tell her this because I didn’t want to freak her out, but I have a conspiracy theory that all baked potatoes are actually aliens in disguise planning a potatocalypse. I think we’re going insane.

Sunday (Day IV):

I have the same dream, but this time, the mango fried rice, a poor excuse for a “potato and rice accompaniment” is chasing me. I realize I’m having these nightmares because I don’t have Merilla making me pasta at midnight. Or maybe it’s because I slept with a block of sharp cheddar cheese underneath my pillow in hopes of absorbing its power. Either way, I realize that I can’t survive without Merilla. It’s like Romeo and Juliet, except I would never drink poison if I found out she died. Sorry, Grillz. I’m not a romantic.

I wake up sweating. The room is spinning. Nothing makes sense. Is this what it feels like to be in a long distance relationship?

Monday (Day V):

We didn’t make it.

Stay weird, y’all.


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