Girls on a train reconnect with joy

posted by: Genny Heikka


By Genny Heikka


Shortly after we boarded the train to San Francisco, we went to the Cafe car to get some coffee and breakfast. We were standing in line when the girl in front of us tapped the girl in front of her on the back, and when she turned around, her eyes got huge and her face lit up.

“Oh my GOSH!” she shouted. She held out her arms. The two friends laughed and hugged. “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe this! Where are you headed?”

“The financial district!” the other girl shouted. They grabbed each other’s hands.

“Me too!” They hugged again. And again. (As my daughter said afterwards, “They sure made a scene, Mommy.”)

A beautiful scene.

The man at the register waited patiently for them to finishing hugging so they could order. (I'm pretty sure he didn't mind the wait. He was smiling just as much as everyone else was.)

Finally, the girls turned to him. “This is my BEST friend,” one of them said proudly. She put her arm around the other girl’s shoulder.

I smiled and fought the lump in my throat.

As they finished ordering, I heard one of them say, “This is perfect. We can sit together!”

I was curious and had to ask…

“So you guys didn’t know you were both going to be on the train?”

“We had no idea!” they laughed.

“How long has it been since you’ve seen each other?”

And this is what really got me…

“About six weeks.”

Six weeks? By the way they acted, I would’ve guessed it had been years. “How neat,” I said, again fighting the lump in my throat.

Just then, their food was ready. They got their things, waved to the rest of us in line, and headed out of the Cafe car smiling and laughing.

I stood there, looking at the man ready to take my order, blinking back tears. Because that might’ve been one of the sweetest encounters of friendship I’ve ever seen.

And it made me think of my own friends. It made me remember when my friend Jen moved to New Jersey and how hard we cried when we said goodbye. It made me remember how deeply my heart ached when my friend Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer. And how much her strength and recovery inspired me. It made me think about my friend Amy and how she and I still laugh about things we did in fourth grade.

It made me appreciate all the ways my friends have touched my life: bringing meals over when my kids were born, calling when I was going through some difficulties, celebrating successes, and being there during failures.

And it made me want to be the kind of friend who gives huge hellos and excited hugs when we run into each other, even if it’s only been six weeks.




Genny Heikka is a mom, author, speaker and coffee lover. Stop by her blog at and share a cup or connect with her on Twitter at @GennyHeikka.

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