New Friends

Sasha stared at the rain dripping down the cafe’s window. “It’s just been a long time since I’ve made any new friends, y’know?”

“Oh, we’re not enough for you, now?” Gary asked. He punctuated with a laugh to make sure Sasha knew he was joking. It was good to have people who understood her.

“It’s not that,” Sasha replied. “I just feel like everyone’s moving away and I can’t keep up.”

“Well, you could get out more,” Kayla said. “When’s the last time you got out of the house for anything but work or meeting us at this dump?” Sasha didn’t turn, but could see her affectionate, sweeping gesture. There wasn’t a single cafe trip that didn’t have her calling the place a dump. Her partner was the owner, though, so Sasha supposed Kayla could get away with it.

“I know all the things I should be doing,” Sasha said. “Meetups, cons, just hanging out in bars. All the normal things people do, I guess. I’m just… a really hardcore introvert most of the time.” She crumpled up her cup and tossed it into the nearby bin. It didn’t even take a glance now. What a creature of habit she’d become.

“You know you don’t have to have some long FB friends list to be okay, right?” Gary asked. “Nobody’s judging you.”

“It’s not that,” Sasha said. “I just know… well, there are times when I need people and the short list I have isn’t available, y’know? You are all wonderful. Especially for putting up with me, but-”

Kayla reached her hand out to pat Sasha’s arm. “Don’t say that. We love you the way you are.”

“I know,” Sasha said, sniffling. Damn, why did her eyes have to start running in public? “But I feel like such a burden, relying on only a few people for my random bursts of social need. Especially they’re so far between sometimes.”

Sasha looked over at the two, who shared a glance she couldn’t interpret. Here she was, being a burden again. They didn’t owe her any answers.

“Alright!” Gary said, his face breaking into a grin. “Operation: New Friends commences. Sasha, bring up Meetup. Let’s all find some more awesome people.”