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March 26th, 2010 by the_lifer

It’s Winona’s turn to be in a cafe, tapping an iPhone. She has taken a morning off from flat hunting to catch up with an old friend. It wasn’t entirely successful, chiefly due to the old friend’s two-year-old. She is waiting to hear from Will about a second interview he’s been on when someone behind her says, “Winona? Is that you?” She looks up to a gasp of relief. “Oh! I wasn’t sure, with your hair so different. I was going to message you on Facebook – ”

“Willow! You’re back from your conference!” The two women stand and hug.

Winona feels guilty that she hadn’t felt particular urgency about contacting Willow, a friend from girls’ college. But Willow’s life is so respectable that it’s all tidily on her Facebook page. She has no qualms about including her triple-stacked education history, culminating in a rarefied biology Ph.D, nor about listing her government agency employer. There are 179 friends, lots of ecological Fan Of memberships, and a Relationship status of “Single.” In her six online photo albums, Willow’s most striking features, long natural blonde hair and bright blue eyes, are usually obscured by hiking hats and glasses.

Willow listens patiently while Winona spills about her unemployment, her return, and her flat hunt. When Willow can get a word in edgewise, she says, “I’m moving into a new flat in two weeks myself.”

“Landlord problems?” Winona can imagine that only too well after her flat hunt.

Willow suddenly becomes pretty as she smiles. “I’m buying.” As Winona shrieks in surprise, Willow adds, “I didn’t want to post about it in case I jinxed it, but it all went unconditional this morning. Have you found a place yet?”

Winona carefully shakes her head.

Within three minutes, Willow is in a position to break her lease, Winona has a flat, and they are making plans to get together repeatedly.

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