2nd Chapter

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- I can't wait to hear what's new. Nora, go – Dajana said as the ordered beers arrived at the table.

- Why should I be the first one?

- Because all this was your idea, and I think it was one of the better ones – Ema replied, raising her glass to make a toast. They all clinked their glasses and took a sip of cold refreshing beer.

- Oh, so that's the prize? – Nora asked and laughed. She was convinced that the years of separation would have a lot more impact, but some things would never change. Perhaps, at that time, they did not even understand the strength of their bond and the way it connected them and how many people longed to have such lifelong relationships. She was watching them, still not believing that they were sitting together at the table after ten years.

- Well, where should I start? And please do not say from the beginning, any of you.

- From Osijek, then. You started college, and I know all the important things that happened thanks to Facebook. I'm interested in everything in between – Ema interjected.

- Yes, you all know about college. That experience was, as it was to all of you, new and exciting and tiring, but it was exactly what I've wanted. I enjoyed the Faculty of Education, and if I had to choose again, I would choose the same – and I guess that's a good sign. There, I met Monika, and the two us quickly became as close as the five of us were in high close. But the whole story of my time in Osijek begins with Viktor.

- Viktor? Oh my, that was the name of that first-grader who was running after Ema for the entirety of our last semester. Remember him? – Veronika said, and they all started laughing. Ema grabbed her head and rolled her eyes. She had entirely forgotten about this boy who would not leave her alone.

- It's not him, is it? – Ema turned in Nora's direction.

- Yes, Ema, it's him. The guy who is three years younger than us, but somehow he ended up in Osijek the same time I did.

- Okay, so it's not him. Just checking. Continue.

- It was the summer after my third year of college. Monika and I decided to go to Kopika. That is a complex of pools close to the Drava river, and it's really cool, especially when the temperature rises to 7000 degrees. There we had our spot, which was available and "ours" precisely two out of 15 times we went there, but whatever. It was perfect. In the shade, but near the area where you can sunbathe, near the pool, and near the playing field where the guys were usually kicking a football. It wasn't jam-packed that day, and Monika even managed to grab the spot under that water mushroom you stand under and get a water massage. I was mostly lying on the grass and reading a book. I had just decided to go into the water when a ball came my way. I noticed three guys looking at me, so I went to kick the ball back to them.

- I'm afraid I can guess how far that ball went – Diana interjected.

- Just a few centimeters, of course. I managed to miss it so much that I lost my balance and fell flat on my face like a pancake. I was so ashamed that I thought about the option of never getting up. Like, act dead, Nora, because not only did you fall like an idiot, but you also had an audience. Monika saw everything from the pool, and still, to this day, she is surprised that she didn't drown of laughter.

- I hope Viktor makes an appearance soon – Ema asked.

- Yes, he leaned over me, took my hand to help me get up, and asked if I was okay. He returned the ball to his friends and turned back to me. Only then did I see how gorgeous he was. Blue eyes, with little wrinkles, the ones you get in the corners of your eyes when you laugh a lot. The high forehead and short, curly, brown hair that was still a little bit damp. A straight nose and a beautiful white smile, leaning a little bit more to one side. He had stubble and a great body. You could tell he was working out, but he didn't have those gym muscles, just beautiful broad shoulders and abs. Out of the blue, he turned around and asked me if he could get my number.

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