They sat, as so many times before, at a table by the window in a coffee shop, a group of twenty-something friends, talking about everything and nothing. A few of them had known each other since before they could remember, some since the earliest days of school and the rest had joined paths at various stages along the way. Some of them were drinking coffee, a few were eating and some, with neither food nor beverage, had fished out their phones and were currently part of entirely other circumstances than the ones unfolding around them.

One in the group had finished eating a while ago and was thoughtfully playing with what had been left over on the plate before sighing deeply, looking up and around at the others, saying

‘Remember when it felt like anything was possible? How we sat here at this very table enthusiastically planning and speculating about our future, about all the things we were going to do and all the places we were going to go? Remember how full of energy we were? How vibrant the air was? How we fed off each other and built each other up? Now look at us. What happened?’

Some of the others nodded solemnly but didn’t say anything, the ones with their phones out chipped in with well rehearsed, vaguely encouraging, grunts, having obviously not heard a word, and a melancholic silence fell over them all, until one of them, who had been chewing on a somewhat stubborn piece of asparagus, finally managed to swallow, washed it down with a mouthful of water and said

‘That was three weeks ago. Have a little patience.’

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