There were different hair cuts, some slightly different body shapes, different clothing styles. The faces, though, were the same. So were the jokes. She searched for the laughter, but it wasn’t there. She tried to smile widely and mimic the motions; these were things that she should have been laughing at. These were things that she would have laughed at three or four years ago, maybe even just one year ago. For some reason, they weren’t funny any more.

She sat there with that emptiness that comes when you are struck with the reality that things cannot always be as they were, and that you don’t always want them to be.