Best friends and roommates: The sequel

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Alexandra Sorenson '21

Abbie Toth ’21 and Sophia Cotman ’21 headed to Point Dume for one of their weekly beach trips.

Dear Tologs,

After reading the fabulous article about Emmie and Beatriz moving in together, we, Abbie Toth and Sophia Cotman, were inspired to write a sequel. We currently live in the same house (not in the same room), eat dinner together and enjoy the comfort of chips and salsa while standing in the kitchen. We wanted to tell our story (from each of our different perspectives, to spice things up). 

Sophia: Three months ago, my parents told me that I had two options: I could either stay with them in rural Montana at our vacation house for an undetermined period of time, swim with the old men at the Montana Athletic Club and enjoy the country life, or I could return to my club swimming, move in with my best friend and come back to sunny California. For me, the choice was obvious. Who wouldn’t want to come back to perfect California? 

Abbie: In June, Sophia left for Montana with her family. After staying in Montana for a month, she was more than ready to come back to California. She needed somewhere to stay near Pasadena so that she could easily commute to her daily swim practice. I offered to let her stay with my family without even consulting my parents, because I knew they would say yes. When I told my parents that Sophia was going to stay with us, they were excited but asked how long she would stay here. I responded, “Mid-August at the latest,” but, really, no one actually knew how long she would end up staying.

Sophia: Quickly, I packed my bags, hit the airport and never looked back. Personally, the country lifestyle is not for me. In a short span of three hours, I landed at LAX, took an Uber to the Toth’s and settled into the guest room. Matthew, Abbie’s brother, was confused, Mr. Toth wanted to write me off as a dependent for tax purposes, and Mrs. Toth was excited to get another daughter. 

Abbie: In the middle of July, Sophia moved into the guest room. We spent the next month of summer making countless ice cream runs, taking random trips to Target, tanning at the beach, floating in the pool and watching movies. Two (or even three) weekly beach trips became part of our routine. We also became avid people watchers and spent hours laughing at the random things we heard strangers say. We even had an ever-changing list that ranked our favorite strangers (of course, the man wearing a neon-green shirt while stretching on a statue at Griffith Park ranks number one, followed by the couple struggling to take down their 10-person camping tent at Seal Beach and the man running like a deer while wearing a shirt saying “Keep calm and swim fast”). Waking up and walking into the guest room to find Sophia snacking on something like goldfish or popcorn is just a daily thing now. 

Sophia: For the next month of summer, I drove between the Rose Bowl [where Sophia’s swim club practices], Abbie’s house, the beach and LA. We spent the next four weeks of the summer spending countless hours at the beach, watching movies every night and bonding over Trader Joe’s cookie butter ice cream. My life was pretty good and my parents were set to come back once school started. 

Abbie: Sophia very quickly became part of my family. My dad wants to claim her for his taxes while my mom even texts her occasionally. Even my nieces and nephews love her. When we go in the pool, they are constantly asking Sophia to dive underwater and show them fun swimming tricks. Mila Grace, my three-year-old niece, seems to be more excited about Sophia’s presence than mine. She even refers to the guest room as, “Sophia’s room.” 

Sophia: Then, right before school started, I called my parents and asked them when they were coming back. They said they didn’t know. I was worried. Would the Toth’s let me stay at their house during the school year? However, after my mom talked to Mrs. Toth and organized everything. I was all set. 

Abbie: When Sophia moves out (if she ever does), I will miss the smell of Annie’s white cheddar mac and cheese cooking in the microwave at 10 p.m. Personally, I find this mac and cheese to be disgusting, but it reminds me of Sophia and our awesome summer together. For now, Sophia is here to stay. At this rate, she might be here until Christmas. If you get a Christmas card from the Toth family this year, there is definitely a legitimate chance that Sophia will be featured on there as part of our family. After living with me for two and a half months, Sophia is more than my best friend; she is family.

Sophia: To this very day, I am still residing at the Toth’s. Who knows if my parents are coming back or if I am finally reaching the independent stage of adulthood. I do know that I am enjoying living with my best friend, because it spices up my life. Instead of listening to my brother play video games and blast the guitar, I get to indulge in midnight ice cream snacks and make TikToks before bed. I just know that I am happy where I am. 

Abbie and Sophia: Even when we are not living together, we will still go to the beach weekly, enjoy the same snacks and find time to go on spontaneous ice cream runs. Living together has brought up an extra layer of excitement into our lives, even in these strange times, and we hope that you can find the same excitement. 

Your favorite beach-goers, 

Abbie and Sophia