When I answered, there was just the usual talking and party noise in the background. M asked if I was shopping (oh yeah, please!) but no, I told her I was at a wedding. Just then the music started. M offered to call back tomorrow, but I said no. Anyone calling my at 9:30 pm had something to say and I wanted to hear it.
Things for M had gotten difficult in one of her college courses, and she needed my advice. The professor had gone arbitrary on her - changing the grading scale for the worse. More people would fail than before, and there wasn't even a clue as to why this was happening.
We talked about it for about 20 minutes, trying to work out a strategy to deal with the problem, and ending up with M going to her graduate adviser to see if there could be any intervention with the Dean.
I got back to the party (which somehow seemed to go on just fine without me) and danced a bit more until my ride was ready to go. Truth is, it would have to be a true emergency for me not to take a friend's call. Especially M, who is brilliant, humble and ready to take on any task to help another person. Her energy is contagious. When I'm with her, I feel 20 years younger.
So there you have it. Friendship. One of G-d's greatest gifts.