A friend of mine is moving to L.A. in a couple of weeks, so a group of us girls got together last night at Piazza Bella in Roscoe Village to send her off. She picked the restaurant: “This is my new Settimana,” she said on the ride over, referencing the shuttered Wicker Park café. “I still can’t believe that place closed.” Soon, though, she’ll have to find a new, new Settimana.

Schedules being as busy as they are, this was the only night we could all get together; another friend is leaving Monday for a trip to Israel, and yet another is getting married in San Diego in a couple of weeks. We thought we might even get a new addition to the group, Baby M., but her mom decided to leave her new little girl at home with The Husband.

The minute the girls arrived-late, as usual, except for one, who’s always early-there was an immediate exchange of items. We’ve all been friends for a long time, and, over the years, we’ve borrowed and left a lot of clothing at each other’s places, because that’s what girlfriends do. As everyone handed over the sweatshirts, bathing suits, and even hard drives, we realized something: This was the last time for a long time we would be together on a beautiful summer night in Chicago.

It got me thinking about change.

When we were younger, in grade school, summertime felt like a full year. We’d leave our friends at school with a “See you next year,” when, in fact, it was only three months until we’d be reunited. As we get older, time flies much faster. Everyone’s always moving-whether it’s on to marriage and kids, or out of town.

Dinner, wine, and small talk (captured on tape for a segment of “Check, Please!” which, coincidentally, was filming at the restaurant last night) ended with a shared slice of tiramisu and some tears as a couple of the girls said goodbye. They would be seeing each in another month or so. But this time, a month would feel like a year.

As for me, I’ve never been particularly good with change. So, I left dinner with my L.A.-bound friend to catch the rapper T.I.’s free MySpace show at the Riv. Among the many things we have in common is our love of rap and hip-hop-and concert-going. We’ve attended so many shows together, I couldn’t even begin to name them. We showed up at the tail end of Twista, just after Lupe Fiasco had finished his set. The place was slamming and sweltering hot, but we didn’t mind it too much; we were in our element. T.I. performed songs from his new album, T.I. vs. T.I.P., dropping July 3rd, but it was when he launched into the song “Bring ‘Em Out” that I thought the place was going to explode.

The lyrics go something like this: “T.I.P. comin’ live from the VIP; heard the night life lost life when I leave.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. My own VIP friend will be missed.