Four friends promise to reunite in 40 years; three men arrive and find a note saying, ‘I’m not coming.’

Following their high school graduation, four closest friends had to confront the painful truth of saying goodbye. Sitting on a bench with a view of Santa Monica beach, Ben, Todd, Willie, and Karl made a serious agreement to meet again exactly 40 years later in the same location. This promise was made in the dusk light, with the intention of resisting the unavoidable drift that comes with life’s uncertainties.

Their paths parted as the years went by. Three different paths were taken by Willie, Todd, and Ben: business, the family bait shop in Mexico, and a law profession in New York. Letters kept them connected, and they prepared for their much-awaited meeting. Nevertheless, Karl—their fourth musketeer—mysteriously disappeared from contact, leaving behind unreturned messages and mounting worries.

When the reckoning day finally arrived, Willie was by himself and could feel Karl’s absence. Ben and Todd’s happy welcome wasn’t overshadowed by Karl’s mysterious departure, though. A note written by Karl that was found unexpectedly beneath the bench exposed a network of misery and deceit.

Karl, who was struggling financially, made up stories about his achievements to hide his problems. The once-unbreakable friendship between them was completely destroyed by the discovery. But the friends came together, resolved to heal the wounds caused by misfortune. Now that Karl was in their care, they set out to visit Spain in order to offer support and comfort as well as to relive past experiences.

The buddies learned the important lesson that true friendship perseveres through successes and setbacks throughout their journey. Reaffirmed on Santa Monica beach each year, their yearly vow evolved into a promise to live openly and honestly, without secrets or falsehoods. The once-shattered relationship became stronger, demonstrating that genuine friendship can withstand betrayal and still prevail.

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