June 17, Part III

I wouldn’t even do the Alay Lakad if it weren’t for you. Remember when we actually planned to do it with JM and he decided to back out last minute? We actually devised another plan just for it to push through. We decided to do it by bike to solve our problem of going home. I’ve already shared to you how it’s hard for me to see in the dark even with light on yet you still managed to borrow my bike light. Remember when the two of us decided to go and leave the others behind and how it was so dark even with our lights with us because there were no street lights? I almost knocked other people down because of how blind I was that night. Remember when we waited for one another as we climbed those steep slopes because it was really a struggle? Remember when the group decided to eat at the Lugawan and you made fun of me when I told you I was on a diet after I didn’t finish my meal? Looking back, that’s our rapport as friends. We irritate one another as much as we could. That’s our friendship.

I would never forget also that night we talked about 13 Reasons Why and you shared to me your views on suicide. How you hated Hannah Baker because for you she’s selfish for taking her own life without even thinking about the people she’d left behind and the repercussions of that action. How introvert people have suicidal tendencies because you knew someone who’s as fragile as Hannah was on the show. You had a lot to say about 13 Reasons Why and you made that known to me that night. You had some interesting things to say about suicide and I was glad to have known them that night, too. I don’t agree with you about your generalization that people who commit suicide were selfish individuals. Hindi man tayo nagkasundo dun, maganda na rin at nakarinig ako ng ibang perspektibo tungkol sa bagay na yun.

And the night of my mom’s birthday celebration when we went to St. Ferdinand Cathedral to attend the seven p.m. mass while I was still drunk as fuck. We were supposed to be a group of three but JM’s already wasted and sleepy so he ditched the two of us. Hindi pa daw siya lasing pero hindi na niya kaya. We stood in the dimly lit corner of the right wing because my color shows how drunk I was that night. Pulang – pula pa ang mukha ko noon bilang medyo mestizo ako. And because we didn’t start the mass at the very beginning we decided to start over again, so we sat at the pews near the aisle in the center rows of the church. Awesome, right? That wasn’t even the only time we went to church together with JM. Most Sundays you would ask in our group chat who would attend the afternoon masses. Then you would ask those who responded positively to your query to attend the mass as a group. Our favorite was the six p.m. mass. But then during the mass, most of the time, you were not even paying attention. You always had a lot to share and you shared them as the mass is happening.

Marami pa akong gustong ipaalala sa’yo. Sobrang dami pa. Pero hindi kayang isulat ng mga kamay ko ang bawat sandaling iyon. Masyadong hahaba ang sulat kong ito sa iyo. Huwag kang mag – alala, all those moments, written or unwritten, have one thing in common. Looking back, I had fun hanging out with you. I had so much fun. I never had any dull moment when I was with you. May it be biking or just talking seriously for hours, it was always worthwhile. Palaging may natututunan ako sa iyo at sa buhay. I’m writing this because you’re one of those people I truly care about. One year pa lang tayong magkaibigan pero mahalaga na sa akin ang pagkakaibigan na iyon. Your friendship means a lot to me. Our odd friendship is built on these fluorescent memories and I’m the hollow vessel containing them. They light me up whenever I thought of you.

Memories are tricky things. One time you remember things clearly, but the next time, you don’t. Just like dreams. I fear that if I don’t write them down now, they’ll just seep from within me when time dictates I’m full to the brim. I fear that when that time comes and I’m overwhelmed with everything, these memories will just spill from me. Poured to the ground and absorbed without anyone knowing about how great it was making them. I fear I will forget them slowly, the details and how I felt that day. Like a faded photograph. You can still make out the silhouettes but the vibrant colors, and the details were already gone.  And someone like you should never be forgotten.

I’m writing this to you also because I admire who you are. Your outlook in life is admirable. You always persevere to get what you want, and that’s another thing you have that I don’t. You’re just too good a person to not be appreciated. This letter will be a reminder of who I was when I was with you.

Thank you, my dear friend. Thank you for the companionship. You came into my lisfe when I needed someone the most. Someone to talk to. Someone to make me feel noticed. Someone to validate my existence. You came right on time.

To this day, the downhill Calumpang road still gives me the rush whenever I ride there. Just like you, I could never seem to get tired of it. I hope you’d never get tired of our friendship, too. We’ve already conquered the early morning uphill climb together and now with the blazing sun at the top of our heads, were on the top enjoying the panorama as we rest our bodies while drinking your favorite Vitamilk Double Choco. I wish it could stay this way forever. I wish this could last longer. I wish to never go downhill with you as the sun sets on us. I wish the sun will never set on us. It might give me the rush I crave for sometimes but I wish our friendship would never go downhill like the Calumpang road.

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