BEST FRIENDS

They were from opposite ends of the spectrum. He was the rebel while he was the egghead of the class. This local Colin Farrell was the ultimate bad boy who went out of his way to recklessly defy rules and authority figures. He, at one point, threw a table at one of his teachers when his anger couldn’t be contained anymore (he loathed the teacher). The nerd meanwhile went about his way, not giving his classmates a second look. He had better things to do like computing the work exerted in carrying a box and completing a paper in his English class than pondering on the reasons for his ostracism. Then the universe stepped and knotted their paths together. Rebel Boy was at the edge of sanity and drowning in teenage angst, and the powers above made sure Nerd Boy threw him a lifeline. By the end of their sophomore year they were thick as thieves and rebel boy transmogrified into the shadow of Nerd Boy much to the relief of the latter’s parents.

I have had my share of best friends in elementary and high school but the friendships fizzled like drops of water on a heated skillet. This is the reason why I’m hard-pressed to call anyone a best friend. I always end up saying very good friends although I would want to say best friend. The thought that skates through my mind is “What if they leave again? Best friends don’t leave.”

I am reminded of these Hallmark-ish words that did its round in the e-mail. I can’t remember most of it but the gist has something to do with why people stay in other people’s lives – some stay for a season, some stay for a reason, some stay forever while some stay for a moment. The people I’ve met through the years have stayed for most of the reasons except the third one. Take my elementary best friend. We should have had a bond that transcended time but Hello Kitty broke the bond; a newcomer who had a thing for Sanrio products especially Hello Kitty enticed her with whatever thingamajig she had and presto! She had a new best friend.

High school was a little friendlier. I belonged to a group that took its name from all the first letters of our names. You can say that the whole group was my best friends although one girl was really my best friend. We are in touch with each other intermittently although I haven’t seen my best friend in more than a decade. Different lives and different priorities led to a big divide in the closeness that we shared in high school. Letters were what kept that delicate tie together and I was disappointed when my best friend stopped writing and the one time we finally met up she just blurted out “Oh you’re angry because I haven’t written”. I let that cavalier comment passed and, possibly unaccountable to most people, it set the tone for most of my friendships.

Scarred from that episode, I thought it wouldn’t happen again but I was wrong. One can never really guess what the universe has in store for you. I’ve lost friends in university and at the workplace, and I’ve mourned them thoroughly. I still find myself looking back at my elementary and high school days and wondering if things would have been different if my best friends and I stayed thick with the bond. On hindsight, probably not because we both fulfilled whatever reason it was that we were in each other’s life at that time. Or simply put, the friendship ran its course. The good thing though is there is still that trace of friendship, which isn’t that deep as before, but a friendship nonetheless despite it occurring in Facebook more often than in reality. 

Life is too short to be lived in regrets or in the past, as people say so I’m certain that the universe is scheming to have my life intertwine with other people completely far removed from my world – it’s the only way to keep learning, growing, developing and experiencing.

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