|Nicked off Friendster and taken by a camera phone. Thesis moments, 2004, I think.|
Oh well, here goes. ♥
When I say our relationship is one of the more storied ones, it's probably not an exaggeration -- I met her in an English class when I was 16 and new to this part of the city; now it's ten years later, and to say that a shit ton of things have gone down in between is a gross understatement haha.
We lived in the same corner of the campus and usually walked home together from class, talking about -- well, there's school, there's love (boys! girls!), there's that occasional terror prof and then there's plans of isaw and other sabaw stuff. (And of course, that favorite thing we often recounted in get-togethers, about how I actually came out to her during one of those walks haha. So funny in retrospect, really.)
I remember that time (that one and only time) we went rappelling at Kampo Uno, I was so afraid of heights that Julie actually had to bring me down from the tower herself like a fireman rescuing an unconscious victim haha. Embarrassing, really -- I mean at the time we'd known each other for barely six months and then there I was completely helpless. Haha. (As it would eventually turn out, that wouldn't be the last time she'd save me from things ;-))
So yes, connected at the hip, practically -- we found ourselves processing the days on the way home, often stopping by the streetlamp at the corner of the street to my boarding house to light up a round of cigarettes to talk just a bit longer, haha. In class, we ended up partners in subjects we were taking, most notably that Comm Res 101 subject we took on a Saturday during that epic semester (epic in all sorts of ways, really), and that paved the way to our J199/J200 coupledom LOL. I practically lived in their house, finishing our assignments together and taking turns typing portions of our papers, etc. Hell, I watched Buffy at their house on Mondays, and her family took me in like one of their own (read: fed me. Hehe.) I remember pancit canton afternoons in their kitchen and overdosing on instant coffee and smoking outside their gate until late and having to knock at Manang's door because it was already way past the 10-pm curfew. Haha. (What, may curfew?)
Anyway, so yeah -- that's a whole lot of history right there, not to mention all those nights she spent listening to me whine about that girl I fell in love with halfway through college. (Must have been excruciating. Haha.) I remember texting her that morning after the girl and I became an 'item' with a label of sorts, and rushing to her house at 9 in the morning before anything else just to update her (Kami na! -- pota, ang juvenile. Kadireeee. Hahaha.)
Hah. One of the best times of my life, really; if I were to do a highlight reel of sorts, it'd probably be full of snapshots of this part of my life.
But as with all things, we also struggled with a bit of conflict -- I was this coward who didn't know better and so I ended up hurting the people who mattered the most. It was a difficult time marked by expanding worlds; I was meeting new people, and yet I was painfully aware that something was missing. I don't remember much of the details -- but one day, I think it was through the intra-office chat client (haha don't remember much pala ha), that we started talking about Murakami. If I were to summarize that part of my life, it would be a time for heartbreak and healing.
If anybody were to ask how we got from that all too tentative place to here now, this place of trust and confidence -- I'd say we got here by taking our time. We did a lot of that. She was wary of trusting me again too easily; and so we tried to ease ourselves back into this friendship slowly. No rush, no giant expectations, just the quiet assurance that we're there.
And there we were. And here we still are.
It's amazing, how things like this fall into place.
I think I'm currently in that space in my life where I'm all about assessing my current relationships -- all these years I've accumulated all these connections, and it's time to test which ones are for that proverbial long haul.
Over the past couple of years, I have made certain peace with the fact that some ties are better off severed for the sake of growth; but then, I also learned that there are some ties that I really couldn't do without.
I think it's clear, who belongs where.
This morning I handed a receipt to our employee services center; it was Julie's request that I hand them over for reimbursement. I've always kidded that Andrea's my girlfriend but that Julie's my other spouse, in that I often run bank duties for her hehe. (Really, it's the least I could do to help my best friend who's four, five cities away from the office. :))
So yeah, I was handing those receipts in when Ms Rachel said something like, "Ang bait mo namang kaibigan."
Laughing in kind, I just said, "Of course, best friend eh!" before heading out of the room.
I wanted to say more -- like, how that isn't even half of it -- but then, hahaba pa ang usapan eh. Hahaha.
I'm sure, gets na nila yun. :)