I’ve been thinking about you.
Words all seem inappropriate. I’ve planned hard on what to say to you when I saw you again.
I imagined we’d revel about shared experiences, talk about hopes, and laugh about the mundane. We always used to and I was so certain we always will. You’re the only one with enough nerve to call me at 11 in the evening and then ask if I was busy. Did you even realize it was way past my bedtime?
There would never really be an exact purpose for your call. You never even obliged me to talk for long. When I was too sleepy, you’d allow me to go. But you were a form of assurance that if I’d ever find myself an insomniac on any given night, I didn’t have to worry about wasted time. I knew I could call you until sleep beckoned.
And so for the past few weeks, I’ve played the scene in my mind. I could hear you call me “dude” or “bai”* as if the fact that I’m a girl escapes you. I could hear another story to which I will say, “Why do you always get yourself into that same kind of trouble?” I could see us reveling about shared experiences, talking about hopes, and laughing about the mundane. It didn’t even matter then that I knew you were slipping away from me – that life was slipping away from you. I could feel myself fighting the tears I am yet to shed. I couldn’t – I wouldn’t allow you to see me cry.
I am unfortunate. You will see me cry. You will see me battle my tears and lose. I have lost you before my imaginings materialized. These past few nights I’ve been an insomniac. An odd mix of notions keeps me awake; all of them adding up to missing the friend who calls me way past my bedtime.
The back story: He sat beside me in trigonometry class during our junior year in high school. He had sharp wits, great musical talent, and blunt humor. He also had the stomach for my honest criticisms. He was upbeat and optimistic during our last conversation; he had resolved to beat the illness hounding him. I had every intention to see him but he was called to join the stars a week too early; a mere week before my trip back.
* bai: a Cebuano moniker between male friends; a lot like “dude” in English