I remember when we were only eight-year-old kids, trading promises and sharing secrets because we didn’t know what trust really meant. I can still picture perfectly how we formed our bond during that tutoring session by sharing answers. It was weird how we became closer than ever since that very moment in a room made of plywood on the top floor of a simple sari-sari store right next to our school. We never cared about our class standings, both on average levels. It was the friendship that we thought would last forever but didn't.
By third grade, we started having fights that lasted for about three days before we would make up again and fight once more. Majority of the class began to despise your sensitivity and asked me why I still hung out with you despite our many differences and common disagreements. I recall us arguing over our favorite Tinkerbell characters and how you would boast about being called Mulan by your relatives. It drove us crazy. But as complicated as it seems, I could say that that was the best year among all of my elementary days.
We didn't fight a lot in the fourth grade, in fact, we were the dynamic duo. The wannabe gossips began bullying you because they were jealous of you getting the position of being the leader of the majorettes for the Alumni Homecoming Parade. Sometimes, you would cry because of their abusive words and would even contact your tough mother who would bring everything to the ears of the school officials. But even though we were basically confirmed BFFs that year, we ended the school year with a terrible grudge that lead the class to be divided into two sides: yours and mine. I can't remember the exact reason why we had that cold war but what I do recollect is the two of us using our new and costly gadgets to make each other jealous.
Fifth grade wasn't such a great year but sixth grade left something new. I learned the sins of hatred and envy which have empowered me to despise you. Why? Because something changed. I can't blame you because I know that you were striving to graduate with honors. It was me who changed. Years of discouragement from teachers and fear from failure made me miserable which lead me to push people away. I hated optimists and perfectionists and you surely turned into those. In the end, we both graduated without honors although we did make it to the Top 15.
When our first year of high school finally arrived, we were still close friends but I would not exactly call us the best friends we used to be. You suddenly made your way to the honors list because you were excellent in Math. I, on the other hand, sucked at computing those mind-boggling equations but enjoyed English and music and expressing my thoughts through writing as I am right now. At first, I still hung out with you and our old circle of friends but I sort of felt out-of-place because you were all so smart in all your studies while I was only good in certain fields that our school doesn't even acknowledge or care about. Later that year, I earned new friends, a brand new barkada, who were just my level. I guess you misunderstood me because we stopped spending each and every minute together like we used to but now, it's the world against you.
You know how harsh and frank I can be when it comes to writing down my feelings. But even though we rarely speak, I still thank you for those times when you helped and appreciated me and I’m sorry if I messed up on our friendship. But now we're no longer two peas in a pod, but two balloons that have been separated from the bundle and discovered the air. Goodbye, old friend.
Danica Wong blogs at mxntalminds.tumblr.com.