I still see you. I still feel you. I still hear you. I still speak of you.
I guess my senses will always perceive you even if I can no longer meet with you, cling on to you, listen to you or talk to you. It has been 14 years, but no one has ever taken your place in this quiet void inside my heart that continues to long for a friend who has all the right words to say, whose mere presence says everything that life refuses to give meaning to.
You were the only person who knocked on my heart, begging the monster that had taken over me to bring my old self back because you thought it was not like me to shut everybody out. To ask to be left alone. To just accept the fact that everyone was turning their back on me. You did not yell at me because I was being stubborn to accept my flaws. You wrote me a letter instead, opening it with the words: “knock knock? Is my best friend there? Can you please bring her back?” You just thought maybe I was just going through a bad day, menstrual cramps or whatever, and understood me completely. Then you waited for me to open the door. Of course there was no door. It was only a magic from your prose. And I will never forget that day. I cried hard in isolation because you all left me as I asked you to, but I was being stubborn, eaten by my pride, to come to you. That day taught me how to say sorry even if the why’s were vague because you needed your friends back and they won’t take you back until you destroy the walls you built yourself.
I was glad you knocked when all of them slammed the door on me.
From time to time, I still get consumed by that monster you thought to be eating me. Bad days do not last forever but they do come around, and they would, forever. I still want to be left alone on bad days. I still let people turn their backs on me when I cannot insist on them to embrace my flaws. I still shut everybody out when words run out, when all the talking is done and exhausting. And it gets lonely and tiresome at times. No one dares to knock anymore. There has been no one but you who could choose the right words to say that would tear me into pieces just so I could hem my tattered spirit back again.
And I miss you each time.
Whenever someone leaves me words on sticky notes or scratch pads: a cheer, a reminder, a quote, I am reminded of the many notes we used to pass on to each other, and the letters we used to send, that chronicle how our days had been, because we did not belong to the same class, and you were seated next to my crush and I was seated next to yours. We had to hide behind codes for the stuff going on that needed real-time updates, then when sms, pms, dms, tweets and statuses did not exist to save us from the trouble of getting caught. As we ceaslessly wrote to each other, it was the love for writing that bloomed more than the unrequited love we both waited for from our seatmates. You molded my way with words with your beautiful ways of saying things. You were always a pleasure to read. You showered me with quotes every single day, and I owe from you the adage that has become my mantra: Don’t just flow with life; make waves. Yes, you gave this priceless quote to me, and it shall ripple on.
Thank you for believing in me.
You were always the most thoughtful one. You always put me first in thought, in words, in feelings. Sometimes I had felt quite a burden to our friendship because you were always worried of me when I could not even take a second glance at myself. When I did not want to join the slumber party because I was too tired to plan out what to wear, you drew me on a piece of construction paper, with labels from head to toe as to how I should bring in myself to the party. From the way I should do my ponytail, to the top I must wear (with a naughty reminder to shave because you have chosen a haltered or sleeveless one), even the belt (because you thought plain jeans were boring), down to the footwear— I wondered how you had all the time in the world to memorize my lame fashion sense, the limited outfit I owned, and my obvious tendencies to avoid the party because I’d rather be sleeping. I can still picture that portrait that you had on me on some loose sheet of paper lying around the bench that day. High school was too long ago but I think I still get conscious on how I must do my ponytail because you believed that I look better when I wear it higher. I am forever grateful for your honesty, sincerity and concern. I was the ugly one, but you had made me see beauty in myself.
And I’m glad that I believed you.
Sometimes, whenever I come across a nice quote, a good book, thoughts on post-its, whenever I hear or read an unexpected little cheer, honest affirmation or sincere appreciation to my mere existence, whenever I am being looked after, cared for, worried about, I would like to believe you are trying to let me see you, feel you, hear you, or talk to you because you miss me too. Because I cannot stop missing you. Because there will never be anyone like you, but I can no longer run to you. Without you here, you still make me feel that I am worth all your while to be thought of.
What have I done to deserve your eternal and selfless love?
Just so you know, I still see you. I still feel you. I still hear you. I still speak about you. I will do, for all of my life.
I love you , Kate. Always.