Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte once said in an interview with Vice Ganda that we, people, die several times in a lifetime; that is, every time our hearts get broken. It made sense to me then, but it made so much more sense to me now. A piece of me just died, today.
I have sat with a friend, in a very close proximity, not less than an arm’s-length away, on a jeepney ride home. We just sat there, filling in the air between us with audible silence. We did not talk, we just exchanged polite hi’s and hello’s. I felt the urge to speak, but caught myself short when I realized I actually have nothing to say or to ask. I cannot even describe the tension between us, so intense it’s almost tangible. We USED to be close friends. We had been friends since we learned how to read and write; since we discovered the pleasure of basking in the sun playing hide & seek or the guilty pleasure of drenching our elementary school uniforms playing 10/20. We’ve forged our friendship even before ambition, dreams , or degrees have turned us into different persons we are today; right before what the society has dictated us to become. We have shared precious moments together; we’ve braved storms together; wiped the innocent tears from each other’s eyes caused by our first heartbreak. We have patted each other’s shoulders in success, and lifted each other’s spirits in failure. We defended each other over adversaries; we always got each other’s backs.
But then, life happened, and we just went our separate ways. Years have passed since we’ve had our last conversation. I can’t even remember the last time we talked, or what we talked about. I guess I never would have thought it would be the last. I was not wary of the day our friendship started to fall apart. I haven’t noticed the signs until it was too late and suddenly it’s over. What happened in that jeepney ride have placed a period to everything. An end. I am extremely frustrated that I can’t really put into words what exactly I am feeling right now. I wish I could just take my broken heart off my chest and let the tiny pieces speak for themselves. I am immensely, irretrievably sad.
I was struck by one of life’s saddest and cruelest truths: bonds fall apart. Ties break. Friendship ends. Sometimes, they just die a natural death. Friends outgrow one another. It simply means that the presence of one is no longer necessary in the growth of the other. Some people grow together, others grow apart. It doesn’t have to be anybody’s fault. It’s just one painful reality we all have to accept. I’m still in awe of what had just taken place in a jeepney ride home. I guess I would be needing a considerable amount of time to recover and get used to it.
Today, I sat with a friend, no, with an acquaintance, rather, on a jeepney ride home.