I’m speeding by the place that I met you for the 97th time tonight
AS Steps, UP Diliman
08 September 2006
“Oh but there’s no ‘us’ naman kasi. We’re still friends, and I think we’re always going to be friends,” I tell a close mate. It was my last night in Manila and we were waiting for my driver to pick us up for the family dinner. We were kinda waiting for you as well but he said he wasn’t sure you were coming.
The previous night was a bit… strange. You said you were hurt when I told you we should stop dating altogether and just stay as we’ve always been. You wanted so much more than being best friends. You wanted to try to make it work even when I’m far away. But you, of all people, knew and understood how much I needed to leave. How much I’ve given my heart away and that flying off to England was the right thing to do. For me, this time.
Believe it or not, everything you wanted was what I wanted in the long run, too. Except we weren’t kids anymore and there was a need to be responsible and practical. A long distance relationship would have messed with our heads, and with personalities like yours and mine it’s definitely best to stay out of it. We’ve effortlessly invested so much into this friendship and I couldn’t bear risking it for the sake of something so complicated.
I didn’t get to see you nor hear from you that night. You missed out on really good sushi.
I bought a ticket to the end of the rainbow.
Ninoy Aguino International Airport Gate 5
09 September 2006
My phone burst with well wishes from everyone else but you. I laughed loudly about the idea of you breaching airport security, running to give me a warm goodbye hug. Haha. Who was I kidding? You were never the big gesture kind of dude. But you were my best friend and you knew every detail of my flight. Surely you’d have the heart.
Much to the annoyance of flight attendants I kept my phone on all the time - before takeoff, during takeoff, until the last bar of reception was replaced by SOS and Manila felt but a little island away. I had nothing from you, yet my head had nothing but you.
I looked at one of our silly photos from summer. And I knew in my heart that we’re going to be fine. We’re always fine anyway.
Someday we’ll know why I wasn’t meant for you