She was my other half, if you can call it that way. We planned of one day living in a twin house, one next to the other. We grew our hair long, and if one wanted to have a haircut, the other one should have a haircut, too! We shared everything about us, both petty and otherwise. She is one great storyteller, telling me of her earliest memories using her poignant words that always don't fail to amaze me. Her search for peace, happiness, serenity contaminated my soul and I, too, wanted those things.
I could never recall a time when Vivian got mad at me. I guess I can never let her get angry with me, no matter what I will do. For her, everything that I am, everything that I say or do, is just right. I got mad at her a few times, and each time she was afraid of me. She put me on a pedestal, never wanting to see me cry or yes, angry. She thought I was the best person ever alive on earth, she almost considered me a saint. Every time I talked, she listened to me and cupped my every word. Up to this day, she still thinks I am the best. (sure ka vian? hehehe) Every once in a while I wonder how come? I always tell her I got my own darkness, my own mistakes, my own fears. But no, she always finds reasons for these. By herself, she is one amazingly strong woman, never complaining, always achieving. All she wants is to give and give not wanting to get anything in return, most of the time refusing help.
A few years after college she decided to seek opportunity abroad. The night before she left, she spent it with me at home. We rummaged through my boxes of old letters and keepsakes from her. Together we reread, recalled, and laughed and cried. I didn't want it to end. I didn't want to face the next morning and see her go and finally reach for her star. The next morning was one of my most painful mornings, writing about it right now makes me cry. I had to put up a brave face, I didn't want her to see my pain because it woudln't help her. I decided not to see her off at the airport. When she's gone it felt weird, I almost literally looked to see if my fingers were complete, or my ears, or my legs. I knew, anyway, that it was my heart missing a big piece.
On her second day at work in a new country, she called me crying from a phonebooth, wanting so much to come back home. She was finding it hard to bear the pain of loneliness, saying she would rather go home to a simple life but with me around. She called almost everyday for a few weeks. Later on the calls gradually were reduced to letters every once in a while. Yes, finally, she found her ground, not steady yet, but at least she finally found someone to hold on to. She has trayed quite a bit away from me, especially when she got married and had her first child. She would come home every once in a while, but as much as I wanted to reconnect, she just seemed a different person. There was a time when I burned some of her letters to me back in high school. I would cry almost every night, grieving over what I thought was a lost friendship.
But she came home. I no longer hoped for it, but she found me again. Maybe I wasn't really lost in her memory, after all. By the time she had her second child, she opened up to me the pains she kept all those years she stayed away. Yes, indeed, she set me aside, never wanting to upset me by her stories of profound sufferings. When I saw her cry for the first time after many years, it pierced my heart thinking why have I been exculded from those pains. She is a part of me. I will grow old dependent on her existence, on her friendship, on her faith in me and what I could be.
Happy Birthday dear Vivian. Thank you for all that you are to me. Your love and friendship have seen me through, all these years through good times and bad. Our dreams may have taken different routes, but inside me, is still the high-school girl dreaming of a twin-house with her best friend. One day, we will grow old but I guess our hearts will always stay young enough to understand what the stars have to say.
Sleeping over at her house...urgh...the bangs.
See how dark we are? We'll that's fresh from cheering competition.
NOTE: my blog address is likewaterinwater.blogspot.com I got that from my favorite line in our most favorite novel, Torrents by Anne Marie Desmerest when we were in high school. Yes, I remain the sentimental fool, high school best friend of Vivian, the double sentimental fool.