Unsent Letter: To L., the friend I have lost

Dear L.,

Hi! It’s a tad weird, isn’t it, that I’m writing you this rambling letter when we haven’t seen each other for almost five years and haven’t talked for almost seven years. Even weirder, I just realized that in a way, I miss you.

Today had been a rough day for me. Two of my kids (two of my students, I mean) got into a quite messy relationship squabble and dealing with each, sobbing but unapologetic, drained me so much. Trying to reason with 16-year-olds that some of the things they do now may become their future regrets is a pointless case. They are so in love with love just like almost every teenager out there. Just like I was. Just like you were (probably).

As I was scrolling down my feed earlier this night, trying to distract myself from the issue, I saw you instead. The heartbreak of losing a friend and the gnawing feeling that I did something stupid came back. Then I realized, you are one of my regrets.

Do you remember how I would sneak in your room just so I can talk with you? Do you remember when you calmly tried to teach a panicking me how to twirl the baton only a few days before the demo? Do you remember when you used to teach me physics because I was not ashamed to admit to you that I understood zilch in class? Do you remember that I had my first cup of coffee with you and I pretended that I like it strong because I was too lazy to go back and get sugar and cream?

I look back on these memories with a bittersweet smile. If that thing (you know what I mean) did not happen, who do you think we are today? Maybe we could still be the same as we were when we were fourteen — the inseparable twinsies. Or maybe, not inseparable but still good friends, always catching up on each other with a cup of coffee. I truly regret the friends we could have been.

Maybe someday, when we are women enough to actually face each other, we can meet up for coffee. I miss you, L. I really do. And yes, I have forgiven you.

With love,

Wencey ❤


Sweet Sixteen

Dear Batch 2016,

It has taken me this long to actually write this letter because for the past two days, all I could utter was FINALLY.

Finally, we got it. We did it! (insert Dora’s song here)

The word sounds so sweet, doesn’t it? No, not finally — WE. We, as a batch, finally made it happen after three years of consistently placing third. We proved that we are not entirely disparate, that we can work together as a team. We can be one.

To be honest, I was one of those people who lost the enthusiasm after last year’s disappointing results (yeah, still bitter about it). Somehow, most of us had managed to contribute something and shell out whatever ounce of time that could be pumped out of those hectic third year days so I really thought we could actually place that year. But we did not and it hurt badly even for me who was not even an active participant. That pretty much ruined the event for me. In those sorrowful moments immediately after being denied of that one thing we were all yearning for (and what I thought was already at our fingertips), I remember telling myself, Don’t give too much next year — it’s not worth the heartbreak.

But then, what makes it worthy of the heartbreak?

Love, of course. Anything worth loving is worthy of the heartbreak. And you, guys, are worthy of the heartbreak.

I know it is awkward to have this coming from me because I am one of those people who are quite detached from the batch — always the first one to leave after dismissal, the one who never attends parties, the one who always keeps conversations as school-related as possible — but I am not that insensitive to be oblivious or indifferent to all your efforts. I watched in wonder as our leaders attempted to save whatever scraps of hope are left from last year. Seeing them work so hard for it despite all the schoolwork (exams, thesis, NMAT, etc.) while I do practically nothing productive made me feel guilty. I felt guilty for losing faith on us and I felt unworthy to be among you.

To placate the guilt, I started praying the novena to St. Jude Thaddeus, the Saint of Desperate Cases, for us (all right, laugh all you want). But halfway  through it, I started asking myself, Are prayers all that I can offer? It’s not that prayers are useless. In fact, prayers are powerful. But was I incapable of doing anything else? I realized, that compared to you, I was being so selfish. I was not as stressed as you were — we were done with our proposal defense and I am not taking the NMAT — yet I was doing as little as I can just because I thought it was hopeless anyway. Then, I remembered something that I always used to tell myself every time I lose hope.

If there is really no hope left, at least do it out of love.

Then suddenly I saw that that was exactly what you guys were doing. For the past years we fought to win but this time I no longer saw the competitive streak we had before. Instead, I saw each one of us working hard for the sake of everybody else. This time it was done out of love. So I did the same, too. And it felt so good. It was basically giving without expecting anything in return — the purest kind of love.

So to all of you, especially the heads and the props team (woohoo!), thank you so much. Let us have a thanksgiving party after this sem, okay? I love you all so much.

Heart heart, Wencey ❤

P.S. And thank you, Sir L. for that 99. Not sure if we truly deserve it but it was a very welcome gift.

Happy Best Friends’ Day! (from the girl with no best friend)

So today is the day to honor that one person who totally gets you, the one who stayed by your side in tears or in laughter. Happy Best Friends’ Day! Sadly, I have no one to celebrate the day with.

Yes, I do not have a best friend. I do have a couple of close friends but there is really no one who I can truly call my BFF. This is not something that I planned. I am actually longing for a friendship like that of Robin and Lily of How I Met Your Mother or like that of Becky and Suze of the Shopaholic series but I never found that kind of relationship. Somehow, I always find myself in a crowd where, when the boat is sinking, no one would immediately pair up with me.

Lily and Robin of HIMYM
Lily and Robin of HIMYM

“You’re an introvert, that’s why,” my sister would explain. She may be right. I have been quite reticent, even as a child, and I do not mind spending my extra time alone. I rarely recite in class. I tend to be quiet during lively discussions except at home which is the only place where I can be seen chattering. I have always been reluctant to approach other people, especially teachers. I shy away from college parties for the fear of spilling my own secrets after a few shots. These are not exactly top secrets but these secrets define me and I am not yet ready to share these with anyone. Plus, many of these secrets are really embarrassing.

My mother blames herself. She said they used to hide me from my grandfather who had no idea that she and Dad were together. She thus hypothesized that the fact that I was a secret baby may be the reason why I became too secretive and often hesitant to talk with people I am not familiar with. But I disagree with Mom. I have now figured out what’s wrong: it’s my face.

I used to wonder why I am good at intimidating people unconsciously. It dawned on me lately when I chanced upon this article from Cosmopolitan Philippines. Reading it was like a eureka moment that I kept on exclaiming, So true!

I understand you, girl.
I understand you, girl.

So that was the problem – my resting bitch face. After reading the article I remembered rushing to the bathroom to look at my face. I stared at my unsmiling self for a full minute then I end up laughing (it was good I was alone in our dorm room that time as my roommates might think I was going crazy). I realized that if I were another person, I would not find it easy to approach that lady with that tiger look in her face. So to all those people who I had shooed off because of my mataray face, my deepest apologies. I did not mean to do so. True, I am not talkative but I am not unfriendly.

So again, happy best friends’ day to all who have found their soul sisters! And as for the best friend that I still believe that I am yet to meet, please do not be afraid of me. Believe me, it’s just my face. 😀