I am in Cebu City right now for an overnight business trip. It feels great to be home. Well, not exactly at my old home. We sold our family home a few years ago because none of the siblings live in Cebu. Home is where the heart is or my hometown, where I spent the first 16 years of my childhood. Part of my agenda entailed a meet up with my grade school best friend, Rowena. It’s been 34 years since we last saw each other. Yes, the last time was at our high school graduation. I’ve never forgotten her though. The problem was I didn’t stay long enough in Cebu to reunite with high school friends whenever I went for my semestral break or vacation. Memories of high school popular cliques and my mediocre school performance made me want to avoid any reunions. But whenever I was in Cebu I often wondered what became of her.
Six months ago, I received a text message from Rowena. I was happy to hear from her, of course. Her reaction surprised me even more “I’m crying that we finally talked to each other”. I was thinking Did we have a fight? is that why we drifted apart?is that why she is crying? My heart remembers the love, the camaderie, the laughter and the innocence we shared as kids. She told me that I often gave her roses and cake for her birthday. Was I that sweet? Did I really sneak out those roses from my mom’s rose garden? Did I “steal” cake from our bake shop just so I had a gift for Rowena? I desperately wanted to remember how I was as a young me.
Rowena and I finally met in the hotel I am currently staying. I had difficulty at first adjusting to the Cebuano dialect. Sure, I can comprehend conversational Cebuano but her words were so deep that I often asked for the translation. Besides, I remember that we spoke only in English. During those days, our school encouraged us to speak English to each other. (My school slapped a fine of 5 centavos per Cebuano word. )
I couldn’t help but ask Rowena the nagging question, “Did we fight?”
I wanted to know if I was a mean friend. haha.
She said “No. we just drifted apart and developed new friendships in high school”
I heaved a sigh of relief then added “why would we fight? We were quiet kids.”
Oh so I was quiet.
Rowena heard that I got honors in college which surprised her because I was an average high school student. Yes, I told her that high school life was not a happy experience. Being in college, away from high school and the popular cliques brought out the best in me.
Not contented with dinner, I brought her with me to my hotel room for some good old girly talk. Oooh, how fun it was as we laid down in bed and reminisced our sweet childhood memories. Our lives and interests have totally changed yet I still feel the bond we once shared. We might not be the best of friends now but certainly best friends in our hearts forever.
Do you still keep in touch with your childhood bestfriend?