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Sunday, July 24

Riley


I remember receiving a text from someone whose number is unregistered in my phone. I didn’t put much thought reading it, thinking it was a scam. But for some reason, I tried to look at his wall on Facebook. Three posts were written there, from people I don’t know, saying negative stuff about him.

“Crazy people… mga walang magawa sa buhay… Jeez!” I thought. So I just brushed it off, and went on with my day.

When I got home from work, I decided to check his wall again. And to my surprise, a lot of posts were there; this time from people we both know.

I panicked.

I checked my phone, which I left in my bag the whole time. There were a lot of text messages from high school batch mates and everyone from our barkada. I tried texting some of them, but nobody responded. I scrolled down to look for his number and tried calling him.

“P*tang ina! Pick up the G*ddamn phone!” My whole body was trembling. He didn’t answer, so I texted him instead.

I was getting anxious, “why, the f*ck, isn’t anyone replying?”

After a while, I rushed from the bathroom to the sound of a text message on my phone. It was from him. I opened the message and read it. It was his number, yes. But, sadly, it wasn’t from him. It was from his sister. I was stunned. I was unaware, but I cried.

And it took a long while to sink in… But it was confirmed by his sister…

He left us…

For good.

It was supposed to be his birthday today. He should’ve turned 26. He may not be able to read this, but I’d still wanna write to him.

***

Dear Riley,

Hey there! How long has it been? 7 months? And it still seems as if it was just yesterday… Before anything else, let me greet you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! From what I’ve heard, the guys are planning something; a surprise party for one of our friends whose birthday is on the 28th, and also to revisit memories of you.

But I begged off.

I’ve all these made-up reasons just so that I won’t make it to the party. Maybe because, honestly, I think I still haven’t moved on… I don’t think I’d be able to enjoy a party for you, knowing you’re not there.

Their intention was good, though… Reminiscing memories of you…

Was it Senior Year in high school that we started to get close? I think it was. It was the last month of being in high school. That was the time you and Carlyn made it official, and I was one of the first ones to know. I remember the barkada was a bit against the two of you being in a relationship because they think “dapat walang talo–talo sa barkada.” So even if they didn’t approve, you took your chances and still pursued her. I’m a fan of your love team, and you know that! Hahahaha! :P

But as the years passed, the two of you grew apart; so you both decided to end the relationship. I was there when you wanted to talk about the breakup. I was sad, but I guess that how things are. Then, there was the dilemma dahil tinalo mo ang kabarkada mo. You’ve gone M.I.A for a while, but I was happy when you decided to re-connect with the group 3 years ago… tagging along a new girl.

You know how the barkada felt about this!! Hahaha! I hope you didn’t take that against us. I mean, I guess we’re just protective of you. You and I both know that the new girl’s reputation isn’t exactly nice. But I guess you liked her because she’s different. There are no restraints with her, unlike Carlyn. She even patronizes you and your vices. You were like Bonnie & Clyde, partners in crime. You really went all the way with Anne.

I’m sorry if we didn’t get the chance to meet over dinner, when you told me the “news” about Anne. You knew that going all the way with Anne would lead to something. Well, as you said, it bore fruit. What I admired about you was the fact that you manned-up and convinced Anne to continue with the pregnancy. I’m proud that you did your part as a father, giving Josh your name, having him dedicated, throwing him his 1st birthday party, providing for his needs, and being civil with Anne.

(Oh, about Josh’s 1st birthday… I’m sorry about that, too… I pretty much organized thewhole thing; tapos nag “no show” ako… By the way, don’t worry about Josh… He’s ok.)

But things aren’t going well with Anne, and it took a toll on your health, on your heart. You know how I got mad at you when I learned that you just got out of the hospital, remember?. I mean, seriously, what’s up with that? What if something wrong happened to you inside that hospital? What kind of a friend would keep an illness like from his barkada? Tsk!

Since then, parang naging baliktad nga eh… You started checking out on me. Asking how I was, how my day was, or if I’m eating on time, or taking my vitamins. You would even call me up if I didn’t answer your texts or IMs. And I also found out that you were also doing the same thing to the members of our barkada. I was a bit worried, though, that your status messages, then, were becoming more and more emo and alarming as the days passed.

How insensitive of me!

You were screaming at the top of your lungs, and people didn’t get it. It should’ve struck me that they were cries for help, had I known about your illness. But it was too late. We were unaware that you were getting in and out of the hospital for quite some time.

When you got out of the hospital for the nth time, I remembered you wanted to have a reunion—a grand reunion. And your wish was granted. You did get just that… on the first day of your wake.

Just in case you’d wanna know, I’d like to tell you what happened next, but maybe some other time; when I’ve already gathered enough strength. This letter is already getting too painful to write.

I miss you, my friend.

-Nate

15 comments:

^travis said...

nate, my sympathies to you on losing your friend.

the green breaker said...

Aww. A sad thing this is... I can't believe something like this can actually happen, unimaginable, so painful in your part.. My condolences.


(ps to joe, minsan lang ako magblog at magcomment, wag ka na magalit sa paggamit ko ng account mo.)

-james

eon said...

sorry about your friend. it hurts to lose someone so prematurely.

the green breaker said...

nakakalungkot naman to, kuya Nate.. :( mahirap talaga sa magbabarkada ang naglilihiman.. sa bandang huli kasi, alam mong sila lang din naman ang makakaintindi at dadamay sayo. hay! ano ba to, ang sad. wala rin naman kayong magagawa kasi choice niya na itago yun. pero may natutunan ako, na hindi mo dapat solohin ang mga bagay, dahil may ibang taong may pakialam sayo, may mga taong malulungkot kung may mangyaring masama sayo.. you have a social responsibility to the people you have made a sanguine bond with.

rest in peace, Riley.

-joe

Alter said...

he lives, in the hearts and memories of those dear to him.

Nate said...

@travis: thanks, man.. * hug mo 'ko.. dali! lol!:P *

@james: aww.. thanks buddy! ang kulit nyo ni joe.. hahaha! hiraman ng account.. ang kyot!! :)

@eon: true.. na-channel ko tuloy ang song na "gone too soon" *sobs*

@joe: yah.. i didn't understand it at first, but now i get it.. prng nainis pa rin ako.. na parang, i could've been there sana.. when he needed me the most.. :( altho' the post is sad, pero i'm glad you picked a lesson out of it.. treasure your friends, joe.. they are priceless jewels.. :)

Nate said...

@jon: yes, memories of him will live on..

Nate said...

@james: thanks rin pala for visiting my blog and leaving a comment..

Zip Reid said...

I'll include him in my prayers.. hugs for you..

Nate said...

@zip: aww.. thanks! *hugs back*

Ms. Chuniverse said...

rare 'tong mangyari, but i'm speechless.

*hugs*

:)

Nate said...

@hrh queen chuni: i know, madam.. believe me, during that time, i was in a state of shock.. it's surreal to have learned that someone, who's my age, who's close to me, and who grew up with me is gone too soon.. iba talaga pag problems of the heart.. emotional heart, because of what happened between him and anne.. and physical heart, as in literal.. he had an enlarged heart.. :(

thanks for the hugs, your highness... *hugs back*

p.s. mag-eemo muna ako, madam, ha? yung "mild" post ko, siguro sa birthday mo nalang.. hehehehe! :P

Mac Callister said...

this is sad...

hope you're somewhat ok na ngayon :-(

Nate said...

@mac: yah.. it's sad.. but i'm gonna be ok.. i'm gonna write him(Riley) a letter again, prolly by Thursday.. i just felt the need to get it out there.. para makapag-move on na ako.. i miss my friend, badly.. :(

Xall Percé said...

And to think that he left on the day of his birthday... How sad this post is.

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