I went out with one of my girlfriends this afternoon and while we were having coffee, I suddenly smelled a familiar icy scent when someone passed by our table. For a brief moment I stopped laughing, trying to digest and remember why that scent was too familiar.
Then I remembered you. It was your scent. My favorite, and your usual. How could I ever forget? I once had that same exact scent on my clothes a few months back when I ran out of perfume. And why not, that’s what best friends are for, right?
I was walking back to our house and was haunted by one of your last questions to me a few days after I left. “You’ve given them letters. Why don’t I have one from you?”
It was the very question that I knew someday you’d have to ask me, the one that I have been dreading to hear or read from you. You know why? Because I don’t have an answer for it. I don’t know why. And even though I can always easily make up excuses as to why I wasn’t able to write you one, I know deep down that I don’t really know the reason why.
Okay, maybe I do. I just refused to acknowledge it.
The thing is, I never admitted to myself that I knew you will be the one that I will miss most when I’m gone. Missing everyone is given, yes. But the jokes that sometimes went too far? The contagious laugh? The part where you push all my buttons and annoy the hell out of me? And remember when you accidentally sprayed alcohol in my face? I never expected to miss them, but I did.
Above everything else in that journey, those were the things that I missed most. All of them were from you, by you and were just simply you.
When I left, those things were missing in me. I couldn’t laugh as loud as when you were making me laugh before. Heck, I don’t even have someone to punch when I’m happy, I’m moody, I’m kinikilig or just plain bored. I have no shoulders to put my head on to when I am sleepy. I don’t have someone to sing my favorite songs with, or someone that I can always count on when I am confused.
I was slapped with the truth that I don’t have you with me anymore, and I don’t have someone else to share these things with. And as much as I hated to admit it, I miss you. All that’s you.
I remember the boss told me during one of my last days, “You’ll miss him.” I remember how I laughed and dismissed the idea. “Nope, he will miss me. But I won’t.” He almost slapped me with his mouse and looked me in the eye. He said, “Kakainin mo ‘yang sinabi mo. Maniwala ka.”
He was right. I guess everybody was right. Maybe they saw it all along. Maybe they knew it even before I did.
I wasn’t able to sleep the night after you asked me why I didn’t give you a letter. I knew deep down I had an answer for it but only refused to admit it to myself. You’re right, I was able to send them tons of letters, even the one that was never close to me. How come I never gave you even just a single page, given that you were one of the people who have grown close to me during my stay there?
I guess everybody was right and I did really love you. I still do, I believe. Because if I don’t, then I won’t be bothering to write this down for you.
And I also believe that this is the very reason why I refused to write you down a letter – I was not brave enough to admit it to myself that everybody was right and they have won.
This is the letter that you were supposed to receive on the day that I left, only if I was brave enough. And I am sorry.
I know you’ll be reading this soon. Perhaps not, and I hope not, because you do not have to know anymore. But if ever you get to read this, then lucky you.
So I wish you happiness, wherever life may lead you. It was nice knowing you, all that’s you, including the flaws and all. I don’t know if our paths will ever cross again, maybe someday or maybe not. If not, then always remember that I once had the time of my life when you were seated by my side.