I went to the actual place in my memory, and recently in my dreams, before going to our house.
It’s a walking distance from us anyway, but I was disappointed as I find that the tree had been cut and the hill flattened, a huge house standing on top of it. It’s been a long time since we last visited this place. I’ve forgotten about it too, until today.
Chrixa and I stopped going here because it’s gotten really ugly with trash covering the patches of grass. We tried maintaining it but as we grew older and started getting so busy at school, we have forgotten about it.
Like what happened to the place, the memory that I have about it slowly withered. It’s no use recalling it now. Chrixa’s leaving and I was too stupid to waste the chance of telling her the truth.
I headed home, almost relieved at my decision of forgetting everything. But then I see our gate. Just at that stone bench is where Chrixa decided to pull me out of loneliness. The memories that faded earlier found a reason to reform inside me. And the pain is even more unbearable as I rushed inside our house and headed straight into my room.
I was crying when I prayed:
“Father, I really need your help right now. Please help me overcome this pain. This problem. What do you want me to do? I know I’ve done something really stupid and wrong and I’m really sorry for doing it! I lost a best friend. I lost the girl that you sent me during my gloomiest times. I lost the girl that I love! If You wanted her to leave then let it be! But please tell me what I should do about this pain! Please tell me the answer, God! Please show me the way. Show me the right way! Please God! Please!”
Tears now drying up on my cheeks, I ended the prayer and slowly drifted to sleep.
“I’m sorry, Chrish…”
“I’ll bring you souvenir!”
“I love you! There I’ve said it!”
“I love you too Mort!”
“…love you too…”
“Mort!” Chrixa called for me. She’s holding my hand. We’re falling!
“Mort, No!” she cried as I let go of her.
“I’m sorry Chrish…” I said coldly.
I’m falling faster than her now. There’s no ball of light. I fell directly towards the bottom. Painless for some reason. But It was so dark. So scary. I think I deserve it.
But she doesn’t!
I can see her approaching the bottom! She’s gonna hit it too!
I wake up.
The weird dream that keeps on bugging me these past week just had a terrible twist.
An obvious message that Chrixa was hurt because of me! Because of letting go!
“Why did I let go of her?” I thought as I slammed my head on my pillow.
Sleeping again after that nightmare, since it’s only past midnight when it woke me up, was difficult. I had to stare at the dimly lit ceiling of my room for one hour before I slowly drifted back to sleep.
The next day came with me still bearing the gloom that the dream gave me. Chrixa, as I expected, is absent. I assumed that she already left.
I sighed thinking, “The next days of my life are going to be the loneliest of all.”
Jake: Yoh Morty!
Jake catches up to me in the hallway as I head to our room. Lance is there too.
Lance: So the talk didn’t turn out well, huh?
Lance ‘s voice is calm and serious.
Jake: Oh c’mon men! Cheer up!
Jake slaps my back.
Jake: It’s a good weather! You have to welcome the sun with a smile!
Mort: How could I welcome her if she’s leaving.
Jake: Haha. I was talking about the sun Mort not Chrixa Sun.
He was forcing a smile, probably wanted to make all things cheery for me.
Jake: But, oh yeah, she texted us yesterday saying that she’s leaving this Saturday.
He turns to Lance.
Jake: 7am, right?
So she hasn’t left yet.
Jake: Aren’t you gonna come? Mike’s gonna drive.
Coldness creeps in every part of me as I realize that a text message from her never reached my cellphone.
Lance: You should at least say goodbye.
Mort: I already did.
I hurried my pace towards our classroom, leaving the two behind. I do not want to talk about her right now.
During lunchtime, I bought lots of food to eat. I decided that I can’t let this feeling ruin my health anymore, so I ate voraciously.
Mike: Mort, are you okay?
Mike draws closer to me. I notice the rest of the Gang is with him.
My mouth is stuffed with rice and bits of the buttered chicken.
Jake: Uh…No you’re not.
Suddenly Karen was there.
Karen: We need to talk.
I take in a spoonful of rice.
Karen: Finish your food and go to the interrogation table.
Then she walks outside, shoulder square and face hard. She is not happy.
I chewed and swallowed my food.
Mort: Interrogation table?
Daniel: The table close to the emo rock, she calls it interrogation table. She brings me there to question me really serious matters.
Then I realize it was the table she and Chrixa used to talk about me days ago.
Mike: She talked to me there too.
Mike looks as if it was a memory he never wanted to remember.
Mike: Daniel probably told her about my problem.
Daniel smiles mischievously.
Mike: It was so scary.
Mike shivers from the recollection.
Daniel: Just go there, Mort.
Daniel pats my back in assurance.
Daniel: Coz we got a lot of things to talk about.
He winks then they all head outside.
I have this I-don’t-want-to-go feeling thinking that they would ask me about yesterday for sure, but the urge of wanting to go, because they might give me the answer I needed, won.
I gobbled my lunch and headed there at once.
I took a deep breath as I drew closer towards the interrogation table.
Karen: Why did you do that?!
Karen asked as soon as I got there. She’s really angry. Her hand seems itching to slap me.
Mort: Do what?
Then Karen burst into a ferocious explanation of what happened yesterday. She said it so fast and squeaky that I only understood:
“Let her leave.”
“She’s really hurt.”
Then she ended with the question,
Karen: Why do you have to keep on pretending!?
I guess there’s no point in keeping from them the truth and they do need my side of the story as Chrixa already told them hers.
I started by telling them about the hidden memory. The things I did to keep it hidden. The reasons why. No point in hiding them now. I spilled to them every detail. Every moment. Every pain.
After seemed like hours of explanation I finally ended it. I almost cried but I stopped myself.
Everyone got quiet.
Mort: …and now she’s leaving without me saying the truth.
Karen: Are you still planning on telling her?
Karen’s calm now.
Mort: I’m not brave enough. I suck. I’m stupid. I don’t deserve her.
I start to cry.
Then without a word, Karen laid her hands on my head. Daniel did the same and the rest followed. Then they started praying.
They prayed to God to guide me through all this. They asked Him to show me the way. To see true love. And to give me strength. Strength to face my problems without fear and to abide by His plans without doubt.
I can feel the weight in my heart being lifted as they prayed. I felt tears run down my face too. I was so moved by their action that I started crying so hard I can’t even say a word to thank them. Their prayer proved to me the power of true and best friendship. The power of true love. How it can heal even the most painful wound inside. They reminded me of how wonderful it felt when Chrixa promised to never leave me. They reminded me about how wonderful our relationship is. And then suddenly, as if God answered their prayer instantly, a surge of confidence shot through me.
I have to go and tell Chrixa the truth!
I have to at least give her a proper goodbye before she goes!
After all, I’m her best friend! And her best friend won’t let her leave without a proper farewell.
I didn’t say it aloud but my insides are shouting,
“Thank you so much guys! I love you so much!”