i knew i saw the words i love you somewhere in the midst of the fading sentences that she wrote on the tissue paper i found in my wallet. i don’t know if her memory will admit the act of placing the note inside my three-year old leather wallet, but i do know that she placed it there days before my flight abroad.
she first bullied me on highschool. we were freshmen.
it happened just above the staircase near the parish hall. i am just confirming her name when she greeted me with raised eyebrows and her snobbish “so what?!”
since then i never dared to come close to her.
i secretly dubbed her as one of the spawns of the devil. our paths never crossed since our first encounter until fate brought us together as our school’s exhibit hosts.
no choice. i have to bear with her presence. we conversed, we exchanged numbers, we became phone pals, became classmates and became great friends. back then, i never really saw myself coming to her birthday every year. but i did.
she loves to make fun of me. loves to power trip, deflate my ego and would sometimes splash my face with orange juice and taho (soya drink with brown sugar syrup) just by the sheer act of whim.
when she was diagnosed of a level 3 leukemia by some doctors in the philippines, i was the only one who never shed a tear among her peers. i knew she will be better soon and that her trip to a hospital abroad could provide her hope.
afterall, spawns of the devil do not die that easy.
she gave me a ring the moment she came back to the philippines. she did her power tripping acts again. she survived, alright and she proved the philippine doctors wrong about her case.
i never really summoned the courage to tell her how i felt about her back then. ok, i had a crush on her. i even called a certain radio station to get some advice regarding my teeny-bopper dilemma- “to tell my bff that i love her or not?”
well, i told her not. and i never regret any second of it. up to now, she was still one of my closest friends. yes, i still love her. not in a romantic way whatsoever. just love. no specific category- just love for a person that you trust and care despite her bullying you most of the time.
the tissue paper she placed on my wallet slowly degenerates with the sentences she wrote upon each passing second of the clock.
i haven’t heard from her in a while. i miss her.