Monday, February 18, 2008

Goodbye Drake

7:08PM February 13, 2008

Drake,

It occurred to me that you have been suffering for almost a year now from your brokenheartedness – that it has digressed you away from the original path of young goals and assumed purpose. The sudden emergence of your so-called “love life” is by far the most world-tumbling long-term experience of your life and it has been tormenting you a lot and is putting you to nowhere. You know for a fact that since you were just a young boy, you never aimed to venture into the realm of hearts. You were most of the time, the “universal friend” (with virtually no enemies whatsoever), the academically focused student, the encyclopedia-reading-while-defecating type, and the ever understanding eldest son. And yet, you did, unexpectedly but not surprisingly.

It’s been a long time Drake. You’ve been miserable enough and I apologize for the torment I’ve caused you. It came to me yesterday that you need absolute rest. So now, I am giving it to you….

Sincerely,
Francis

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I was reading the newspaper yesterday and I bumped into an article about love (since Valentine’s Day is just around the block). As I was reading along some parts of it, I suddenly had a realization of what has been with me since I cracked open my once dormant “love life”.

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Drake was born from almost a decade of suppressed feelings from my futile friendship-turned-love with Sen. I was so committed to him even though he might have not noticed that for a long time. Well, that was just me – the not-very-expressive person, the too-shy-to-tell guy. Sen was my high school best friend. He was the nicest thing that happened to me as far as my “love life” is concerned; Yet, also my biggest frustration.

We had a special kind of friendship, which was by far incomparable and unparalleled by the common guy-to-guy friendship one would see in our school. We were the type who gave each other cards and letters on special occasions. He was sweet and caring, yet not very vocal with his thoughts. I think I was responsive enough to his kindness and appreciated the things he did for me, albeit my reservations. As far as I could remember, we did not share much of our thoughts through personal interaction. Most of the time, we spoke our minds and hearts through exchanges of letters. At hindsight, for me that seemed to be a bit weird because we were best friends yet we rarely had personal heart-to-heart talks and confrontations. I guess that was one unique thing about our friendship – we had that level of trust and confidence on ourselves that despite the absence of the common communication found between best friends (i.e. the sharing of daily thoughts, frustrations or secrets), we stayed the friends that we were with no requirements whatsoever. We were just both accepting of each other. Though this worked for us, it also had its drawbacks, which I suppose was contributing to the sudden withering of our “best friendship” towards the last half of our high school – too bad for the two of us, we were both reserved with our words.

Our first two years in high school was our closest (the sweetest) until third year came when a sudden change happened. I wasn’t certain what caused our friendship to debilitate. As days passed by, we were setting different directions. On my side, I was getting more focused on my studies and was unconsciously drifting to oblivion about the state of our relationship. That year, no letters or cards were sent. Insensitively, I did not notice that. All I could remember significantly that time was my sudden emergence as one of the top five students in the class. Was I boosting my academic standing in place of my personal relationship with Sen? That I could not infer. Was I overconfident that our friendship was still on smooth plane? I could only guess.

Fourth year came and no progress happened between Sen and me. Oblivion took me so badly that I seemed to not even care on the friendship that I built with Sen. One afternoon came, our class had an open forum. He was standing on the platform, in front of us, his classmates, releasing his frustrations to some of our classmates’ behavior (He was a class officer then). While he was talking, I was looking directly to his face. Then, it came to me what had been between the two of us. Everything came back to me with a hard hit. Our friendship was in ruins. How could I be so neglectful of him after everything that we had and everything that he had done to me? He was the first person to appreciate me despite my unappealing look and obese physique. He chose me as his best friend. He took me the way I was. He treated me special. How could I forget?

That moment, guilt crawled through my veins. I was an irresponsible friend. How could I have let him down? Then I cried. I cried for the longest time. I cried everyday since then. I regretted the moment I forgot he was my best friend. I was his.

I tried to make up. I really tried despite my reservations and timidity. Some of my classmates and friends knew why I often cried. My seatmate knew. She was my shoulder to cry on. Every day, I’d cry to her my frustrations and my pains. My strong urge to bring back the relationship even inspired her to bring back her old friendship with her former best friend.

My sadness and willingness to bring back the “old us” was made known to him when I burst into tears in our English class. I was asked to recite a line from “The Secret of the Fox”, and excerpt from “The Little Prince”. The passage was about friendship – “… whatever you tame you become responsible” – and it hit me straight through my heart. The teacher was surprised about my very emotional reaction on the line and asked if the person involved with my breakdown was in the class. Some of my classmates knew it was Sen. That time, Sen was crouching on his deck – he already knew it was him I was referring. When the teacher got the hint that the person was Sen, she cajoled us to talk. That was the starting point of our mending.

Though there was willingness in both of us to make up, the situation was quite difficult to please then. Sen had a new close friend, a new best friend perhaps, in the person of our class valedictorian. He knew the situation and I guess it made him quite uncomfortable. Well, I was also uncomfortable dealing with the status quo, especially in trying to squeeze in myself in between him and Sen. Most of the time, I’d just waiver and just let what was already established with them and what was diminished between Sen and me. Sometimes, I’d get the feeling of hopelessness that I couldn’t get things back the way they were. In fairness to Sen, he exerted time and effort to catch up with me. Despite our “talk” during the open forum, we still did not have the courage (?) or confidence to talk about us – our friendship. Instead, we were more of talking to our common friends. They were the ones who helped us somehow to rebuild our lost friendship.

Those remaining few months, my longing for Sen intensified. Knowing that we only had limited time before running into college, we still tried to bring things back. Letters and cards started to flow again – a Birthday card, a Christmas card, and even a Valentine’s card. We tried to spend more time together though there were times his new close friend would be in the scene, I’d just hold back because I did not want to be hurting the latter. Besides, it was not my intention to break their friendship. I was just trying to bring back my relationship with Sen.

Just a couple of months before graduation, Sen’s efforts and mine were giving us a bit of progress, but not the actual achievement that I was wanting. It was then that thoughts of hopelessness messed my head. The past could not be brought back between Sen and I, I said in my mind. Still, my feelings remained steadfast. Sen to me was still my best friend - the one special friend in my heart. And I committed to that. I wanted him to know that. I let him knew that through my letters. I expressed my deepest intentions, care and love. There was even a time when I sworn to myself that if ever I’d ever have a new best friend, I’d want it to be him.

High school culminated. My relationship with Sen never came back the way it was in 1997. I was awfully hurting and equally frustrated. The past was gone between the two of us. We led different courses in college though in the same university. In my mind and heart, he was my special friend and nothing could change that, even if I had my new set of friends. For some odd reasons, despite our proximity in school, I did not do so much to have time with him. Probably it was because of some adjustment in the university life and some other concerns that put my personal life at the back seat. Nevertheless, nothing changed in my mind and heart, only the temporal situation.

So, we led different lives. We had occasional meet-ups. A lot of things changed in him, also in me. But my heart did not. It was still set for him. For all I knew then, the best friend who took my heart away was the one I wanted to have for life.

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Leaving behind some sweet memories…

You gave me a “farewell letter” after first year high school ‘cause you thought I’d be away to Australia with my family. In it were your sweetest thoughts… your most down to earth. I love all of its parts, the erasures, the language you used, the sketch, the pig face, your handwriting…. You were the first person to say your deepest, which none of my loved ones had done for me. And I appreciated you making a poem especially for me. It was totally unexpected of you.

On our field trip, you brought snacks for yourself. Little did I know, you brought some for me.

You wrote me a summer letter though you weren’t able to send it to me. So, you just gave it when school resumed the following school year.

During fourth year, we were in the bus going back to Pampanga from Manila. We were in the recovery stage of our friendship. You fell asleep and dropped your head on my right shoulder and rested like that until we reached our destination.

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Sen opened up my heart. He took it without him knowing. And I think I have started taking it back.

In the past year, I was so stubborn with him. Though I started moving on after March 16, 2007, I was still a work in progress.

March 16, 2007 – The day I professed my love to him. "I love you" came too late....

That long time wasn’t easy to let go. It wasn’t something petty that I’d consider throwing away for nothing. Sen was a special person; He is still. The thing that I’d have to admit was that we couldn’t be more than what I wanted him to be. As what he had said, “I can only do so much as a friend”. That was simply hard for me to bear – he had tamed me to feel for him.

May 2007, I started pushing myself to move on from my wreckage. That was when Drake was born. He had helped me somehow release my emotional depression and mess. Sigh… I did not expect my failed love life could lead astray and shattered. The hurt was so awful. Awful… awful….

I was distracted most of the time. My productivity levels in the office went lower than usual. The not so very busy days made it even worse for me that I felt I was being punished for loving someone. Day by day I would daydream of Sen… the emotional investment I made, the could-have-beens, the would-have-beens.

Days went on to me making me feel long for love… and to be loved back. A strong urge to have someone haunted me a lot. I felt like I so badly wanted to have a partner who would love me unconditionally.

Some acquaintances/dates I had were always with optimism that the person I was with could really be “the one”. It was like I was so desperate to have a partner; that even if the person was not my type, I’d still reconsider; that even if the person wasn’t deserving, I was ready to compromise. My overzealous pursuits were born of frustrations, which’s, at hindsight, not a fair deed. I was such a pity. Utterly pathetic.

So it came to me, just recently, how I’ve been so preoccupied about this so-called “love life” of mine, when in fact it does not even exist. I was so bothered, frustrated and depressed on something that was apparently futile. It ate me whole to the point of leaving my other priorities behind and even jeopardizing my faith. The phase was overwhelming to me. So, I quelled.

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I write this down, the last post of Drake’s Ragbag, with my defenses turned off. I do not write all of these to impress or to gain sympathy or ridicule from you. I just want to leave these thoughts here for good. They’ve been suppressed inside my system for a very long time and I would not want to be carrying extra baggage anymore. Enough is enough.

Sen was my best friend. He was my first love.

Sen is still a friend. And that’s what I have in him.

Life is really about choices. No matter how hard the chore of choosing is, a choice is to be made. I should stick to my choice. And I choose to free myself from this romantic stubbornness.

I choose to free myself from my long-been fantasy about Sen.

I choose to free myself from overzealous romantic pursuits.

.
.
.

My new day has come and I am starting it.

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Just before I bid goodbye from Drake's Ragbag, let me just thank the following people...

To Sib, thank you for your unending support and love. Need I say more? You were always there for my sick heart. Mwah!

To Neldz, my officemate-turned-friend, thank you for the acceptance and for your listening heart, especially on times when I bothered you on your busy days.

To Ef, my high school crush (hehe, may ganon talaga noh?), despite your adjustment in your recent immigration to the US, you still have time to talk with me about my odd days. Dacal a salamat Ef! I'm always here for you my dear friend.

To Ruff, thank you for the commiseration and concern you expressed on my down times last year.

To James, thank you for being a motivation to pass through my days. Your posts make me grounded. Thanks for your generosity... for the Christmas gift. May God bless you always.

To Tokikot, thanks for being kind. I appreciate your gesture of letting me meet you. You are one passionate person.

To Makoy, thank you for being supportive in my blogging. Your kindness is well-appreciated.


Sincerely,
Francis

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
- The Secret of the Fox

7 comments:

neldz said...

i feel sad while reading this and became teary-eyed at the end...well, maybe because i had a past which can be related to yours...even how many times i heard your story, my reaction is still d same...hahaha! I will miss reading your blogs...even we shared stories almost everyday at the office I still want to read them. Don't thank me for what i had done to you coz u'd done the same for me... God bless you for moving on...Just be happy always. That "lovelife" thing, just be patient enough to wait for the right one. Coz if that time comes, I know it will be worth waiting for. If noone comes, you still have Sib and friends who love you so much. :D

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

to everything there is a reason...

and a time for every purpose under heavens.

drake/francis, it has been years... it's time to move on. not that i'm forcing you to do so, but, it's just, i hope you'll give yourself a chance to do so. it's hard i know, but holding on to those memories you so dearly cherish will just suck the goodness in you.

i know you are strong, and i might not have known you for too long, i'm just fervently hoping that you'll have the courage to start life anew. i might have not been there by your side (physically), but i hope that you'll know that i have always been here for you.

from the bottom of my heart, i wish you well francis.

you are loved. :-)

goodbye and welcome back.

chase said...

wish u all the best drake

sparrow_jack said...

i've seen you at your lowest..
your struggles..
your endless wishes..
your impossible dreams..
your deep frustrations..
your countless regrets..
your endless yearnings..

but in spite of all these Sib i've seen you cope up..
how you survived every emotional outburst..
how you tried to see different perspectives..
how you managed to keep your pace..
how you sacrificed everything..
how you compromised and adjusted for other people..
how you trusted your principles, your faith, your beliefs..
how you endured every pain and
how you enjoyed every throb..

i've seen it all Sib..
i believe you're a different person now..
you're stronger and wiser..
you may cross the same road again, but you'll be just fine..

sentimental Francis no more..

......................................................................

you have your family..
you have your officemates..
you have your friends..
and you have me...

i love you best friend!

Anonymous said...

don't know what to say except good luck with life and i hope to be reading from drake again. perhaps not in ragbag but in your new journey, whatever you make call it.

beejing said...

Drake. I wish you all the best. I hope this wouldn't be the end.

Anyway, once you get back, just in case I've moved my domain to www.ibeejing.com. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

God saw your heart. He alone will satisfy and complete you. He alone.

I am blessed by this drake. I may not know you but you have touched my life through this decision.

I am encourage. God bless our seeking hearts.