It’s unusually early for me to write a post, but at times, certain improvisations must be made. I’m usually more productive during what I call “twilight hours”, from 10 pm to 2 am. That is, once I get past the sleepiness.
But enough of that. Earlier, while in the jeep, I was thinking about my life. Not that my life is interesting. It’s just a bundle of disappointments, suffering, enduring, shattered trusts, you name it. I feel as if I’ve never really achieved anything great in my life yet, unless you count my graduating as salutatorian. Anyway, while passing by Manila City Hall, two male college students rode the jeep and paid their fare with a twenty. What happened next was embarrassing.
College student 1: Bro bayad mo to. *passes twenty to his friend*
College student 2: Bayad ho, isang Dimasalang, isang Blumentritt.
Driver’s wife: *gives a weird look at the college student* Isang Blumentritt, isang Dimasalang?
College student 2: Opo. Bakit?
Driver’s wife: *smiles*
College student 1: Bro, nasa Blumentritt ang Dimasalang.
College student 2: Ah, ganun ba…
It took all I had not to laugh out loud. I felt pity for the college student and felt like sleeping. But before I buried my face in my bag, a high school student came in the jeep. It took me a full three seconds to recognize him. I raised my hands and snapped a finger in his face.
“So di mo na ako naaalala?” I half-smiled.
“Bro, paupo.” I moved aside so he could sit beside me.
His hair had grown thicker, his face harder. But the glint of mischief that he had in elementary never left his eyes, however it was dulled. He had grown some height during those years that I haven’t seen him. I clearly remember him being an inch shorter than me during graduation, but now he seemed to be taller-I couldn’t tell.
It was Axel Jan S. Suyom, my very first friend from school and also, my first best friend. He still studies at PNU-CTL, or ITL, rather. We first met 11 years ago, in the Kinder 1 room in PNU. Through 8 years, we stayed close friends, until I had to leave PNU and go to MaSci. Of my 31 classmates from PNU, only Jillian and Thea came to MaSci with me. I had so much memories with Axel, like that time in the elevator, at the pond, out in the field, virtually everywhere in PNU.
We talked about school, my house, compared the weight of projects and assignments, talked about our elementary friends. He seemed more reserved, though I think he was just being polite to me. Polite? Sheesh. We played together in the elevator and almost got caught. We played dodgeball and he always beat my ass at it. Well, his team. Andre, James and Benjamin were pretty good at throwing and catching. All I was good at was dodging.
Anyway, the time came when I had to leave. As I was walking home, I wondered about my elementary friends, how they were doing, and if they miss me. I thought about Jeremiah, to whom I always told my secrets. I thought about Mickaela, the girl who managed to take the valedictorian title from me. I thought about Mrs. Calamlam, our Grade 6 adviser. I thought about everyone from my past, everything I did, everything I was.
As I stepped into the lobby, I swore to myself that one day I would come and visit them. I was the Class President, anyway. Well, this is your salutatorian blogger The EnglishRazor, taking a much-needed break.