Burning Bridges

I remember my grade school years of wearing slim headband, green jogging pants, and gray shirt for a P.E. uniform during grade school. Wearing the P.E. uniform means it’s Friday and I can take the school bus’ second trip home instead of the first trip. I didn’t mind being left behind as long as there will still be other students around. Urban legend says that our school’s newly built stage was hard to construct and that it needed a child’s blood to make it strong and intact, kind of like the story with San Juanico bridge that connects Leyte and Samar.

I’ve been singing since I can remember and I noticed that I could actually sing when my teachers asked me to do an intermission number for school recognition days. That’s when groups of friends formed based on interests. It was the golden era of The Corrs and after school, especially on Fridays, were our jamming sessions. We didn’t have instruments with us, we were using stuff that we see in the waiting area, usually tapping tables for drums. I became very close to one of my batch mates because we got into a conclusion who will sing each part, meaning who will be Andrea Corr. It was a waiting area and of course you won’t sing whispering. We’ve developed quite a few listeners while others will go on with playing patintero or dodge ball with us as their background music. The most sung song we did was “Only When I Sleep” and I think I developed an LSS when I played that on Spotify yesterday while ironing. Those were good old days.

Unfortunately, some friendships do not last. That close friend whom I always had jamming sessions after school continued high school in the same school while I was transferred by my parents to Quezon City. I felt like I left one life and created a new one. We lost communication then because we didn’t have mobile phones yet. Or it was probably a lack of initiative.

Fast forward to several years later to a working me, I received a phone call from an old friend whom my sister was able to answer. We I answered the phone, I was shocked to know it was my The Corrs buddy. I was on the way home one time riding the UV express when it so happened that he rode the same vehicle. He told me he recognized me but was too shy to tap me so he didn’t. He went home and looked through some old things and saw my landline number and just went ahead and tried. He asked me how I was and tried to talk like old time’s sake but I couldn’t feel the connection we had before anymore. You know the saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” or the friends you don’t see often but then when you talk it doesn’t feel like it? It was not like that for me. I think he realized that when I became awkward answering his questions and decided to end the call. I then received a private message from him on Facebook saying how I’ve changed and how I’m not the same person he’d known before, that he was expecting a catch up because of how close we were during grade school. Honestly, I got hurt and sad at the same time. Hurt because it seems like changing was bad, and sad because I couldn’t return the enthusiasm he had when he talked to me. But I told him the truth and said sorry because what else can I say? It was the longer version of “I can’t be your close friend anymore.”

We didn’t “reconcile” and I’ve put that in quotes because we didn’t quarrel or anything anyway. I didn’t feel like reaching out again to try and go back to the way it used to be because it doesn’t feel that way anymore. I didn’t have to convince myself to let it go because it wasn’t that hard anyway. As guiltless at that may sound, it’s nothing but the truth. To me, the friendship has been long gone. It’s just sad to realize that it was only me who thought that. He was brave for trying and for that I know he really was a friend for keeps. My loss most probably. I just know that “Only When I Sleep” will always be associated with a particular memory.

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