Honestly, I've been in denial about this. Her impending departure is always pushed to the back of my head, superseded by tons of work yet to be accomplished and various other concerns. But now there is no way to escape it--only three days to go and one more of my dearest friends will have left the Philippines.
Bespren M and I have known each other since we were classmates in Prep. That's more than twenty years, more than three-fourths of our lives. More than four-fifths even. Bespren M and I have been through thick and thin, through sick and sin. And now she is leaving, for the land Down Under. Maybe my feeble, sentimental emotional center cannot process the fact that she will be gone for at least two years, and maybe, just maybe, forever. I think I cannot bear the thought of her not being a (local) phone call away on weekends; of not being able to meet up for a shopping date when we're both playing hooky. She will be Gone.
I am not giving her up for dead, of course not. But it seems that an invisible chain is broken, a chain that was built by being minutes away, a phone call apart. We are still a phone call apart, but Sunday lunch and three-hour conversations are now out of the question. I will miss her terribly, but I know that this is all for the best. Come to think of it, the invisible chain is not broken--instead it's just stretched really far. I will not allow it to be broken, and I hope she will neither.
M is leaving on the second day of March. We will not celebrate her birthday together this year. I am left with the other twin, Bespren J, who is equally dear, and my closest friend, who is also setting her sights on leaving. It seems my friends are leaving me one by one, and I am left here, bereft at times, fending off forms of loneliness, glad that they are in better places, but steadfastly holding on to a hope that my mother country will become a better place. Am I desperate in holding on to a hopeless cause?