[逢うは別れの始め] To meet is the beginning of parting. The first time I read this, it felt like the perfect title of a story. It clues me in — prepares me for a bittersweet reality — and somehow I feel the words are beautiful as it does so. I know we will part, and I’m not scared that it will happen.

The most memorable times of my youth were college days. Four years aren’t long, but things that happen in our youth always seems to dig deeper than they should. It hurt, it hurt, it hurt so much more than ex-friends and ex-boyfriends, don’t you know? Didn’t you know? It didn’t make any sense. Why why why? I’ve spent some years willing to forget, fooling myself and trying not to regret, and only now can I say that I could look back at it with some detachment. The good was good, the bad was bad, and the good moments are better remembered fondly than never.

I’ve always been angry and resentful but time has been kind. Six years and finally I’m no longer scared to think about the past. Some moments have been fun, and real, and genuine — these are worth keeping. The old friends I wrote about in my older entries are different from who they were when friendships fell apart, and still different from who they are today. The versions of themselves in stories written by a girl who’s not that much older than a teen were transient moments worth capturing. Why why why? We’ve all changed, and the hurt doesn’t last forever.

I don’t know if six years is too late. Even now I don’t understand what triggered the painful alienation that time. You were my best; you knew things others didn’t know; you saw things others didn’t see. You were in my fondest moments and in my worst memories. I don’t know why any of it happened the way it did on a December day six years ago, but it doesn’t matter anymore. Why why why? It’s just one of the many things I don’t need to know to survive. After all, the callouses in our hearts give us a bit of strength in character.

I loved you both best so your alienation hurt the most. In the end, I loved and I believe at one point you loved and now I’m able to feel thankful for it.

One lonely birthday spent looking at a starless sky, waiting to make a wish, waiting for one star to fall.

One morning driving on the highway, and it was short and I hit a gutter at the parking, but you were a champ and sat through it all.

One moment of insanity, feeling invisible and calling you to tie me back down to reality.

One silly fake blog published (in search for the best pandesal) to enter a contest that was shortlisted but didn’t win.

One phrase that I carried with me for years, unashamedly even after things fell apart: this, too, shall pass.

Yours is my most painful heartbreak. It was a secret, an anger that no one seemed to understand. Did you hate me? Did I also make you cry?

I cut our ties myself, and I shouldn’t have had regrets. Why why why? You hurt me but you also made me laugh, gave me comfort, and offered me hugs. You were real, and those moments were sincere. That should be enough. Six years is enough.

Six years ago when the hurt was fresh, I refused to remember these moments and I never thanked either of you for them. Six years ago I wasn’t prepared. Six years ago, I thought things were good and I couldn’t imagine we would no longer be friends. Six years I’ve nursed some of that pain, six years I told myself who cares. Six years we’ve gone our ways, six years never talking, six years going through the motions of adulting, six years of change. Six years it took for me to cling to anger, to grieve, to accept, to see beauty. It took six years to fill those cracks with gold shimmer but now — I think I’m okay now.

I think we’re all okay.

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