This isn’t a hero/anti-hero rant or critical analysis about Ferdinand Marcos’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
No, it’s not like that.
This is something…personal. Intimate. A secret that I first published in a password-encrypted blog that I’ve never shared to anybody else before. Not even to my best friend.
This is the voice of my fifteen-year-old self: brittle, depressed, and longing for someone who would never be around anymore. This is what my sadness looked like three years ago. This has the promises I made to myself three years ago. This has my frustrations and fears and regrets, my little resentments and the “What if’s” that I’ve long buried in the past.
I stumbled upon this when I was cleaning up my childhood e-mail account, purging all the weird subscriptions and deleting old Tumblr blogs that my silly teenage self made all those years ago. I actually almost refused to delete the blog where I took this from, because that blog sort of “personified” what I was like circa 2013 or 2014. It wasn’t a pretty personification, but it was still me. I re-read some of the personal posts I made at that time and somehow even two or three years later, my ~adulting~ self still picked up some stray bits of wisdom from my teenage angst and introspection.
As the title suggests, this is about my childhood friend Archer, eight months after he died from brain cancer. At that time, I struggled to deal with grief—I didn’t really have anyone whom I could share some silly throwbacks in his memory as a sort of therapeutic group thing; I still felt off to write about him using the past tense (as you would notice in the inconsistent tenses I used throughout the whole “letter”).
I dealt with every problem I had by internalizing the hell out of everything. I was weak when it came to coming to people—my parents, my friends—and just sharing my feelings; I never realized how secretive I’ve become when it came to my thoughts and problems until I’ve had a few friends sharing theirs to me recently. It always takes a lot of time for me to share intimate thoughts like this to my blog, and most of the time when I finally gather the courage to do so, the feeling has passed and my thoughts remain as drafts.
This time, I feel a little bit more confident and at peace with myself enough to share this in public. Rereading this made me remember promises, made me relearn a thing or two from my younger self. I hope that anyone who has felt the way I did during this trying time would find themselves relieved or their heart a bit lighter, to find out that someone—even a stranger like me—can empathize.
Starting to write something down is always the hardest. I always don’t know how to open up the topic about you because, well, not everyone really knows you and how much of a hero you are. Not everybody has an idea of how great you are. It makes me hesitate all the time, knowing that no one understands; no one can empathize because they don’t know what it’s like—what you’re like. Getting the feelings right is too easy; they’re always at the brim of my mind all the time, not quite on the surface but almost there. Always lurking behind everyday life thoughts. It’s always so easy to summon them–memories, talks, feelings–whenever the 23rd rolls around. Every 23rd of the month is supposed to be your day. I promised myself, “I will remember. I will celebrate the memory of you every 23rd day of the month.” And I do remember. I just…don’t seem to find the time to celebrate. Every month, ideas pour out like crazy. But college is here and I can’t seem to prioritize you.
It’s a pathetic excuse but I know you wouldn’t have wanted me to put you above everything else. That’s just how you are.
Some days, I forget the hollow feeling of losing you.
Some days, it all comes back to me.
Especially when I’m down.
I terribly miss you. I feel lonely because of a lot of things I can’t say here. I wish you were still here.
I always think about your promises. Going back here. Curing me. “Fessing” up properly.
You promised me a lot of things. A lot of things like serenades and spontaneous adventures, and a lot of appreciation and love. And you know what, those things gave me hope. They made me think back then, “I’ll wait for him because everything will be all right. Archer will save the day. It will all go away because he’ll come back.” You didn’t, though. Couldn’t. (And now, you never will be able to.)
I don’t want to blame you and I won’t because that’s just bullshit. Sometimes I just feel lonely because I believed you. I really did. I was always thinking of scenarios of when we meet again. Scenarios about you being your annoying self. Scenarios about us.
I know. Call me assuming or what but I really did think about ‘us’. I think anyone would have thought about that. You promised me a lot of things. Enough for me to actually consider you to be my potential…person (lol I can’t believe I said that ew).
* line break for me to feel grossed out that I actually typed that *
You’re not hard to love. You’re perfect. You’re sweet and thoughtful and cute and adorable. And most of all, you cared about me (I think).
To quote Prince Edward from Enchanted: What’s not there to like?
It makes me kinda frustrated. Why must my life always be full of “Sayang!” exclamations.It makes me feel morose to think that maybe I cared about you the same way. That’s why I don’t want to think. Because it’ll hurt. It will fucking hurt.
So let’s just wrap things up and say that “we love each other but” and end it there.
I miss you so much Archer. I miss you so, so much. I don’t cry anymore because it makes me feel pathetic. But I really miss you. Especially now. I need a strong pillar. I’m sorry I haven’t been your pillar when you were sick.
You will always be the best for me, and will always be my most favorite.
Happy 8th month.
Featured photo: “Secret Garden” Christian Dior Haute Couture photographed by John-Paul Pietrus for Harper’s Bazaar China 2013 from labsinthe via Tumblr