It was June 1999. The first day of 2nd grade. My mom dropped me off way too early than she should. It was what, like 6:30 in the morning? The sun wasn’t completely out yet, it’s still a bit chilly and the sky looks quite gloomy. The classroom is still quiet. I didn’t bother with the class list, confident enough that I will meet new friends again. At the back of my head, I was thinking about Odes, Faye, VL, Bea, Lara—the friends I was so used to be around with back in 1st grade. “Don’t worry, Faye, VL, Bea and Lara are still your bus mates so you would get to see them and be around them every day. Odes will still be your friend, her room is close by where you’re at!” that’s what my mom told me and I was reassured. She told me to sit in the front row, so that’s what I did. My mom was trying to make small talk with me because maybe, I look a bit nervous. I keep looking at my Mary Janes and St. Michaels knee-high socks, I keep wondering if it’s too high for a pair or was it just normal, until a girl sat next to me. My mom told me that I am about to make friends now so she’ll leave me kissed me goodbye and left for work.
I was left with a girl named Cathy. She talked about how she had just got back from the States and that her family had a nice time visiting Universal Studios. She told me all about Lego Land and I was so fascinated about her escapades. The bell rang and students are pouring inside the classroom and this one girl stood out. She have this curly light brown hair in pigtails looking nervous and shy. Her ears are distinct and she entered the room quietly with her pink Barbie stroller bag and sat at the back of the room. That’s when I knew I’d like to be friends with her.
Though I wasn’t completely the shy type back then, I didn’t make a move to be friends with her, I was actually glad to sit next to Cathy and she was this really cool nice girl who talks a lot and kept me entertained.
After a few weeks, our Filipino teacher Miss Dano was quite irritated with my talkative classmate who sits next to curly light brown haired girl—Gert. Being Miss Dano’s sort of favourite, she asked me to exchange seats with Gert’s seatmate and I ended up sitting next to curly light brown haired girl—Gert every Filipino (subject) time. The next thing I know, I introduced Gert to Cathy and my other new found friends. Until such time we ate together, exchanged Play Station games (Rugrats: A Search for Reptar and Spice Girls) Then I opted to choose the “2nd trip” every dismissal just so Gert and I could play at the school’s playground! We played all sorts of games and pretended we were in Legends of The Hidden Temple or Global Guts!
Then a lot of other years came and we were always classmates so we ended up being total Best Friends since 2nd grade!
I transferred schools, we remained best friends. We would even have sort of week-long sleep overs at her house and do nonsense. We just enjoyed each other’s company all the time until 18 years have passed!
Now, we are both 26 years old and nothing really changed. Except that our problems turned into adult dilemmas instead of trying to finish Crash Bandicoot and Mary-Kate and Ashley Magical Mystery Mall on Play Station!
I cannot even put into words how blessed and grateful I am that in my lifetime, I found a gem. Though we are completely different, we stayed best friends—sisters even!
Happy Birthday, G! You’re the best and the universe have proved it anyway. I love you so much!