the farewell i saw coming

i dropped daniel to the airport for his flight out to denmark tonight.

few hours before that, though, we were killing time drinking frappe at people-ingested mall in manila. that was his whole idea of spending his last few hours in my country. he shopped a little; he was worried things are gonna cost a hell lot more expensive back in denmark but was also worried his extra luggage is going to cost him a fortune.

“you must see me when you get to europe.” he said, as if it was as easy as checking into a hotel. not to mention how tricky it is getting a visa to denmark. well, forget that. the fact that even if i end up in the UK this christmas holiday, there was no way i would be able to go anywhere else.

not only am i losing friends to their birth countries (i do understand they ought to be getting back to where they came from at some point in time), i also have to endure the fact that i am the one left behind.

“you only own what you lost.” he was grinning at me. i honestly thought there was no wisdom inside that 24-year old head of his. wherever he picked that one up, it sure made some sense today.

the 7-month old friendship, if one could call it at that, was all worth it. perhaps, it was because we were aware it was going to change at some point makes the farewell part easier to endure. it was different with chico’s case; i did cry hard with his leaving. not because i fear i will not see him again. it was because i am always terrible with goodbyes; especially if i am the one being left behind.

i would remember daniel for the countless dinners and breakfast we had; more so, for the dives we did together. i would remember the time we accidentally lead a group of divers to a crazy path after our guide disappeared with two other divers. i would remember how he would spend long time in front of the mirror trying to rearrange his hairstyle. or how he always criticize the fact that i slept too much. or how i always end up finding a box of flavoured condoms in his apartment. or the time he has to carry me home because i was too drunk i couldn’t even stand up.

“give me a hug.” he said as he was holding his third (and the largest) luggage with his two hands.

i did and gave him a kiss. “you so look far from being a backpacker now.” i frowned. he was carrying the two lighter backpacks on his shoulder and was holding the largest one with his hands.

that was the last thing i said to him as he disappeared into view and into the jungles of the international airport.

i was a little sad so i called david on his mobile. his voicemail picked up the call. i turned it off and stared straight into the glaring manila lights.

we all move on. it is just something we do by instinct.


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