21 November 2012

The things worth keeping

Its bizarre how only a year ago, my good old friend found me alone at the porch of this house where we were having a get-together with the rest of our gang. He joined me, and got to talking. It started with "what are you doing here alone?"--the answer quite obvious as I couldn't put my phone down--that coursed to me asking, "how long have you been together?" and eventually led to complicated discussions on dynasties and communism--a consular graduate's metaphors for relationships in place of a poet's harrowing rhymes.

But what I remember most is this: it was a perfectly good weekend afternoon, and he stepped out of the house for some fresh air, he said. He had just gotten off the phone with his girlfriend. Big fight. He goes for a walk to clear his mind, but the next thing he knows, he's at the bus station boarding for an 8-hour travel to where the girl lives. With nothing on him save for some meager pocket money and the clothes on his back. Nothing else really mattered anymore, except her.

"If the guy really wants to be with you, why isn't he?" His words echoed through my seemingly hollow skull. He told me the story trying to make a point.

Fast forward to a year and some months later, he's settled down--the girl he loves sleeping soundly on his bed, and a gorgeous baby in his arms. How far your daddy's come, I thought as I was rubbing the baby's tiny foot. What started as an eight-hour ride towards something he wasn't even sure was still there led him to this--a home.

And me, I'm still at the porch. Wearily waiting at a rusty, familiar doorstep. For something. Anything. And maybe still a little hurt about the fact that I wasn't worth even just 1/8th of that hour of travel. Not worth a bus ride.

Our conversation that night a year ago ended this way:

"You're wasting the night here outside. You're here now, with your friends, so be here." he scolded, sounding a bit fatherly (I should have known!). So I stood up. As I opened the door to the house, a roar of laughter erupted from the kitchen. My oldest and bestest friends. And for the first time after a long while, I felt relief.

I needed reminding.

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