Illustration by Jasmine C. SantosFOR THE record, summer has never been that cold, not because of climate change but of a broken friendship.

It all started two years ago, when we became connected through our common friends. He is a typical eye-catcher, the type I never thought I’d become close to. We enjoyed each other’s company through shallow jokes and pointless conversations. In my moments of self-doubt, he was there to boost my self-esteem.

He cared for me, until a daring confession ended it all.

It felt like playing an extra in my own movie, instructed to strut in front of the leading man who would never give his glance to a girl like me. My role ended at the instant I walked past him.

Admitting that I harbored feelings for this friend was never easy. It was quite a gamble, a choice between keeping our friendship and achieving something I have desired ? to be more than his friend, to not just be his friend.

The day it ended, I ran home as fast as I can, ignoring calls from my friends and my family and went straight to my room. I turned to my pillow for comfort and let it catch my tears.

For a time, I thought the hardships I have gone through were nothing compared to this. What happened was a slap on the face for trying to achieve more than what I already had. For wanting more from a friend, I lost all that we had between us, the mischievous tricks, unstoppable laugh trips, and memorable childish acts.

Right there, I had a feeling of emptiness which led me to refuse myself of comfort. Asking myself for forgiveness became unacceptable because I hated the feeling of being rejected.

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Everything changed after I professed my feelings, even though he kept on saying that it was passable, what happened already made a wall of unease. Upon encounters, we simply traded meaningless smiles. The senseless stories we usually laughed at already faded. It seemed that we do not care for each other anymore, that we were just familiar strangers. We talked about the matter, but the problem was his presence made me feel that I was not good enough or that there was something wrong with me. There was too much distance between us that no one dared to reach out. It was the end of our story.

Days passed with soundless monotony, as if everything was made of black and white, and nothing was reaching my ears.

What came next was something I took for granted. I received a call from the former managing editor of the Varsitarian, giving me news that I was among those who were accepted in the student publication. It seemed surreal that something good would happen.

Eventually, I began to enjoy work and the company of my colleagues in the office, often spending time having meaningful conversations and fun by playing hilarious and ridiculous games. I even started to be acquainted with elegant events. The publication also led me to interesting people through interviews and workshops.

At times when the thought of him would begin to play in my mind, my new found friends would make me laugh harder with their jokes. My growing happiness began to erase my memories of our broken friendship.

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I began to realize that there was a reason to lose him. It was then that I thought about what God has planned for me.

Perhaps a loss is not something that would not be compensated. I met some of the greatest people in my life who made me appreciate the people around me. It was not anymore entering the office and finishing my work while constantly brooding over my failure. It was the start of a new life.

Truly, God has his best plans. I may not have my ideal happy ending, but what happened was more than what I hoped for. Ana May R. Dela Cruz

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