Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BEB

“Beb ko!!!”

That’s how Nigel used to call me back in college. He was a transferee from La Salle – Dasma, and became my classmate in majority of the subjects during my third year in college. He possesses a very strong personality, a prominent jaw line and compared to my lean body he was chubbier. People can say that we are opposite poles, and i guess they were right. The first time we sat together in the laboratory, we instantly clicked, there aint a spark, though. That’s how our relationship started, as dear friends.

I was then chairman of our departmental student organization. Though Nigel was just a member, he was so eager to help the whole team to organize and plan each and every activity that the organization sponsored. He was with me from the processing of the activity proposal up to the actual events. It makes me smile to remember that once he emceed our sponsored quiz bee, with his call center-like accent, during our “LIFE DAY” festivities. We used to share our meals too and sometimes I and our friends were in their house to hang out, to chill and have some drinks, to the dismay of his strict mother. His father died a few years back due to leukemia.

“Beb one year na tayo magkakilala ah!”

Little busier than normal, we had less time to talk, mingle and share stories , I was graduating that time and was elected in a higher position in the supreme student council. We barely met each other really. I urged him to run for chairmanship on our departmental organization and he did run but unfortunately he failed to topple Miguel, our classmate. I was guilty because I never did my part to campaign for Nigel, worst I never voted for him for Miguel was also a dear friend, thus ive written on the slot for President a long line indicating I will not vote for anyone. I confessed this to him and it might be the reason why we slowly fell apart. I was never a good friend, to him or to anybody in particular.

We bumped into each other one time in a rainy day of July. He no longer calls me “BEB”. I really didn’t care anyway. He will just be another person in the world, someone who will come and go. We talked a little, about his new classmates, about home, about life. And then I distinctly saw some black-bluish bruises in his arms. I asked about that and he just simply pulled down the sleeves of his polo to hide them. I never cared about the bruises, I never cared for a friend who might needed more time from me, a tighter hug, a firmer handshake… I was so full of myself, I never really cared on how he cared and helped me before, how he appreciated me in his life, maybe how I became an element in a chamber of his heart. My line of thinking was straight, study to graduate with honors, be a student leader as additional merit on the resume, leave all extra baggage’s, no strings should be attached to anyone..

“Beb Promise?”

After a few weeks or so Nigel was diagnosed with leukemia, he inherited the cancer from his father. He was confined in St. Lukes Hospital, blood transfusions after blood transfusions were done. All the newest medical practices were applied to cure him. They were rich, and I put that to myself that he can survive with all these medical advances. We had the same blood type “AB”. Somehow I knew he needed me, I knew he needed me beside him. I promised to help him through this, but I failed. I didn’t even had the TIME to visit him in the hospital. I didn’t even bothered to go there to give my blood to him. The only thing that I can give him, a vital chance for him to survive. I was so selfish.

---

“I’ll wait for you…”

A long night. I approached his casket looking at his pale face. He looks so serene and at peace, if not only for the glass and the wood separating us, I could have guessed that he was just sleeping. Ansakit sakit, the worst way to miss someone is to be beside them knowing that theyll never say i love you too when you say that you love them, not return your hug when you hug them so tight, not smiling back when you crack a joke for their day to become brighter. i felt that when i sat beside his coffin... what monster have i become?

I and few classmates decided to stay the whole stretch of the evening at the wake, to show how much we love Nigel. Funny and clichéd as it seems that only by death and losing someone or something that we finally know their true value in our life. Her mom recounted the sufferings that Nigel has gone through, as I ask myself how many times has she done the retelling, I can tell how much painful it was to see her son in pain and the reality that she cant do nothing to erase and alleviate the pain. “He waited for you in the hospital…” were the words that she said to end her story as her eyes rested on me.

It stroked me deepest because I am the one closest to him and I let him down, he didn’t even had his last wish granted to see me and our friends in his last days in this life, how evil have I become, and how I hated myself to have done such atrocity. A simple gesture to someone dear, I cannot give. I was there in the church as his mom cried through his Eulogy. I was near the porch of the church not wanting to go near him, for I was ashamed of myself. I just bowed my head in prayer for his soul, it pains me to be a failure to a person who needs me and my presence in the last moments of his life. I was at the tail of the procession with some friends who also deeply grieved his passing. I was almost the last one who left the cemetery. Just to whispher to him…

“Im sorry, im so sorry wala ako sa tabi mo noong kailangan mo ng kaibigan. Im sorry sana mapatawad mo ako…” I saw her mom smile and I bid goodbye. I turned my back, away from his earthly tomb, but I will never ever forget him. My Beb, My Dear Friend.

---

Redemption

Nigel changed me to become a better person. To care more about people whom I love, to give a helping hand to those in dire need of it, and to be humble in everything I do., to smile more often... He was one of the reason I seldom say promises, and if I do and say it, I will grant the promise in the best of my abilities, no matter what.

Nigel’s memory haunted me until Raoul came. Somehow ive felt that God has given me another chance to redeem myself from what I have done to a friend and thus I tried to become a friend, the truest one- the one who never leaves someone’s side, who understands, the patient and thoughtful one, the one who loves dearly and can give the BLOOD needed for one to survive… Though hindered by my evolved feelings for Raoul, I never left him, never a day that I abandoned him… I try to say to myself.

Maybe I was redeemed, maybe not.

---

Nigel wherever you are, im so sorry I left you, i miss you so much.

Raoul wherever you are, im so sorry if I failed you, but I never left you, never…

5 comments:

  1. ....

    for once, eternal wanderer is out of words.

    ReplyDelete
  2. let me cry with you on this one. I can feel your pain. I can relate, I experienced this pain once. can I hug you?

    ReplyDelete
  3. i don't know what to say........ :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. may mga bagay na hindi talaga maiwasan.

    saan man siya naruruon, alam ko na alam niya na mahalaga siya sa iyo...na nagsisisi ka sa mga pagkukulang mo.

    hindi sukatan ng pakikipagkaibigan ang pagkakaroon ng silbi ng isang kaibigan kundi paano ito buong pusong magpahalaga hindi lang sa samahan kundi sa mismong nilalang na naging kaibigan

    ReplyDelete