We met on the orientation day for incoming freshmen at the Royal and Pontifical University. In truth I had mistaken him for somebody else, but when he acknowledged the fact the he too came from the same province as I had, in the very least we had something in common. Little did I know that it was to be the start of a good friendship.

Being classmates we had the same class and when class was out we would go and watch movies together. We watched movies to relax before an exam, we watched a movie to forget that we flunked a particularly important exam, and sometimes we watch movies, for no reason at all. We knew we had problems when at one time there were simply no more movies that we have not watched yet.

Like all friends (and most couples), we had fights and disagreements. But unlike husbands and wives who calls it quits with divorce or annulment cases, often our grievances were resolved by one of us announcing, “I’m hungry, you want to join me get something to eat?” and whatever was the cause of the disagreement would get thrown out with the trash. Such was life for us simpleminded fools.

In school I was elected class president for two years, the entire duration of college had I not fooled him into office after my term was over. And he was always good leader, not that he’ll admit to it.

I’ll always remember the first visited him at home and his first reaction was that of pure unadulterated shock. He asked indignantly “What are you doing here?!” as he bellowed from their yonder gate but welcomed me still.

I also remember, once I stayed over to sleep, the air conditioning was a bit too cold. There was only one blanket between us, and it would have been an all night tug of war had not his mom came into the room and made sure both of us were comfortably warm.

It was I guess even inevitable that we became roommates in college eventually.

We probably would have gone to the same school for medicine had I not been stubborn and just swallowed my pride just for once. So for the longest time we parted ways, each living his own life.

But when the time came for me to come back, their home was welcoming as ever. I’ve been staying so long at their place that I practically should have my own room already.

Even the way his parents treat me has evolved from “this is my son’s friend” when they introduce me to others then to “I’d like you to meet my nephew”. I was no longer the overstaying house guest, I was family.

If there was a need for me to write my biography, he would probably fit the position of author to a tee. Nothing that ever happened to me escaped him, significant or not. And he would always be the one to remember to the most miniscule details of the one thing that I will always try to forget.

It used to be that he was the one asking me how to go about writing letters and what to do about a girl that he really had a crush on back in college. His face would turn beet red whenever she would pass by. So imagine my shock and disbelief when he sent me an SMS one day out of the blue, “bok December 2 ang kasal, best man ka.” How the tables have turned in a matter of few years.

I’ve always imagined that when the time finally comes for him to tie the knot with that very special girl of his dreams, (and she is very special indeed) I’ll probably not be among the guests or the entourage. I’ll be in the background making sure that everything is in order, just like he’d want it to be. I’ll probably be crying more than anyone else and I could practically hear him chide me by saying “It’s ok, boys don’t cry, men do.”

Alas, when the big dy arrived my fearless forecast of being among the shadows was missed by a long shot as I am was placed on the spotlight for my 15 minutes of fame to share his 15 minutes of shame. Lucky for him I changed my mind in the last minute and spared him the agony.

I’m a man most richly blessed in having him as my friend, but that night belonged to himand his happiness knew no bounds as he began his life of marital bliss.

Happy Birthday, bok.

(for jimbo and candy)

~ by allen mallari on July 20, 2008.

One Response to “bukoy”

  1. Nice one bok

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