The time when you feel so low, so vulnerable; like you’re one child lost in the midst of an unruly crowd; when all you wish to do is to express what you’re feeling deep inside, and yet you can’t find the right words to say; when you’ve finally given up and refused to see the good in anything; that time that you can’t even smile and then this someone will come and change your view about everything.
There’s this lass named Gaby, the girl living in a tree-house-like structure up North. She stays there with her feline friends, Sasha and Pashmina, they both love liver spread. Gaby was usually alone, she never bring her human friends, which you can count on your hands, to her house because she fears that they will reject her for reasons that may be found inside her dwelling. She’s a jolly person, that’s what I see in her whenever she’s around her friends. I could only hear giggles and laughs when they’re together. They seem to be full of joy and excitement when they spend the day out; they’re awfully cute. You’d always see Gaby smiling about the little jokes that she and her friends throw at each other, there’s never a dull moment within their circle. I actually love looking at her eyes, and the way that she “smizes” it keeps all my troubles away. However, from every day that I stare at her from my window pane; I realized one thing: she’s miserable.
I have always thought that she’s fun to be with, but all that came to falter. It is true that she seems happy around her peers, but once, as her friends bid their goodbyes, and she was left alone in her tree-house, I saw her, sobbing fiercely. At first I though that something bad must have happened to her cats or she might have gotten an injury, I hurried to my closet and grabbed my binoculars (yes, I was that prepared for sneaking and peeking at her house), but I saw nothing worth crying for; her cats were purring in her bed, and she wasn’t even wounded. I thought that she might have had bad news coming her way. I let down my binoculars and headed to bed. The following day, her friends came over yet again. As usual she was very enthusiastic; giggling and jumping ‘round her house as if she wasn’t crying the night before. Their singing and dancing tunes were banging in my ears, I wasn’t irritated though, and in fact I was amused. The music stopped playing, cicadas started buzzing and I thought of looking at her house once more. I guess my subconscious mind knew exactly what I want to do; I was standing there by the window holding my binoculars. I was right, she was crying this time she was standing by the fireplace, from my viewpoint I can see her throwing pieces of paper to the fire. I couldn’t stand what I was seeing I was intrigued, I had to do something.
Gaby was the only person around my neighbourhood who was of my age. Most of the people that lived there were my mother’s age and they wouldn’t understand things that I would normally do. This is probably the reason why I was so affected seeing Gaby cry at night. I started planning things to figure things out, I asked my mom to invite her to dinners at our house, and I even tried joining her and her friends. At first she seemed uneasy about coming for dinner, but my mom’s convincing tone made her enjoy her stays. Soon we became really close friends. I was in the brink of forgetting what my aim was for she was really a joy to be with. She makes me laugh and she loves almost everything I do. She also likes studying; she told me once that she had this mini library in her tree-house. She also introduced me to her friends which eventually became my friends as well. We sang and danced together; we even baked and cooked stuff whenever she visits home. I totally forgot about her crying late at night before we became friends, I was completely deceived by her personality when she’s with me. Then one day, we (her friends) decided to ask her to a slumber party. She was open about the idea at first, but when we suggested that we spend the night out in her tree-house, she ranted, as if we said something bad. She walked out on us, we were all taken aback. We stared blankly at her shadow as she climbed up, that very moment I remembered exactly why I wanted to know her.
It was one morning after the walk-out scene; she was sitting on a bench at the nearby park. I sneaked behind her, covered her eyes and asked her to guess who I was, as if she wouldn’t recognize me. She immediately whispered my name in her sweet tone. I knew I blushed then, she wasn’t mad at me anymore and that made me really happy. We sat there, staring at each other and then she spoke.
“I’m sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to…”
She stopped there; I looked into her eyes and smiled.
“It doesn’t matter; we know you were just not used to getting such propositions.”
That brought a smile in her face. I was smiling as well. She tried to direct the conversation to another topic, thinking probably that I would let it slip that easily. She tried telling me about Pashmina and Sasha’s brawl that night, we were laughing, but I was just waiting for the right time to ask her. She had lost all her stories; I saw a ray of light, I asked her
“Gaby, would you lie to me if I ask you to tell the truth?”
She giggled and said,
“Of course I wouldn’t, I would tell you the truth no matter what.”
I smiled back,
“Then if I ask you why you were crying late at night when nobody is around, would you tell me the reason behind?”
There was a moment of silence, I was expecting it, but then, she opened her mouth,
“It’s… it’s because,”
“I’m… I’m really…”
She burst into tears, it seems natural to me that I reached her and offered my shoulder for her to cry on. Sobs and sobs followed she spoke in between her hick-ups.
“ I ne-never thou-thought I’d sa-say this to-to any-ny-one, bu-but you were th-the fi-first one to a-ask me about th-this.”
It was getting hard for me to understand her, but it was that moment that I was waiting for, for her to tell me why. Her hick-up-ing started to tone down.
“I have always th-thought that no-no one would u-understand me, I’ve lived this li-life bomba-barded with boo-books and, my pa-parents always na-nagging me about stu-studying. I really lo-love studyi-ying but eversi-since my parents st-started ignoring m-me, my i-i-interest de-declined. I-it c-came to the po-point that I left our h-house, that’s why I e-ended up li-living here. I r-realy mi-miss my mom and m-my dad, a-and my o-old s-self. The Gaby that g-gets A’s w-with less effort; the Gaby wh-whose family a-adored. I w-wish they’d re-reach out t-to me a-and t-tell me that they m-miss me.”
I can feel tears running down my cheeks. That moment on I knew her reasons; I never thought she’d open up to me like that. I was happy to know that she trusted me enough to tell me her deepest sorrows. We talked over these kinds of things, we were both crying now. I could definitely see my self in Gaby. She is, in one way or another me; the only difference is that she feels that she is always alone. I am not like that, I know I have my friends, and more importantly my parents watching, and caring for me; I am never alone. I may find my self physically alone but I know that they, all the people who values my mere existence are with me, in spirit and if there is one place that I know we dwell on together, that would be our hearts. I know too for a fact that even if the people I love the most leaves me in this earth, there would always be one perfect God that would love this imperfect creation of His.
We slowly drifted off of the topic. I tried to joke around and make her feel better. I realized then that even the smallest detail could change how we view things in life. I threw really corny jokes that I was sure she has heard once or twice and yet I managed to make her smile. It was really an uplifting feeling to see someone who refused to smile to the whole world laugh at my crazy jokes. It was as if I have found this kid in Gaby and was now leading her way back to her home. Now that she has found the words to speak and the courage to tell it to the world, I think I have found the real Gaby, and I have surely learned something about my self as well. I know that Gaby is smiling right now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s already moved on and that she is happy. It would take some time, and I will truly try my best to help her in this process of coping up with sadness. It’s going to be a long journey, but I want her to know that I will be by her side every step of the way.
I looked at the mirror and saw my sad face,
puffy eyes from the grimace I had to end.
I looked away and thought of your grace,
Men I was lucky to have you my FRIEND.
To GABY CONCEP who has inspired me to write this, bare with me on the concept, it’s a bit messy. I hope you enjoyed reading.
FRIENDS, this one’s for you. 🙂