Make-overs


Me, Paul and A at Kenny Roger's - Forbes St.

It's funny how memories catch up with you.

Last Sunday, my brother was rummaging through old stuff looking for his baby pics to make his school project. And since most of the old stuff were mine, he brought them out to see if some of his were mixed up with all my old photos and letters.

A small Kodak photo album was on top of the pile. I remember it too well, one of the first albums I've compiled under Varsi memories. It contained pictures of our first trip to Palawan. I remember it was my first time to ride on a small plane and to travel without my parents. There was a picture of me with the shortest bob I've ever had beaming in front of the plane. Still young and naive.

There were photos of the legendary trips to Punta Baluarte, reminders of the "unfinished episodes" that would haunt for years.

Another album contained pictures of our trip to Baguio when everyone was still happy and optimistic about the year ahead.

Others were random shots at the V office, our very own home and haven in UST.

Though I've had these photos for years, it felt like I was looking at them for the first time. It's as if I've forgotten I even had them.

Each photograph came with a sudden rush of memories. The feelings at that moment came hurtling back.

It was crazy but I felt like laughing and crying at the same time. I couldn't help but laugh at how we looked back then, A and I were the oily girls with the short "Suave hair." (And we thought we were cool.)

At the same time, i felt like crying, remembering how good and happy those days were...
how I wish I could go back...
and how I missed all my friends. Terribly.

I imagined that I was Ashton Kutcher's character in the movie, Butterfly Effect. What if I could go back in time by just looking at one of those photographs, what would I do different? What wrong would I make right?

***

Even though it felt so mushy, which I admit I am, i texted the Varsi people on my contacts list just to let them know I'm grateful i have memories with them to reminisce.

A replied: "Nyah. Parang nagpapaalaman ah. Hehehe. Joke." Come to think of it, if I was going to die, at least I had already bade farewell to everybody. I said, "Oo nga, may taning na buhay ko..."

I don't know if she got scared or she just missed me, but A suddenly asked me to hear mass with her at UST church.

A couple of hours later, A and I met up in front of Santissimo Rosario. "Nagbabalik loob na ko," I said to her. I haven't gone to church in months.

I felt like I was having a spiritual make-over. I realized the value of the people who have been an important part of my life and I was praying again in Church, all in one day.

We had dinner after mass at Kenny Rogers. Of course, there were Varsi memories there too. I remember how we used to hang out at Kenny whenever it was Varsi "payday" because all of us had enough money to buy Solo A. (We already felt rich just being able to eat 1/4 chicken and a side dish!) A could remember the exact seat where a major turning point in our friendships happened.

Just as we were about to settle in our seats, Paul came in about to order food for take out. Paul was one of our best guy friends in Varsi and is one of those few good men. I haven't seen him in ages, so clearly, this was fate. He said he was supposed to call for delivery but decided to save the delivery charge and just go to Kenny's anyway. Of course, we "forced" him away from studying for his nursing exams the next day just to spend a night of reminiscing with me and A.

We caught up on each other's lives, remembered the good old days and talked about our futures. For a change, it was nice to just relax with old friends and talk the night away (or at least until the service crew starts closing the restaurant's doors.) I've forgotten how I enjoyed their company a lot and I realize now what I've been missing: a chance to keep the old memories alive and to make new memories. If only the others were there too, it would have been one big happy reunion.

***


Before and After

Taking make-overs a little too literally.

What's that gunk on my head? You won't see it in the pic but you've got to agree, I looked beautiful after.

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