This is a story about a friendship I had once in my life. I thought it'll be a long-lasting companionship. But, I was wrong. And, up to this day, remembering what happened hurts me.
The other day, my brother asked me if I still talk to an old "friend" of mine back in college. I said I had no communication with her anymore and I'm not interested in contacting her in any way. And I think she feels the same way. Let's just call her J.
J used to be my best friend back in college. We were so close that everyone thought we were sisters. She's like my partner in crime. And like a true friend, I was there to support her in every way I can. It even came to a point that I was helping her cheat in our exams by sharing my answers with her. I'm good with Math and Science, so, whenever we have an exam, we've got a seating arrangement planned so she can copy from me. *LOL* She managed to pass because of my help.
That went on for 3 years. She was really good with programming. Well, she had the patience to learn programming, but, I didn't back then. So, she helped me with my projects for my programming class. And, she even promised she'll help me with our design project (like our final thesis) since it'll involve a lot of programming.
J was older than I am. I think by 9 years. She was already married for a long time. Let's call her husband E. Whenever they get into fights, J will always confide in me. She even came to a point when she wanted to leave E for good, but, I told her to give him another chance. She did and she even decided to go to Baguio, just the 2 of them, to try to patch things up. But, something happened that forced them to go back to Manila immediately.
E was rushed to the hospital and J found out that he had brain cancer. It was too late. E never told J about it, even when the doctor told him he only had 1 year left. Imagine how painful it was for J to lose E when she decided to try to work things out with him.
I was devastated when this happened. I was shocked and worried about J. Her family has a history of mental illness so I was really concerned about her. So, I decided to ask my mother if it'll be okay if J lived with us 'til she's completely okay. She was also very fond of J so my mom approved. We didn't really have to worry about having someone else outside our family living with us so there was no need for a hidden camera or something to secure our home from her. She was like family.
For over a year, J stayed at our home and we got closer. She didn't pay for anything. Her only expenses where her personal things like her own soap, toothbrush, etc. I really enjoyed having her at home with me. It even came to a point when we were already planning on our future together, like what business we'll venture in, etc.. I really thought nothing would go wrong.
In my last year in college, as promised, J helped me with our design project. She helped us A LOT. J and our other friend, let's call him Matt, helped us prepare for the presentation. I was confident because I know, we'll pass with flying colors.
Before our presentation, however, I noticed something different with J. She started hanging around Matt more often and she'd sometimes would stay at their house. Matt is gay, by the way.
The last night for our presentation, J was nowhere to be found. She said she'll help us confirm that everything's working, but, she never came. I called her and she answered like she didn't care. I was surprised, but, was focused on getting our current problem fixed before I worry about her "tantrums". Good thing we figured out, at the very last minute, how to make everything work properly for our presentation.
After we learned that we passed our presentation and that we're finally done with the hardest part of our college years, J finally arrived. She came up to me and was acting really strangely. I sent her a text message that afternoon that I'll be borrowing her blouse for the presentation because I didn't have time to prepare my clothes the night before 'cause we didn't have time to think of anything else. When she saw me wearing her blouse, she started acting mad and was asking me to pay up. She started grabbing some of my things saying it'll be enough. Not sure what she meant, but, I was surprised. I mean, I let her borrow my clothes, which she did a lot of times, and she's mad 'cause I did it ONCE?! And I thought she was my best friend.
I was still ecstatic after the presentation 'cause the hard times are over. But, I still couldn't get what J did out of my head. Then, the next day, she sent me a text message saying she'll pick up all her things from our home. She's moving out. I replied and asked her what's up. I also told her to stop treating me like I did NOTHING for her.
I told my parents about it before she came to our home. My mom was FURIOUS! She was surprised 'cause J was even telling her she'll do everything for me 'cause I was a big help to her all throughout college, especially when her husband E passed. And, now, she's acting like I stole something from her.
When she arrived at our home, I was mad at her. I said, "How could you just abandon me like that?" It was really a good thing that we were able to fix our design project on our own. She couldn't really answer. I reminded her of everything I did for her. My mom was also furious. And, my dad, went out of their room and said, "Get out of here before I do something bad to you". We were all mad at how ungrateful she was.
That was the last time we spoke. And I honestly swore that I will never speak to her again. I mean, how could she suddenly change, in just a few weeks, and not see what I've done for her? We let our guards down at home even knowing she has a history of mental illness and that she sometimes have these crazy episodes where she'll not talk to you for hours like you weren't even there. We never thought about home security when she was around 'cause I trusted her and I actually loved her as a friend.
A few years ago, I saw her profile on a social networking site. A common friend of ours told me she and J are still communicating all throughout the years. For old times' sake, I sent J a message. She NEVER replied. So, I guess, she's mad at me.
The only thing that I could think of why she'll be mad at me was the fact that we depended on her a lot during our design project. Well, she was the one who volunteered to do all the work. She said all I need to worry about is the presentation part. That's exactly what she said to me and my mom. So, I never expected her to treat me like I made her suffer. Damn you, J.
All those years she depended on me to pass numerous subjects in college, I never expected her to return any favors. I thought she willingly wanted to help me with our design project. I guess that's the kind of person she really was and not the J I thought I knew.
I never thought that we actually welcomed a stranger to our home. I thought I knew her inside and out. I really did. I genuinely cared for her and loved her as my friend. And I really thought she felt the same way towards me, like I'm her sister. I was wrong.
I guess that's one of the reasons why I don't trust people easily now. I was deeply hurt by what happened to my friendship with J that I'm unable to completely trust a stranger to be a friend. Well, I managed to gain 2 very close friends after college – Saji and Lindon – so I guess the wounds J caused already healed.
I hope wherever she is right now, she's happy. And, I do hope that whenever she remembers me, she would feel a pang of guilt or pain for ending our friendship just like that. I deserve at least that for everything I did for her. Well, I guess, I'll never know.