An Afternoon with a Friend

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 with 3 comments
I’m happy with how things are working for two of my best buddies here in Zamboanga. I got to see one of them earlier this afternoon when I dropped by our alma mater for good time’s sake, Leigh.

It was quite a walk from the school’s gate to our PT building. It was a nostalgic trek as I remembered my college days ambling the un-cemented pathway in my all-white uniform, my knapsack snugly fitted on my back, and my cap--yes, I couldn’t go out with my cap those days. With the opening of the nursing degree in our school during our senior year, it wasn’t new to me seeing a student populace four times what we had back then. Until now, I am still not acclimatized to such a sight. Before there was nursing, our school only had two departments: midwifery and physical therapy. We were such a small community that we knew everybody by name or by face, and we could easily tell from which department they belong to.

After reminiscing the years gone past, I got to the PT building. One thing I noticed walking down the PT hallways was our laboratory room. It was in there where we had our grueling ana/kines, the at-times boring O&A lectures, and the nerve-wracking PT return demos. Inside the four corners of that room, we took turns doing thera exercises in front of one of our class advisers; their brows furrowed at the slightest mistake, a smile drawn at the display of the correct process. Now the laboratory has been transformed to nursing faculty offices.

I reached the end of the hallway. Near the registrar’s office is the PT faculty. I didn’t get the chance to knock because when I was about to, a student came rushing outside. With the door opened unexpectedly, we were both taken by surprise. There she was, seated behind her own desk, teacherly in her own simple way, at that time getting payments for and handing out alumni IDs to fresh graduates. We both smiled at the sight of each other, and it was immediate, as if the synapses of our neurons were giving impulses of the same nature.

I spent close to an hour at the PT faculty. We’ve talked like the old times, catching up on those years of only text messaging and forwarded quotes. For reasons unbeknownst to me, she had with her pictures when we were still students in the school where she is now the alumni coordinator. It was another dose of nostalgia seeing how we looked the better part of this decade. I especially laughed myself out loud when I saw photographs from our pad during our clinical internship: My friends trying to pull the towel off of me. We were young, reckless, yet full optimism. Now we’ve deviated ever so slightly, and this time with different priorities.

She is getting married this May, putting off her plans of going overseas like the rest of us intend to do for the time being. Starting a family is a phrase not in my vocabulary and as such my admiration just goes to friends who’ve walked down the aisle to be with the person of their hearts and dreams, including Leigh. As I’ll be going back to Manila by next week, I will no longer be physically present to witness the day she exchanges “I Do” to the person who would soon be a part of her life, but in thoughts and in prayers, I’ll never be anywhere far. I believe she has found true happiness, and that alone makes me happy too.