“Please come to the meeting…., it would be for just some hours. Spare a little of your time for our homecoming”, thus said my friend Djhoanna when I chanced upon her on my way to work. Incidentally, it’s been over four months now since I received an event invitation from Facebook for our high school batch’s homecoming. Mheng started it all when she called for people among our batch who were willing to organize the event. Arc, Armie, William, Rajah, Bootz, Roy, Roselle and the others were up to the very demanding tasks of organizing a big event such as this. I had mixed reaction of excitement and hesitation…. I admit that the feeling of indecision was more profound than my excitement to be a part of this social gathering. I might sound reclusive but that was no match for Djhoanna’s prod. That made me decide to take part in the 4th monthly meeting but still with second thoughts inside my head.
The night before our meeting, I was still contemplating whether I should attend or not. Maybe just like the others, I was too preoccupied with things I consider more important. Or maybe, there were feelings of discomfort that I might fail to recognize friends from twenty years ago or the awkward sense of being out of place or maybe...reopening closed chapters of our lives. As I was reading Paulo Coelho’s Like a Flowing River, it seemed to dissolve my uncertainty and I would like to quote a line from that book “…they put things off, and fail to notice important moments….”
Logically, ignoring Mheng’s invitation is much like putting things off thus we miss on rare chances such as gaining new friends and meeting old ones. High school friends… we spent four years of our exciting teenage lives with them. We even spent more of our waking hours with them or knew more of us than our parents or brothers and sisters during those times. We laughed and cried with them, planned our life together with them and even made naughty and immature decisions with them. In essence, we had grown with them together and separately.
When I get to the part of that book about working and retiring and about the difference of passing and living through life, I thought not only of my long-lost friends but of our mentors. Those very special people, who in one way or the other, had been part of who we are today. With that reflection was the attempt to connect the present from the past and a lingering question of their existence. That awakened the eagerness to see those who still survive through times. To once again build new memories with them and thank them because we might not have that moment if we put off this chance.
After twenty long years....more important than awkwardness, hesitation and issues from our past is the value of friendship, of sharing our blessings with others and of mending our differences because we are, after all, mature and grown up people now.
~ to be continued...