Wednesday, September 13, 2006


IRC Chat room - DLSU Channel. It all started there. One boring weekend, with nobody else in the chat room made sense. A nick appeared on her screen, asking, ctc? Another hopeless guy, she thought. Where could he have possibly taken that nick from? Nevertheless, she gave it a shot.

Among all those who tried to pm her, it was this who got the meaning of her nick right. Yep, she was a fan of a song by Goo Goo Dolls. Then the usual followed: asl, school, how r u doin stuffs.

He said, i stopped school. And instantly she wondered, how could this guy afford to join DLSU Channel when he had practically nothing interesting in his life? Out-of-school youths did not impress her that much. And so as casually as possible, she answered all his questions and said the right words at the right time, not knowing she got all her impressions wrong.

Shortly, a lot of lols were already typed. Without realizing how late it was, she realized she somehow enjoyed the chat. Then they said bye bye and exchanged “real” names. It was fun, probably the most interesting chat she ever had. Some people in the chat room did make sense after all. But it won’t definitely be a habit. She had been loaded with so many things to do in school. Chatting was not really her thing.

Nothing of the weekend left a mark on her. She continued being a “geek” in school, as her friends would call her. She was well-planned in everything. Her daily schedule sucked. Everything in between classes was dorm, projects, defenses, books, a little movie, and lots of sleep. Yeah, maybe she was a bit of grade-conscious, but definitely not geek! Would aiming for 4.0s make her a geek? Hehehe.

Another busy week passed and she had all her papers done before the weekend. She definitely made a great schedule, as always. She had enough of her bed, so she straightened up and went directly to the computer, and logged on to DLSU Channel. A familiar nick appeared right away... Maybe he was as bored as her, she guessed. And before she knew it, they were chatting for hours again. This time, aside from the usual bye bye tc’s, numbers were swapped. She wasn’t really sure why she had agreed on it. There was no harm on giving numbers anyway. If this guy turned out to be a pervert of some sort, she could easily change her number and go on with her life.

They found a new way of bursting their craziness out: texting. She never believed in that kind of getting-to-know-each-other stage. It was an extremely old hat. How can she get along with someone invisible? Someone she didn’t even know? Surely it was easy to pretend to be somebody else. And so she never took anything seriously. They exchanged messages every now and then, greeted each other every morning, said good night before going to bed, and talked about how their days went. Simple, no complications at all.

Despite its oddness, their ghostly friendship, in a way, grew. They talked over the phone for hours, with endless laughter. Everything could be equated in just three words, weird but fun. Did they talk about problems? Not much. Did they talk about past love? Not much either. They stayed on the present, always finding something amusing on small stuffs: her homeworks, her professors, his grandma, his cartoons…it was never-ending! They were just having fun, and who they really were didn’t matter to her at all. She realized sharing a part of her life to a complete stranger was another form of adventure.

Then he began counting the days. He was soon migrating to another country and it was then she understood why he quit school. She thought of those last days as the peak of their invisible friendship. By the time she opened her eyes, there he was, calling her…not running out of something comic. No conversation ended earlier than 1am. Yeah, she was still busy but her perfectly-designed schedule could always find time to accommodate those late-night talks. He never failed amusing her. He would sing endlessly, old and new, English, Filipino and Japanese. It was his role to make her laugh and forget about all the wrongs in life. Everything seemed perfect.

He dropped by her dorm, and left her notes with the guard. They would laugh at how bizarre they were. Of course meeting up crossed their minds. But aside from the fact that she considered it rather corny to meet up, she didn’t see the point of it. He was leaving soon. Besides, they were fine that way, and she didn’t want to ask for anything else. So they dropped the idea. Friends with no faces they remained. And so there was something in that set-up that remained a mystery.

The very last night they talked was the most unforgettable. She had a class at 7am but she didn’t care even if she slept at 5am. How could she miss it? It was their last chance to laugh together and share what they had in common - absurdity. She can never forget how good it felt, knowing that he was just on the other line. Even if there were moments that they were just silent, even if she almost fell asleep, but knowing he was just there, maybe thinking, maybe asleep, it was an unexplainable feeling. The magic of that last night would forever be a mystery. It was a silent way of saying things that was impossible to be uttered. It was not a sad goodbye, but still it was an end that was inevitable.

The next thing she knew, he was calling her from the airport, telling her how much he will miss her. There was bit of regret. They were friends and that was a given fact. But could they have shared much more together if they were not too silly on their odd friendship? Then she realized, it won’t change a thing. He was right, he was like a ghost who passed by and left without any trace. But why did fate bring these two people together and then part just like that? She had always believed that every person you meet has a purpose in your life, and in some way they are meant to teach you a lesson, or simply to touch your life.

His leaving became real only on that very night when she realized she was alone, with no phone on her hand, and no laughter filling the room. But as they say, life has to go on. Friends come and go. She remembered him saying, he would call her as soon as he gets there, he would email her often. But she knew the missing would only last for a while. Soon, they would be used to their lives apart.

And they did. Emails became less. But whenever they bumped with each other in the net, they would chat the way they used to. She remained in awe how they were able to sustain that kind of relationship. Maybe, in the slightest possibility, they could’ve had something special, but sadly, it was not given enough chance to grow.

Two and a half years later.

There was a message sent to her saying, I’m home! When she realized it was from him, she felt the impulse that they had to meet. How could they afford to let his vacation pass without finally seeing each other? They had been friends for years already. They were not that silly after all.

Anxiety attacked. What if they didn’t go along well? What if they didn’t have as much fun as they had when they were invisible? It was more than 2 years of knowing a person without really knowing him, if you know what I mean. Didn’t she have the right to be anxious?

The moment a guy appeared in front of her, she knew it was him. And they hugged to finally say hi in person and perhaps to make up for their 2-year old friendship. All her apprehension disappeared. That meeting was as surprising and as peculiar as their friendship. Not having seen each other for all those time didn’t change what they had. They brought out the laughing out loud from chat, to text, to phone and finally to reality.

She remained as baffled as she had been on why they became friends. But she quit questioning it. Maybe they were meant to remind each other that no matter how two people meet, as long as they match in any possible way, even only at a certain point, they would forever leave a mark on each others’ lives.

Now, they still talk once in a while, untiringly bringing up the past... the perfect time that she believed they truly met, even without seeing each other in flesh. Then she believed that some friendships, faceless as they may be, were meant to last...