I had known Nathan since I was eight. We went to the same Catholic Elementary School. He was a cute chubby kid who happened to have the same interests as I did- we both collected comic books and trading cards, we were both in the children’s choir, and we were both into drawing.
He was my best friend, up until the first year of High School, right before he left for the states. I remember a particular time, it was during the second grading period, when he started hanging out with other kids.
I had no idea, whether it was because I missed him or that I was jealous that he was keeping others company instead of me, but I made a dramatic outburst in Homeroom. We were gathered in a circle (consisting of students in our row, he was at the far end of the room with another group); I started telling my mates that I noticed Nathan and I hardly spent time together anymore, unlike before when we were inseparable. Midway through my story I had begun sobbing, Maricel Soriano style. Our teacher made her way to our group, and patted my back gently to comfort me.
Towards the end of our first year in Divine Word University HS, he told me that his family will be moving to the US. As a goodbye token, he gave me this sort of shiny master key to remember him by.
On the way home that day, I took it out of my pocket and held it to the light. Then I swung my arm as hard as I could and threw the key in the air. It glinted for a moment before it disappeared behind the cogon grasses beside the road.
And then I never spoke about him again in front of my other friends.