A Toast to Friendship

Believe it or not but I was in the basketball varsity back in high school.  I was not a good player but I think I enjoyed the game back then. For whatever it was worth, the games took me to many other schools and enabled me to marvel at new faces, new playgrounds or gyms, new experiences…

And back then, I had a buddy called Menchie Sarreal, a good player and a kind friend. She was a year younger but we were practice partners, about the same height, the same built, both beautiful, so they say, but hers was classic… And she was good in Math… So yes, Menchie was the brains, beauty, and brawn chic…., great, except that she was the youngest in a brood full of brothers…probably why she never got married, but that is another story….

Though the years, Menchie and I would only see each other once every blue, blue moon. But the friendship we built in the varsity was enough for me to ask her to be godmother to my first born. So the friendship was sealed for life.

Menchie had explored the world, packed her bags whenever she felt the itch to see the New York skyline or whatever whim that urges the wanderer…  That came to a halt though when she discovered she had  cancer and had to yield to some surgery, chemotherapy and swallow maintenance pills. Well, she got better and hopped on to see some parts of the world where friends and family were based…

She called me up the other day though and asked if we could go to Padre Pio’s chapel together. I obliged, more because I had been wanting to see her for the longest time….

She’s a bit thinner but is growing her hair back again. She sports a newer car, wears the same maong jeans, and carries the same old happy smile. The mannerisms are the same, but the stories we exchanged were life defining!

Menchie, wacky with her laughter, serious with her sentiments, ever genuine with her love for family and friends, hurt but hanging on, scarred but ever brave and sincere, quiet when words are not necessary…

I once said that I had a special list that bears the name of my friends…

Mench, you made that list special…

I had a happy day just chatting with you, yaikks!, the skeletons in our closets are dancing…

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