"Please, just let me study here Papa.I don't want to be far away from this island." Chariz begs her father to change his mind- to not let her go with them and study in Paris.
Chariz' parents decided to live in to a city of lights for her father was one of the board of directors in an airline company. He got promoted, but the CEO told him to transfer in France as his business assignment for years. Since she's their unica hija, her parents didn't want her to stay alone, even if her best friend Mae vowed to take care of her. Yes she had a best friend who was already a part of her since they were young.
Because of Chariz was a year younger than Mae, it seemed 'twas so hard and vague for them to become classmates, but she insisted that she had to be enrolled in the same school and the same room with Mae. Her mom asked the teacher's favor if she could consider that. She was supposed to be in the pre-school first, but she really wanted to be with her pal. She was so happy upon hearing that her appeal was granted. They also went home together because Chariz mom's fetched them after her office. One time when they were in their 6th grade, they went to a waterfall for their science project- to discover the different types of butterflies and their colors. The water was crystal clear and quite warm because of the sun rays that also made it so breathtaking. Their parents knew it but it wasn't planned that they would take a bath since they had no other extra clothes. They really enjoyed splashing the water- they were like angels in the forest-innocent and their joy was priceless. Mae told Chariz to look up the waterfalls. Chariz asked her if why.
"If 's quite high right?"
"Yeahh, why?" She asked absentmindedly.
"That is like our goals. Though the water has strong current going down. We still have to hold on to the wild vines or whatever stuff that we can hold on just not to be carried away and fall."
"You are thinking of that already?"
"Yes, we have to look forward for our future. We are still young but we are free to dream big."
"How I wish I had that vision like you."
"Huh? Come here and give me your smaller finger."
Chariz swam a bit so she could reach her friend who also enjoyed watching the falls and riffles of the water meters away from her. "What are you thinking? "
"Give me your finger first." She gave hers and Mae also put her little finger and they twisted it both simultaneously. "This is the sign of our promise to finish our studies and to get a white collar job. This is for our friendship and for our future. Chariz, I know that you are rich but having me don't even bother you. You are one of a kind!" Chariz was amazed of her friend's incredible mind. They hugged and cried in the middle of that serene nature with birds watching them in every branch of the huge tress above them, seemed so happy seeing them smiling at the same time crying. Even the frogs on the fallside jumping with so much happiness seeing them together who had full of positivity in life despite of their young age.
Before the despedida party, Chariz went to Mae's house. She stayed there overnight. They smiled at their pictures looking back the days of their childhood experiences and memories- where they even had one crush in their first year high school. They specifically recalled one by one their cute and cringing moments as friends. They had the same mindset till in their high school days. Their promised to themselves was still intact- to study hard and reach what they aimed for. Mae was the valedictorian and Chariz was their salutatorian in the graduating rites.They both celebrated their happiest day in Mae's house, cheering each other's accomplishments and achievements. They were like one for all, all for one tandem. What Mae's problem was Chariz' problem too. Who were Mae's foes, were Chariz' enemies too. They were like born in one umbilical cord. Their friendship was built with love as sisters. They almost didn't sleep instead they just kept on talking until they embraced each other while sleeping.
The day of their flight came, Chariz was looking for Mae but she didn't show up. "
She promised me." She cried to her mom's shoulder.
"Honey, perhaps she doesn't want to say goodbye to you."
"But mama, how come she wants me to leave without seeing each other?" We'll stay in Paris for years, I'll be missing her."
Her mom embraced her tightly and explained to her the possible reasons.
"You need to grow sweety. Perhaps,you're not used to it, but you will eventually overcome this situation, okay?"
They were already in the airport , but still Chariz was waiting and hoping that Mae would come, but she never came at all even her shadow. She cried and cried till she felt tired and fell asleep in their long hour flight. At last they arrived, she still remained so silent and sad. She wasn't happy. She saw people who spoke French- Bonjour here and there but it never made her excited instead she just wanted to rest in their new home.
Their house was not that big, but the ambiance was so gorgeous. They could see the Eiffel tower almost near to their hands. They could even grasp the lights and its terrific view.
The long lights on the streets. The romantic boulevard that's well-known for proposals, pre- wedding pictorials, and ceremonies. The sky reflected the color of the city at night. The gothic cathedrals , statues, buildings, and the dancing fountains with thousands of lights were amazing in the dark. They were like millions of fireflies swaying in the wind. Enjoying their performance in the dark.
The busy streets between night and day never made Chariz smile. Her mother already told her to go shopping and to enjoy in those charming cafes in the city. Go to the fashion week as well that soon to be held there before her fashion design class started, but she refused it. She wanted to stay in her room and logged in her twitter account to see her best friend's account. Mae's posts were very seldom. Chariz was already surprised why she had no commentary tweets about the government. "She's a brave dissenter, but why now almost nothing? Almost no tweets at all?" She got worried since she wasn't used to see her like that. They even had one principle as their mantra in life. They shared their pain with laughter until they became like silly grown ups. Sometimes they invented a quarrel -a fake fight just to test if they wouldn't annoy at it.
She scrolled up and down her timeline like a stalker to her best friend. A concern friend who missed her so much. She tried to stop herself not to message her because the more she sent messages the more hurting. She had no message as well for her.
"Are we still friends?" Her words were blown away by the wind. She hoped it would be heard and answered.
"Mama, my friend is not messaging me anymore. It's only a few days that I left , she already forgets me?"
"Of course no. Just give her a space Hija."
"Ma...", she almost began to cry again. Her mother was always there to comfort her daughter who really so sad for being so far away from her best friend for the first time.
"Hey, wake up! It's time for us to go for sight- seeing." Her Dad woke her up from the sofa where she was so busy surfing the net for the whole morning. She really didn't change. An introvert who just wanted to stay at home all day long with her friend especially on weekends. They baked chiffon cake (they've learned it from their Home and Economics subject) and watched Neflix of their all time favorite movies. It was like the world only evolved and turned to the two of them. They never explored things in life. They just wanted simple and happy days. They had planned that if who would get married first, she would have consequences to take. It was kinda weird relationship as friends and her parents understood it well because Chariz had no siblings. She wanted someone to be as her companion. As her playmate and everything. She felt lonely and being bullied in school of being nerd but she really didn't care instead she studied really hard to achieve what she wanted: as the top one.
Days went by so fast and she had still the adjustments in the city. She already familiarized the place and told herself to move on while she was there and grabbed the opportunity to study in one of the prestigious fashion schools in Paris. She prayed a lot to forget for a couple of years her childhood best friend who was there for her no matter what.
Her Dad' s business stuff in the city of romance and lights were almost done. She was very excited though her mind poked her always to go home because her heart was not belong there. It was always in the province where she lived the most simple, quiet lives, though her father could afford everything but she insisted to stay in the place where she born.
It was almost a month and they could fly back to the Philippines and Chariz was so excited.
"Pa, can I ask you a favor?" She grinned for she knew that what she wanted was not that easy and cheap.
"What's that darling?"
I know that I am only you and Mama's child" , she started.
"But I never abused your kindness to me. I'm not a brat. If I may ask your favor now... just even once", she stuttered.
"I am listening, why you seem so nervous?"
"Pa, please let Mae go here and she will be going with us when we go home. Please let her enjoy and stay here for a couple of days."
Her father never said a word yet as his approval, but Chariz was already thumping with joy. She was like a ten year old that had her first field trip. She was really, really so happy.
"Hmm, did I say yes? Why you are already so happy?" She taunted her.
"I know it because I can see that in your face.Your my father remember? I know when you are angry and not. I know also when you say yes and no by your facial expression." She laughed. She immediately messaged Mae for the first time since she left.
The next week Mae arrived and they just embraced. Bewildered. Speechless. She was like dreaming and floating still in the clouds . Chariz asked her if she liked to stay there than in the island.
"I don't like here either!" She confessed.
"You know my boyfriend is there in our place."
What? Why you didn't tell me?"She exclaimed.
"Friend, I know that I will nearly do the consequences! Hopefully you can still remember it." She laughed out loud. It was echoed in the alley going to the Champs-Élysées.
"I am so happy for you Mae! Should I have to get envy with you?"
"No, of course."
"Because my boyfriend has a twin brother."
They laughed .....