Happy birthday, Jean

There are worse things than being addicted to alcohol. Things that drain your heart of all feeling that you cannot really believe they are actually happening. Surreal things. Some people break a nail and curse the universe out because… who would cause somebody’s glittery pink nail to just break out of nowhere like that? A fucking psycho, that’s who.

I am writing this at 3:12am. The date according to my laptop is 12th of September. My heart is heavy and my brain fuzzy. I feel everything and nothing at the same time. I am trying to ask the universe “WHY?”

Why do the best and brightest souls have to leave?

Why can’t murderers and child molesters be cleared from this earth instead?

Why her?

I have lost a friend. And ours was not those publicized kinds of friendships that send kisses on WhatsApp statuses. We did not tag each other on Instagram. Heck the only publicity we had on social media was sending birthday wishes on Facebook. A “Happy birthday Jean” once every 365 days and we were done. I want to say it one last time.

Ours was the kind of friendship that supported each other. She was among the people who would hype me up so much on Thursdays that I felt I could pen galaxies of words from my heart. She was beautiful, and just talking about her in the past tense is breaking my heart.

It was cancer that got her. She survived throat cancer about one and a half hears back and we were all so happy for her. She had fought. She had struggled and kicked the growing tumor to the curb. Her clothes hang loose, but she was alive, and that mattered. A lot. Jean was fine. We, were fine [because we realize our friends’ turmoil as our own and her being okay meant that we, too, could] Then on September 9th, at around 11:00am, I was added to the group. These days Whatsapp has a feature that lets admins describe the purpose of group, and the days of “Huku ni wapi” (where is this) texts are soon gone. This description quickly explained that she had stage 2 breast cancer and I thought to myself “Aah, Jean is strong. She has survived this before. She can do it again” a mental note was quickly made to call her during the weekend. I wish I called when I got home that evening.

I wish Jean had just broken a nail. I wish I texted her just to ask about her nails, and then maybe we could have drifted the conversation to ask how she was and she could have told me, in the subtle way only she could. She could have said, “I’m taking it one day at a time. God is gracious and kind”. She always said something like that.

Me: I don’t even know if this AA thing is going to pick up.

Her: God knows

Me: I’m so tired Jean. Honestly, I’m not sure I can make a post tomorrow

Her: God has given you a gift. Use it. Bless us with it

She loved Him. This supernatural all-knowing being. And ill confess, when I saw the message on the group of my former classmates dubbed “Euginia’s support group”, I questioned Him. I asked why her? Cliché, I know. But I found myself with all these questions that I needed answered and there was nobody to help me with them, so I turned to blaming the big guy [who remains quiet as well]

That message came eerily at exactly 1:00am. My grandfather’s message came at 9:37pm. Both broke my heart. Both were dear friends of mine. One taken too soon, the other taken before I was ready to accept it.

***

[AA continues next week]

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Irene

Take heart, even when it hurts like hell. This darkness will pass and one day cancer will die.

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