Monday, June 24, 2024

In Between Farewells

By Royanni Miel M. Hontucan

‘Forever’ does not promise a genuine constancy. For every road to where life leads is a crossroad. The best of friends would write another of their own fairy tales after committing to ‘I do’ at the altar. One whispers ‘goodbye’ the moment when graduation caps are tossed high up in the skies. Airport tickets exchanged a thousand farewells. Last kisses break two hearts. White roses and burning candles cause a million tears.
It’s always natural. It’s not to be avoided. It’s not really announced, predicted or designed. We tend to live in momentary happiness without worrying of tomorrow’s sorrow. At the back of our minds, we halfheartedly think of those who matter most in our lives. Taking things for granted became an easier ground. Soon, we will realize how it wouldn’t be the way it used to be and perhaps, alterations define the passage of time.
Someday, we’ll miss stealing French fries from our best friend’s lunch. One day, we’ll reminisce the rhythmic banging of the lockers along the hallway. Somehow, we will regret why we didn’t tell everything we could have told to that uncle of ours at the pre-departure area. Someday, we will think of what could have happened if we just held that special someone’s hand and never let go. Later in our lives, we remember how we listened to our beloved grandpa when he strummed his ukulele under the moonlight skies.
These are in between farewells: the borrowed chapters of every story. It didn’t write the beginning or color the end but it kept the wheel of everyday going even if we never know when or where we will end up someday. Somewhere in between, we get a glimpse of double rainbows and beautiful sunsets. Somewhere in between, the intervention of meaningful acquaintances results to millions of special moments.
Two of the best writers I personally know painted different hues of farewells. Michiko defines how we will spell our goodbyes, “Our humanity has given us the unusual privilege to stand as markers of the change we wish to manifest around us.” Kuya Arkay realized how temporary moments should be cherished more than we consciously think, “Which is why it is extremely important that, during their time away from the figurative camera-frame of the world, we make the most out of those stolen moments in the intermediates between arrival and departure.”
The promise of happy endings could still be kept but it wouldn’t always mean the fairy tale type. Maybe a day shall come when our high school best friend would ring our doorbells again. The night will come for us to attend our batch reunions after some years. There will always be round tickets to get our uncles back. Maybe we’ll change our minds and start to hold the same hands again. And maybe in golden silence, we’ll smile upon browsing the yellowed photographs of our childhood days with grandpa.
Memories are intact but there are just so many pieces scattered to be looked for. Yet, even if we will not be looking for every piece, they will come looking for us. A mixture of emotions comes flooding in as we come across our old friendship memorabilia. We could give heartfelt laughter upon browsing through photographs. We get consumed in solitary and momentary loneliness whenever we hear the landing of the airplanes. We will never forget how he used to call us beautiful or how she kisses our foreheads. And playing the ukulele brings back the music that only our hearts know how to listen.
‘In between farewells’ does not pledge to certainty and holds no promises of long-term companionships, no contract of terms and conditions, no agreement on legal basis, only heartfelt commitments. Forever will never be the truth but it will not also be a lie. It will be a constant parade of engagements and farewell letters.


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