No clothes, no money, and no friends...only a brown envelope with few documents that was required to bring. Early morning we we're awaken by the driver that we are near to our destination. We entered a compound with 3-4 buildings around and were instructed to get down and fall in line. Then one lady came calling all our names. A minute later we we're given a family name and was guided by other fella to the family they have chosen me. Welcome to Saint Mildred Family, the first word I’ve heard from a helping sister named Ate Timmy Mendoza.
Never thought of the life I would be having on that place. I had my things ready long before I came; my clothes, shoes, bag, school supplies....everything. And there were almost 31 students who came ahead of me...I was St. Mildred no.32 then... First few days I found everything really strange...far different from the life I have in the province. First strange thing was the bell ring early in the morning which commands every students to rise from her bed and run to the dining hall area for the early Morning Prayer. Almost all the things we do were on a time frame with the bell as a reminder. We we're given different household chores like washing the dishes, cleaning (the dining hall, bedroom, shower room, comfort room, class room, chapel), watering & cultivating the plants of a given area. Among our duties; study, work, pray and play...most of our time was focused on studying.
Having brought up by grandma from late elementary grade school...I was used to have a life alone...other than her and two uncles and few friends. Studying in a school for girls and away from family was out of the ordinary. There were times that you wanted to talk to someone who could understand everything that you're going through...the homesickness...the new place/environment...the rules and regulations...the duties and responsibilities...the different attitudes of students/dorm mates etc etc...
When I was in first year I had few close classmates but not with any of my dorm mates. Life has been very monotonous in observing the 5 duties that we have. Among it i enjoyed playing the most though I have always been on the top 5 section. I didn't give much effort on my academic subjects...I studied with a goal of just passing all my subjects and that's all. But mind you...I was once a second grading honor student in second year. I have joined the swimming team of our school competing for the little Milo Olympics. I had my training till second year but later quitted so I never really had a chance to compete in little Milo Olympics...only in the school Olympics.
So here comes now the story of me and my best friend. We belong to the same family saint...St. Mildred. She came before me that why she was St. Mildred No. 16. She came from the province of Quezon and I was from Bicol...Catanduanes. We were very casual (just a plain dorm mate) with each other for the first two years but she had so many friends since then while I was very choosy to find a real good friend. Then later we started to become friends, we talked and shared so many things about our everyday life at school. I was a year older than her but since I was small we look like sisters and she is my elder sister. It was then mentioned many times in our catechism class that one of the rule of our school was to avoid special attachment. A girl to girl relationship or friendship which they call "attachment" and whoever is caught will be punished or sent home. I have witness some of my dorm mates and classmates who are very attached to each other and I understand why the Nuns (Sisters) express disapproval to such kind of relationship.
Okay fine! We become close friends but not that so called attachment. Funny but true, I became jealous to her friends many times. It was the same feeling I had on my siblings with regards to the attention my mom was giving to them. I know it was not good to feel that way and not even healthy but it was always the feeling I had every time I saw her with other friends or with her special friend. One Sunday after playing time she promised to come to our family since she had some assignment to ask from me. I waited for that coz I was hoping we will talk and share again all the things that are happening to us daily but she never came. What I did was to go down to 4th floor hoping to see her but I was sadden when I saw her talking with our former dorm mate (her special friend). So from then on I made myself believe that there was no one I can lean on and be considered as my best friend. I lived the day trying to avoid her and never let our way cross though we're living in a small compound. It was enough for me to see her from apart...... I taught myself not to expect anything to anyone....and that I should live on my own.
There are things you can never hide even to your self. With the thought of not having a real good friend while other have, I became depressed each day. It was then the lowest point of my life at The Sisters of Mary School. I felt like no one really cared for me starting from my mom who had chosen my stepdad instead of me, my dad who spent only few minutes to see me and my best friend who have chosen others than me. Despite everything I considered her the best among my friends but with no demands and expectations from her side. In my mind she will always be the real good friend I had. I was hurting inside but I have to take control of my feelings. Even though I tried to live the normal way, I cannot say that I was okay. I became more depressed each day which later affected my studies. It was too late when I realized that I have to study very well. From third year 3B I was then belong to fourth year 4F. It was really hard on my part to accept that I was re sectioned to 4F. Tears were falling on my checks when I saw my name listed on the paper that was posted on the room assigned for 4F. There was nothing I can do but to cry for my careless negligence to study well and be affected from that friendship that was supposed to grow.
Things doesn’t always end the way you thought of it. She was saddened for the result of my re sectioning. Pity on me! I only had her sympathy but I wish I was able to tell her that it was because of Her…but what for?........she didn’t know what I’ve been through. Since it was our last year already at least I want to make up for the lost chances of getting good grades. I was never been the top 1 but I maintained to stay on top 10. I started to gather the broken pieces of who I am as a high school student of The Sisters of Mary School amidst of what had happened to me emotionally. I regained my passion and enthusiasm to study and perform the other duties of the school.
We remained friends without her knowing what had really happened to me. She was still the thoughtful and caring friend of mine but with other priorities (as what I thought of it). I still received those thoughtful notes from her like what my other friends used to give me. Few months before graduation I took the employment exam given by Fujitsu Computer Products of the Philippines and was happy to passed it. I have chosen to work since I know my mom could not send me to college. Just the mere thought of graduating soon I felt really sad. I will miss the heavenly atmosphere of the school, the Sisters, the teachers, my classmates and dorm mates and especially my Best Friend. I was out of the school starting December 2006 since we started to work already and was back to school few days before graduation. Have you ever felt that loneliness of losing someone you treasured a lot? The same feeling I had those days; I almost wanted to cry so hard why things have to end that way. We’ve all been together for 3 ½ years and those years have to end since we have to face another chapter of our life away from each other and that we may never meet again. I’ve watched movie and slept to their dormitory the last night I was there. She didn't know that I was still awake when she covered me with blanket that night something I was missing from my mom. She was a friend, a sister and a mother to me that’s why I treasured her so much.
The day when we really have to part our ways had come. She has chosen to continue her studies while I have chosen to work in Laguna. On our way to our apartment till we reached there I never stopped crying. The more I cried when I heard the song “It’s so coming back to me now”. It took me months to recover from that parting ways.
We may not be living in one place and may not see each other often but we remained best friends and never stop our communication. By the way, before we parted ways she told me “that I was really her best friend”. Oh di ba! May kahihinatnan din pala ung mga emote emote ko. I thanked her for treating me that way and I will treasure it for the rest of my life. I’ve worked in Laguna for 3 ½ years and she was studying in Quezon…despite the distance we will able to nurture our friendship. She visited me once in my apartment and tried to come to her place as well.
Another challenge to our friendship had come. I decided to resign from my work to continue my studies college in our province which means…maybe we won’t be seeing each other for long time but thanks to the technology that brought us closer. We never stop sending emails and text messages.
Then here comes the most memorable moment with her...that was during her graduation. Nobody knows except her niece who studying on the same school that she was a cum laude. So when she was called for the valedictory address, me and ate Connie were surprised. While she was delivering her speech i can't help not to cry esp when i heared her mentioned my name "And to my bestfriend, Sheryl Ferrer, for the inspiration". I was so touched...i could not imagine how i become an inspiration to her though i know i was in my own little and simple ways maybe.
So she graduated while i was just starting my life as a college’s student. I was in second year when i had my boyfriend...she was the first person who have known it before my mom. For the first year of our relationship i tried to make them friends even just on the phone. Things went so smooth then. There was a time that i went to Manila just to let her see me at her expense. I have once promised to her that if i were to choose between her and my bf, i would chose her. I have shared to her few things about me and my bf, our problems and conflicts. There was a time that i have to tell a lie just to avoid any conflicts with her and my bf....but then there are things that i wasn't able to control...they started to dislike each other based on what i shared to both of them regarding their attitudes and opinions to what was happening to me and my bf. I had another promised to her which was broken. She hates me for that....not on what had happen to me but to that broken promises.
Our friendship then was shaken...we had more of misunderstanding than listening to each other...the more it becomes worst when i told her that i'm getting married because i'll be going to Dubai and i want a secured relationship with my boyfriend. She did not like my idea of getting married so instead of having her as a witness during my civil wedding, i dared not to ask her then coz i know she was mad at me.
I was already in Dubai but we still fight because of my decision of getting married. I felt sorry for myself coz i was expecting her to understand me...i know it may not be the right decision i had but i thought she was there to support me to whatever i was going through. I look at her to be the only person who would be there for me may it be on good or bad times of my life. I was sad and hated myself those times coz the more i explain my side the more she did not understand me.
Sometimes we will do things that nobody will be able to understand. Most of the time we are going to hurt other people unintentionally just because we were hurting inside. Many times, it will seem so unfair to hurt those people that we love just because they were caught in the midst of our struggles. And yes, there’s just no excuse to it all and there’s just nothing we can do but to accept the consequences of that action…and be sorry for whatever pain it may have caused them.(ate nova) It took us a year before we talked like good friends again but from time to time she would mention and remind me of what I have done. hehehe
Now I am glad that though our friendship has gone through a lot of trials and difficulties, still we remain BESTFRIENDS!