Third Summer

It started in the middle of the mildly humid June.

A feeling that I needed to go home.

I ignored it.

The feeling reeled in again the ever so humid and busy July.

Nagging at the back of my head during the first week.

But my schedule was crazy; I kept running around campus and tried to figure out life in graduate school.

So I ignored it.

It didn't get any better during the second week.

So some friends said I might be homesick.

I said I was not.

I didn't want to go home; I wanted to do as much work as possible, be it for school or part time job.

I didn't have time for being homesick. My heart knew I was not homesick.

So I ignored it.

Third week of July, I started to worry.

As time passed, the feeling only got stronger; hitting more often, more wildly.

But it was just the start of summer.

So I tried to ignore it.

I ignored it.

It was either the third or fourth week of August.

I was walking down the middle of the city center when suddenly I started to tear up.

It was not funny anymore.

I couldn't ignore it anymore.

I booked a flight home.

It was the last two weeks of September.

I went back to my home town and spent whatever vacation I had left.

I went to see you.

I brought you your favorite strawberry cake. The ones with soft, moist, spongy layer filled with light and fragrant strawberry jam. I should've brought you a red envelope too but all I could give was some red notes. It was nothing much but you smiled like I just presented you the world's biggest diamond. You had never mind; whatever I brought for you—be it your favorite cake I need to buy in a rush at the airport or simply some shiny spare change worth less than a dollar (I know you collect them so yeah)—you accept them with a huge smile and kind, proud eyes.

But life was not forgiving, time was not forgiving, myself was not forgiving.

I should've seen what was coming because you weren't quite yourself.

Yet soon already I was on my way back to the place I was living in.

I wonder if I actually had any other option.

Because above all, myself is not forgiving.

This time, I tried to ignore everything and I ended up forgetting.

It was a cool night in the second week of October.

I just finished a class when I received a call.

I stood alone at the crossing near my campus, suddenly feeling hollow.

I went home and sat beside my bed, unable to move.

I tried, but I couldn't.

Because what I already knew would happen, happened.

Thank you for waiting until I got home.

Thank you for smiling although I couldn't provide much.

Thank you for hugging me, kissing me, and loving me.

Thank you for giving me your time.

I love you.

A friend whom I promised to cook for showed up and was startled to see me crying.

Another friend wanted to book me a flight home.

Two other friends showed up and tried to cheer me up.

That first friend stayed with me for a few days and I was grateful for that.

What goes around comes around, so I think you can be proud of me (and you don't need to worry);

I'm surrounded by good people.