Bless the Broken Road*

Today I failed the board exams. Not really, but it sure as hell felt like it.

Time stopped when I realized the name I was looking for was unfortunately not in the list of passers. I forgot what I was doing before looking up the news and I felt what I can only describe as a state of numbing loss. After a few minutes, I got up and called my friend but she wasn’t answering. The stupid me assumed she was avoiding calls. Worried, I put on pants, hailed a cab and went to her place. It was midnight.

For a moment I felt guilty. How am I supposed to comfort someone and tell her “it’s okay” or “I understand” when it’s not okay and I don’t really understand no matter how hard I try to sympathize because I’ve never been in her position? How can I tell her that she gave it her best when I know in the back of my mind that there are people less deserving who got by?

I knocked at the door but no one was answering. I called her sister only to find out she was asleep and unaware that the results were out. Now I’m gonna be the deliverer of bad news. In an alternate timeline, I would be rushing to her room as soon as the door is opened. I would jump on the bed, waking her up and I would shout “Congratulations” while hinting about the celebration. Not in this universe.

Here, I decided to let her have a good night’s sleep. I settled in a makeshift bed on the floor, waited for the hours to pass, played Candy Crush, read Sword Art Online, imagined, and finally, slept.

The morning was a chaos of tears, phone calls, text messages, hugs and comforting words.

I am in awe of my friend’s faith. Her prayer, in summary, is “Thy will be done” for she knows God’s plan is always always better. Though it hurts, the results brought a certain kind of relief thanks to its finality compared to the uncertainty of waiting. She said she’s thankful. At least she experienced another emotion in the world, albeit a painful one.

It’s easy to praise God when the answer is always yes but gratitude is more sincere when, despite the obstacles and adversities, we find something to be thankful for. Besides, there’s always something to be thankful for.

There are people we care for more than others. There are friends we’re willing to face, without second thought, the darkness of the streets of Manila for just to hug and comfort them. There are those whose pains we feel as if they’re our own.

Fae, you’re one of them. And just like what your friend said, you’re just fond of taking the longer road dahil masipag ka maglakad. haha

In my mind, you already are an engineer. I love you. :]

page*from the song Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts. See? Even heartbreaks have a reason behind them.


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