10/29/2008
"And that someone is me!"

Yesterday was Carmel's last day at work. Unlike me, though, who's bent on leaving as soon as possible, her case was due to her tenure actually ending. For the past four months she was working as an intern for the International Organization for Migration, and within those four months she worked the databases, organized data, and chatted with a handful of people on a computer that lagged even if it isn't doing nothing.

I have her to thank for keeping me sane from an Ortigas skyscraper's window.

I knew she was to leave pretty soon, although if I remember correctly she was offered a long-term position within the organization. I don't know, or understand, why she turned it down. (Maybe it's just me who's thinking that we should not just let go of things, the reason why I'm still here.) The past week wasn't much, really - it's either we're talking about American politics, which meant me showing her Saturday Night Live clips and her showing me full-length videos of the presidential debates, or the Jonas Brothers - but I was a little wary that I'd start losing it again once she leaves. Besides, Samantha's got school, Ella's got to sleep, and do I have to push all those other points?

But, well, it's already there. The best I can perhaps do is laugh about it. I'm not exactly in despair about the departure - she's quick to assure that she can definitely chat with us from wherever she will be in DLSU, where she goes next - but if you've gotten used to things, only for them to disappear, then of course you'll have an aversion to it. But, well, it's already there.

"Natatawa ako dito," she said. "Talagang may account deletion form whatever pa."

"But you're done!" I laughed back.

"I got smores cake from Red Ribbon!"

I had two hours remaining in my shift, and I'm boring myself to wits with videos that I've either already watched or lost my enthusiasm for. Carmel, perhaps with her semi-send-off party, wasn't responding.

"Akala ko umalis ka na," I said.

"Di pa," she answered. "Huwag kang ma-excite, Niko."

"Pasensya," I replied. "New chapter in my life. Tortured without Carmel. Mamaya ikaw pala crush ko."

"Weh! Tigil ka!"

It was drifting towards the conundrum, so please, I thought, don't break it now or else you've lost another one when you're going to lose it in the first place... and the conversation dragged on, about drama anthologies and work performance, until it went to another awkwardly obscure (or obscurely awkward) reference. Then, silence.

Four minutes before the end of my shift.

"Shunned na ba ako? Oh well. I'm going. Bye!" I went invisible in preparation for my own, albeit temporary, departure.

"Hindi naman," she popped out. "Just had to finish packing. So fare thee well, IOM!" Then she logged out.

Today, my workload has impossibly ballooned, and if I started arriving to work at the designated start of my shift, then perhaps I'd be despairing to go home with a full stomach. She suddenly popped out of nowhere, again, apparently in DLSU, taking advantage of the admittedly faulty wireless Internet system.

"Pero in fairness, nakisama sa akin kahapon yung computer ko nung paalis na ako," she said. "Ayaw lang talagang magpaalam."

"Ano kaya ang mood niya ngayon?" I said, before suggesting that it has taken her former colleagues hostage because of its depression over the left-wing fangirl's departure.

"Huwag naman ganun," she objected. "Naiiyak ako sa officemates ko. Ang huling salita sa akin kahapon nung hinatid ako sa bahay, 'blessing ka talaga sa amin.'"

"I guess I'll never get that," I said. And the connection died on her again.

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