Second round draft pick

Horse blinders, as Sars put it. Something about being so focused with what you came to do, that you failed to notice all the things that happen in the fringes. In her case - and, inevitably, in my case, too - we came to college to study, not to make friends. At least not primarily.

And I told her I regret the decision. Everything has socialization attached, of course, and for some reason I failed to recognize it. Then again, there's nothing we could do about it. As much as we tried, even when it still wasn't too late, we weren't picked for anything. We didn't have that something special to be considerably close to someone, in those tired barkada standards that anybody ordinary thinks everybody should have. And you know how badly I wanted that.

Well, at least that's what I could gather from that long conversation Sars and I had. It was over Facebook, rather than on YM, and thus I couldn't grab an important quote when I need it. And archiving over there isn't working wonders, too; when I tried grabbing a quote, the whole conversation has disappeared. But that chat was funny in an ironic way. We began talking about her and her current work (and how she sometimes sees Piyar and Anna) and gravitated towards college in general, specifically our first year, especially that fail during our recollection.

If there's one thing I remembered - only because Sars reminded me - it's the way I envied Nico way back then.

I did forget it. We became pretty good friends until he left for Canada around three years ago, but in those early days he was just someone that just popped up out of nowhere. I think it was Dance-a-Parable practice. He was friends with Cuyeg, and by association he'd be friends with everybody else. I still had a crush on Ale then, and with it, the well-documented struggle to just talk to her, so imagine seeing her being grinny and all towards Nico. It was frustrating.

The point was, I think, I wanted to be good friends with everyone. And maybe I still do.

Struggles or otherwise things did get better. But not exactly. I might be exaggerating this now, but I never really felt close to anyone. Sure, there were some people who, at one point or another, became more prominent. But I guess that barkada standard still wanted its way, and while everybody grouped together, I just waited for nothing, or a lucky strike.

Sars and I talked about groupings in class activities. The same groups of people would come together. The same groups of people would shun the same people. There was always something in common, and later on, there was the almost unbreakable bond: unless you did something very bad, you'll be the first person to go to. I never really had that unless they wanted benefits, like someone to photocopy readings for them. People avoided people for some reason - some called it "quirks", something that's stuck in my head when I asked why I somehow get closer to people than, say, John. Sars thought she was too uptight, which is why she got close with only a handful of people in class.

So, sure, I managed to do my thesis with a group, and I managed to do "friendly things" with a group, and I got invited to a handful of things, but I still feel like an outsider. I'm just there just because they can, and apart from that, I'm pretty much left in the cold, like when these headphones fail to filter my insecurities out.

The regrets come in only today, in a time when you want company that's not out of obligation or saving face. Little reunions with friends, or bigger ones with everybody else, you're expected to gravitate towards someone without feeling uncomfortable about it; not because you have to but because it just is. I still regret not having a group of friends to turn to during weekends, when my life gets sucky and I feel very much, you know, stuck. For the rest who I talk to through keyboards, well, it feels more out of obligation, or pity, because I'm still the second choice, often passed over for other people who they feel more comfortable with. As if I can't do the same.

To be honest, all I wanted is to be someone's special someone. And I'm not referring to my family - that's by default, and that doesn't make it special. It's obligatory. I want magic.

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