I never had plenty of friends. Dear God knows that and I prefer to keep things that way. I've said many times that I never love the idea of becoming everyone's apple of the eye. I'm happy and contented with the few valuable friends I have. Anna was one of the counted friends I have in my entire years of existence. I knew her since I was 10 years old. We were classmates, seatmates turned friends. Though I admit, I wasn't that good to her before. After finishing grade four, we were never classmates again. We reunited 6 years later, our last year in the same all girls school. We went to different universities for college, but distance never hindered us to continue our friendship. She would invite me for some mall escapades and live basketball games. This reminds me that she is partly to blame for my addiction to some basketball players. We would sacrifice some of our allowances for the two hours of happiness in a live ball game. We usually watch games on a Sunday and even though I have exams on the suceeding week, I never cared. More than pleasing our parents with decent grades, that was how we defined happiness.

When we finished college, we both learned the difficulty and value of earning money. We would usually meet once a month for our regular dose of food trip, shopping and mall escapades. We don't share the same taste with clothes, shoes and bags. But we both love the idea of splurging with food. She is my only friend who can risk our hard worked money in exchange for discovering the best food in town.

When Anna moved to a company that required her to work in a graveyard shift, our meetings became less often. She earned her group of friends at work and though I miss her, I was happy knowing that she was happy. A lot of things happened to my own  life and career and I admit that I refuse to share my happiness with her. I regretfully distanced myself because I don't want to appear as the demanding and burdening friend. I tried my best to made her feel that I am always around, whenever she needs or doesn't need me.

Before Christmas of last year, she told me that a lot of changes happened in her workplace. She confided that she had intentions of quitting. To leave or stay in the company that made her whole again for 4 years, was a decision that bothered her for months. Until two weeks ago, she told me that she finally resigned. I wanted to cheer her up so for two consecutive weekends, I visited her. She was devastated with her decision and I tried my best to convince her that everything will soon be fine.

The last time I saw Anna was Saturday afternoon of March 3. She was sad and unwell. Sunday night and while I was rushing some freelance work, I received a call that stopped my world.  Anna already passed away....

I went to her wake the other day and I was finally slapped with the reality that she is forever gone. I hugged her mother and words cannot express the sorrow we felt.

I know you are in a better place now Anna. You are already free from all the pains and anxieties of life. In your 28 years of existence, God felt that you have proven enough of yourself. You have lived a full life at a young age. Thank you for the friendship. Thank you for appreciating my humble achievements. Thank you for the wonderful memories. Thank you for the simple reason of coming to my life.

More than a friend, you are a part of me. Now that you are gone, everything feels like I lost a part of myself. And I know, a lifetime will never be enough to rebuild that part of my life.

You will always be in my heart.