It's been years since we last talked, last communicated with one another. It's been quite a while since I saw your last update on social media.
How are you? I haven't heard from you for a long time and I wonder just how you're doing.
Ibtehal and I have had constant communication with one another. Though we don't chat often, we're pretty up to date with each others' lives through social media. What about you? Where have you been all these days? I've asked a couple of our classmates who became your close friends and asked if they had news about you. Someone said you're teaching English in Russia. But we're not even sure. You just suddenly disappeared. You never sent a message on Facebook. You never replied to mine either. It was last 2013 that we last talked and that was it.
You know what made me write this letter? I dreamt of you early morning yesterday while my sleep was being interrupted by our cats. It was you, Ibtehal and I. We were in a university that looked more like a restaurant somewhere in Dubai. And you know what's weird? All the time we were having a conversation, it was only me and Ibtehal talking to one another. You were present, but I guess my dream depicts our situation in real life. I remember how that tear escaped my eye the moment I woke up.
I feel crazy, really. A lot has happened in the world since 2013. Plane crashes, hostages, bombings, natural calamities etc and I'm not sure whether you're still alive or what. I can't wait to know how you're doing. I can't wait to tell you things, like we used to. You and Ibtehal were those friends who knew everything about me and loved me nonetheless. You were the ones I opened up to and I guess it's safe to say that no one has come close to the relationship we had back then. If the #friendshipgoals nowadays existed before, I'm pretty sure we'd fit in.
I can vividly remember the time that has passed. 7 years? I can laugh a lot when I remember you guys. You and Ibtehal. You even moved to a Filipino school so we'd be together after our former school closed. Some of our clasmates questioned why I was being friends with 'foreigners'. Some thought you were a bad influence for me, I never thought that way. You were my sisters and you were the ones there for me when I had no one. People come and go they say, but I don't think that you must be one of them.
I didn't speak Tagalog back then and so instead of bonding with our Filipino classmates, I bonded with you. We both passed volleyball try-outs but never made it to practice cause our parents weren't confident about us, remember? We'd always play volleyball during second breaks and have matching crunchy, sour, green apples for lunch. I even remember the time you were forcing yourself to cry over "P" as if you've been officially together for a long time. We all knew it wasn't that serious, come on! I also remember your crappy handwriting and how you'd write words with a ruler underneath to make your penmanship straight. You and Ibtehal were even the ones who taught me how to read Arabic so I'm advanced than our classmates. Do you also remember how much we crammed when we forgot to do our homeworks and how you'd ask me for every solution to the answers? But really, where are you now?
Years have passed Maria or Mariam (as you said your Muslim name would be when you turned 15) but I haven't forgotten every single moment we laughed, fought and cried. I know things wouldn't be like how it used to be but I just need to know whether you're alive or not. If I had all the money in the world, I would surely go to Russia and search for you everywhere but no, I'd rather entrust you to God's care.
You matter, you should know that. Don't ever think no one cares for you, cause we do, I do. The last photos I've seen of you were those where you were wearing gothic makeup, thick eyeliners. Maybe you were depressed but we didn't have a stable internet connection at that time so I couldn't ask how you were doing. I knew you were broken, but I hope you didn't do anything stupid.
I hope someday, somewhere around the world, wherever you are, you would get to read this. I don't know what my dream meant because I 've had several of those already. I haven't been the best of a friend and even if people will tell that I'm over-reacting or exaggerating things, I really don't care anymore. We were young back then and I'm not sure if we still like the same things but a friend is a friend. Ibtehal and I are always here for you. I miss you more.
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