on being a lone wolf on the road for the upcoming years

A letter to my friend who’s getting married next year, March 2021.

Dear Alexa*,

(*Alexa isn’t her real name but she does have something to do with someone named Alexa hehe)

Oh. My. God? I guess that’s the first thing and the only thing that I could say upon hearing the news. I was a few inches away from you when you said, “Girls, I want to tell you something,” to which I guessed correctly (as always). But, soon after, instead of laughing, you were crying waterfall. I didn’t expect that, neither did you. I saw it on your face. You were surprised to feel the water too.

Dear Alexa,

I will never ever get used to my close friend getting married. I will keep this tradition of mine— writing a letter, as a replacement of a tearful farewell (I know I’ll be the one who cries like a baby if I see you right now) and a bittersweet tight hug. I’ve written countless letters, but I think this one will be one of the most special “farewell” letters.

Dear Alexa,

Do you remember the first time I guessed it right? That you have a boyfriend and you were not ready to tell anyone at that time? Do you remember? So, I dragged you to a lovely brunch when you finally spilled it all, laid it all bare for me to know. I was so excited and very happy to know that you have found someone whom you could trust with all your heart, knowing that it’s hard for you to trust people. I kept asking who’s the “lucky” guy (HAHA, I’m kidding, of course he’s lucky! No “ ” needed) and you kept saying that he could match your pace in a short amount of time, as if you two were friends for a long time.

You then showed his pic and I was like, “OMG, you both look alike like?! TWINSIES?!” and you were giggling, blushing at the same time. I told you jokingly to get married right away since people with similar faces were said to be an OTP (One True Pair). You told me that you weren’t thinking about marriage at all and you were still not ready with the idea of it.

Dear Alexa,

Our conversations were never about significant other or relationship and you told me that it’s one of the best thing that you love about our friendship — ’cause you have enough pressure from your high school circle who thinks getting married is an achievement, a goal, an ending scene to a beautiful life story, so it feels good to be away from that once in a while.

Even after you’re in a relationship, we rarely brought it up. It’s always about our plans and our games. I’m grateful too that we never pressure anyone or each other about having a partner.

Dear Alexa,

You know why I’m feeling sad, right? What you probably know is I’m sad because of our failed plans. But, maybe the real reason why I’m sad is because I’m scared. I’m really scared of seeing all of my friends leaving me one by one, and me is still sitting at the same spot drinking my medicine every night.

It’s like everyone whom I love very dearly is moving forward and I’m stuck, with myself, my shitty life, and my medicine forever. Of course, I love you and I’d love seeing you moving forward, creating new life, stepping into something new, but I can’t help feeling this way too. Would you please let me feel it? I promise it won’t take long. I think. I promise I won’t cry the next time we meet.

Dear Alexa,

Thank you for being such a good close friend to me — for being the one who brings me joy, always, whenever we meet, for being the one who knows what I like and what ticks me off, for being the one who always says ‘YES’ to every crazy plan that I have in my head, for being the one who’s with me in every normal to crazy adventure and proposal in my mind. Thank you, big time.

I’d miss out our late night bus ride in Seoul. When we just sat together and not talking, just enjoying the silence and the view outside. I’d miss our togetherness.

I’d miss our sleepover sessions. I’d probably miss this one the most. Thank you for accompanying me. Loneliness perhaps is something that I’m still very much scared of, and your presence during our sleepover sessions was the one that made me less scared at night. Thank you for making my nights less lonely (it’s really dangerous for me to be alone with my thoughts at night! ugh).

I’d miss binge-watching series with you. Truly, I think we’re so unique. We often love the same thing, but with different choices here and there. We both love I Told Sunset About You, but we love different songs from it. We both love Forgotten, but you like the actor and I hate the actor. Our brunch sessions are usually a string of agreeing and disagreeing on where to eat and what to eat. Our mismatch here and there, that… I’d miss as well.

I’d miss our sunny days, the days when we sweated a lot but smiling and laughing under the sun. I’d miss our gloomy days, the days when sometimes we talk about our fears and our past. I’d miss you and our friendship a lot.

Dear Alexa,

Knowing you, I think you’d look back to the past a lot. Perhaps about your youth — shimmering, golden, and shining. The youth that you had spent with people who care and love you, the youth that you had spent with CosmoGIRL! gang, the youth where you were at your peak, traveling around, seeking happiness and joy in every corner of the world, the youth that now pass bit by bit into adulthood, now REAL adulthood.

When you look back to the past, I hope you remember me. I hope you remember the happy events and memories only. Remember that your youth was not filled with regrets, they’re filled with excitement and adventures. Remember that the “you” in your youth was someone who wasn’t afraid of things, the “you” in your youth was someone who likes to listen to anyone without a care (uh-uh, I’m talking about that Justin Biebz obsession). I hope you remember how bright you were in your youth. I hope you remember the “you” in your youth has dipped her toes in everything exciting and nothing has made her less interesting than she’s supposed to be.

Dear Alexa,

If later you ever walk into a storm of confusion where everything is fuzzy and everything is grey, and your partner doen’t look like he can be trusted, don’t forget that there are people that will support you and give you the comfort you need. Never think that you’re on this alone. Like Bangtan says, you never walk alone.

Don’t ever think that you can’t ask for help from me — know that these arms and these hands will always be there to help you. Don’t ever think that asking for help means placing a burden to someone else. Don’t ever think that your problem is too small to be told or complained about — as every feeling you feel is valid, and it’s okay if you ever tell me anything, I’m all ears.

Dear Alexa,

You got this. Like a strong, independent woman that you are. You got this. Don’t be scared, yeah?

See you at your wedding.

Love always,

Cikum ❤

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