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For Inna.

I don't even know how to begin this post. My eyes are still swollen from crying myself to sleep and my pillow reeks of dried up tears. To say that I am sad is probably the biggest understatement -- in fact the feeling goes beyond sad; it's suddenly this burning sensation of having something pulled out from underneath you that brings about confusion, loneliness, and a sense of wistfulness as well.

My roommate, Inna, is leaving for Canada later today. Their family is migrating there for good. They just got the approval of the embassy a few months ago before the first semester ended but the plan has been known to us for probably a year already. We knew she was gonna leave, but we didn't really know when. We were hoping it would never happen, but we were crossing our fingers for at least after graduation.

I would be the first to admit that Inna and I were never really the closest of friends in high school. We were in the same barkada, but probably the only thing we ever really bonded over was our undying love for Chris Tiu, our secret obsession with Gossip Girl (the book series) and our unexplainable desire to get into UP. Who would've thought those were the exact things that would bring us together in Katipunan? We felt like we were Blair and Serena after graduation: invincible! Independent! And hot! :)) Our dorm was near enough UP to allow us to sleep late and wake up later, and was situated perfectly across Ateneo (where a Chris Tiu sighting might occur.) It was the ideal, exciting first step to independence.

Our first night was funny. It was awkward but I think it was the day that really sealed our friendship from something held together by an unrealistic longing for a basketball superstar to an actual closeness. We had no microwave, no internet, and no television but we were laughing and talking nonstop about our fears and apprehensions of college over our unsuccessful attempt at a delicious dinner aka leftover lumpia.

And that's what differentiates this friendship over all the others. I have my other best friends and close friends (as I'm sure she does), but at the end of the day, it always comes down to just Inna and I. We have had our differences over the years, I won't deny that. All friendships go through something difficult, and we did. But it was not as if it was something I could just quit. The reality is living together with someone is just a different kind of friendship altogether -- it takes so much more trust and love. It's not easy to cross the lines if the other person's bed is just a few meters away from yours. The thing about being thrust together under the same roof is that you cannot escape each other: our friendship was something we had to work on literally every day and every night.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I have other best friends, sure. I have other people to share my secrets with and other people to call up and rant to. But I only have one roommate: and it's a relationship that's completely different from what I have with anyone else. She became a constant go-to person for anything: school-related stress, love-related woes, and even landi-related skills-sharing ;) She's not just a friend anymore, she's family. We've known each other since first grade but in the last two and a half years we've gotten closer than ever. We really stuck together, determined not to let the (very) stressful UP life tear us down.

What I'm really going to miss are the random, small talks we have. The "Alam mo yung prof ko kanina, ang benta kasi sabi niya..." kind. Or the "Sheeet nakita ko si..." ones. The little stuff that aren't really important but are funny or interesting enough to share with someone you are with that day. We've had some of the deepest talks about life and love with our other friends with tears in our eyes or with alcohol in our system (or both), but it's our conversations with each other just over reheated kanin and adobo that I'm going to miss the most.

There's this voice inside my head trying to comfort me that says, "You have other friends naman. You won't be completely alone." And of course, that's true. I have my Paulinian friends and I have my UP friends (CrEngg). We're all being left behind, and we're all together in this. The thing is, her leaving is twice as painful for me. She is both my friend in high school and in college. She knows everyone I know. In fact, my friend Jan made me realize last night, that if it wasn't for the Karla-and-Inna separation anxiety over the first weeks of college, we never would have insisted to always have lunch together still. And if we didn't, we never would have introduced our blockmates to each other. CrEngg LITERALLY wouldn't even be here if it weren't for her block joining mine. (For the uninitiated: CrEngg is Creative Writing + Engineering. Don't laugh, it's hard to come up with a better one trust me.) I'm not saying all our friends owe it to us, because I'm sure things would've turned out okay even if all of us never really came together. But where would I even be today if it weren't for that one fateful introduction at Melchor Hall?

I understand that this is part of life, that this is part of growing up. Their family needs to do what they have to do, and I know they will make it through because they have each other. Inna is probably the most responsible older sister I know, and I'm sure she can manage. Underneath that shy, simple facade is a strong girl. I don't even doubt that Inna will be the source of strength for both her parents and for her siblings. Pinatibay na ng UP yan eh! :)

I guess by the time you read this Inna, you'd be in Canada. Maybe you'd be too busy fixing your things or adjusting to the harsh, cold weather. But know that wherever you are on the other side of the planet, we will all be missing you here. Things will never be the same, but that doesn't mean everything should change. There's always Facebook, YM, Plurk, Skype and even CrEngg Interactive (LOL, thanks Enzo) to keep us all in touch. Like what you said, it's just "so long" and not goodbye. I'm still gonna wait for our Starbucks date together ;)

Until then, enjoy Canada, Inna Scherbatsky ;) I love you, Roomie >:D<