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The places you have come to fear the most.*

I can't even begin to explain how alienated I feel as I sit on this bed I've been calling my refuge for the last two years or so. For a great part of every semester, this place is home more than our actual house in Paranaque is. I go home every Friday to my parents, yes, and that is something I look forward to every week. But something about this small, little room along Katipunan keeps me warm, that makes me feel safe, that sustains my creativity, that calms my senses at the height of my apprehensions. True, it took me a while to adjust to it. But once I did, it was like finally discovering the palatability of vegetables: it was acquired taste, but soon I cannot imagine life without it. It's essential, it's home.

And now I look at this place, and I have to ask myself, how could it transform in such a short span of time? Of course the apparent change is Inna's departure, and that probably accounts for more than half of this estrangement I'm feeling. But more than that, the subtle, tiny little changes that have happened: the death of the dorm's owner (and our "lolo" in Katipunan), the replacement of bulletin board pictures, the rearrangement of study areas, the sudden leaving of the friendly guards -- looking at them individually seems so inconsequential. But putting them all together just makes this place feel entirely, completely different.

I'm supposed to feel at home here. And quite frankly, I really used to. But now, being stuck inside four walls with someone I do not know, having to stay in a place that is slowly isolating me, it's really difficult. It's hard to be grown-up about this when it's something so inescapable -- how can I deal with a place I cannot leave? It's not like I can go anywhere else. I don't know, I just really feel like a stranger to this place again.

I just really want to curl up in bed because it's cozy and warm and it makes me feel better, not because I have nothing else to do but to wait for Fridays to come.


* Listening to the Dashboard Confessional song with the same title. Thank God for songs that come to you when you need them most.