I have a lot of close friends, but the person who I consider my best (girl) friend is a person we’ll call RA.
RA is a year younger than I am, and we knew each other since nursery. But we only became close over 10 years later when my ex-best friend ditched me for another guy (long story), and I stroke a conversation with RA.
It all started from there.
From that time on, we slowly became best of friends. Despite the hectic university life of me as a business student and she starting out her life as a medical student, we still managed to talk for hours on the phone at least once a week.
Whenever my dad drove me crazy and I’d be crying, all I would do is give her a missed call, and she’d call me.
Eyes wet with tears, I would ramble on and on about how life is difficult, and maybe I should do what my dad would accuse me of doing, and RA would comfort me in her wisdom and advise me not to ruin my future, just to prove a point.
Other than my mom, RA was a reason on how I’ve kept sane despite the insanity of my life back home with my dad. We would talk about anything, and everything. Our favorite topic would be my dad, her studies, my orgs and of course, boys.
We’d moan why we were still single, with me blaming everything on my super-strict parents, and her blaming it on guys not having enough guts to approach her.
RA was a loudmouth and we can talk for hours. But put her in front of her crush, and she clams up like an oyster.
“I want them to make the first move,” she’d say. “I’m too embarrassed to approach them myself. I’m too shy.”
It’s funny in a sense, but I always tell her to just go for it. Being someone who’s almost never shy, it’s never a big deal for me to just approach someone and introduce myself. But RA is different. She’d rather sit in a quiet area, and wait for someone to approach her.
When I visited Manila last time, she recounted the times when she had a crush with a coffee shop barista. But no, she wouldn’t do anything because first, she was too shy, and secondly, he was Filipino. And if there’s anything, she wasn’t allowed to date a Filipino guy.
“You know, all my life, my parents never made demands on me save for the fact that I should date a Chinese guy,” she explains. “To date a Filipino, would break their hearts.”
Nevertheless, she applauds the fact that I was dating someone — even though it was under my parents’ nose. And a Japanese guy at that.
“I hope it works out for you,” she says. “And I admire your courage of dating someone…”
One day, a lucky guy would take his chance and get her. He should be very lucky, because RA is a petite girl with a super-big heart.
“I want to take up medicine because I want to give back to the community,” she said.
And unlike other bullsh*t artists out there, she means it.
“My father also wanted to be a doctor, but because of family pressure, he had to take over his family business.”
“He didn’t follow his dream, and now, he regrets it,” she continues. “I’m lucky that he is supporting my decision to be a doctor.”
RA is one of the most generous and giving people I know.
I think it’s because she’s a Virgo, but really, this girl is just all heart.
She’s not taking up medicine because of the money or the prestige.
She’s taking it because it was her dream since she was young and because she sincerely wants to help more unfortunate people.
“You should give me a discount when you graduate,” I tease her.
She just laughs.
RA has a great laugh.
It’s funny though. She may kill me if she ever does read this entry, but I’d like you to understand why I admire her so much. My admiration doesn’t come from her success. Instead, it grows from her weakness — because she makes it despite whatever obstacles life throw her way.
You see, dream is different from reality.
RA was a bright girl, but she wasn’t the smartest girl in school.
Whereas other classmates would easily garner academic honors, for RA, it was always a challenge, a mountain that she had to climb up in. Whereas it’ll take me an hour or two to read a book for example and make an essay, RA would probably spend the whole night writing and re-writing it.
If you asked our batch who was the girl who’d most likely to be a doctor, her name wouldn’t probably be on that list.
But one thing I so much love about her — is that RA has determination.
That despite the odds…
She will do all she can…
To make it.
I remember the days when she’d call me up crying over the difficulties of her studies. There were those days when she was still taking her nursing degree. RA would spend all night reading up on medical books and trying to remember all the terms in order to pass her exams the next day.
It was a never-ending battle, and I felt really bad for her.
Coffee shops were her second home, and everyday when she’s not in school, she’d be in these coffee shops poring over her books and handouts.
Even the baristas knew who she was and what she liked to order.
But it’s this sheer determination that I admire most about her. Other people may have the smarts and give up easily, but not RA. She goes on and works hard, despite whatever difficulties she faced.
I remember the day when she happily calls me up telling me that she got in the Dean’s List for the very first time. Believe me, I was as happy as her and her parents.
Why? Because she damn deserved it. She deserved every single grade she got.
And guess what? She’s been in the Dean’s List several times already.
She’s not a doctor yet, my RA… however, she’s getting there. I think she’s now in her third year of med school, and am sure that every single day doesn’t come easy for her.
But you know what?
I am 100% sure that she will make it.
I’m very sure that she will become the doctor she has always dreamed for me.
Yes, RA was and is a very important person in my life and I love her. She’s saved me a gazillion times in the past and kept me sane. And even though we’re thousands of miles apart and we don’t talk as often as before, she is still my best friend. And I have the greatest of admiration for her.
Yesterday was her birthday, and I dedicate this entry to her. Love you and miss you sooo much, RA! You are indeed an inspiration to me!