Châu, it’s not anyone’s fault.

I don’t remember well if she ever cried in front of me. Now as I writing this, I remember once she cried because of her dad. I couldn’t really feel her because I barely have any memories of my own father anyway.

Having known each other for more than 13 years, we started just like a teen fiction – we kinda hated each other. She was the one I didn’t really hang around with: she wasn’t at any places around the top of the class, she cared too much about her appearance and she had really crazy characteristics. But I guess the crazy part was the one got us together: we were both huge fans of manga and unreal stuff like that. Time flies by, we were close and we were far apart, but the good thing of having her is that I always know I have her when I need her and that we are always the crazy ones back in high school no matter how many wrinkles we have on our faces. She is always the one I am proud to call my BFF, the one I know if I get any matching tattoos it will definitely be with her. She is always the girl I would date if I were a guy, and the one I would grow old with if we ended up being alone.

She is always such a strong, independent, emotionally stable and powerful woman. That image of her being unbeatable on high heels looking flawless conquering the world is merely the one engraved in my mind. It was, she was.

I don’t remember seeing her so broken yet so strong in front of me. I don’t remember having dinner with my friends when we were both on the verge of bursting into tears when we looked like we were a lesbian couple breaking up (at least we weren’t an ugly couple, I hope). I don’t remember having any of these feelings – no, I do. I remember.

I remember the feeling of being so useless that I couldn’t be with my friends when I should’ve been the most. That feeling of why I didn’t know what they had been through, of why I was so careless not noticing the difference in their tones when we were speaking. Why I was such a bad friend.

I remember the feeling of not deserving her; when I always crawl back to her crying like a baby when the world treated me like shit, but I was somewhere else when she needed someone. I should have been there with her. I should have been there for her. I should have known that.

Johannes’ words came back to me, as I remember him trying to tell me not to take the blame on myself. It’s not your fault, Chau. You don’t have to blame yourself. He said. He said it so many times whenever I cried to him of not being able to do anything for my friends. But no matter how much he tried to convince me, I always have the feeling of not being good enough.

I wasn’t there when that happened to Nhung.

I wasn’t there when that happened to Bun.

I wasn’t there when that happened to Banana.

I wasn’t there when that happened to Qing.

There are so many times I should have been there for them but I was not.

It’s not my fault, it’s not her fault, it’s not anyone’s fault. It just happened. Life just happened. But I feel like being eaten inside.

She shouldn’t have been through that. I was lucky not to be in her situation, but I still remember crystal clear swallowing that pill, that morning, and the feeling of losing something was unbearable. It killed me inside when I looked at her as she said, I never forget the pain, physically and mentally.

She deserved better than that. She deserved the best that anyone should have. Why her?

It could’ve been named after me.

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