The Things We Can’t Do

We can’t surprise each other, because we never could keep a secret from one another. Anything sneaky up my sleeves I always tell my best friend…which is you. And that goes vice versa. So that’s goodbye to any hope of a surprise party.

We can’t go on road trips, because 1) neither of us have a car; 2) neither of us can drive; and 3) neither of us like to get stuck in traffic. Plus points to the fact that we both get carsick. It’s safe to say we’re pretty much stuck in Manila.

We can’t gaze under the stars, because the Manila air and light pollution can be so unforgiving. You could live on the tallest condominium around and still not be able to see a single star. So much for the starlight picnic.

We can’t grow up, because we’re too much like kids to do that. We will always struggle with household appliances. We will always overanalyze recipes, fumble over instruction manuals, and google how-to’s like crazy. We would probably make a lot of mistakes, if only we could muster enough courage to even try.

We can’t afford to be demanding, because you can’t do that when you’re a doctor, when someone else’s life is at stake. Although saving lives may be charmingly poetic, it also means we have to sacrifice on their behalf, and sometimes we sacrifice each other. We both know that patients always come first, and neither of us would have it any other way. So I guess our dreams of Makati foodtrips, Mystery Manila, and JumpYard would have to be just that – dreams.

But, hey, you know what? That’s okay.

You always tell me that there are so many things in life to be thankful for. You say you got that from me.

Today, I’d like to celebrate the things that we can do.

We can be completely honest with each other, because that’s just how we are. We could never lie to each other, even when we try. We eventually always end up spilling the beans, because keeping secrets is and always will be unnatural for us.

We can always be at home with each other. We are each other’s safe place. Together, we never need to pretend, hold back, or be sorry for who we are. We goof off, throw tantrums, and talk about absolutely anything and everything. In effect, we could be in the most boring place in the world and still be the happiest people in it. Wherever you are will always be home.

We can always look at the stars and think of each other, whether or not we see them twinkling. The stars remind me that I’m in your universe, that you are part of my everyday, and there will always be comfort in that. The stars remind me of Stardust, that movie where I fell asleep until I heard you singing the ending theme*; they remind me of how true the lyrics are for us: You and me we can light up the sky, if you stay by my side, we can rule the world. 

We can always be kids, enjoying everyday with open hearts that only kids can have. We walk around toy stores looking at My Little Pony and Spiderman collections. We sing through every line of songs from The Lion King and Mulan.  We go to the cinema choosing Boss Baby over Fast and Furious 8. And we will always choose smoothies over alcohol (Never alcohol!). Time will require us to eventually grow up, but I know that even when we do, we will always be kids, and we will always take care of each other.

We can always savor the moments we do get to spend together. We bring each other food, help each other with work, and basically keep each other going. We learn to treasure the few minutes we get to talk in the hospital, be it in the ward, the emergency room, the blood bank – wherever we happen to randomly bump into each other. We talk about what we learn and what we experience, never a story untold. Those random places become special and those random moments become the best part of the day. Our lives can be exhausting and consuming, but together, we still manage to make it extraordinary. Thank you, for being that extra.

There’s so much more that has not been mentioned, both for what we can’t do and what we can do, but I’ve learned to stop counting. We won’t always get our way, but we can always be assured that whatever we can do, we can do it together. Ours may not be a story straight out of a rom-com, but it’s our story nonetheless, and for that alone, it’s going to be worth all the can’ts in this world.

*Rule the World by Take That was the ending theme to the 2007 film, Stardust. 

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2 responses to “The Things We Can’t Do

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