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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

entry arrow11:49 AM | Jacqueline Piñero Torres, 39

Today would have been your 40th birthday. When we were younger and full of life -- the world still a breathless space aching for discovery -- did we ever talk about growing older, about mortality? I'm not sure we did. We were busy reading Sweet Valley High and those new Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries and the books of Enid Blyton and those sci-fi novels, usually the ones about teenagers colonising Mars that your brother Marlon would hoist on us every time I visited your old house in Lo-oc, which was always; your mom and your dad would feed us as we played board games, from Cluedo to Boggle to Monopoly. You were the smartest one in class -- and our whole high school batch absolutely went nuts when Silliman High proclaimed you our valedictorian, because you deserved it. You deserved the accolades, given the fact that we would all wait for you to come to our first class in the afternoon on the grounds of Channon Hall where we could copy your Math homework. And you would only let Wendell and me (and perhaps Chloe and Rachel) copy -- so all the Rizal boys had to wait for me to finish copying all those formulas so that they could copy from me, too. Oh, but I was absolutely cruel to you too, the way boys are to girls who were dear to them. I would tie the straps of your bag to your chair and silly things like that, and in all the dramas I wrote for class, I'd make sure you had the top role. Once I wrote a short play for Values Education class about a brothel, and you were the top kitten -- but oh how you slayed that role. You were so good, the class loved how surprisingly vampish you could be. So many high school memories, and so many of them involved you. You would have turned forty today. Life's silly like that. I was angry when I heard the news. I was angry at God because He lets good people go and mediocre people... -- let's not talk about mediocre people. Because you were never mediocre. You were brilliant, honest, and loyal. We love you, Jacqueline Piñero Torres. I still don't understand why you had to go, but perhaps someday I will. Rest in peace, high school best friend. I promise to keep an eye on my godson.

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