Six Years To The Day

8 in the morning exactly six years ago was the start of my new life in Europe. With the help of my once-lost-then-found, one-and-only friend in Holland, for the first two and a half years I lived in a semi-comfortable, non-descript, somewhat out of the way flat in the suburbs of Rotterdam. It was my home for the first ten months when I was unemployed, and the subsequent one and a half years when I commuted to and from work in faraway Amsterdam — 2 hours each way.My partner, who had an appointment in Rotterdam last Monday, indulged me by driving us past the old Lombardijen neighborhood. For one reason or another, I’ve never been back since we left in May 2011, but my curiosity – and thirst for nostalgia – was starting to get the better of me.

The area seems to have stood still in time, not a single thing changed except perhaps the front door entrance which looked newer than I remember. Everything though, from the gray sidewalks to the sad-looking trees, were all the same and reminded me of the cold winters I had to go through in my early years, bringing up memories which till now leave me hard-pressed to remember anything good about. It was rough not just on me but also on my relationship with my old friend as I’d slowly learned to live with his eccentricities that seemed to have been borne from his own struggles living independently and alone. Admittedly, my time there still has a bittersweet taste after all these years and, sadly though expectedly, despite our history my old friend and I haven’t been able to keep in touch. Standing on the sidewalk outside the building, with melancholy setting in, I did ring the bell to see if by some small chance anyone was there, and waited a few seconds for a sound or a sign.
No one was home – or at least no one answered.

My partner and I walked up front and around the block, recalling how much younger and poorer we were back then, and despite the trials we’d gone through as a couple, how far ahead we’ve come along. Driving away, it did seem like I could close that one chapter in my life but quickly realized how it may not be so easy. I clearly have unfinished business there that needs to be addressed and I can only hope I’d be able to make up for it eventually.

2 thoughts on “Six Years To The Day

  1. It's good to look back and see how far we have grown and moved forward. Happy 6TH Anniversary, at dahil sa yo, napapadalas tuloy ang biyahe namin sa parteng yan ng mundo 🙂

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