Movies such as White Oleander move me and make me weep. I was once again transported back to my childhood.
White Oleander is about Astrid (Alison Lohman) who was 15 years old when her mother, Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer), went to prison for murdering a lover. Astrid was then sent to a succession of foster homes.
I was barely a teen-ager when my parents separated and that’s when we started moving from one place to another. When Mama left for Canada, sis and I went to live with my aunt. Although we both loved Auntie and cousins dearly, it had been just hard to fit in.
Also, moving from one place to the next, we left behind belongings. And I guess the hardest part was leaving behind the friends we met. Like Astrid, there came a point when I got afraid of attaching myself too much to the people I’ve met. I just never knew when I would have to move again and then would have to let them go.
Although Mama didn’t control me like Ingrid manipulated Astrid, I told friends what Mama wanted me to tell them. That my father was abroad that’s why he wasn’t around. Being from a broken home was taboo back then.
I had a best friend during my childhood in Noveleta, Cavite. Olive and I had been friends since I was about two. We grew up together and shared our secrets and crushes. When Mama decided to leave Papa, she picked me up and Lina at school on a Friday afternoon. We left Cavite right there and then without going home to pick up our things. We didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye to anybody, including Papa and Olive. We saw each other again many times and we are still friends but we have both moved on.
When I was in high school, I met another dear friend, Estrella, who continued writing me when I moved to Manila from Imus, Cavite. I never told her the truth about my parents and when she realized that my stories didn’t tie up with one another, she started asking questions. I didn’t know how to explain everything to her. I was so confused that I told her that my life was a mess, she wouldn’t understand the situation I was in and that it was better if she stopped having anything to do with me. I underestimated her. She was hurt because I wasn’t able to trust in her. I never heard from her again. And I am sorry up to this day about what happened to our friendship.
All these years, I have met many other friends but never had one I would consider a best friend until now. I finally found one who I can talk to about anything. Elaine is one who I can confide to, share my innermost thoughts and secrets, even my personal demons and I know that she wouldn’t judge me. I hope this one stays. Even if she doesn’t, I’ll treasure our friendship forever.