Last Saturday, I met up with these people whom I collectively call “my high school friends”, but I’ve actually known some of them since I was 6. If there’s anything I’m happy about living in this suburb-type part of Metro Manila, it’s that when I was growing up, it really had this small-town feel to it, that everyone knew everyone and your classmates from first grade were still your classmates until your senior year of high school. We all don’t see each other often anymore, what with us being “grown ups” and all, but occasionally we still set aside some time to get together and play Super Mario.
Okay, we did many other things like eat spaghetti, sing songs as J and K played the guitar, gossip about our high school batchmates and mock our own successes/failures in life, but I would say that I’m proudest of the fact that we finished an entire game of Super Mario on my friend L’s Wii in one night. Or maybe that’s not a feat at all (for real gamers) but I’m happy about the experience anyway.
I always like seeing my high school friends because I think I really lucked out when it comes to the high school friends lottery. I met people in college and at work and they told me all sorts of horror stories about their high school experiences, so I’m relieved that during my high school, I just met the best people ever. I’m completely comfortable with my high school friends. They’ve never judged anyone based on his/her job, his/her romantic relationship/s, and everyone is really really funny. Like, really.
It’s difficult to put into words how I feel when I meet them, really. But I asked my friend J once about it and he used a Harry Potter quote to explain to me how he felt:
While you can still call home the place where your mother’s blood dwells, there you cannot be touched or harmed by Voldemort. He shed her blood, but it lives on in you and her sister. Her blood became your refuge. You need return there only once a year, but as long as you can still call it home, there he cannot hurt you.
– Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
“We need to return to a place we call home so we’re not hurt by the harmful elements in this world. Even if it’s just once a year,” he explained. He said that our high school group, because within it we felt like we really belonged, was what he considered was his home, at least in terms of friendship.
I agree. Though I’ve met many great people after high school, that my high school friends are my oldest friends, every time I see them does give me the feeling of returning home.