i cried like i was going to lose my best friend.

i had a friend and didn't know what her name was.

it was that time when we move on. HS. i met her, a new student, beautiful and radiant. almost like a goddess - and weak that i am, like a moth to a burning source - i fell.

fell into protecting her, loving her, defending her.

and what's this she's telling me?

"i'm leavinq you," she softly says at the end of a year, "for them."
"why?" i ask.
"because they're beautiful like me," more softly this time, as if she was afraid that her words would break me.
"i don't understand why. i could be beautiful too. why can't we be together even while you are with them?" (but secretly i knew that this could never be.)

softly, she explains.
she takes me to the age of toys,
we end up in a preschool classroom -
she sits, takes colored dough into her hands (is it Play-doh or homemade by the teacher? i remember wondering.), and explains softly. "this is why we cannot be," she patienty said.

i look on, trying (but not succeeding) to understand. i could not forget that at this moment, there was a nagging feeling that if she goes, she would be gone for a few lifetimes. lost without me, not knowing who she really was or what she could be.

and it was when Marc came to ask Teacher Concep if she new a goodbye song about friends.
she readily sang a nursery tune - and i almost missed her when i got a glimpse of her, looking exactly the way she looked when she sang songs for Vincent, Clarisse.
whatever the tune was has escaped me, but everyone knew, everyone sang along - including myself.

in the distance, i saw through my tears, Gari asking about somethinq totally remote from the situation.