Growing up, I've always seemed like an average guy. I've got an average height (for a male Filipino), average grades, and even an average number of arms. Nothing about me or my life really stood out, except for my ever-so-unique name. But what if, hypothetically, I told you that I was able to time travel once? Would you believe me? What would your reaction be?
As much as I want to lie about it, I honestly can't. Because, as crazy or outlandish as it might sound, I was (technically) able to travel through time. Okay, well, the truth is that I was able to travel through different time periods in my life. Here's how I did it.
My time in college is honestly one of my favorite time periods in this life and it's also the one that recently ended. I wrote the last chapter of my story as an undergrad at APC almost a year ago, leaving the chapter wholly written, despite reaching a tragic conclusion. What happens next is an epilogue to my story—an afterthought, a kiss farewell to a former lover, that last beautiful goodbye you want to say before you leave for good.
This story took place at a time not-so-long-ago. I had already been working at that time and it was the beginning of my foray into the "adult working world." At this point, I had my own tax profile, my own PhilHealth account, and other knick knacks an adult should have. I was already getting accustomed to the working world, but one day the hand of fate wanted me to write a different story.
It said, "Today, Dartegnian shall stray off the beaten path and into a different one, where he shall discover gemstones of his past." Earlier that day, I grabbed my old college NSTP shirt, got my old college bag, and headed back to APC—to spend 1 last day with my college friends.
Magically, there I was, back at APC.
I headed up to the 4th floor where (surprise, surprise) I saw my old classmates again! I first saw James and the others. They were printing their resumes for their internships next term. We wasted no time talking about the stuff that's happened in our lives and just generally catching up.
Old jokes and nicknames were flung from the group of friends. I, as usual, returned to my former self and became the most boisterous of the bunch. It felt refreshing, really, to go back to the side of me I'm fully comfortable with, and to share my old jokes with my close friends again. I just felt like I was back home.
We huddle up the old group together and continue our conversation to the cafeteria, where we then decide to eat lunch together and I would take them out.
So, we head to Shakey's Pizza... Place, thing, I don't know. We share the same lunch consisting of several pizzas, chicken, and mojos. Damn, it was so much fun! Ahaha, I can't remember much of our conversation, but I can recall the feeling.
Afterward, we head back to APC. I was given by God, fate, Vishnu, or whatever being this 1 day to go back to APC with no repercussions, I wanted to go home (as I was really tired at the time) but decided on staying. And so, I did, I stayed for 1 more class with them.
Sure enough, the hands of fate would pull some magical coincidence again! The next class they would have would be Philosophy of Man. PHILMAN, everybody! Philosophy of Man! Oh my God, this was insane. I fucking loved my PHILMAN class. Coincidentally, it was also one of the last classes I ever attended before dropping out. My professor for that class sent me a wonderful playlist before I dropped out. It helped me so much and I was super glad to see him again.
In class, I was reunited with my other (former) classmates. I met the others and, boy, were they glad to see me again and vice-versa. Hugs were exchanged, followed by loud greetings of excitement. The phrase "OY BUMALIK SI DART!" can be heard throughout the room. Honestly, I felt like crying. I felt that way because I missed them all so much.
The best part is that my PHILMAN professor was glad to see me again. Oh man, if I could only hug him too, I would've done it. According to my classmates, he talked about me fondly on the term I dropped out. He was the first professor I gave my "I'm dropping out" message to and he passed the news onto my class. (He was teaching my class Philippine History at the time.)
We have class again and it's truly the best thing that's happened to me in months. Although professors are discouraged from letting non-APC students sit-in during classes, he was cool enough to allow me. I sat at the back with my friends and we were rowdy as fuck. I still tried to pay attention to my professor, despite not having my old notebook with me, and I was able to recite a few times. I seriously love my PHILMAN class and I was one of the most active students my professor has taught at APC. (Huge claim, I know, but if you don't believe me, you can ask my professor lol.)
Aside from that, there's not much to say, really. We had class and it was over. I was able to go home with some classmates but the others had another class after PHILMAN. Still, I was able to go home with friends. My commute home didn't feel lonely anymore—a feeling I've felt since I've been commuting home from work, alone.
We exchanged more jokes, stories, and other stuff on the way home. And from there, we all parted ways once again...
Honestly, I wanted to post this because of a post I made a few days ago. Even though my college life ended in a bittersweet manner, it just proved that the main course was over—and this was the sweet dessert. This was the epilogue to my life at APC.
I was just lucky to have gone to the school at the right time. This event occurred a few months ago, on the last term my classmates would have at APC before they all go off into their respective companies and have internships. I was incredibly lucky to catch my class for one last time. The event itself was like a solar eclipse, a special day where 2 beings from different worlds would meet and then part ways thereafter.
It was the day I was able to time travel. I was only given that special day to go back to school and spend another class with my classmates again. That's what I really meant by "time travel," a journey that started from my adult life into my college life and then back. A journey between 2 time periods in my life.
I'm just happy to have said goodbye. I was happy because that day happened.
I've been slowly adjusting to my adult life. It still feels rather lonely at times and I miss having a ragtag group of buddies I could joke around with, but maybe my new set of friends are better. I am contented with what I have now. And, as much as I want to go back again, I don't want to.
Because even the sun sets in paradise.