The past is always a fragment of who we are. It is a portion of ourselves that helped us become the person we are in the present. It never fails to bring out a gamut of human emotions, good and bad. No matter how much we deny it, we find solace in it, a calming feeling.

I had a chance on seeing someone this week and she gave me a box that I left when I once lived with her. A box that is so plain and boring, a bit dusty as it was kept in her closet for more than six years. I recognized it and it bore my name in my handwriting, so I took it from her and opened it. And I was surprised as to what I saw.

There infront of me are letters given to me by random people, an old box of chocolates, some paper flowers, old movie and concert tickets, little ribbons, small notes, and a couple of other little items. I was surprised that she kept it, even more surprised that I had this habit of collecting whatever is given to me, big or small. I was stunned that indeed, I am a person of great sentimentality. Or am I just a prisoner of my past, like what I always had been?

I took the box home, and suddenly found myself reading through small notes and letters, checking each chocolate wrapper, looking at each folded flower, appreciating small poems sent to me… all while walking down an alley of my past. I suddenly felt like I am lighting up one dark alley of the past, an alley whose streetlights were once shut down, by the lonely soul in me. I find myself playing memories in my head, reliving each moment spent with friends and other people close to me.

The feeling is strange. I suddenly miss these old friends and began to wonder where they are right now. I began to think of how kismet brought us together, and how changes, chances, decisions, and opportunities made us all drift apart. There is a small fragment of my soul that feels happy because I know that in one way or another, I was able to experience the bliss of pure friendship and there is that much people who once cared for me and appreciated who and what I am – the friends I lost in time. I am happy that some even appreciated who and what I have become – the friends I still keep with me. And mostly, I am happy for the lessons I have learned in all that decade, lessons that molded me and made me the person I am now.

I was asked as to what I would do to it, and I decided to burn the box. Right now, the mementos are not important. I do not need reminders, I do not need to keep items just to keep the memories alive. The memories are already here with me, etched in my soul, never will they fade. I will always remember each face inside that box, each memory, each lesson learned. Afterall, what matters is not what you did together, but what you LEARNED together.

To the person who kept these for me, thank you. To each face inside the box of memories, you will always be remembered. To my friends who stayed, you are all appreciated… I will then take a step back to reality with a smile on my face with these new discoveries.

© CMN

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