Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

The Narrowed Road

Life taught me the hard lessons of parting early on. My first best friend was a classmate from childhood I met during my first day in grade school. I’m not sure how his name was spelled, but I remember it sounded like “Hanibal.” My memory of his name is as bleak as my memory of how he looks – I only have a blur image of a boy my age with a new haircut. But I remember the joy finding another young soul to share my thoughts when we first entered the door of education.

Our friendship begun as soon as our first class in grade one started. We met in a classroom that smelled of the mixed scents of fresh pads, newly plastic covered notebooks encased in our new school bags like our minds ready to be filled with knowledge. The smell of freshly sharpened pencil and scented eraser would always bring me back to that moment. I remember the fresh scent of soap when I bathed that morning excited for my first day in school. I forgot the color of the clothes I wore, but I still remember how my new shirt smells. The scents of these things always conjure nostalgic thoughts, reminding me of my first best friend I lost with the passing of time.  The places we reached and continually explore widen the spaces between us, and narrowed the road that once put us together at one moment in time. But in my mind we always share the desk, in that corner of our grade one classroom.

I was seated in the front row at the right side of the room next to him, a stranger just like all the other faces around me. It was fate that placed us seated next to each other, but it was our choice to become friends. The feeling of being left alone for the first time, drew us together. I feel at ease with his presence the moment we first introduced our names. We became friends before our first recess, and by the end of our first day in school, we have found in each other’s company the joy of real friendship. I cannot remember any other details of our days together, like I cannot recall anything more about him. I just know that he made my first day in school less scary to the surprise of my mother who anticipated the worse. I easily got over my separation anxieties and fear of strangers. I looked forward being back in school and always take home fun-filled stories at dinner time, telling my family about my newly found friend.


Morning comes and off it goes.

Like people come and (ouch!) they go.

For some brief moment they come my way,

But few are meant to stay.

Life’s lesson of letting go,

And memories remain with me.

Days passed. Our school activities progressed, school became my second home. But one day, I found myself unusually seated alone in our desk. My friend was absent when our teacher checked our attendance. I waited for him until recess, but lunch and afternoon classes came and gone without him. The same thing happened the next day and the days after. Our teacher some few weeks later changed our seating arrangement, making me vacate the desk we shared in our classroom where the emblems of our friendship vanished. I later heard their family moved to another place and he transferred to another school far away that my young mind then was incapable of reaching. I was assigned a new desk in the second row at the center aisle of the room after that and had new seatmates. From time to time I would glace to our desk wishing him back. My new seatmates are faceless and left my memory insignificant traces so were the other friends I had after we parted. I only remember one friend from my first day in school and he is my first real best friend.

 Life taught me early on that some perfect moments could go wrong. Friends come, but I could not expect them to stay, for like me, they too, have lives to live and journeys to complete. I am not sure if my friend remembers or would have the same thoughts. My friend may forget, but as long as I still know how the classroom desk smells he will always be remembered.

"Solitude" oil on canvas 24x30, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2007


20 responses

  1. what a lovely memory… somewhat sad,, but with real heart…

    AM00000060000002030 10, 2007 at 12:00 am04

  2. Sometimes mate, life is like that ya have to go with the flow.
    People will always come and go ya just gotta be ok with it.
    Some will bring tears when they leave but hell mate that’s life aye.

    Take care and ya know wher ta find me if ya need an ear ta talk to.

    Brilliant post by the way!

    PM00000030000001930 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  3. Very well put. It is rare for a friendship to last a lifetime.

    PM00000060000003930 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  4. Amazing how a smell can trigger memories like that. That was a neat story 😀

    AM00000040000002530 10, 2007 at 12:00 am04

  5. Loved the narrative and the poem!

    PM00000020000001430 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  6. I posted some questions yesterday on my blog


    and your poem at the beginning just answered that..
    very well said

    PM00000030000001630 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  7. wow, you can also remember the details. my friends usually thought im crazy for remembering basic details of events and the likes. guess i am not alone hehe.

    what a nice read Jeques, made me a bit emotional as i send my friend here in Thailand to the airport last Thursday. ah, friendships…

    PM00000040000002630 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  8. age old story told well. I especially like the poem and the painting.

    AM00000010000002130 10, 2007 at 12:00 am04

  9. sometimes i wonder why certain persons are brought into our lives only to disappear again… your entry made me think about it again.

    PM00000040000003830 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  10. There are certain posts for which comments need to be disabled,
    I believe this is one of them, for a reason – perfection is tough to comment on.
    I love this one.

    PM00000070000001230 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  11. Nicely done – it is a truth of life!

    PM00000080000001930 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  12. you’ve told the thoughts of a 7 year old well… it is a beautiful open door to peer into and read a little piece of your heart… the painting is also beautiful…movement everywhere… it is a wonder to experience such emotions towards people don’t you agree… how sad our world would be if we did not have precious childhood memories of friendships…

    PM000000100000004630 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  13. the only thing i remember from my first day of school was crying and begging my mother not to leave me; that, and the new smell of my lunchbox. can’t recollect my friends in primary, but i had many new first “best friends” throughout life: secondary, college, work, etc. it seems no matter where you go, you will undoubtedly connect with that one that can make you laugh and you enjoy being with.

    this was a nice, down memory lane-type, post.


    PM000000110000004530 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  14. What a sad story! I’m really intrigued by how strongly you remember scents; that’s fascinating because while I’ve got a good nose, I don’t relate things that way.

    I had a friend in first grade, it might have been, who moved away. I’ve never stopped wondering what happened to him.

    AM00000040000005130 10, 2007 at 12:00 am04

  15. You write most amazing photo essays! Taking us on a journey!

    PM00000080000003030 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  16. I love the artist in you, jeques. Every time you come back, I find a post that touches me.

    AM00000030000004930 10, 2007 at 12:00 am04

  17. Steve King has said that we never have friendships again like the ones we had in school. I totally agree. For me, it was high school, and a group of about 8 of us (all girls). We were loyal to each other and would have done anything to help each other, through ‘thick and thin’ . What a touching tribute you have written to your friend of so long ago. It is a sadness that I’m sure so many readers will relate to. Your painting is absolutely stunning. I’m glad I stopped in. G

    AM00000070000002630 10, 2007 at 12:00 am04

  18. I so enjoy your writing and insightfulness. I have people in my past like this too – the feelings never go away, and I often wonder if I am in their memory like they are in mine.

    I love the painting – you are gifted in many ways. 🙂

    PS Thank you for knowing what I was trying to say in my poem – I was disappointed everyone got the tongue in cheek but no one was hearing the message – you hit it straight on. Your thoughts are a breath of fresh air. 🙂

    AM000000110000003630 10, 2007 at 12:00 am04

  19. jeques, the thoughts you shared about your best friend is once again engaging. you put into good use your senses, such in this prose poem. the thoughts are knitted closely and it was presented in a manner like a silken rope.

    old friend really hurts when you don’t see them. much worser if you haven’t got a clue where they are. i like the lines in the poems that say “needle pricking the heart”. awesome imagery.

    and best part is the painting “solitude”. you are reminiscent of Van Gogh. there was an air of impressionistic air in this painting. i fekt that those leaves are actually moving and the clouds moving. i am thinking of rolling terrain as lavender fields. you must know that the painting has created ripples of thousand words in my mind. i like solitude and the calmness of the scene. you are an artist indeed.

    AM00000010000002730 10, 2007 at 12:00 am09

  20. Hello Marvin!

    Thank you for such generous praise of my works. I am humbled. I am just beginning to really express fully my voice in both my written and artworks. I still have so much to learn. I love solitude, too. It is in learning to be happy with the self for a companion that we trully become a good companion to other people. I think at this point of my life, I have already learned that.

    Note: I just posted pictures of my paintings – old and new – in my recent entry. I really regret I didn’t took picture of my other older works I gave away. But I am happy enough I have this artworks with me. Hope you enjoy viewing them.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    AM00000010000000530 10, 2007 at 12:00 am09

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