The New M.E. Generation











The rest of my Spring Break went great. He took me everywhere, even to places that you had to drive some. But it was worth it.

Like my father would say to me many years later, ‘you never know what places you will have a chance to go to that you might not return, so take it as an adventure when you do.’ I loved all cities I visited and put it in my bucket list to return one day.

I did visit my friend one more time before he completed his studies. He really dedicated his efforts in his career; he was doing 1-2 summer sessions, and eventually some graduate courses.

I remember he telling me how some classes was done ‘in the field’ or outside the classroom with the airplanes. The summer heat and rain were memorable, so all students and classes had to start on time. By no later than 11am the weather would get very bad and everyone had to leave the area.

The second time I visited and he picked me up at the airport was as great as the first time, except I was older and almost out of school, meaning my uncertainties about the future were already looming over me.

“So, what do you want to do?” asked he when I got into the car.

“I want to buy a bathing suit. Take me to a good mall,” replied I.

My friend got surprised. He probably thought I wanted to have a drink or something. He took me to a great one and I walked in to the first bathing suit store I saw.

I was determined to buy a bikini, don’t know why because my weight wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to be. I don’t think I was that overweight, but as a woman it was an issue that always lingered.

In the store I found one with red, black and white colors. I walked outside the dressing room to show him and get his opinion. “What do you think?” asked I in a serious tone like, ‘tell me the truth.’

My friend’s eyes and mouth opened wide. I couldn’t decipher if it was good or bad. “Aaaah… I think it looks good on you…,” said he in a tone that made me believe he didn’t want me to feel bad about my body.

“Be honest with me. We’ve always been that to each other, even if we don’t want to hear it.”

“Truth is, I’ve never seen you before in a bathing suit.”

What? How is it possible to have been living in a Caribbean island and friends since our early teens, and never spent time under the sun?

“We’ve never been together at the beach?? Not even at the school’s Junior/Senior picnic?’ asked I.

“I didn’t go because of what happened during my Senior year. I wasn’t into being there.”

The more I tried to remember, the more I realized that of all things we did back home this wasn’t one of them. And during the Spring Break week, I was covering my top with a college t-shirt, so he didn’t get a full view of me.

Now thinking back on it, it was contradictory in a way that we had emotionally shared so much, and in the physical it only went as far as the kiss and sharing a bed. I even believed he saw me in my underwear, so why the reaction in the suit?

I would feel at ease at all moments with him because I trusted he would never hurt me. And even him being a guy (who tend to be more liberal), also kept his privacy (including the bathroom door closed) when I visited him.

I realized that as much ‘open’ I thought we had been, we have closely guarded the outer shell that we present to the world and each other.

So how do you then define what we have? I don’t know, but when it comes to people, for sure there’s more than meets the eye.

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My Senior year was a mix of many emotions. I was proud of myself for getting this far without having resorted to any negative behavior to help me deal with my insecurities I had about myself. I had zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol, and had no interest in even getting close to them.

At home it was just my mom and me. Although I wasn’t happy being there, I enjoyed the alone time I had when my mom was at work.

Although I still had responsibilities, at least I felt some sort of independence and space for myself. All I wanted to do was bring my best in school, graduate and go away.

Many of these feelings still remain with me today. I have become accustomed to my living conditions and like the freedom to do as I want without being judged. I still stay away from anything I believe will be bad for me.

In spite of experiencing way more difficult situations as an adult, I have always known what’s good and bad. I will say I have been very lucky and blessed to never stray.

At school it felt weird not seeing my friend around. I would learn about him when visiting the pharmacy and hair salon. It all seemed he was doing very well, as if the experience of before didn’t have a permanent effect on him.

Ironically, we didn’t write or called each other much that I recall. I would relay a message through his family, which I hoped he would receive.

He moving away was the best thing happening. From my end he looked like a fully developed adult that wouldn’t stop at anything to get ahead.

In spite the distance and lack of communication between us, I didn’t realize how he kept influencing me for the better. He was the best example to follow that you could overcome any situation if that’s what you chose to do.

And now we both have totally distanced from each other by choice. He did it first and I followed when I felt that he became a threat to my emotional balance and wellbeing.

He almost turned my world upside down and I hate him for that, but I didn’t allow it. It was heartbreaking to do, but it was something that I needed to do and don’t regret it.

It has taken me a lot to ‘graduate’ to where I am today. And like when he was my friend, I will continue moving forward, not letting anything deter me in going the distance to reach my dreams.



My high school friend graduated a year before I did. My brother was on the same class and attending the graduation without him being there was a somber night for me.

This period represented a new stage in my life. My friend and brother were going away to college in a few months, which meant I would be alone at home with mom and my Senior year would start.

I was looking forward to this time, but was also lost of what to do with education and myself, especially when he was away.

I felt somewhat lost without my support system. And my insecurities about my intelligence and grades for my college application had me on the edge.

I kept thinking how in spite all he did he managed to get to the school of his choice. He knew exactly what he wanted to do for a career and how he would make it happen. Me, I didn’t have a clue what to expect for dinner that night.

The last memory I have of my friend during this time was of him coming to terms about ending high school, but glad he would go away from all this and start engaging in what he really loved.

He legally completed his studies, but don’t recall that he received the diploma. I believe he mentioned having to get a lawyer so there would be a record filed in school and Education Department that he had completed all the high school requirements.

That made me even more sad and puzzled about life in general and of witnessing this happening to someone I cared about.

That’s probably why I was overwhelmed; my mom had high expectations of me, my brother was the center of attention for always, and my mom was trying to adjust to this major change at home.

The summer went normal. I would see my friend at the pharmacy whenever I could. I don’t recall saying good-bye in person. I probably did over the phone and holding back my tears. After all he went through to finish school, the least I could do was to be supportive towards him and not add any additional pressure.

I do recall that when he and my brother left, I sat at my room looking around and thinking, ‘now what?’ It wouldn’t be the first moment that I felt that I was totally on my own without someone to hold my hand to lead the way.

It was as scary as when my ‘x’ walked out the door for good. Thinking about it now brings back this feeling, but incredibly I managed to overcome it all and stay in one piece.

So why am I still sad? Because I miss my friend and it hurts losing the friendship. This is not what was meant to be, but as he and I have done, I will hold my head up, knowing that no matter what, I will make it through this time and will be just fine.



et cetera