David and Goliath were my best friends. We’ve known each other since we were little. We became friends because our houses are situated right next to each other; in short, we’re neighbors. The three of us went to school together- preschool, junior high and even college. And as we grew up, we went our separate ways but got reunited by fate. We pursued our dreams and eventually landed the job we always wanted to have. David became a preschool teacher and was noted as the best teacher according to the school’s administrators. Goliath inherited his parent’s fortune; he was also one of the most sought-after attorneys in the U.S. As for me, I own a franchising boutique of clothe line products all over the world. Yes, we became successful after years and years of hard work and struggle. It was also very promising for we have made possible the dreams of our lives. We kept in touch every holidays and when we have free time. All was going well until one day. . .
Morning came and I woke up upon hearing the ringing of my phone. Goliath was on the line. He was talking candid at first but as the tone of his voice changed, I knew something was wrong.
“He’s sick.” Goliath said, grimly.
“What? Who’s sick?” I asked.
Dead air came all of a sudden. Confused, I began to talk again...
“Hey, are you still there?” I said.
Before he could answer back, a sobbing cry broke the air in response...
“David is sick, really really sick.” He said, crying.
“What are you talking about? I saw him perfectly well just yesterday, so why are you crying?” I exclaimed as I questioned his behaviour.
“You don’t understand! He needs you right now! He has leukemia, Grey...,” Goliath replied with a shaken voice.
It was only on that day, the first Friday morning of summer that I found out that David was struggling the moments of his life. After hearing the news, I then immediately went to my car and drove off.
On my way going to the hospital, I felt a searing pain and fear in my heart. It was like being stung by a bee except that what I felt was more than just a sting, like something bad was going to happen. The sky agreed with my sensation as well. The hoary clouds were heavy and dark and so were the questions popping out in my head. David’s situation was very questionable. And I was also having the feeling that both of them were hiding something from me...
* * *
I arrived at the hospital before the rain started to fall hard. I called Goliath on the phone and said that I will be there in a minute and that I have just arrived. I reached David’s room and entered immediately without knocking. I saw David lying in bed, weak and pale. Goliath was seated next to him holding his soft pale hand. Both smiled when they saw me entered. I then rushed to David and hugged him.
“I’m very glad to see you came for me, Grey.” David said, softly.
“Of course I would, silly!” I said with a sad and wounded smile.
Seeing David that weak and helpless made me cry. I just couldn’t believe that a very energetic and vibrant person have this kind of illness.
He was very pale. His eyes were sullen-red like someone who had cried forever and had not slept for days. He looked restless.
“Why?” I asked, angry and heart-broken.
“Why did you agree with him? Why didn’t you oppose the idea of not telling me?! I pointed out at Goliath.
“It’s for your own good, Grey,” Goliath said calmly.
“For my own good?! For crying out loud! Do you think it got me that good not knowing? (Sigh)... Am I not a part of this? Why? After all that we’ve been through and... And... Ugh! It’s not that easy to accept it just now!” I bursted out, crying.
“Look! It wasn’t that easy for me also!” Goliath shouted, standing and about to cry.
Goliath cried heavily in front of us. It was the first time I ever saw him cry that much.
“Even though we are more than just friends I still feel guilty of not telling you, Grey. You know, every time the three of us go out on a Saturday night or have coffee in a cafe, seeing your face blank and haven’t got any idea of what’s happening makes me want to spill it all out, but I can’t. I couldn’t do it because I made a promise and if I did, it’ll make the whole situation worse. And... we’ll fight. I don’t want us to fight, to have misunderstandings.” Goliath sobbed frantically as he said all those. He tried to catch his breath every time he utters something. He was obviously worried. His lips were shaking- his whole body was shaking with grief and sadness.
“And you know what, when we go to sleep, he would always say sorry and cry. There wasn’t also a moment that he would mention your name and feel sorry always. You see Grey, he loves you, he loves us both, and neither would he do something to hurt us!”
“I don’t like to see you crying, Grey.” David interrupted.
“Who wouldn’t!? Did you kept this whole thing from me?!” I cried; hurt enough to make any gestures.
“I didn’t want to worry you and make you upset Grey. I did not tell you because I know you’ll just worry yourself from thinking of it, besides, you know how you are with things needed to be done. You will not stop until everything is at the way it should be.” He said in a low tone.
“I know that, but I’m your friend too you know. And this is something you should have told me before! You shouldn’t be hiding secrets from me!” I said, clutching my handkerchief tightly.
David wiped the tears off my face. He hugged me and said sorry. He then explained everything to me. And it was only then that my questions were answered. He was just 8 years of age when he started to collapse and get sick all of a sudden. He didn’t mind it at first not until when he reaches 9. By then, he would frequently show signs of weakness and energy loss. His family got worried of his condition; he was going in and out in some clinic only to find out that he has leukemia. When David knew that his illness is going to cut-short his time someday, he immediately told Goliath about it. Both agreed to keep it from me in hopes that I wouldn’t start to feel sorry and worry myself too much. As years went by, he took the medications his doctor prescribed him just to keep his self going through and through...
* * *
A knocking on the door broke our teary conversation. It was David’s family. As soon as they entered the room, goliath and I went outside giving privacy for the whole family to be with their loved one.
Outside the hospital, the rain did not stop from pouring. The sky was still dark, although it was only 11 in the morning. I reached for a cigarette in my pocket and gave one to Goliath, lighted it and smoked.
Goliath sat down and frowned his face to the ground. Clearly he didn’t want me to see him that way. He wiped his tears and tried to calm down.
“You could’ve at least tried. What he’s going through is my burden, our burden. No matter how painful it is, still, friends will still be friends no matter what,” trying to move close to him face to face.
Goliath sat still, motionless, quiet. He was still trembling. I patted his back, kissed his forehead and hugged him.
“It’s alright... i’m sorry. I just wanted to make things clear.” I said.
He then clutched my arm tightly and said, “I don’t want to lose him.”
I could feel from his grip that he was not ready to accept what might happen to David. It was like heaven just fell down on him, on his heart, crushing it like all hope was gone.
“Hey, don’t give up. David is not like that. He’s a fighter and you know that,” I said, calming him down.
* * *
David’s family went to the nurse’s station to call two of his brothers who weren’t there; his parents went to his doctor to check what progress their son is having at the moment, while Goliath and I stayed to accompany him.
I was sitting beside Goliath reading a newspaper. I wasn’t exactly reading the pages but browsing; my mind was still locked on David. I couldn’t help noticing the both of them. David’s eyes fixed at Goliath and so were his. Goliath held David’s hand, kissing it, caressing him; he was making him comfortable. They were both so cosy and sweet, like coffee and cream mixed together so as to produce such good taste and aroma. Both were teary eyed upon watching and touching each other’s face that I myself was affected too and not a moment too soon I was already crying without them noticing me. Finally, Goliath broke into tears. David smiled. It was the weakest smile I had ever seen, yet, the same sweet and lovely smile I used to see. He gently touched Goliath’s wet cheeks wiping the tears off. Goliath leaned over and kissed his nose. And then, they kissed.
Goliath’s hands were cupping David’s face and kept planting kisses on his lips, cheeks and nose. Goliath’s actions were very obvious even to David; he was already depressed and couldn’t bear to think that he would be missing the guy he loved all his life. David hushed his sobbing by hugging him close to his heart. I cried emotionally upon watching them. It was like a movie scene from titanic, except that it was more realistic than just acting; ‘twas very intense and heart-pounding. The lovers parted still clutching each other’s hand tightly. David called me. I could still hear Goliath’s emotional, yet noisy sobs as I walked close to them. Again, David’s weak smile showed up. I immediately hugged him without saying something.
“I’m sorry, Grey. I love you so much. And please forgive me for what I did.” David said, weakly.
“Hey, it’s okay. I love you you goof!” I said with a smile that nearly turned into a gloom.
David let out a soft laugh and grinned at me.
“Yeah! And you still remember that name you used to call me, huh?” he said, happily.
David started to recall one situation during our childhood days. It was the time when the three of us had picnic at the park. He would always trip off at something with mouth wide open; and when he does, he would fall easily and have his mouth full of grass or sand. And it was that time when I started calling him that name, Goof. Goliath would laugh about it and tease him all day making him cry like a baby.
David made a deep sigh then looked at our faces. He smiled and reached for our hands. We felt the warm joy and happiness in his touch.
“(Sigh)... I missed those days, don’t you” David said.
“Yeah,” Goliath and I replied with a teary smile.
“I love you guys... I love you so much.” David said, faintly.
When David said those words, we knew that he was going to go. He was still clutching tightly at our hands until he rested and closed his eyes. As his eyes shut closed, his hands also drowned slowly like a tune slowly fainting as it reaches its end. Goliath let out a big cry. His breath was already out of control as he hugged the lifeless body of his lover. He repeated David’s name, his planted kisses and the words “I love you” as he cried furiously at him.
And not a moment too soon, David’s family came back along with his just arrived brothers. Some brought flowers and chocolates for David, and some even made him a get well soon card. As his family entered the room and saw us crying over David, they he was gone. All broke into tears as they came running towards David. I gave way to the family, as for Goliath, he just stayed there without noticing that David’s family circled them.
I went to the window hoping that I could lighten up the hurtful load somehow. But to my dismay, my heart just sank more. The pain of losing someone dear to you was too great, too great that it was completely unbearable to unload. I could not even wipe the tears that kept falling down my cheeks and unto the floor.
* * *
The day of farewell came. The sun did not show his self. The sky was gloomy and the ground was wet. Everything seems to be in grief of David’s last day on topsoil. Everyone was there, the family, friends, neighbours; all was complete even David’s students were present that time.
Everyone wore black garments except for one. Goliath wore the white long sleeved polo and pants David gave him on his birthday three years ago. He was sure that David was watching and would be pleased to see him wearing it.
Many cried, mourned and shouted as his casket was gently buried down to the ground. The sun’s ray went out and shined our faces at last. Goliath smiled with tears on his face. He then laid his arm on my shoulder, leaned, and breathed a deep sigh. Finally, he accepted David’s leave. But I know for sure that deep inside him, he is still mourning.
Then out of nowhere, small white butterflies flew around in mid air. The crying gradually stopped and everyone’s gloomy face turned into cheerful smiles.
“You take care, David.” I said, sad but somehow happy.
“I love you, David. We will never forget you.” Goliath said, wearing his best smile at David.
* * *
Eight months later, we moved on with our usual lives. I was packed loaded with some things needed to be done in my boutique. On the other hand, Goliath was also struggling back to back with his grocery mart business and a running case for almost three months. We were very busy and preoccupied with our work but we always find time to go and visit David.
One day, I received a telegram from one of the offices Goliath was working with. It says that I have to call the Montereys as soon as I received the note.
A woman’s frail voice answered the phone. I recognized it at once, it was Goliath’s mother. She was crying when she answered my call.
“Mrs. Monterey, it’s me, Grey. I just received the telegram Goliath sent me and called you right away. Is he there? Is there something he’d like to talk about?” I said.
She was frantically sobbing, trying to catch her breath before making a response. Until...
“Oh Grey, It’s you. Goliath?” She wondered.
“Yes, I would like to talk to him but if he’s not there, please tell him I called.” I remarked, not noticing her behaviour.
Goliath’s mother cried again.
“Grey, you don’t know?” she said in a low shocked voice.
“What is it ma’am? Is there something wrong?” I asked immediately.
“Goliath is gone dear,” she said with a trembling tone of her voice.
Mrs. Monterey suddenly hung up the phone. It was very obvious why she hang up. She is, of course, Goliath’s mother. And we all know how mother’s are in terms of their love for their children.
I was shocked of Goliath’s sudden death. I felt that same feeling I had the day David left us. The presence of sadness shook every nerve in my body as if everything was about to collapse dead. Two of my best friends are gone, leaving me behind all alone. And somehow, it was unfair.
* * *
I went to Goliath’s wake with grief and sorrow in my heart. Entering the house made it worst for people who mourned sat still, heads bowed with trails of tears marked the their gloomy faces.
Goliath’s sister came up to me as soon as she saw me in the room. I tried to appease my feelings but I couldn’t, even for a short span of time. It’s just that my loss was too great to be calmed by such gleeful attempts.
Rhonda hushed me by taking my hands and made gentle rubs. She then told me what had happened.
A police called at their house saying their brother is in the hospital and is dead. According to the witnesses, he was crossing the street when suddenly a woman was shouting at his back, and as he turned to look, there was a boy in the middle of the road trying to get his ball. He went to the spot to pick up the boy but a roaring ford suddenly hit him while attempting to get the child. The boy was fine but Goliath was not. Hi body lied motionless on the ground. He was then rushed to a nearby hospital but did not make it upon arrival. Rhonda also said that while he was in the ambulance, he kept repeating my name and David’s.
* * *
“He kept repeating my name and David’s” was the only thing I could think over and over my head. The thought of it made my heart bruised and bled profusely. It was draining my soul into nothingness but kept me wanting for more. David is gone... and now you.
“You are driving me nuts, guys.” I thought, standing next to Goliath’s family at the memorial park.
“But I love you both!” I whispered, throwing two red roses at him.
David and Goliath were my friends, my best friends. We’ve known each other since we were little. We grew up together clutching each other’s hands. They grew up as lovers. I was their nanny. Both were completely lost, somewhat like in a trance when together. As witness of their love, struggles and joy, I certainly would agree that they are inseparable by time and place no matter what the circumstances may be.
* * *
“I still hear your voice,” Cascada sang into the hazy cool room. I put the pillow aside and sat, still drowsy. I smile upon hearing the song as I rubbed my sleepy eyes.
“I still feel your touch in my dream,” Cascada managed to sang again before I hit the off button and shut her off. “I’ll be singing that in my head now,” I sighed as I rose from my bed. It had been on since last night when I was listening for some news; eventually, the T.V was broken so I had to bear with the radio for the mean time.
I poured coffee in the mug David gave me 3 years ago on my birthday. I passed through the living room and bent down the fireplace, lighted it and stood up. On the top shelf of the fireplace, there were pictures and frames in it. I looked at it and found the picture of us three, David, Goliath and me, smiling broadly at the cake being sliced.
“Forgive me my weakness but I don’t know why, without you it’s hard to survive,” Cascada sang in my head as a tear fell down the picture I was holding. It was David’s birthday party three years ago. I baked the vanilla cake for him for it was his favourite. Like many marriage oaths, both took a vow.
“Okay then,” I said, placing the cake in front of David. “Do you, David Mcguire, take this man no matter how troublesome this guy is and anything that would concern him in many ways?”
“And do you, Goliath Monterey, take this man, admitting how lucky you are and promising not to fuck it up or i will surely kill you in many ways so David can at least be satisfied?
“Oh, Yeah,” Goliath said, turning to face David and take his hand, just under the table. The looks on their faces that i had seen seem to pass between them was lost because of the merriment and playing moments of family and friends enjoying the party together. But the words Goliath said to David were never lost between.
“Do I take this man?” Goliath repeated, giving David’s hand a squeeze. “Always have, always will.”
“I now pronounce you inseparable,” I said.
“You may now cut the cake,” I shouted with a smile as the camera man was ready to take our photo.