The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

An unremarkable photo with a remarkable story

A photo that took six years to come into fruition.

This picture would seem for most people, unremarkable. Albeit, it is a very pretty girl, with impeccable makeup. Yet, the lighting isn’t very flattering. The setting isn’t anywhere special, in fact you could even see that it was taken on a moving escalator on a random mall. Which for us on these 7,107 islands, is a picture taken by low resolution camera phones by high school students every day. But this picture is a very special one for me.

Because of the person in it. My best friend of almost two decades came to the Philippines for a short visit last February, which she has not done since 2005. I’ve missed her, and from the turnout at one of our get togethers, I wasn’t the only one. This vivacious, bubbly, exciting girl has been my friend since I entered kindergarten. In high school, we went our separate ways. She had to go to the US to join her migrating family.

We’ve grown up together, apart. While we don’t talk everyday, and as much as we would like since we both have our lives to attend to, when we do talk, it feels like we just saw each other the day before. We don’t have the exact same likes, but we’re interested in each other’s lives, and learn from each other (makeup i know nothing about, but her stuff was so cute!) about the different things the other knows more about.

It was almost a month of neverending laughs, giggling reminiscing, and sometimes dreamy conversations about the future. We caught up on things we didn’t have the time to talk about, and after a while, it felt like she would be here everyday.But after those fun three weeks, she had to go, back to her life, and me back to mine.

It was a bittersweet idea, of saying goodbye. Because we knew we couldn’t stay in vacation mode for the rest of our lives, and had to go back to being friends across thousands of miles. At the same time, we knew it wasn’t the last time we would see each other, and thanks to modern technology, had an easier way to communicate.

I love my Jules, and I will never stop being her friend, and she has been the same for me.

So look at this seemingly unremarkable photo. Now you know how incredible it really is.

What pictures do you have, have a special story between the seemingly normal image?

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