Marius walked slowly toward the playground where he and his best friend Drew frequent. There in one of the swings, Drew sat quietly, rocking slowly back and forth. His eyes were fixed on the ground, anger and disappointment blaze.
“How dare you leave me like that,” Drew murmured.
Marius moved in even closer. “Hey, buddy. Are you mad at me?”
Drew did not respond. He clinched his teeth. He did not even look on Marius’s direction.
“Buddy, I’m so sorry all right?” Marius said, moving even closer to Drew. “I did not mean to leave you like that yesterday. I wanted to wait for you before leaving, but it rained so hard and I had to pick my sister up from her school. Please, talk to me, will you?”
Drew stood up and moved to the jungle gym. He reached one of the nearest bars and lifted himself. “You should have waited for me, and—”
“Please, my sister needed to be picked up.” Marius interrupted him. “She can’t go home alone in the rain. And can you at least look at me now. Stop avoiding me now, will you?”
“You should have waited for me.” Drew repeated, still not looking at Marius’s direction.
“How can you be so mad and pretend I am not even here? I am so sorry, all right? Please, now.” Marius begged.
Drew went down from the jungle gym and floundered toward the exit of the park. Drew lives nearby; Marius knows that, and he followed his friend.
“Going home, are you?”
Drew did not respond, still refusing to look on Marius’s direction.
“Oh, Drewey, can we just settle this and be friends again? What about my leaving early that made you this mad?”
Drew did not respond; he continued walking homeward.
“Drewey!” Marius raised his voice. “Why are you acting so childishly? Man up and tell me what’s wrong!”
No response. No reaction. No glance.
Marius sighed. “Am sorry, Drew. Sorry I left you yesterday. Sorry I raised my voice.”
Drew turned to his direction, but his stare wasn’t fixed on him. Marius saw tears on Drew’s eyes.
“If you can’t forgive me yet, fine, I’ll be back tomorrow and ask you to forgive me again.” He smiled. “You are still the same childish Drew I know. I don’t even know how I got this long putting up with your attitude like that.”
Drew wiped his tears. “Oh, Marius . . . why are you so stupid?”
Marius smiled and gave a sigh of relief. “You ready to forgive me now?”
Drew shook his head lightly.
“Drew, honey, we’re ready to leave. Are you?” Came the voice of Drew’s mom from behind.
Marius did not notice they were already in front of Drew’s house. “Hi, Mrs. Summers! Going somewhere?” He called out, smiling.
“Drew, honey. Are you ready now?” She did not seem to hear Marius.
Drew nodded. “Yes, Mom. I am.”
Drew’s mom smiled sadly. “Come on, Marius’s parents will surely be glad to see you—their son’s best friend. Let’s pay our respect to your friend and his family now, honey. I know wherever Marius is, he is watching over you. He loves you so much, honey. Let’s go.”
Drew nodded and silently headed to their car, sadness swells in his eyes.
And Marius then realized why Drew has been ignoring him the whole time.
I do not believe in the heavenly afterlife nor the dogma that an immortal soul leaves the mortal body and survives death. But this concept has been in my mind for some time now, and I wanted to metaphorically show how one feels when his or her friends start to ignore them for reasons unknown. Estranged is a simple symbolical telling of how an abrupt change of relationship (of whatever kind) makes one feel—sudden death on the eyes of people important to them.