Remembering Kate Lou
Kate Lou Tabora or popularly known as Kate Lou (yes, we call her with her full name) was definitely one of my best friends in high school. It was with her that I confided with my heart aches (geeez!) because we were on the same boat during our 4th year in high school. Kate was loud like me. She’s kikay, unlike me she is so maarte.LOL Kate one of those girls with many talents. She can dance, sing and model (F na F niya itong part na ito.hehe pero minsan kulang siya ng confidence.
Kate hid from us that she was experiencing a Steven Johnson Syndrome like disease (I forgot or maybe suppressed from my memory what its really called). I never heard she complained but often times she won’t come with us to our dates because she is sick and has “allergy”. Tita Luz told us that it may be from over consumption of NSAIDs especially during her menstruation since she often complain of severe cramps.
I was in Manila studying at that time and I regret every day I wasn’t with her during her hospital days. I remember she was the only girl who writes me a letter (with a list of songs to be burned in a CD) when I leave Ilocos every after sembreak. I still have those letters in my memorabilia box. I’d love to read it again if I can. She was my partner in fangirling for Joross Gamboa.LOL When she finally went to Manila for several consultations, I was too busy to visit her. The last time I saw her, I only saw a glimpse of her because the nurses wouldn’t let us inside the room. Her condition was so bad that we are not allowed to see her in pain or maybe she was just on reverse isolation and we had to comply with the infection control. I remember tito and tita were very accommodating at that time, but I see they are really exhausted and depressed.
A few days ( I don’t really remember it well) after that visit, I received a call or text from Cherry (her best friend) that she passed away. It was probably due to septicemia because of her condition she was immunocompromised. I was in school that time and I became irritable. I couldn’t concentrate on Dr. Chedie Cambaliza’s lecture. After class, I took a taxi ASAP to Philippine General Hospital where she was admitted. Along the way, I was talking to Lalaine, Cherry, Gegoh and Aileen over the phone while crying. My tears won’t run out and the taxi driver was soo0o silent while he was eyeing at me from the mirror. That day, I remember we were all there in the morgue (I think except for Jessa, which really broke my heart) in our white uniforms crying and hugging each other. It was the first time I saw Lalaine cry so hard like there was no tomorrow. I hugged tito and tita, its like the end of the world for them. I will never forget that one October afternoon.
During the wake and the days after that we were almost there every night. Except for some who were in Manila. At the funeral, I witnessed how Kate was loved. The church although small was full of her friends from grade school until college. Every one was crying but I never want to see those pictures again. One night after the funeral, all of us got drunk in my house and let it all out, reminisced how clumsy she was, imitated her antics and laughed and cried about the memories she left. It was the same day we visited her grave at 3am in our motorbikes and rant about why she left us so early.
When Kate left us, the group was never the same. The 10 of us will always be GURLZ. She will always be the one who will complete us, it was never the same nor it will ever be. When we go on dates we still remember her and think of how she would react if she was here today. We still think of her at times. We visit her grave when we are in Ilocos or when we miss her. We visit tita and tito a lot. I do think of her when I have my heart aches. I know she would just tell me the same thing I will tell her over and over, “If you are happy then go for it.” After all she was the first girl who met Mike and she if she were alive at that time I bet she will tell me, “Ang hot teh, kaso gago yan. I-break mo na.” And we would just laugh about it.
Just Me. For Now.