Sis,

Have you seen the movie ‘I Love You, Man’? It’s starred by the funny Paul Rudd, who’s also in ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ and ‘Knocked Up’. The movie is about Peter Klaven (played by Rudd) who’s getting married soon, but realized that he doesn’t have a good enough friend to be hailed as the best man. This character went on a series of ‘man date’ to meet friends, hoping to find a best friend. Soon he realized that a dinner in a fancy restaurant, a game of backgammon, nor going to a ball game; are not enough to find a best friend. Peter was best friendless.

And so am I. Since we bid goodbye when I left Indonesia in May of 2000, I am still best friendless. I do have friends here (mostly from work) that I hang out with every now and then. But I can’t really categorize them as ‘best friends’. I also have some acquaintances from kids’ school and our neighbors. But I can’t categorize them as ‘friends’. It’s not that I’m antisocial, but after the initial interaction and I don’t feel comfortable around the person, I wouldn’t care to pursue the ‘friendship’.

While Peter in the movie was actively searching for a best friend, which he hope in turn would be his best man at the wedding, I’m more passive. I don’t have a deadline, so what’s the hurry? I don’t want to come across that I don’t need a best friend, but I just think it will come to me eventually. If I meant to have a best friend, I’d like it to be like you at the least, Sis.

None of us was looking for each other. I was a journalist, and you were this hot new TV star/model and I was assigned to interview you. Who would’ve known that we could ‘connect’ and talked like we’ve been friends forever. We exchanged phone numbers and the rest was history. After the article was published, you called me on my cell to tell me that you liked my writing and loved the picture (well, you should… because it was a collection of Adji Notonegoro’s haute couture) and to invite me for a lunch. Then we had dinner, then we went clubbing -among the phone calls-, then stayed over, then movies, and much more.

Few days ago, when I was folding laundry on my boring best friendless life, I was listening to Pandora with my iPhone. Your favorite song came through, I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor:

At first I was afraid, I was petrified…
“WAAAA!!! SIS, IT’S MY SONG!!” You always went berserk whenever this song is played -in a mall, radio in your car, a club, or even on TV.

Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
“I KNOW!!!” I replied, as euphoric as you were.

But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong
“OMIGOSH, OMIGOSH, OMIGOSH!!” Your two feet started to do that running-in-place thing and your hands were fanning your face.

And I grew strong and I learned how to get along
By this time, we both were shamelessly singing our heart to the song.

The rest of the song was listened to with teary eyes (though I was still able to fold the laundry).

I can’t help but reminiscing us. Even though you’re an ‘actress’, you’ve always been a down-to-earth kind of girl. Kind, always give and rarely ask, and always helpful. You don’t think yourself as an ‘actress’. “Ah, I’m not that big,” you gushed. Well, if my face is on all over of magazine covers on inside, or being a host of a TV show, had TV series, and people recognize me and calling out my name, I’d consider myself a big thing. But you don’t mind coming down to our dinky little office just to wait for me writing up an article before we go out. You’d bring in some snacks for everybody in my office (and not to forget the cigarettes).

You’re not spoiled although you’ve stayed at 5-star hotels, you slept fine in my crampy, no air-con and no windows, rented room. You’re not a brat even though you’re not a stranger to super fine restaurants, you said your favorite food was the street food and yes, I’ve seen you pigging out at Roti Bakar Edi, young lady!

Some critics said that ‘I Love You, Man’ has a lot of awkward moments (such as when Sydney Fife’s character was doing the toast on Peter and Zooey’s engagement party). We have our share on awkwardness too. Remember that night when we and two other girl friends were club hopping and we’re doing ‘Truth or Dare’ thing in your car? The four of us were intoxicated and some of the ‘Dare’ answers were really shocking. There was a silent moment after somebody said something, then after five seconds, we all blurted out laughing.

I really miss you, Sis. I was able to talk to you a couple of times using your old cell phone number. But after you got married, you were gone. Couldn’t track you anymore. I bet you changed your cell phone number, and my emails were never replied. I Googled your name, it came back with your wedding news. I guess I’m not very good at spying or tracking somebody, I couldn’t find you; not even in Facebook!

So, wherever you are Mila Karmelia, please remember that I still have you listed as my only best friend and that will not to be expired any time at all. Even though my soul was removed to make room for sarcasm, you’ll always have your little spot. And please, anybody who would know her whereabout or her husband, Krisna Murti Wibowo, do let me know.