To start off with the easiest start-phrase: “It felt like it was just yesterday” for once, doesn’t feel as right. Nor does it feel as intuitive as it used to be. Because right now, right at this very moment as I am typing this out, it felt as if it was lives away. Maybe a little exaggerating, but it felt long enough.
Long enough that I couldn’t remember if it was a morning or afternoon that we first met. Long enough that there are details that I couldn’t recall. Long enough that I don’t remember exactly how we started being real close. Long enough that more often than not, this feeling is being taken for granted.
Perhaps, even long enough that it begins to cause disinterest among our friends to read about us. Long enough for you to feel bored reading stuff like this. Long enough to bored even myself to be so repetitive about this. Given the fact that I am not unfamiliar with being expressive enough to come up with this. Shameless, long-winded grandmother stories. Stories about both you and I. Sometimes, maybe just sometimes, or might as well be all the times? That it’s too much? Bear with me, I do what I do best to have things taken down, by writing. Or literally; typing.
So tell me, was it a morning or afternoon that we met? As I was there with my group of friends and you came into sight, not forgetting that backpack a little over too big for your size.
“Why is she carrying a turtleback?.” I quietly wondered, and yes, that’s just how mean I was, surprisingly still am.
And the new girl in school joined the class by sitting at the corner of the class closest to the back door, across from where I sat. A little reluctant to be where she was. Paying no attention, the usual chatter continued.
Tell me again, how long it took for us to finally talk to each other? Days? Or just a couple of hours? I don’t remember but I am quite sure I must have been stuck up enough to not bothered introducing myself when you first entered the class. But amazingly, I remember it was Harry Potter, The Order of the Phoenix that started it all. Oh, she reads.
Was it; “Oh, you read?” That I first asked you? That, I don’t remember. Because I don’t remember myself being diplomatic enough to actually introduce myself. And the usual comments on books or whatnot. Then that magic phrase appeared.
“I studied in Sri Garden.”
“Oh, you were in Sri Garden?! Me too!”
Maybe you could enlighten me who brought up Sri Garden first though.
I really couldn’t recall much the days in Form 3. Except from bits and pieces of how the next day you told me your mom might have seen me back in Sri Garden. And how our love-hate relationship with Cecelia. Those ghost stories behind the class. How you got burnt by Chia Loong’s remark when you told that teacher, Mr Chong, that you knew a bit of Chinese.
Did we took our PMR results together? No, even that I don’t remember. But I guess not. Guess we didn’t.
Form 4 came, and we were in two different class. And Form 4 was when my surgery happened. Coming back to school after the surgery, I had to avoid crowds, thus exempted from assemblies. And you were the one sitting with me in class every single morning while everyone else was away lining up waiting to enter the class like they were primary students. I don’t even remember what we did to kill off those times early morning in class. Especially Mondays, when there would be absurdly long speeches, or whatnot. And then the Bluffs and Chor Dai Dees after finals. It was crazy, but we all had our share of fun.
But I know we never had any fights ever since the day we started talking, not until Form 5, though. The first fight we had, I wonder if you still remember, that it was because of a teacher. A teacher that I don’t even remember what her name was.
And those times you spent practicing debate with Azim.
Form 5 was rather dramatic. With Earth Week, our newsletter and, well dramas that only we know and would probably remember till our very last breath. And of course, how the three of us would always, never once failed, to annoy our Moral teacher. Don’t you just miss her irritated face whenever we burst out laughing at the back of the class. And how not just us but in fact, the whole class pays no attention to her? Those jokes Sam would tell and the things he would say that you swore we would recall if we were really having sex with our boyfriends one day. And that very secret of yours that I let slipped in front of John.
And the fact that John really thought we were lessbians. Oh yea, that faithful afternoon after school that I’ve squeezed water from your bottle while you were drinking from it. That nose cleansing treatment I gave you. Refreshing, yes?
Drumstik, Banjir, Pumpkin, Duck. And I had a crush on Banjir, with his Vampiric smile. Oh, and Abang! Of course, you and your basketball stories. Well, if you know what I mean.
There must have been more to it in Form 5 than this, but for now, it’s all that I could recall.
The day we got our SPM results. Those stay overs that made our family wonder if we were a thing? Even then we knew getting our SPM results only meant one thing. That the both of us that has been sticking to each other relentlessly walking on the same path is about to go on our own ways.
You are going to do A-Level in Taylors, Subang Campus. Far enough.
Initially not knowing where I’d be going, though was pretty sure I’d become a beautician and finally ended up in Kajang High School, doing Form 6.
I thought, I was even quite sure that our friendship would possibly fade off. What with the distance and academic demands. What with new friends made and entirely different educational environment that leads to probably development of different mentality. I was quite sure, you know. It’s not like it has never happened before.
Those were the days where we would go completely missing in action in each others lives for days, weeks and months. And then somehow manage to slap back together and still feel like we’ve been there all the time.
I think you must have started driving by then. Vividly remember you almost knock off your side mirror when you tried parking your car with JJ and I laughing madly.
And you confronted Andy. (No, history does not have to repeat itself.) Which freaked me out but saved a lot of miserable uncertainties. Did it ever occur to you that I might hate you for doing it? But the sake of my benefit overweight that possibility that I might hate you?
Though you started driving, we still did not hang out often no? Upper six became busier with a new found love interest on my part. And new group of friends that we both had.
Yes, of course, Mikhachu. That one conversation in MSN that had me literally laughing out so loud my mom came in and asked what happened. Mikha is a guy, Nan. Do remember that. That was in 2011.
Yet, another divergent.
You, going to McGills in Montreal, Canada.
I, accepted to University Putra Malaysia in Serdang, Malaysia.
Literally oceans apart. With 12 hours in between. We had come long enough to know that it would be okay. Then again, it must have been our major fight in the history of our friendship. Precisely about what, I no longer remember. Vaguely recalled that you wanted me to send you off, but it was orientation week. And.. I didn’t want to say goodbye. But it felt like we were pulling a rubber band at the time, and it just snapped.
I actually thought that was it. With all the miles apart and with this huge awkward unsettling feel we put in just when you were about to leave.
And yet again, issue resolved. Regardless of time difference and the distance. Life went on.
With both of us starting afresh in this brand new chapter of our lives, we fall quickly back to the habit that we don’t even bother keep a constant in touch. That contributes to hours of skypes every once in a while.
But you know what I love the most? It was when you first came back and we both had to agree that it didn’t feel like it. Like you were back. Because it didn’t feel like you were away in the first place. We have been trained before hand with you in Subang and me in Kajang.
I have always love to say that our friendship is matured. Like it’s an independent thing living on its own. It takes good care of itself. Doesn’t require much attention. But you know somehow, it has never ceased to grow.
And I want to tell you that it feels different now. Our friendship is our very own companion that we come to have. Within ourselves. Throughout the time we spent without the presence of the other, half a world apart, we don’t have to update each other immediately what happened. Or what’s happening.
But for me, some things simply do not feel final or a problem do not feel okay, not until I’ve told you.
I am the askhole. You know that very well. You’ve watched me fall. It’s not that you never warn me. It’s not that you never tried stopping me. But I never listen enough for my own benefit to walk away from things or people that I should. With all the flaws that made me for who I am, you never leave me behind.
Not as if it’s impossible. Not as if it’s hard. Even until this point, I still couldn’t fathom why or where went wrong that she would choose to completely cut off our friendship. In the way that she did. Sudden. Merciless, even. When I miss her, I’d still wonder; Why me? Was I really that busy to that certain extend that I neglected keeping in touch with her? But everyone was busy. She only chose to block me off.
Which made it known to me that a break up does not only happen between a couple. Your friends could break up with you too. And it hurts in a way so much worse than a relationship that involves romance. It’s possible.
Perhaps this year has been oddly hard. Your absence became prominent. I don’t know if I could say the same for you, but there were times I fervently wish that I could be there beside you physically not just virtually. Emotionally, it’s a prolonged roller coaster ride. A ride I have no idea how to get off. Mentally, it was a journey of self-doubt and discovery. When you put the two together, it’s an energy drainer.
And thus, this is another elaborated note of gratitude towards how glad to have you back. It feels different to have someone who always got your back to be back physically with you.
The kind of laughter we share. And the lameness we have in common. Funny how the photos of us only begin in 2009. What happened to 2007 and 2008? That was when social media wasn’t the hype and taking photo isn’t necessary.
I was wondering if we were a couple, 7 years of being together, does that mean we would get married soon? But then again, I came to a conclusion that we would certainly break up! Haha!
I am absurdly glad that some details of the memories we both share are slowly fading. Memories only fade when you continue building new ones together. You don’t hold on to memories when a relationship has yet to be history.
You’re not my best friend. Not when the concept of best friends could be so fragile or .. tainted. You’re more than just best friend.
Like what your mom said; we’ve been through thick and thin.
When your mom knows me well. When my sister knows your boyfriend too. When the smell of your house makes me feel equally at home. When I would easily send you up to my room to fetch some stuff.
You’re a family.
P/S: While we’re still in our early twenties, let’s get crazier.