I have a good friend since Primary 4.
Sometimes I wonder if the person can remain unchanging and guilelessly kind against the crashing of the tides and the fall of the pendulum, but then I would remember.
I remember the person being kind to me since my first day in a totally new environment in an alien school where I did not know anyone.
I remember the person giving me his own Chinese textbook when I didn’t bring mine, forcing him to share with another person.
I remember the person almost always being the first to apologize whenever we argued, and at that time, I had always thought that it was because I was right – I wasn’t. He was much more mature despite his innocence and he apologized first despite the fact that I was really just being a terrible, self-centered person like I had always been. Perhaps he understood that sometimes it wasn’t about being right or wrong.
I remember the person laughing and saving up his money just to buy me fries in primary school – one dollar, mind you, was a large amount at that time.
I also remember that the person would always be there for me when I was bullied, and I remembered myself always trying to interfere when he was bullied. That sort of made primary school days more bearable.
I remembered too, that the person has the funniest ways of cheering people up, by giving them fishes and water snails and shrimps (live!!) and also a guppy and a goldfish. However, I also remember that the person loved his food so much that he won’t offer me a second donut cookie despite my very not subtle hints like, “HEY THE DONUT IS GREAT! Where did you get them?”
In my memories, the person was sincerely the most tolerant, kind and compassionate individual I had met in primary school, despite the fact that he once tried to catch an earthworm with an oil filled plastic bag, on the basis that EARTHWORMS EAT OIL. (Earthworms eat sand! Not oil!)
Oh yes, the person has weird habits. Like being an absolute perfectionist (thank god he lost that), and being a stubborn OCD who checks under the table about ten times before going home, and forcing me to check it for him just to make sure that his eyes are not wrong. When I did, he would gleefully rush out of the classroom just to have me stamp my feet realizing that it was all a prank.
I always believed that no friendships can be maintained if you never even communicate in person for four years, but hey, it is strange yet awesome that we can talk like there was never a four year gap. Or that we have ever changed from our childhood selves.
There was no fear of criticism or judgments for being who I am when I speak to him, despite me becoming harsh, cynical and realistic. You realized he never judged anyone apart from jokingly, because he is such a darn good person that I doubt evil has ever entered his world.
So at times when I look at him and wonder how is it possible that he hasn’t changed from that kind person he once was while I have changed so so much; my paranoid self also wondered if it could ever be possible if he, like so many others, would be befriending me for utilitarian purposes. An excess of exposure to harshness has made me fearful, paranoid and skeptical.
Then I remember, he wouldn’t. Nor would it have mattered. You know that someone is a truly good friend when the person has been good to you not just in your best and most glamorous moments, but also stoically there with you in your worst and most pitiful moments and never looked at you with a discriminating eye.
You know, maybe, for this kind of friend, it is worth taking down your guards as well as a risk.
So, if you are reading this, and you know you are the person who made life bearable in primary school, thank you, sincerely and I will try to treat you better hehe. (Yeah I feel so guilty about being so bad.)