Do you have a best friend who’s now gone or now living far away? Do you miss him/her/it/them?
I once had a best friend, or at least, I considered her my best friend. We were in the same class from primary 1 to 4. We always hung out during recess, even after we got separated into different classes.
Sounds sweet, doesn’t it? But she was always jealous that I scored way better grades than she did. I was obviously the smarter kid.
Her mother disliked me since day 1, calling me a bad example. But I was a good kid. I got close to full marks for every exam.
Tbh my friend was the true bad example. Even at 8, she uses profanities and always spreads rumours about the smart kids, sometimes even me. But I stupidly still called her a friend.
Sometimes, I would help her in her studies. When we underwent streaming in P5, I was allocated to 5A, the top class, what people would call an “elite” class. And as much as I wished she would join me, she went to 6E, the fifth and “average” class.
It was June 2017 when I finally opened my eyes, and saw how different I was from her and how much she didn’t like me.
In school uniform, I was doing street sales and saw her. I was delighted. I greeted her and asked if she could donate. She gave me a dirty look and said “no” which didn’t make any sense at all. She was with a friend then. Was she ashamed of me? Did she despise me?
That day, I learnt that she was in a neighbourhood school, which means she didn’t score well for PSLE. Meanwhile, I was in an “elite” secondary school in Singapore, scoring a good 266 for PSLE, receiving a scholarship and having a direct path to an “elite” junior college in Singapore. She became the pride of the family.
That day, I learnt that she never truly regarded me as a friend. But I still regard her as my friend. And the poorer girl got a better and easier path in life.
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