I don’t keep myself busy enough, I think. And that’s why I think. Over-think.
In between cramming useless dates relevant to an English poet named Lord Byron who went to war and later died of a fever (1824), and calculating how many trees Grades I to XII of some school planted, I do take a break. I look around the same room I’ve been looking at for over 8 years now (okay, not the same, my mum did renovate in 2011) and maybe think things I’ve thought often before and maybe realize the dullest of facts.
The first thing my gaze wanders to is a Basket of Memories I keep in the corner of my table so I can look at it as often as possible. In fact, I’ve grown so used to seeing it that without it, my study table would look naked to me. Bare, empty. Just like my life would be without the people who made me that basket for my birthday, and a few more. They’re the ones I could rely on when I need them, the ones I just have to call or text or meet or hug to feel better. My love for them and their love for me is a fact. And you’re allowed to take facts for granted, right?
But.. Is that true? I know I think so right now; it feels permanent, unquestionable, dependable. But. Tenth grade is only end-of-boards away from getting over. Except I won’t just be done with another academic year- I’m losing a whole lot of people I spent the last 13 years (all) of my school life with. The worst thing is, half the people who won’t be back next year don’t even know they’re leaving yet. We didn’t say Goodbye to half the people we should’ve said it to. And when that hit me- and it hit me hard- I realised that these people who I wish would make my forever may end up not being a part of my forever. I remember a friend telling me how this girl was his best friend ‘back in the 7th grade’ and only now do I understand how scary it is that she isn’t anymore, because that could be us in say two years. I will become someone who was a ‘best friend back in the 10th grade’ to someone I can’t imagine life without.
The Facts will change.
I’d forgotten about how until three years ago, I’d been close to giving up on making close friends. Every year until three years ago, at least one friend made it a rule to leave my life, whether it was to Singapore or the States, a different city or just a different apartment. And the friend would always be one I thought was a Fact of my life, until they suddenly weren’t. I’d begun to think it wasn’t worth it. Since the last three years, it’s been different, I’ve found friends who hold me together with love and loyalty, who’ve taught me otherwise. I haven’t had to worry about losing people for so long, that this last day of 10th grade was like a nasty slap on the face and the idea that I’m going to have to face the same thing at a whole new level again after 12th grade, and after my years at college, and every time a job transfer occurs, or if I move out of my apartment, left me feeling so helpless, I cried about having to eventually leave people I haven’t even met yet. Just imagine. There are entire Facts whose existence I am not even aware of, and I was crying about them.
The whole universe is built up through love and the grief of separation is inescapable. Got it. Won’t forget it. But that doesn’t mean I love my friends less now just to shield myself from the void I know they’re going to create later. I am crazy about my closest friends and I’m lucky that they know that. I want to learn as much as I can while I still have the fortune to be their best friend. I want to be a ‘best friend back in the 10th grade’ they will only remember fondly.
And as I sit thinking these cheerless things, knowing fully well I could mope all day, I figure I could at least learn from the nerd best friend to study seriously for my boards or from the genius boy to create a perfect timetable and stick to my schedule, or from the one who’s really glad about having got his phone taken away to do the same, or from the senior to be a tad more optimistic about the finals.
Thank you for putting up with my gloomy musing, and good luck to the ones who need it, especially those who realized only recently that February has just 29 days.