Hello, Goodbye

The people we passed by, the people we once knew, have you ever wondered where they are, what they are doing now? A close friend could now be a stranger you barely give a glance as you pass by each other on the street, too busy to notice the familiar face of someone you once loved. Likewise, an enemy could have very well be the one sitting next to you at school all the time. Have you ever laid in bed, browsing through folders and folders of rusty memories that you have come to cherish so well, and wonder, where is that boy who used to play tag with the girls all the time, who used to pick up food that had fallen onto the ground and eat it anyway? What about that classmate of yours who had crazy hair and made the funniest jokes in class? Are they still the same? Surely not. What are they doing now? How are they? You want to know, but you don’t know how. You have lost contact with them for months, and that’s not counting years yet. Then you realise, they’re gone. Just like a speck of dust landing on the tabletop, on the window sill, on your favourite novel, on your dog’s fur, they’re gone, gone with the wind, going where the wind brings them, and it is almost impossible to know where they are or how they are now.

Then there are those who have become people you barely recognise now. Photoshoots of them as teenage models, how could you have ever expected that? That innocent girl who was so shy and barely talked, now well-known as a model. Three years ago, would you have expected that boy who used to cry all the time in class to become a great badminton player? Or, looks-wise, would you have expected that buck tooth girl to transform into such a beautiful princess, the object of desire in her new environment? Everything is so unexpected. Changes happen too quickly.

Then there are the same old, same old. The best circle of friends with the best memories you would never ever give up on. The reminiscence, the road down the memory lane, the jokes and the teasing…all of them so wonderful and melancholic at the same time. I am still tricking myself into thinking, I’m still a part of my childhood. We aren’t any different from before, six, seven years ago. We aren’t any different from the Rugrats kids, or the kids from HeyArnold! But we will be, eventually, and this is the precipice where we stand, so fragile, the only discrete bond connecting us being determination and desperation. Two more years, this year and the next. Two more years, I’ll give myself that period of time to savour the moments I spend with those I call my friends. And then we’ll have to go our separate ways. I don’t know why, but all of a sudden that last scene from High School Musical 3 popped up in my mind, when everyone was graduating, going their own ways. There is a kind of bitterness of leaving the comfort of the norm of our lives to go out there, but we all have to do it eventually.

I cherish the memories I have and will build a fort out of it, thus when the dark days fall upon me I’ll know where to crawl to.

♫This is my Hello, Goodbye to all of you.

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Author: Michelle Teoh

23-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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