In Singapore, kids go to different secondary schools after spending their 6 years in the mandatory primary school education. I was posted to Bukit View Secondary School.
I was about 12 years old then and was just adjusting to the new environment. I was a very quiet and shy person then. I was very awkward at trying to strike conversations with strangers and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever had friends in this strange, new world.
I dont remember how we met, but as far as I remembered, while in class, we found ourselves to form our little groups with the people that we were comfortable with. Jamaliah, the smart one, Surina, the arty one, Haslina, the pretty one, Nur, the leader and me.
We spent years together in school, being serious in school and having fun at the same time. And though we went to different classes in our third year due to streaming, we still met up by the school bookshop, just to spend time chatting with each other. We were more than sisters. We were the “bookshop girls”.
After our secondary education, most of us went to different places to pursue our interest. Jamaliah, Haslina and Surina went to the polytechnic path, I went off to Jurong Institute, and Nur decided to start working.
We still kept in contact and try to meet up once a year during hari raya. Though admittedly, because of different factors, I could not meet up at some events and I’ve been neglecting them a bit.
Some months ago, I had a friendster request by Nur, and then Haslina. I was quite surprised. I never thought that they’d use friendster, but it was another way of communicating, and I poured over their pictures that they have posted up which showed a little peek of their side of their life.
Recently, Haslina invited me to her wedding. Me, Jamaliah and Nur went to her wedding. (su could’nt make it as her father was ill) and I saw how radiant she looked in her bridal dress. She was so beautiful, calm and collected. She looked down at her new husband, as the kadi was reading the solemnisation. And she smiled that familiar smile of hers.
I was so happy for her. It was as if time just stopped and for a moment and we were back in school again.
Some things never change.