I was gonna actually write a post about the shit people we don’t need in our lives, but I took a step back and felt that I should, instead, honour the people I treasure.
We met 17 years ago. We were two new students in class. I had another best friend from age 12, but that didn’t work out, and one day in Malay class (she sat beside me but she didn’t take Malay), I asked if she would be okay if I spent recess with her sometimes. She gave me an enthusiastic ‘Of course!’ and we had been recess buddies since then.
I had a massive crush on this Malay guy in class, and we were all gonna go hang out at Syafiqah’s flat one day. I stayed one block away, and I went home to change. Nini would have been at Syafiqah’s first, and judging by how longkang kids’ mouths could be, I expected to be teased for having a crush on my classmate when I eventually sat foot at Syafiqah’s. But because Nini Chaiyanara was, and is, not mulut longkang, nobody knew about my embarrassing massive crush.
Until today she is the only person (aside from John) that I could be honest about everything happening in my life. She was there during my good days, and more during my bad days.
When my mom died, she came over a few days after that. We hadn’t spoken in two years. We sat at McDonald’s and I teased her that I would be milking my mom’s death for all it was worth. With absolute no hesitation, she said ‘Okay!’ I haven’t pulled that card out yet, but whenever I feel sad about my mom these days, I reach out to her and she is there.
We loveddddd the same music. I always tease her about The Weeknd. I used to like his songs when he first started out (when he was known as The Weekday, and no she did not appreciate that joke).
Her love is like no other. This was the kid who went to rugby seven games with me, she would call people I hated ‘fat’ just to show solidarity, she would always get me munchies even now when we are 30, she knew I was (still am) a fat ass and always needed something to chew. She experimented with makeup on me, she told me to put down that damn Archie comic I am talking to you! She taught me how to eat Indian food. How to appreciate pasta. Shared her breakfast sandwich with me in class. We mixed drinks in my bedroom before clubbing. We were underaged but she would tell me to scoot so she could buy us the forbidden fruit. Copied off her Chemistry test papers. Got As on them.
She wiped my tears whenever I felt the entire world came crumbling down. About jobs. About my mom. About boyfriends. When I got beaten up by that loser, I appeared at her flat. I couldn’t reach her. She opened the door. Gave me a hug. She was nauseated. Heavily pregnant. Of course she gave me an earful about him after that. ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’ Made me stay for dinner. She always made me stay for dinner.
Her love is very fierce. It is a lot. She could choose to not love me because everyone knows I am a piece of shit sometimes, but she never cared about all that.
We text constantly. I think our texts have never ended.
She always motivates me. But she is fierce about certain things so I appreciate her keeping me grounded.
Sorry for always being a piece of shit. I love you always and forever. 😘