7 Years of Friendship

Year 1

"Erm…you are from my class right?" Yeesh, she looks just as confused as I am, we have similarities!

"…yeah…" Why is this weirdo talking to me?

"Oh! Ok! Me too!!" Yay, a new friend!

"Ah…I know." Didn't she just imply that we were from the same class? What a weirdo.

"Oh. Er, so hi! My name is Annabelle, what's yours?" A new friend, a new friend!

"I'm Ivy." I think I am going to regret this.

"Okay, hello Ivy!" Hah, Annabelle and Ivy, Ivy and Annabelle, what a nice ring to it!

"…hi." This is so tiring, why is she so happy?

"Great! Now that we know each other…you are going to be my best friend!! I am never going to leave you!"

"Huh? Best- what?!" She's crazy!

Grin.

"Best friends, Ivy! That's what we are gonna be! I am gonna stick shamelessly to you like glue; and nothing on earth is going to pull me away from you. Hah, that rhymes!"

Blink.

"…erm…okay…"

What have I gotten myself into?


Year 2

"Go to the library with me?"

"No."

"Please?"

"No."

"Why?"

"Because I want to go home to watch the telly."

"But…but…you have a VCR don't you?"

"Still no."

"But-"

"No."

"Ivy, you are so mean! Why do you want to go home so early? It's so boring at home! It's only past noon. Please?"

"I want to watch my TV."

"But there's nothing on now!"

"You are wrong. There's always something to watch."

"But-"

"No! I don't want to stay in the library for four hours to watch you look at your romance novels, you pervert!"

Scowl.

"Pervert?! What pervert! What do you have against romance novels anyway? I always skip the sex scenes, I will have you know."

"Hmmph. So you say."

"It's true! And stop changing the subject, you are going to the library with me and that's final!"

"No."

Silence.

Then, "And you can't make me."

"Iiiiiiivvvvvvvvvvvvyyyyyyyyyyyyyy………..Don't be so mean!!!"

"You are the one who's mean! I don't want to go, stop forcing me!!"

"Pleeeeaaaassseeeeeee?" Cue puppy eyes. "I don't wanna go to the library alone!"

Annoyed look.

"No. And stop pulling my bag, I don't want to go and that's final."

"But Ivy-"

"No! And stop dragging me by my bag!"

"But-but-"

"I'm warning you, Annabelle, let go of my bag now! Before it snaps-"

Riiiiiipppp.

Long silence.

"Annabelle."

"Eh…eheh…sorry?"

"My bag!"

"Uh…It can be fixed back, right?"

Glare.

"The strap is broken into two, Einstein. How do you fix that back?"

"…sorry…"

Exasperation.

"Arrgh. I'm not going to be bothered with you anymore. Quit irritating me!"

A very small, "Ok."

A blissfully silent walk to the bus stop.

Then, "Ivy?"

A long sigh.

"What?"

"Are you really sure that you don't want to go to the library with me?"

"Annabelle."

"Yes?"

"Do you want to die?"


Year 3

"Ivy, I think that we are drifting apart."

Incredulous look.

"We are not drifting apart, idiot. We are just in different classes."

"Yeah, I know! But you finish so early most of the time and I finish so late, and I don't get to see you anymore. I miss Ivy!!!" Cue teary eyes.

Exasperated eye roll.

"This wouldn't happen if you didn't insist on joining the best class in school, you know."

Sigh.

"Yeah, I know. But my mom wants me to get in. It's kinda stressful there, and everyone backstabs the other at the first opportunity. I don't like it there at all, and I miss Ivy!!"

"Arrgh, quit acting like you haven't seen me for years. You still do see me everyday, you know."

"But just passing glances and things like that. I want more, I want to be able to gossip together in class and laugh at other people's lame jokes and do everything like we used to!"

"You are still doing that, you know that right? You butt into my classroom so often that all my classmates see you as one of ours already."

Wry grin.

"Yeah, I always go to your class, but you never come to mine. Sometimes I feel like I am the one making all the effort to maintain this friendship."

Sideways look. Long sigh.

"I don't like your classmates; that's why I don't go to your class."

Sad grin.

"Yeah, I know. They are kinda snotty aren't they?"

"Hmmph. At least you are not like them."

"Haha. I will take that as a compliment. I think."

Mock frown.

"You are so troublesome."

"Thank you, thank you very much."

Rolls eyes.

"Whatever. What time does your class ends today anyway?"

"…5. You end at 2, right?"

"Yeah." Muted grumbles. "I will wait for you."

Hopeful glance.

"Really?"

"No, I am lying just to see that silly look on your face. What do you think?"

"Ahahaha…Ivy won't be so mean, right? You are really going to wait so that we can go home together, right?"

"…yeah. So go back to your class now before I change my mind. Your incessant chattering is irritating my classmates."

"I'm not! I will have you know that they like me very much- Oh hi, teacher!!"

Frantic waving.

"An-na-belle…"

"Haha, don't give me that scary look, Ivy. I'm leaving now ok? See you later!"


Year 4

"Hey, so you want to go to a polytechnic or a junior college?"

"I don't know. If I go to a junior college I will have to take arts. What about you?"

"Huh. My parents want me to go to a junior college. Taking Biology, Chemistry and Maths."

"Well, your grades are certainly good enough to take science. Unlike me. Maybe I will go to a poly instead."

"What are you going to take there then?"

"I dunno. My brother recommends Aerospace Electronics. Aviation industry."

"Wow. That sounds so cool! Unlike boring science! I want in too!"

Pause.

"What?!"

Blinks.

"Aerospace Electronics sounds really interesting. If you go, I wanna go too!"

"But you can go to a good JC, why do you want to go to a poly for?"

Cheerful shrug. "But I don't wanna go to a JC if you are not going. There will be nobody to help me de-stress afterwards, and I am going to miss Ivy sooooo much!!" Teary eyes. "Then Ivy is going to meet so many new and interesting people in poly and forget about me…."

Disgruntled frown.

"Can you quit talking to me in third person? And trust me, you are definitely staying in my memories for a long, long time…it's kinda hard to forget someone like you anyway, and what about your parents?"

Determined glint.

"My parents…I think that they will understand. Besides, they have guided me for sixteen years already! It's time I choose my own path, right?"

Disbelieving snort.

"You are such a Daddy's girl. I bet that you would get lost while 'choosing your own path'.

Sunny grin.

"That's why I got you, Ivy! Mom always says that you are a lot more sensible than me…"

"Hmmph. That's because you are always so frivolous and never think before you act."

"Haha. Yeah, I will admit that. But you are here; you balance me out. You are my voice of reason, sort of. Besides, haven't I warned you the first day we met? I'm sticking to you forever and ever!!!"

"Hmmph. Not if I have a say in it. Get far away from me woman, I don't want you."

"Ivy!!!"


Year 5

"Soooo….where are we going for dinner tonight?"

"I don't know. You decide."

"Huh. I'm not sure what I want too. There are so many shops here; what do you feel like eating?"

"I don't know. Anything is fine."

Exasperated look.

"Ivy! There is no such thing as 'anything' on the menus here!"

"Exactly. So you have to choose."

"But why do I have to be the one to do the choosing every time we eat out?"

Roll eyes.

"Because, unlike you, I am not very picky about what I eat."

"Hey! I resent that! Are you implying that I'm spoilt?"

Smirk.

"I think that's a universal fact already, Annabelle."

Narrowed eyes.

"Ivvvvyyyyyy!!! How come you are so mean?! And I'm so hungry!! Choose something!!"

"Anything is fine. You choose."

Growl.

"I don't care! Today I am going to break tradition! I'm going to force Ivy to choose!"

Amused grin.

"May I remind you that you have been trying for a long time already and have never succeeded yet?"

Glare.

"I shall prevail this time, never fear!! Bwahahahahahah!!"

"…"

"So! What do you feel like eating? Fast food? Chinese? Coffee Bean? Pasta? Restaurants? Marche?"

"I don't know. You choose."

"Ivy! You choose!"

"No. You choose."

"No. You choose."

"No. You."

"No. You!"

"You."

"You."

"You."

"You. Look, we can stand here and do this all day. I really have no preferences. Anything is okay, unless it is too expensive."

"But that's still a very wide range! Can't you choose for once, pleeeaaasseee?"

"Annabelle. What do you feel like eating today? We will just go there."

Glare.

"I feel like hugging your legs and biting you right now. Can I do that?"

Pointed look.

"We can stand here blocking other people's way while discussing this and you are going to go hungry even longer, or you can cut short your self-imposed torture and we can go get something and eat already."

Squinty-glare.

"I hate you."

"Yeah, whatever. So where to?"

Gusty sigh. Grumble.

"So many choices…You are so mean to make me choose all the time. I think I am going to die early from all this unnecessary stress…erm…I feel like eating the fries from Long John Silver's though…"

Smug look.

"That wasn't so hard, was it?"

Sour glance.

"Ivy! I will succeed in wheedling you to choosing one day! Just you wait! I won't give up until I get what I want! Bwahahahaha!"

Odd look.

"What's with that evil laughter?"

"Huh. I don't know. I am very hungry, you know. Yosh! Let's go get those fries now! There's this very hot packet of potatoes with my name on it!"

"…idiot."


Year 6

"Hey, do you think that I'm fat?"

Incredulous look.

"No. You are so skinny already. Why?"

"I don't know. I want to slim down more. I am fifty-two kg now, I want to hit forty-five!"

Quiet glance.

"You really are very slim now, you know?"

Cheerful smile. "Yeah, but I want to see how far I can go!" Yawn. "…but I don't know why though…I get so tired and sleepy all the time now…"

"That wouldn't happen if you actually ate something once in a while."

"Hey! I do eat!"

"Yes. Only fruits and the such. What are you, a hamster?"

"No…but for everything you want, you have to give back something else."

"Don't you feel yourself getting sick more often? And if you actually ate properly you wouldn't feel cold all the time in school."

"That's true. But I just want to know how it feels like to be that skinny. After being overweight for so long, this is like an entirely new territory for me to explore, and I am very curious!"

Rolls eyes.

"What you are doing is unhealthy. The vomiting and the extreme dieting. You know that."

Frown.

"Yeah. But I stopped the vomiting thingy already, I promise!"

"Whatever. Just don't do anything foolish."

Grin.

"Of course! I would never do anything stupid!"

"Hmmph." You already do.

Long silence, then

"And Ivy?"

"Yes?"

"Thanks for caring enough."


Year 7

"I can't believe you skipped school for one whole semester."

"Hey, it wasn't on purpose! I had pneumonia! Viral pneumonia. It was sheer hell, you know. And I would have preferred to come to school if I could."

"Yeah. The lab technician told us about your sickness."

"Huh?! How did he know?!"

Wry look.

"The gossip vines here are very alive, thank you very much. Turned out that the lecturer who called you to enquire about your absence told another lecturer who told another who told the lab tech. Then he told us, or rather, the entire Aerospace cohort who wanted to know or bothered enough to listen."

Surprised look.

"Oh. I didn't know that my sudden disappearance from school was such fodder for gossip."

Exasperated sideways glance.

"You just said it yourself. You disappeared suddenly from school. No explanation, no anything. Of course people would be wondering what the heck was going on."

"Oh."

Long silence. Then,

"You are my bestest friend in the world, Ivy. I'm sorry that you had to find out this way." Fidgets about awkwardly. "It's just that I didn't want you to…worry too much. And…er…I don't want you to see me at my worst. Foolish pride, I suppose, but you are my best friend and your opinion matters the most…Are you mad at me?"

"No…"

Hopeful look.

"Really?"

Rolls eyes.

"Yes. Really."

Relieved sigh.

"Phew. Ok. I was really worried there for a moment. For all its worth, I will not keep things like that from you ever again, though I sincerely hope that I would never get as sick as I did. It really was hell, Ivy. The hospitalization and everything."

"Hmmph. You are always so weak. Weakling!"

"Hey!!!"


Present/Future

"Ivy, what are we going to do after we graduate from polytechnic? What are you going to do? Sign bond with SIA? Continue studying in the university? Join the Air Force?"

"Hmm. I am not sure actually…"

Sigh.

"Yeah, that's what I thought. I have no idea what I want to do either."

"My brother says that it's going to be very hard to find a good job next time, so the best option would be to go to the University."

"Huh. But we are about to come out from three years of hellish lectures and final year projects and attachments! You want to throw yourself back into that again? So soon?"

"Then what else? Try SIA? You might want to go in but they may not want you."

"Huh. You are right. So what are we going to do?"

"Dunno."

Long sigh.

"This is so stressful, and we aren't even going to work yet. I don't want to grow up!"

Exasperated stare.

"That's not funny."

Indignant glare.

"I wasn't trying to be funny! Things were so much easier when we were young and ignorant and could not wait to grow up! Now we have to make so many decisions that I get tired just thinking of them."

"That's why it's called 'growing up', you goon."

Longer sigh.

"I know…"

Silence. Then,

"I know! Ivy, I know what we can do already!" Jumps up and down excitedly.

"What?"

"Let's just forget all about our hard-earned diplomas in Aerospace Electronics aaaannnnnddddd…"

"…"

"…and?"

Grins.

"And eke out a living cleaning public toilets!!"

"…..."

"Annabelle."

"What? Not a good idea?"

"Do you want to die?"


Seven years, Ivy, and still going strong eh?

May our friendship last for as long as we both want it to be. If it was just me I know that I would be selfish and wish for forever, as corny as it sounds. Happy New Year my friend, I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for us.

Love,

Anna

Monday, January 1, 2007