How you went from being the bully of an outcast of the class, to siding with her, becoming her best friend, translated…
Before Christmas, my good friend, Yu-Jeng sent a surprise to me, it was her own handmade mistletoe wreath. With the card in the box that it came in, with the words, “Hope the warmth of the symbols from this keep illuminating both our hearts.” As I read how delicate her handwriting, which hadn’t changed for years, I’d found, that this woman seemed to have forgotten, that twenty years earlier, she’d already, shone that light on my life already.
I met Yu-Jeng when I was only twelve. Back then, my behaviors were, foolish, and I’d, had, many enemies in my classes in middle school, and, a group of girls, sent her to undercover to act as my friend, to get the intel on me, so they can, take advantage of me, and, just as they’d expected, being outcast by the class, I’d, quickly become, besties with Yu-Jeng; it’s just, that the “enemies” not long after we were friends, sent out the message of how she was, an “undercover spy”, to attempt to get Yu-Jeng to become loyal to the group again, and gain my trust in them.
As I’d, heard these rumors, I’d not prodded Yu-Jeng for the truth, perhaps, it’s how I’d turned, after being victimized by bullies too long, I’d, gone soft, we became friends, and, if the affinity is there, then, we shall stay friends, and if not, then, no big deal. And, a few days later, Yu-Jeng pulled me into the girls’ bathroom, and, told me everything, and, the summation of what she said was this: “Compared to you, I think, they’re, the weird bunch!”
And so, I’d, turned the undercover. And, for the days that followed, Yu-Jeng stood up, fearlessly, against the pressures of our peers, and, stood by my side, we’d, turned in our, group work reports, run the laps together for P.E., solved the equations in math together, eating all our lunches for the three years of middle school together. She’d not even 150 centimeters in height, and, as the wind blew too hard on the days of the typhoons, the wind was, carrying her off, and yet, in that, tiny frame of hers, there’s, enormous, courage to stand up for me against her peers, no matter how thick the smoke, how hard the cannons, the gun fires came towards me, she’d always, stood, shoulder-to-shoulder with me. Those days of, being an outcast, being singled out, it was her, who’d, illuminated, my memories.
After the generalized exams of our third year, I’d, tested into the academic track, she, into the community college high school programs. During those years without the communication apps, every day before our birthdays we’d, texted to one another to meet up, then, I’d, entered into university from high school, married after graduation, become a full-time housewife, she’d tested into the university from her community college track, started working at a firm, then, switched tracks, then, entered into marriage. The reality may have, baptized us of that wildness of our youths, but, these sorts of deep connections, became ever the more precious as the years pass by. These couple of years, because how busy I had been, I’d lost track with a lot of my old friends, and, even if as I was too busy, too stressed, Yu-Jeng would still remember me for me, when I felt too tired to carry on, she’d, sent me a text of encouragement, or a gift.
Up to here, I’d, picked up that wreath she’d sent to me——the light scent of cinnamon, lowkey, but, awakening, just like the small-framed woman, seemingly cold and aloof, after getting along long enough, there’s that flow of warmth from her. Even as twenty years had flown by us, she’d still, stubbornly, looked after my heart, like that source of stable light, pulled me back as I was about to fall. I’m too blessed, to have a friend who knows when I’m weakened by my own trials of life, who’s willing to, give me a hand to help pull me up.
And so, this, is how the depth of connection from your school years lasted until you are both adults, and, because yoiu broke out of the “norm” of your clique, and started, standing by the outcast who’d become, your close friend and confidant, and because of those earlier years of comradery, that’s why the two of you are still, connecting with one another to this very day.
Friends for L-I-F-E here is what you’d made!