Remembering a good friend, giving her a call, getting reconnected with each other, translated…
Back in middle school, every time I’d gone to a friend’s house, she’d always stuffed things into my backpack. Mostly, they were cookies, or candies; the most impressive time was when she’d stuffed that packed up lunch into my backpack! She’d always stuffed the items into my backpack secretively, thinking I wouldn’t know it.
Once, it was, time for me to head home, I’d picked up my deformed backpacks, quickly put my hand into it, and, pulled out TWO super-sized apples, more expensive than TWO packed lunches, I’d hollered out to her, “Are you serious?”
best friends from middle school…NOT my photo…
I’d never turned her kindness down, because I’d treated her like she was, my very best friend. It’s just, even until now, I still can’t quite figure out, why it is, that she’d always, stuffed things into my backpack.
After we took our separate entrance exams for high school, we’d moved away from each other, due to the environmental changes we were faced with. I’d gone farther away to school, while she’d stayed closer to home. From being young and naïve to aged and more weathered, from home to the distant lands, over decades had come to pass, all the time that’s passed, made me forget about her name, and all that remained of my memories of her, was that huge red apple.
These past two years, I’d moved back to my hometown, found a house to set it up as my workshop. After I’d settled down, I’d passed through that parking lot at the end of the street, and, the past memories that’s already misplaced, all came back—this empty lot before me, was it where her home used to be? And so, I’d asked my landlord about it, and he’d told me.
And, don’t know why, but my landlord was keener to find her than I was, immediately, he’d taken out his categorized business card folder, “I’d printed out every single one of them in this community, I have confidence, to find her for you!”, before his voice finished, I recalled her name, and, my middle school years became defrosted from that five by seven photo frame, and, her figure became, clearer, she’d passed through this tunnel of time, toward me now.
the way we were…NOT my photo…
“Found it!”, the landlord recited a series of number aloud, and, started dialing like I wasn’t even there. I was so unprepared, and panickily, grabbed my own hair, but, my hand took the phones.
“Hello, is so-and-so there?”
“This is she.”
“Uh…I went to the same middle school as you.”
“I really do know.”
“I’d moved back, I want to see you. I’m close to your former residence!”
“Oh, but I’m really busy.”
“I never changed, and worked at the same office for twenty years, it’ll be easy for you to come find me, it would be hard, for me to find you, I suppose? But, I really don’t have the time, I’d needed to go to the hospitals to look after my father morning and evening, or that I’m rushing off to work, I can’t even find the spare time to go to the bathrooms, and the most important thing when I get home is to sleep. I really need to sleep.”
I’d stuttered and told her goodnight, hung up the phone. Felt those knots inside of my body, very tangled, felt, that I should, NEVER intrude on her precious time to sleep, to have her accompany me.
Turns out, the years that were, so carelessly spent away by me, my neglecting to catch up with her, as I’d found it, it’d become, an extravagance already, and now, she’d been baptized by time, turned into a strong woman, no longer was she, that tiny-voiced middle school classmate who’d pulled and tugged on my shirt sleeves any longer………
after the years…
I’d become, lost in deep thought. And yet, five minutes later, a message came from my cell, “So glad you’d thought of me, I miss you too.” Then, there was that rabbit, holding the hands of a girl with bangs, turning around in circles picture.
The surges of warmth overcame me, as I’d pinched onto the number I got from my landlord, I’d thought, the next time, I shall, take advantage of the conversation. Ah! I’ll start by asking her, “hey, why do you always stuff the goodies into my backpack!” as a conversation starter then.
So, this, is the kindness that you were shown, in your younger years, and, this other girl, your classmate learned that your family economics isn’t that well, and so, she’d stuffed those items to make your life easier, and, you’d kept that in mind, and now, you two had finally, reconnected, there’s, a lot of catching up to do, because so many things happened while you two were separated…