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Friends by Chere See

People always say friends will come and go - few will last. Yet as a 12-year old, I refused to believe it. As my friends and I spent day after day talking and laughing, enjoying each other's company, it seemed like we would stay that close forever.
That year was the year that all those born in 1988 were to take the Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE). It was the national exam that we feared and dreaded. I can still remember how all of us grew closer in the time of stress and worries. We spent much of the early part of the year discussing how scared we were about the exam. How we were afraid that we might be split up into different secondary schools.

As the year progressed, such talks soon became ones where we were each other's confidants as we unloaded our burdens onto each other. I still remember talking to my friends about how I was struggling to cope with my mountain of schoolwork and understanding the material taught. Still, we had much fun talking about things outside of school such as movies and popstars and so on. We were already thinking about what we were going to do for our post-PSLE celebration.

Well, the PSLE came and went. We were still worried about it to some extent but we knew that it was over and we could not do anything about it. We instead had as much fun as we could, that being the last month of our Primary School lives. We had so much fun as the school had planned many activities that might seem quite silly but were really tremendously fun. The year came to an end with a school Prom Noon. That day, we danced and ate and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. We took many pictures to commemorate that day. At the end of the Prom Noon, all of us P6's stood in a circle as we sang 'Graduation' I could see a few of my friends crying and I myself was starting to tear. I had never felt so united with my friends.

The day came when the PSLE results were released. That morning was spent with us huddling in groups being totally paranoid. The hour of reckoning soon came. A few of my closest friend were among the top 10 in the school. I was thrilled for their sake but I just could not get rid of the fear that I had for my own results. We went to class and one by one my friends went up to the front to collect their result slips. Some of them screamed with delight at their marks while others smiled as their marks were pretty good but they knew that they could have done much better. I am not embarrassed to say that I was one of those who jumped and screamed. However, the excitement and joy soon wore off by the end of the day. Realistically, I knew that while I would most possibly be able to get into the school of my choice, some of my friends might not have that luxury. I could not stand the idea of losing any of them. Not one. During that month of waiting for the posting results, I lived in agony of losing my best friends. After a while, I began to question the probability of my own self, being able to get into that school. All this worrying came to an end at the release of the posting results. I managed to get into that school, as did most of my friends. My prayers had been answered as the school had decided to open another class due to the baby boom in 1988. However, the joy of having so many friends go with me to the same secondary school was marred by the fact that my second best friend was not able to do so. I realised that things would not be the same even with only one of them gone.

However, I was determined to make the friendship last. I was sure that this friendship would not disappear just because we would not see each other very often. We would not be like others whose friendships had not lasted due to them being split up into different schools. Therefore we still met up during the holidays but there was still a sense of loss in the knowledge that things would be different.

School started this year, with my friend going to NYGH while I came here to RGS. In the first week, I missed my friend terribly. Her as well as my other close friends. I realised the little things that she used to do for me and how I missed them. When I first saw her after school reopened, I greeted her with a hug, conveying how much I had missed her. I thought that the pain in my heart would continue as my secondary school life continued.

The remaining days flew by and Term 1 was over in a flash. I still talked to my friend often on the phone or over the Internet. During the holidays, my other friend and I each celebrated our birthdays. We had as much fun as the old times and I had grown confident that our friendship would overcome this time of separation.

The holidays ended and we went back to our separate schools. She said that she would pass me my present on my actual birthday, the second week on term 2. That day has come, today is my 13th birthday. My friend, together with my other best friend, gave me a framed photo collage with photos dating back to our Primary 4 days up to those taken at my birthday party this year. When I saw it, all those memories came back to me as I remembered the fun times we shared. Holding that collage, I felt so close to that friend, so much so that I realised that in this week, I have drifted away from her. I finally realise that it is impossible for our friendship to remain the same. Friendships will change with time and we cannot prevent this. However, I am determined not to lose this friendship. Therefore, today when I get home, I will give this friend a call and thank her for the present and have a real talk to her.

Friendships do not remain constant, but if you try hard enough, the will not fade and will remain forever.