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she asked me “what is it that you are afraid of?” and it takes me a while to gather my thoughts. i answered “the distance” in the end because those two words seem to sum everything up neatly. i am afraid of the time difference, the lack of communication, being abandoned, being forgotten and the absence of: feeling his skin on my fingertips, playing with his hair and ruffling it up, warm hugs, having a physical presence, coming back after a long day to see his face. so i feel myself building up walls of misery and i shut everybody out. now, i get a head start on being comfortable with the loneliness and this is a crash course of being abandoned 101. i feel miserable but at the very least, i am no longer a prisoner to dependency.

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it has been a while since i have last seen your face. i behave exactly the way i have rehearsed in my mind should i see you again; i avoid you. you are wearing a green checkered polo and jeans and all this feels familiar. you have put on a surprising amount of weight and it looks good on you. and then you react in a completely different way from what i expect; you are confrontational. i hear the apology that i have long given up on hearing and finally that chapter has came to a proper close.

but my eyes open and his face is the first thing i see. i hear the words but it isn’t registering. it takes me a few moments to get up, forget and go. and when we get into the car, i remember. for the first time, i tell him and i allow my vulnerability to show. i am honest but it is a half truth. the other half i don’t allow myself to say aloud is that your ghost is still on my shoulders.

i don’t need a while or three days. i already know the flaws in my defense mechanism and why it even exists. i watched him walk away thrice whenever reality started to set in. it really isn’t that easy. managing insecurities, disappointment, miscommunication or hurt. and i have seen and felt the loss, every damn time he decided to take the easy way out and leave. and i know that he is he and that you are you. but i am afraid of ever letting anybody destroy me that way again. so i created this idealistic version of myself: charmaine version 2.0. and with time, i became more comfortable with being alone, being able to fall asleep and not waking up feeling like death, i built up fortresses around myself with reminders of never to be the person i used to be. and then i met you. and slowly i allowed myself to love wholeheartedly but i slip into the cracks of my previous self. and i am 22 this year but i am still a child. i push you away and i let thoughts revolving around “this isn’t working out” to consume me because i want to see if you will leave. and as for tonight, you stayed. but you are making a mistake.

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there are many firsts in this post, even before a full sentence has been completely typed out. it has been a long time since i’ve told anybody about this wordpress (no m, you don’t count haha) and it has been an even longer time since i’ve put a photo that has my face in it. so today is barely three days into 2015 and this means that the archive bar on the right is just going to get longer. which is kind of amazing because i started this in 2011 and i never thought i would still be writing (also, wordpress you shouldn’t have changed the dashboard. it’s so confusing and i hate it. best regards, your loyal supporter of coming 4 years.)

i managed to digress…. which is something that is clearly seen in 98% of the posts here.

so. today is barely three days into 2015 and a good friend (no questions who) has left for UK to study. this is the second close friend to leave and coincidentally, both of them were the two main pillars of support for me back in 2011. all the more it cuts deeper, i feel even more than the last farewell in 2012. there are so many things that i wanted to write in that card, many things that i feel more comfortable putting down in words instead of expressing them. and this is how our friendship has always worked; less expressions in person, more actions behind the scenes.

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i hope you know that i am truly appreciative and grateful to have you as a friend. admittedly, i would have never guessed (and i’m sure you would agree on this too) that we would become closer. if there was anybody that i would have really wanted to have stayed back in J1 with, it would have been rachel. i think at the start when i heard that you retained, it neither resulted in feelings of happiness or… sian-ness but perhaps relief that i wasn’t alone, that at the very least i had a familiar face in a sea of unfamiliar ones. and so that’s how we even became friends because before that we really were just classmates (although you hardly came to class hahaha) or acquaintances.

actually we only got closer after the volunteering work experience because we were forced into a room with four or five other people from the arts class. wasn’t that a defining awkward moment hahaha and then slowly as we went out for lunch breaks, took turns to wait for each other at paya lebar mrt, bought mr bean, it got easier to open up and i even shared with you about the cold war i had with my then boyfriend. subsequently when we broke up, you were the first person – strangely enough because it seemed that i should have told my best friend – that i told. i will never forget the patience you showed. how i would call you at the most random times – weeks after our work experience ended – because the loneliness and heartbreak was eating me alive and i couldn’t even stand being in my own bedroom alone. i really just needed someone to talk to, to express the most mundane, possessive, clingy and immature of thoughts. and for somebody that i had only gotten close to in a span of two months, you really endured a lot of shit. it really wasn’t my finest moment, but you really stuck by me. and i will always remember that. always.

then after that passed, even when it seemed then during the first two weeks that i would never get over it, eventually i did. and even when he and i had a year and two months of trying to make amends, you and i both knew how unhealthy it was, but i have never felt that you judged my decisions. i remember how you did ask me a few times whether i was okay or how things were and even if you did secretly judge my decisions (because honestly in retrospect, the decisions i made back then were very questionable) i really only felt that you were concerned. and i want to thank you for that.

if you are reading this, it means that you’re in UK already, i hope it was an easy 14 hour flight, i hope that your accommodation has worked out well for you, that you’ll be able to find all the necessary things to buy to settle in before your lessons start and that you’ll even be able to find non-straight cut t-shirts from primark hahahaha. while i feel this secondhand excitement for your new journey in life, it’s also pretty scary because it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s 2015. all the trips down memory lane (and that’s not even all) that i have mentioned in the paragraphs above don’t really feel like they happened more than a year ago.

so. thank you for being a tuition buddy, for travelling all the way to kovan and back to clementi, sitting through les miserables in the cinema for 3 solid hours and laughing at the most inappropriate parts, study buddy in sajc’s canteen when you showed up for school, study buddy at farrer park and even JURONG EAST LIBRARY when you didn’t show up in school, having an ogle fest at hot girls and taking turns to whisper to each other “eh that girl chio sia”, your ancient hard disk filled with ten good seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, making fun of each other, mostly you making fun of how much i can eat……. this is already such a disgustingly cheesy post and i welcome all judgement but i have to culminate all the cheesiness into this phrase: thank you for being an amazing friend.

and i know that our friendship has never been the emotional or ~~~close~~~~ type. definition: freely expressing gratitude or cheesiness hahaha. and i have always liked that. as i walked into the train that day after we had a good meet up of: sad ramen, sad lava cake and even sadder frozen yogurt, as i felt the weight of the h&m and muji shopping bags you helped me carry the whole day, something ran through my mind and i felt it really summed up our friendship.

also this is going to raise the cheesiness of this whole post by 1000 levels. brace yourself.

i thought then that you don’t really always have to have friends that will be really expressive but that sometimes you need friends who will silently show you support. and you’re really that friend for me.

i wish you nothing but the best, i wish you so much happiness, i hope that you really seize this amazing opportunity to remain positive, determined and driven. i hope that you always remember how you mentioned “just have to do well” when we were discussing about fixed grades, bell curves and graduating with honours. i really wish that you never lose that fighting spirit and that you constantly remind yourself that you have this amazing opportunity and that you really make the best out of it. i really hope that you don’t burn your room down with your “all american breakfast” and that you do really well for these tests because this paves the way for more doors that will open up to you in the next few years. this is beyond the conventional “take care” and “must meet up when you’re back in nine months”. this is a three years old late thank you.