Time flies… I thought as I combed my hair for the important occasion of the day- graduation. This signified that I had grown up, ready to face the real world awaiting for us, prepared to embrace life, putting up with the gauntlets thrown at us, just more brutally for the times that were to come. Don’t cry today, smile instead, we should be happy when we graduated. I told myself when I stepped into the school compound as a student for one last time.
I walked my way to the canteen, waiting for the disciplinary group to chase us to the foyer and sit us down in an orderly manner. Five years of being hustled by them, I once was one of them but I became recalcitrant and withdrew myself from the wretched group. How impudent was I back in those days… We sat down accordingly, chatted around with my friends who were with me in this phase of life. I played with Greeny’s camera, she did not bother me. Our gang chatted relentlessly in the foyer, disregarding the fact that the SPM (a major examination in Malaysia) was pages away from the calendar, but we knew better the examination is just a momentary passage of life, only friends are the ones who conjure momentous memories for us.
The disciplinary group moved us to the hall, and did the most preposterous stuff ever to check our bags and body for electronic items by using one metal detector for 446 students. They gave up eventually as they finished scanning three classes. That procedure was a waste of human resource and time, they should cut the chase, let us do whatever we wanted since we were here for the last day.
We were sat down based on the alphabetical order in the class. The ceremony kicked off with the greeting of the head of the parents and teachers association (PIBG), we sang the national song and the state song filled with vigour. After the tedious, but mandatory speech by head of PIBG, the words of the principal of the school, the past and the present, flashed into my mind.
There are three gurus that we must know, seek, and learn from them that are namely vision, challenges, and love. If we garner sufficient knowledge from them, we would be sharpened and more equipped to face the world, making our dreams come true. – Puan Teoh (Present)
Time is life. If you are wasting your time, you are wasting your life.
Discipline is doing the right thing at the right time, for the right reason, at the right place using the right way.
Be like the eagle, agile to catch its prey, soaring high above the clouds.- Mr. Leong (Past)
After the speech from the head of the PIBG, the head prefect, Nicholas, as the representative of all the students gave a few words.
Remember those times we stayed back to study but ended up chit-chatting for the whole time? The times where we are in class with all of our classmates gathering around, talking, goofing around, studying in the same class. All these little gestures are what that makes up our secondary school life
That part hit us hard, we started talking about our past experiences together, rekindling countless memories which made us what we are at this very moment. He left the podium with tumultuous roars of applause from all of us.
The ceremony resumed with the graduation certificate giving slot. The graduates bowed sincerely in order to honour their class teacher who taught them for two years and received the cert from their teachers. The ‘hooligans’ from each classes shouted out the recipients crush’s or lover’s name when the recipients were on stage. It was puerile, but laughable because this might be the final time hearing this kinds of screams.
This slot was dragging too long, to eschew from being onerous, the students associated to bring us some entertainment to light up the atmosphere. First off was a piano solo from Kin, the best pianist in school, the future Mozart, his playing were sophisticated and it sunk straight into my bones. The piano solo was followed by a performance by our juniors, they sang some Chinese songs which meant a lot to us, we sang along too. After the juniors magnificent performance, we had the school’s wannabe artist to perform, personally he was not that good, but he made it this far was a remarkable achievement. However, all the plaudit went to the electronic guitarist, Chun Hao, whom showed off his mad skills by stealing the show from the artist wannabe. We were left jaw dropped.
When the entertainment slot ended, the ceremony continued with the cert giving slot. It was our class’ turn to receive the cert. The class monitor took the lead and read our names to receive the cert. I gave my class teacher a ninety degree bow for a three full seconds, a gesture of honour from the bottom of my heart. I walked towards her.
“All the best, Yang.” Puan Yip handed me the cert.
“Thank you” Really. Thanks. She gave me an affirmative pat on my back, I replied with a pat of gratefulness. Walking down the flights of stairs, thinking about how fast time past, five years dissipated in a blink of an eye, the advent of meeting her felt like yesterday.
As our class all received the cert, we stood in attention and shouted, “PUAN YIP! THANK YOU! WE LOVE YOU!” the resounding voice of us surely etched in the heart of such dedicated teacher whom was akin to a mother.
The slot which we awaited the most was the photo shooting session which was around two hours long, but I stayed until three in the afternoon which gave me a few extra hours to soak in what was left in the school.
I shook hands with some of the teachers who did not teach me.
I stretched my hand out, “Datin, saya akan sikat rambut saya.” a smiled slipped out from my mouth.
“Eh, rambut awak ni… Mesti ingat sikat.” Datin said in her annoying high pitched tone and shook my hand.
“Mesti sikat punya, Datin.”
Moving on, I shook Puan Nor’s hand which was gloved for her own reasons, she taught me lots about our national language, Bahasa Melayu, she was also one of the teachers whom I admired, I asked for a hug from her, she hugged me.
“Terima kasih, Puan Nor.”
Cik Nadiah was my biology teacher, my least favourite subject but taught by a fantastic teacher, I offered my respect to her.
“Terima kasih, Cik Nadiah, saya akan dapat A plus dalam Bio.”
Encik Asrul was my moral teacher, the most relaxing class I had ever attended, he is a great person who fraternises with eventually everybody in school which makes him a very sociable person. I got a hug from him.
“Terima kasih, cikgu.”
“Selamat berjaya dalam kehidupan ya.”
The teacher whom I wanted to hug most, Puan Yip. She is one of the best teachers whom I had encountered, she is akin to a mother to me, helped me when in need, gave me advice when I most needed, changing my arrogant half-ass attitude anew, had to went through my imprudence, slow to anger, fast in ‘trolling’ us. I hugged her, not willing to let go, tears were rolling in my eyes, it was the longest hug I had ever had with anyone else.
“Thank you, Puan Yip.” I uttered under my breath, holding back my tears.
“Yang come and take a pic with me.” Hugo requested.
Kin budged me from the back. I signed his shirt with a sharpie, marking- be the best pianist. I asked him to invite me to his concerto in the near future. We took a picture with each other.
I saw Pang and Ning walking together, I hugged both of them, took pictures with both of them. Penndragon and Girlgod was nearby, I hugged them, and took pictures with them. This quad squad, N.O.P.E., read through most of my blog post before I posted them, gave me some useful advice in life and in love. They helped me out a lot, I am really grateful to have them in my life.
Countless pictures were taken.
I took a picture with Vaness, the ‘iron lady’. I deeply admire her persistence and hardworking in whatever she does. Indirectly, she became a guideline, a catalyst to push myself harder to achieve what I wanted in life. I also took pictures with Foo, Qyng, Kin and Hugo, basically the choir guys.
Another one with Bacon whom I really appreciate because she helped me through the toughest time of my life, she was willing to listen to me crying over the phone for a full ten minutes when my grandmother just passed away, she talked me out of my dilemma for my crush, she had been there for me when I needed someone to lean on, she… We hugged. It was an awkward one due to some misunderstandings in the past, but I was glad that she looked passed it and accepted my hug. I hoped that she would hug me more generously.
My bucket list of people to hug was not completed because of her, Lerr. I felt that I had single handed decimated our friendship, I should not have make those impetuous moves showing that I liked you. She kept her distance with me for a long time, after my error until now, I regret and feel bad for whatever that I had done, it was a mistake, a grave mistake.
The photo that I took with her, I did not feel good at all, I felt like I had done something bad to her. The worst mistake was I asked her for a hug, she blurted a big no to me, as expected. We used to talk over the phone for hours, but look at us now, it was utterly my fault, I had crossed the ‘line’, I knew it when she had gestured me to back off, I thought it would be plain rejection and we continue to be friends.
But no, I was segregated by her, she just left me out, just like that. Sometimes I would just stare at the four walls, thinking why was I so harsh, how could this happen, why…
I could go on and on about how I felt about her.
I should stop.
Stop thinking about her.
We avoided each other throughout the day. It felt like shit.
Moving on. I took pictures with my ‘famulei’, basically a group of friends who were destined together. Ten of us, holding ten-folds of memories more than other people.
The day passed with me taking pictures with teachers and people who I ran into and took pictures with them.
An hour before stepping out of the school, Bacon, Angela, Lee, Greeny, and me spent our time chatting with Pn. Yip in the staff room.
This might be the last time having such a good time with these bunch of wonderful people. My feelings were screwed up, a concoction of feelings.
Walking out of the school, marching into the real world.
P.S. 03 NOV 2016
High school life. Fine.
Once a KB-ian, always a KB-ian.
Sailing into uncharted waters.
If you happened to come across this, hope you and I could just be friends again, never want to lose someone like you in my life. I told myself to stay positive everyday, every time when I face challenges, I told myself everything will be fine. It was you who taught me all these, taught me to be positive. Don’t tell me you want to leave me like it was nothing for the times we had. But if you want to, I can’t stop you, and I won’t. You know me well right. Just to let you know you have a place in my heart for the present and the present. Really appreciate the times we had.