My best friend, she turned 23 just yesterday.
We’ve been chatting with each other for a decade, even when we were more than eight thousands miles apart. I can tell you everything about her, she can describe my facial expressions on the phone, even to the sightless winkle on my forehead. We were so close that we can hear each other crying over through the eyes.
Her father is in the final stage of cancer. Her brother just got married to a Korean woman, he moved away for his job. Her mom is getting old. And my sweetheart, she fall in love with a girl.
She’s never cried in front of me, for so long that I could remember. She’s never got so pessimistic with her life, even to the worst of time. But there was one day she called me at dawn, saying: “I’ve just told my father about his condition, that he only has a few days left. Maybe two, or four.”
“Today is my mom’s birthday. My brother and sister-in-law left for Korea. He hugged me and asked if I could tell him (her father) about the truth. He said I’m the strongest one in the family. He believes in me. He cried a lot.” She stopped for a silence. “I think I’m a bit overwhelmed. I want to be alone so don’t be panic if you can’t find me. I won’t die, you know.”
I said yes. “I got you.”
We have a lot of things in common. Our moms was born on the same day, we somehow look alike, we admit our weaknesses to no other but us. The only thing different is she always ahead of me, her heart and her mind are more distanced than mine. Perhaps you know what I mean.
Up until yesterday, her birthday was about to passed, I made a call, starting with “Hei, where have you been. It’s your birthday.” She didn’t say anything a few seconds after. She cried.
I asked, “Why didn’t you call (me)?” She said, “We all have our own problems, I know you’re suffering, too. Honestly, I really miss you.” She was up to the next bus to another city. She’s always few steps ahead of me but we’ve never been distanced like this, even to the oldest time we were once apart. Perhaps, that’s what adulthood is like. We hide many things unspoken underneath our skins, not letting anyone touch it. We’re only open about it when everything’s been solved, or been forgotten; or to the stranger whom we met on the street, the people who can’t pity us.
“She’s on a Friday Night Express
She got her nails done and a brand new dress
She got a secret in her eyes that even make-up can’t disguise
And all that matters is right now”