It Wasn’t A Sequel To Begin With
November 29, 2012 – 18:32 | No Comment

My 3rd novel wasn’t meant to be a sequel to the 2nd novel in the first place. Then something happened. Characters began to beg to be included in the story. Thus, a sequel was born.

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Home » Creative Writings, Viewpoints

Being A Friend

Submitted by on January 11, 2010 – 17:165 Comments

There are many types of friendship in this world. Some of which leave you in awe and you become speechless at the beauty of two friends. Others leave you marvelled at the power of love between two sincere hearts. Yet, there are also friends who fit perfectly into the empty spot in your soul to make a difference just by being part of the person you are.

I cannot remember if I’ve shared this story before. Four years back, a friend of mine wanted to run away from home. She was three years younger than I am and I felt strained to make sure that she will be alright no matter what her decision may be.

So she came over one day and in a serious manner talked about her plans to run away from home. For the first time, I realised that she was serious about it because if she wasn’t, she wouldn’t be able to draw out the entire plan to me in detail. I did the one thing I knew I had to do, I got her a counsellor immediately and a few hours later they were talking while I sipped coffee on the same table.

When a person has made up their mind, no one can change it – that’s a fact. My friend went back home partially convinced that she should not launch her plan. And I slept that night like a baby because I sprained my knees on my way back home; I couldn’t even get off the bed. My phone rang the next evening at 6pm.

“Gina, you knew it all along, didn’t you?” the counsellor screamed into my ears, “Why did you even bother bringing her to see me at the first place if you have known she would run away anyway? Are you trying to get me into trouble?”

It was at that moment that I found out she went on with her plans anyway. While I was sleeping and being restless in bed with feet that couldn’t even carry my own weight, while I was reading books and dreaming of yesterdays, my friend actually launched her plan and ran away from home.

Her parents knew I know but they didn’t call. They couldn’t believe the one person they have trusted to take care of their daughter would shut up about her plans to depart from home. Little did they know that if I hadn’t promise to shut up, their daughter would lose contact with them.

My friend called up one day after her sweet escape as promised. When I saw an odd number flashing on my mobile screen, I knew immediately it was her. I picked up the call and asked, “Wassup girl! Is the grass greener now?” and she just laughed at the other end. She convinced me that she was safe but refused to reveal her whereabouts. I made sure she calls me again the same time the next day. By then, two days have passed. Her parents were in rage and they threatened to call the police. They wanted to get me behind the bars for being the partner in crime.

At the age of eighteen, I can assure you that it was a threat that sent my parents to the rooftop because it was only then did they realised I knew all along. All the time my family talked about the incident, I just nodded and drank soup in bed. In their eyes, a sick kid has just turned into Miss Mastermind. It was even worst when all I said was, “If you can put me in jail, then by all means, do it.”

With my parents pissed off at me and crazy adults on my heels, I had to think fast. I made a couple of phone calls and managed to get hold of my dear friend. After lots of convincing here and there, I managed to convince her to meet her parents with one condition: She wanted me to be there throughout the entire ‘reunion’.

Sounds like a simple request? Honestly, it wasn’t. Cause the next thing that took place was the following:

“I’m not sure you should be here with us, Gina. This is a family affair and you have gotten involved much more than you should at the first place,” says her mom sternly, her eyes glaring at me as if she would have killed me with her stare.

“Nope, she has to be here or I’m not going to stay. I’m walking off to the taxi awaiting me outside,” my friend snapped. I wondered where she found the courage because she never raised her voice in front of her parents before. And I promised not to say a word but just listen through.

Throughout the session, I just held her hand as she spoke her mind while her parents stared at me with killing glares. I sensed that they weren’t talking because I was there. They weren’t shouting because they wouldn’t want me to know. And I prayed hard that they would not give my friend a hard time when she went home with them.

Of course, you are wondering why I didn’t tell her parents about her run away plans beforehand. The answer is, I knew her plans and she has told me in detail every single thing that she was willing to let me know. If I were to say a word, I might lose the trust she has in me forever. If I were to spill the milk, she would have run away without calling me at all. Then her family would have really lost all contact with her.

I remember calling her mom a day after she ran away, “Aunty, don’t worry. She is safe and sound.” All I heard after that was how disappointed she was with me. She was clearly upset and on fire.

A week after everything has come to an end, the counsellor came and sat me down over a cup of coffee. I had only these to say to her: You are a counsellor. You know how important it is to retain the trust which others have placed in you. I didn’t know she would really run away. In fact, I didn’t know until you called. So if you think I’ve ruined your reputation as a counsellor, I beg to differ.

She text me the following day: Well done! You have proven to be a loyal friend. Next time round, don’t get yourself into jail please.

And that’s all I needed to hear, really, because my friend isn’t that much of a friend of mine at the first place. She was just my junior. And I just wanted to be there for people who trust me enough to call me ‘friend’.

Don’t ask me how far I would have gone if she had been my best friend. Don’t even ask me what my sacrificial level is for the special friends I have in my heart. I don’t have the answer.

I’ll love a special friend who permits me into their life so that I can change their world just by being part of it and them being part of mine. I’ll love a transparent mate who lets me see the best and worst of them so that I will know who I truly love. I want to be there for others just as I longed for others to be there for me. And these are the things that I love the most when it comes to being friends.

Originally written by Gina Yap Lai Yoong © 2007

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