An SK Production: I Remember.

Chapter 3: Different paths, similar destination

He walked left, I walked right.
Its as though we've walked till the end of the path
that we've taken together for the past 3 years.
Before we were separated,
he told me: "Vera, work hard. Don't be lazy just because I'm not beside you. Remember, this is not all the potential that you can unleash. There's more than that within you. I know that you're not going to be in a really good class next year, but still, its not the worst that there is. Work hard, you can accomplish more than just that. When we meet again, make me proud okay? Oh and one more thing, if we do meet again. Please don't sit beside me. I don't wanna puke anymore blood."
I laughed at his words.
Those words were my motivation,
the motivation that I needed.
To strive hard, to work hard,
to see him again.

I wouldn't really consider it as a coincidence.
To me, it was more of fate, more of destiny.
We were placed in the same house. Red house.
By then, we were in Primary 3.
All students from Primary 3 onwards,
was required to be present for the Annual Swimming Meet that the school held.
The venue, I can still remember, was at Hwa Chong Institution.
We were told to go there by ourselves.
Our parents were allowed to accompany us for the event.
I went with my mom, he went with his mom.

When I arrived, the place was alien to me.
I knew no one, no one knew me.
I stumbled up the grand stand, heading to my house alone.
My mom was separated from me,
parents had to watch from the cafeteria above the grand stand.
Once again, terror surged through me.
Although everyone was wearing the same uniform as I was,
there wasn't any familiar faces at all.
I began panicking,
I couldn't find my mother,
I couldn't find my friends,
I couldn't find anyone whom I knew.
Just then, heaven provided me with an answer.
I saw him.

I wondered if he could remember me, knowing what poor memory he had.
I used to tease him,
why was his brain pea-sized, small?
Yet why did he have such a big head. What an irony.

I walked forward, afraid of speaking to him,
I lurked around his side,
before being able to brace up enough courage to talk to him.
Just like what I thought,
he couldn't remember.
It took me quite awhile to refresh his memory.
Till now, his poor memory still irritates me badly.
How could anyone actually have such lousy memory? I wonder.

For the whole of the event,
we were together.
Where you can find me, you can find him as well.
Where you can find him, you can find me as well.
We cheered for the winners together.
We jeeered at the losers together.
We ran around the area together.
We did basically, everything together.
We stuck together throughout the entire swimming meet.
He helped me to find my mother.
He introduced me to his mother.
I introduced him to my mother.
We introduced our mothers to each other.
And then, off we went again. Running around the area.
Innocence filled our mind.
We were nothing, but young and innocent kids.

"Vera! Look!! Food!!"
I looked at the area which he pointed.
"Oooo.. I see cold beverages!!"
"Yeah!! Let's go get some!!"
"WHAT?!?!?! Are you mad Xavier?!"
"Why not! Let's go get some for our mothers!"
"What..? No Xavier!! Xavier!!! NO!!! Eh you!! Don't go!! Eh wait up!! Wait for me!!!"
I ran after him, afraid to lose him in the crowd.
He grabbed my hand and began winding through all the people.
"Come on! Let's go!"
"Gosh.. You're insane Xavier!"
We reached the table loaded with all the goodies,
and managed to sneak 2 cups of cold beverages away.
Quickly, we walked away, clutching onto our prizes tightly.
We went back to our mothers and gave them the beverages.
They questioned the source of it, but we refuse to tell them.
Afterall, it was a secret between just, me and him.

If I was given a second chance,
I would do anything in the world to stop him from going for a second round.
As we wind through the crowd again,
I lost sight of him.
I began crying his name out loud, but he couldn't hear me.
It was far too noisy, too many people were talking,
they drowned out my voice.
"Xavier! Xavier! XAVIER!!"
I began winding through the crowd even more desperately,
searching for him frantically.
Where was he? Where did he go? Xavier, where are you?
When I arrived at the table, I couldn't find him.
I quickly went back to the grand stand, hoping he was there.
To my dismay, he wasn't.
I was terrified.
I couldn't see him anywhere, I couldn't find him anywhere,
I lost him.
How was I going to answer to his mother?
Just then, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
I turned around and faced his mother.
She smiled at me and asked me in a gentle tone,
"Where's Xavier?"
I stuttered, " I.. Don't Know. He's somewhere in that crowd."
I pointed towards the crowd. To the place where I lost him.
Just pointing to the crowd generated tears in my eyes.
I couldn't register the fact that I lost him. Right infront of me.
I bowed my head down, not wanting to let his mother see my tears.
Thankfully, she headed towards the crowd where I pointed,
in search of him.
Hurriedly, I wiped my tears off with the back of my sleeve.
I felt another tap on my shoulder,
it was my mother, it was time to head back home.
I gave as many reasons as I could, I gave as many excuses as I could,
I tried to delay as much time as possible.
I wanted to know that he was found, before I left.
I wanted to know that he was safe, before I left.
I wanted to see him one last time, before I left.
But, I was never given a chance.
My mom dragged me away from the venue..

As I sat in the car, gazing at the scene outside the window,
a thousand thoughts came into my head.
I wondered if his mom managed to find him.
I wondered if he was okay.
I wondered if he was fine.
I wondered if was mad at me, for going without saying goodbye.
I just kept on thinking about nothing, but him.
When I saw him again after the weekend in school,
I heaved a sigh of relief.
When I asked him about what happened,
the only reply I got from him was a "Huh..?"
Oh well.. It's better that he doesn't remember.
It'll be something that only I'll remember.
That's good enough. For me.

As my third year passed,
I remembered his words and worked hard.
And I proved him right.
I got third in class and was promoted to a much better class.
This time, the distance between me and him got shorten.
He was in the class, just next to mine.

Quicker than ever, in the blink of an eye,
another year passed.
This time, I achieved my goal.
I was in the same class as him.
Although I've been working so hard to reach my goal,
it still came as a shock.
I even pinched myself to see if its real,
and ouch! It's really pain that I'm experiencing.
This ain't a dream. This is reality!
The euphoria.. its beyond description.

I spent the 2 months of my school holiday thinking,
what would the rest of my 2 years in school turn out like?
For once, I couldn't wait,
for the holidays to end,
for school to begin.
I was anxious, to see him again.

After waiting for so long,
our paths were finally meeting. Again.
I'm done walking right, he's done walking left.
We're going to be walking straight.
No more crossroads, no more walking left, no more walking left,
the next path is going to be straight,
and we're going to walk that path, together.
Patience, a killer,
it takes away all your air away, leaving you almost close to nothing,
before giving you oxygen again.
Love is like the air we breathe.
Love is like the oxygen.

-To Be Continued-

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