At the crossroads of reason
Heart in transit
22 Oct 2002
My mom is standing at assembly one day when a little boy from Primary 5 with a troubled face and quivering lips, comes up to her.
"Excuse me Mrs M, may I ask you about something? But it is not about homework."
He looks at the other pupils laughing hysterically amongst themselves and under the cover of noise, quietly starts..
"Mrs M, there is this girl in 5D who is always avoiding me. She says she don't want to see me any more. Every time I come near her she always runs away. I dunno why suddenly she is doing that"
"Have you talked to her before?"
"Yes, got talk to her before. From primary 2 I have always come to school with her and we go home together also. Primary 2 to now is 3 years you know. Sometimes I carry her bag for her when she says her hand is paining. I wait for her outside her flat before school to walk to school. And I buy food from the tuckshop during recess and sit with her.
"Was she nice then?"
"Yes very nice. We are good friends. After school, we go for tuition together. But now teacher, she suddenly don't want to see me already. When I go near her, she says she got stomach pain or headache and then she runs away. Her other friends always tell me to go away. Like that for two months already. I am so sad. And I cannot study in class because all the time I think why she is like that to me. Mrs M, why she behave like that? Did I do something wrong? I never beat her or hurt her. I feel like holding her hand sometimes. But I don't dare because I dunno if she likes. But now, I only want to be with her and walk with her. Like last time. But she won't let me and I am so sad. Now, always I am sad. Dunno if I said something wrong, my English not as good as hers but I want to be her friend again. Like last time. What did I do wrong teacher? What can I say to her to be her friend again?"
He hesitates, and steals a quick glance at my mom's face. And then, like a little gentleman who has decided to do right by his lady, adds solemnly "Mrs M.. I think I love her you know."
I stared at the ceiling wincing in anticipation of what I thought my mom, a lady born into a conservative family, who knew love after the arranged marriage and who I imagine would have had a heart attack had I come to her with a similar story when I was 11, would have said in response.
"Brian," my mom starts gently . You are a nice boy and I trust you so I don't think you did anything wrong. Not your fault she is like this."
"But then why she acts like that?" the poor boy wails. "Teacher, I think she pretend only that she has stomach ache," he adds conspiratorially.
"Some people behave like that sometimes. I do not know why she did that too, but I think you should try to forget her slowly. If she does not want to be your friend, you can make other friends in class right?"
"I just want to be her friend" he insists stubbornly.
"I know Brian. But I think if she does not want to be your friend, then you need not try to be her friend because she is not that special friend for you. You are a very special boy. But you have not met your special friend because she has not come yet. But there is someone even nicer than this girl for you, and she will come soon.
And when you meet her, she will not pretend that she has a stomach ache when she sees you. And she will not ignore you like this because she will not want to see you upset or your studies affected. And she will walk with you hand in hand when you go to school and eat with you at recess time and you will be very happy then. But you have to be patient. And you have to make new friends, lots and lots of friends while you have to wait for her to come. But first of all, you have to forget this girl. Because she is not that girl. And she is not the special one who is coming for you."
He looks up at my mother and asks in all solemnity.
"You really think there is another girl who is going to come for me, Mrs M?"
"Yes Brian. I really believe so."
He looks down and blinks once. And again. And fights within his heart. And heaves a small sigh.
"Ok Mrs M. I will believe you. And I will try to forget this girl. And wait."
"Good boy. Now chin up. You are so young. Go join your class. So many new friends there for you to make just there."
The bell rings just then and he bolts away to join his class for the anthem. "I will believe you Mrs M." he shouts as he races away, "Thank you!"
I will believe you too, mom. Thank you.