A Friend Leaves...
True friendship often grows out of turmoil and indifference. During the first three years of highschool, although we never spoke I had a mortal enemy called Martin. We would glare at eachother in the corridor and take great pains to avoid eachother. Then, at the start of English in the 4th year, we happened to be in the same group and our teacher put us on the same table. A friendship developed, and I couldn't believe that there was any animosity in the past.
Last year in Kurume, I was at an 80s party with some friends. We were stood at the bar, when all of a sudden an Oriental looking girl appeared, looked at me from head to toe and said "What the FUCK did you come as?" before turning around and marching off. The girl was Linh Dang, and I wouldn't have known it at the time but we were to become quite good friends.
From that time at the bar in the summer of 2004 until late November, I didn't give Linh a second thought. Then, when cycling home from work one Thursday night, another friend accosted me on his bike, and invited me to go bowling with him. I agreed. On the way, he told me that we would be picking up Linh on the way.
Linh... the girl who was rude to me. I must admit to feeling a bit reluctant to go. But anyway, I did and when we got to her house, instead of more lip and indifference she was incredibly pleasant and well mannered (though this would turn out to be rare!). Perhaps I had her down all wrong, I thought, and I had.
We continued to bowl most Thursday nights, and soon a 5 strong group emerged. Linh would often invite us all to her house where she laid on exquisite homecooked meals while we sat back drinking oolong tea and reading Ben's copies of Hotdog. In a way it seemed that there would always be Linh in our town.
When she told me that she was leaving I was a little shocked. I had heard a rumour that she was planning to move on in the future, but I hadn't given it much credence. Like all the people that matter in life, you get used to their presence and may even neglect them, not through malice but just because they are so comfortable to be around. Linh is like that. She can be brash and uncouth, loud and awkward, but that's just what strangers see on the outside. In reality her brashness is individuality, her awkwardness her desire to be who she is.
This evening I realised that I had lost my gloves somewhere between my school and the train station. I made it home with freezing, slightly chapped hands, but it seemed insignificant when compared the feeling of losing a friend...