High School Girlfriend

Hers is a face, the camera absolutely, loves.

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One day, you get off a bus and find yourself face-to-face with such beauty, that for a moment, you don’t quite know what to say.  Then as the both of you head towards the same direction- school, you stop gawking at the symmetry of her features, her porcelain skin, and start recognising the traits you share.  You see- a prominent clavicle that the school uniform cannot hide, the eyes cast low, the quietness in gesture and the reluctant walk.  You think, ok, she’ll understand why I struggle to eat, and what it’s like to be shy.

High School was not easy.  You’ve both left the comforts of respective neighbourhood convent schools and now join the very elite.  Academically, things were tough; what on earth was the economics teacher trying to say… But socially, things were tougher, and oh so very strange.

You comfort and cheer each other on.

I’m going to be a dancer, you tell her.

I’m going to be an actress!

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When High School is over, you surged towards acting, dancing dreams leaving High School far, far behind.  One evening,  you arrive at Changi International Airport bereaved.  Your grandmother has passed away.

Your paths crossed again then.  God who gave you the sweetest of friends in the form of the prettiest of girls, brought her back into your life once more.

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You can talk about everything.  You can talk about nothing.  You laugh, you moan.  You curse and you laugh some more.  More than 20 years have passed since you last saw or spoke to each other, but somethings in life you learn, you learn, only taste richer, when re-discovered again.

We made it.  We beam at each other.

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I’m so proud of you!  You say.

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Good for you!  Well done!  Well-deserved!

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For then we longed and dreamt our own happy endings, but now we know, all this, all that, and all to come, is but our beginning.

  •  All photographs belonging to Amy Cheng are posted with her permission.

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