Remembering ‘Primary School’ Us

Do not follow me! Let’s just be fabulously where we are and who we are. You be you and I’ll be me, today and today and today, and let’s trust the future to tommorrow. Let the stars keep track of us. Let us ride our own orbits and trust that they will meet. May our reunion be not a finding but a sweet collision of destinies!
― Jerry Spinelli, Love, Stargirl

I saw Vic fairly recently, about 2 months ago, but Charissa? It’s been a while since I’ve last seen her. 8 long years to be painfully exact! We hadn’t seen each other since our Graduation party in Primary 6 and to say that ‘I was excited’ to meet her again would have been a terrible understatement.

Vic, Charissa, Dora and I were quite a playful bunch — cracking jokes, being silly, simply being little kids.

So fast forward to the present — there we were, Vic and I, sitting opposite each other at Cedelé, waiting for Charissa as she was running a little late. We were simply catching up from where our messages left off when suddenly the idea hit me…

“Vic, when Charissa comes, I’ll pretend to arrange these sugar sachets so You’ll know she’s here, then let’s pretend we have no idea who she is.”

I was seated in a position where I had a better view of arriving customers than Vic did, so I undertook the responsibility of looking out for Charissa.

I love pranks — anyone who knows me well, knows I really love to prank my friends and I figured that that day shouldn’t have been any different. 😉

Vic and I spent the next 10 minutes nervously, anxiously and excitedly awaiting for the arrival of our fashionably late friend. We glanced ever so often at the entrance of the restaurant and at the ticking hands of our watches, sharing with each other how we thought the prank could possible turn out and hoping that both of us would have the mental willpower and strength to pull through the prank. We’re both the type of people who laugh too — much too — easily, You see.

A couple of moments later, Charissa finally walked in and I almost burst out laughing as we made eye contact, but I forced myself to keep a straight face and looked away immediately, knowing there were more important things to be done — namely, the arranging of sugar sachets! Vic was notified straight away and it was as if she telepathically wanted to dissolve into laughter too — her lips began to tremble. We could feel Charissa inching closer and closer, but our vision remain fixated on one another, knowing that if we were to break our eye contact, fits of laughter would most definitely ensue.

“Guys, I’m Charissa,” she said, but we looked at her, remaining quiet and unconvincingly confused. We tried our best, we really did, but the hilarity of the situation was growing on us and Vic and I simply surrendered to the rumbling laughter that was growing within us. This time, Charissa joined in hahaha!

“Guys, why do You do this to me, it’s not funny,” she says in between giggles, “I was already so worried You’d forget how I looked like! You’re still the same!” Those were about the only words she managed before all three of us began to titter and soon the ripples of laughter became great waves of hilarity.

It’s never a quiet moment with either of them.

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First, we ordered drinks — I had a delightfully organic green tea, Vic had an apple-cinnamon lassi which was initially too cinnamon-y but eventually grew on her, while Charissa ordered a chocolate milkshake. Moments later, upon closer inspection of the menu, Charissa decides she wanted to get a burger. She figured that both a burger and a milkshake would overload her tummy, so she tried her luck by walking over to the cashier, hoping she could cancel her milkshake order. Unfortunately, they were making it right as she approached them.

Let’s just say I have never seen someone quite as disappointed as she was when her food and drinks arrived. 😂

Lunch was accompanied by nostalgic stories — many, many nostalgic stories. We talked about our ex-classmates — where they were, what they were doing/ studying, if they still looked the same as they did before — and about our primary school teachers — how their demeanours used to amuse us so much and how paramount of a part they played in our schooling experience.

We realised how, truly, nothing much has changed. I felt like a little kid again when I was with them. I laughed a little louder, cracked a little more jokes and was a little cheekier than usual. I just felt so young and as though all the worries simply slid off my shoulders.

It really was a reunion like no other.

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We spent about 10 minutes standing in front of Wheelock just taking selfies — the first one looked too weird because everyone was leaning awkwardly in my direction, the second one was too weird too because Charissa’s hair had gotten in front of her face. Vic, exasperated, tried her luck with her own camera and managed to snap a few good ones. By ‘good ones’, I meant ‘approved by all 3 of us, especially Charissa’.

I put two of my favourite shots at the beginning of this post — the one of the left was the result of me and Vic being cheeky by making it difficult for Charissa to enter the shot, while the second one was, as agreed by all of us, the best shot of the day.

After the all-important selfie of the day was accomplished, we spent the next 40 minutes standing at this random location at the back of Wisma Atria because we were torn between heading home and continuing our conversations — there was SO much to talk about! Just as we were just about to part ways, I suddenly see someone I thought I knew in the reflection of the building.

“Wait guys, I think I know the girl walking towards us. Wait wait wait… OMG Stephanie?! STEPHANIE!!”

It was Stephanie! All 4 of us hadn’t been together at the same location for what felt like eternity and to have her show up so serendipitously, I can’t help but thank the kind ways of the universe for having our paths cross that very evening.

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Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together? Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences. ― Emery Allen


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