"We meet again here in 1998, ok?" she asked.
"Ok." we agreed.
1998 came and went but we didn't have the chance to meet. At the age of 27, we were seeing the world. Some were just beginning to start a family while the others were busy dating and building a career. With only e-mails to help us communicate, it was difficult and time-consuming. We lost touch again after a year of e-mailing.
Then in 2008, with the latest technology, we managed to find each other again. It started with one persistent lady friend- Anita.
" You have to enter FB la.. everyone's there," she YM me.
" Aiyoh, lazy la.I've already got YM, google, and skype. What's FB by the way?"
Bored out of my wits while recovering at in-laws', I decided to give it a try. And wah-lao, Anita was right. I found almost 20 of my 'golden' (the term 'old' is sensitive, hehehe) friends there.
I used the magic words. The nicknames they gave me in school to introduce myself (I didn't use my maiden name in this FB). And with a good profile photo.
And the responses were surprisingly warm.
"OMG, is that you *nickname*? (can't write here, malu laa) Why you look so young and sweet (ahem, thanks for the compliment)
"Where are you? You've changed your name?"
"Shall we meet next Chinese New Year. We're often back to our parents' home during the festive hols (meaning most will be in the same town at the same time).
Oh, thanks to the quick responses provided, I managed to keep in touch with almost a dozen golden friends at the same time. No need to open e-mails, just write on their walls or leave a private message.
And my golden school friends are multi-racial, multi-religious and live all over the world. Some have chosen to become Home Ministers and raise their children while others are juggling between home, work and commitments. And as we're all of the same age, it's interesting how different our lives turn out to be. As I've known some since we were 6 years old, we've practically grown up together until we were 17 or 19. They're a part of my life, and are irreplaceable.
Alhamdulillah, although I have a new name and a new identity, it has not stopped real friends from keeping in touch with me. For those who have not responded, well it's still considered a lost friendship, I guess. We can't please everybody or make everybody like us.
I haven't meet them for 20 years. I gazed at their photos in FB. Sure, we do look rather different now. More matured and alas, more wrinkles. Perhaps a little wider in the waistline. But I'd sure love to meet them again. It's not the same, meeting a golden friend for the first time in 20 years. InsyaAllah I hope I won't have to wait too long for that.