Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Girl I Know

Once upon a time I was a form one student. A student at SMK Seri Keramat to be exact. I had a best friend, her name is Fayyadhah or we simply call her Fay. We were inseparable. And then around March a new student joined our class. She just moved to the AU4 area. At first not many wanted to befriend her because of her very thick English accent. It turned out she had been living in England till a few years back. She hadn't mastered the Bahasa Malaysia language well yet. Since she's new, she sat at the back of class. And guess who loves to sit furthest from the teacher...yours truly.

So my friend and I decided to be nice to this new kid. We talked to her, got to know her, and even invited her to some of our 'outdoor' activities. One Monday, after the weekend we invited her to join us to the National Library, she suddenly distant herself from us. Being typically me, I wondered of it out loud. She then confessed that she felt 'a bit' left out during the excursion, as if like the third wheel. I felt like patting her on the back to reassure her she's not but at the same time I also felt like slapping her. Fay and I had been best friends since we were nine, so of course we are very close and whatnot. Couldn't she appreciate the fact that at least we ASKED her to hang out with us? After accepting my explanation she apologized and we continued as before. But then it got worse. She was suddenly like the tahi hidung in your nose. You want to pick at it, but fear of disgrace if others see you at it. She annoyed me too much not because of her dependency on us, but also because slowly I saw her wanting to The day after I brought my first ten paged fiction to school, she brought a draft of hers. One day I showed Fay a picture of Rob Bourdon I drew, the next day she has a picture of Christina Aguilera - signed the previous day. I play guitar, suddenly she's all interested in it too. It's fine if I 'inspire' her, but to do EXACTLY the things I hold dear? I just want to get rid of her.

It was then that someone told me about a story of a friend back in college. The dude, like this girl, was trying to imitate this person in every sense even when he is not as smart or as cool. Whatever this person does, the dude wants to do too. EVERYTHING including academic stuff. Guess what? The dude went to the extent of becoming almost EXACTLY the same as the person he imitated up to the point that he's now more successful. Fine, people can say it's his luck and rezeki and maybe he did crack his brain to be as smart later on. Hey, even that person holds no grudge against the dude now. But it's the annoyance of the moment.

I told my parents about the girl at the start of my story and their advice was a typical parental advice: be patient and be nice.

But I also remember of another advice my mum always tell me - always take care of yourself first. It means, before you start helping others or care about another being, make sure you have covered yourself first. It makes sense, doesn't it. Before you tutor another, you must be a master first. At times it does sound selfish. Why can't two or more people learn together without one being better? I guess you can if you want. But my mum knows her daughter better than anyone else. She knows how competitive I am. I don't want to be better, I want to be the best. What's my 'best' is of course relative. But the point is, my mum, being a mother, is afraid - and I think she will always be afraid - if someone starts taking advantage of her daughter. First of all, she knows how disciplined I am when I am working. I don't stray or procrastinate, I'm focused. A few bad qualities I do posses, but the basis I have covered. So if someone takes advantage of me doing more than 50% of the work and ends up getting better (or more, or earlier, whatever) of what I worked for, she knows I'm going to beat myself up over it. Extreme it is, but fiction it's not.

Oh by the way, the girl at the start of the story, she finally woke up from her state of 'finding herself' and left me alone. She realized that she can't and never will be me however many research she does on my interests and settled for being the academician that she is. Both of us had a fair share of being top of our form. She then went to a boarding school. Three years later I saw her name above mine in the SPM 2006 100 Top Students. She is actually very smart so I know she worked hard too for everything she had gained.

She work, she doesn't depend.


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