Pleasant memories which I'll never forget. Never, trust me, I'll never forget them. The times we enjoyed, the joy I always saw in your face. The hugs, the quiet moments spent together, the beautiful night out during MAF in our final year of school.
And then the tears that fell. I never really liked to show mine, because I'm just like that, but I remember looking back as I went through the doors at Changi airport. I saw you, and then I saw you fall into Kai Ling with tears flowing down. My heart fell, but I knew I had to go on. I had this calling to go home, back home, a place where I could start my life afresh. A place where I didn't have the baggage of a painful past of 10 years. Yet leaving you would mean another painful memory to take along back home to Canada. What irony.
I haven't told many people this, but I think only my mom knows it, coz she was sitting beside me on the plane. I opened the paper bag you gave me, and read the journal. And I read the entries you wrote. I saw your joy, your sadness, your happiness, your tears (literally, the tears smeared over your handwriting). I'm not going to reveal them here, because to me, they're still private, and I still cherish them. But the next thing I knew, I was silently tearing in my eyes, not a sniffle, not a sob, just me sitting in tears for the next 20 minutes on the plane. Over the next two years, I would do that another 4 times. Yes, I counted. The paper bag's gone now, but its contents haven't been lost.
I sometimes think about what happened that night we stopped. We had diverged so much, yet were still clinging onto our memories in the last year of school. I had converted from a complete atheist to a complete theist, embracing the faith I once rejected and attacked. I guess I wasn't the big hero that I used to be. I had become weak in will over the months of being independent here, but I had found a higher level of happiness in my newfound faith. One that came from a calling to let down my burdens and experience love first before trying to love. And by love, I don't mean romantic love, but unconditional, unfailing, and unending overflowing love. Superlatives don't work here, because they can't describe the love that God has for us.
The day I believed, I repented on my sins of pride and selfishness, my two biggest problems, and I made a choice not to go with pride and selfishness again. It happened all in a flash, and for me, an irrational experience confronted me with a very simple rational choice - pride or no pride? Self or Christ? In both questions, I chose the latter, because I realized, there's no other way out for me. In a way, I returned to the teachings of my first school in Singapore, St. Andrew's. Looking back, I'm now glad I had this grounding behind me.
But it was me trying to share this with you that triggered it all. Oh, how much pain I had, looking at the MSN transcript unveiling itself before my eyes. I foresaw it, that I was going to lose you, but I didn't want to. How I wanted for you to come to know this source of love, not so that we could strengthen our bond, but rather because I just wanted you to know about God. But just at a point where I had the belief that, through Christ, I could try again to work it out with you, we stopped.
Pain compounded the pain. Hopes raised only to be dashed again. And it wasn't your fault. Because you were right, we hadn't grown together, which was why it failed. If I didn't heed the calling to go back home, would both of us had so much pain? I wonder, sometimes. In any case, I cried all night again, and went to work the next day.
But stopping was liberating too. It was as if the burden of something that wasn't going to work anyways was lifted off me, and better earlier than later too, when we've both wasted our youthful years on a failed journey.
I have moved on, because I know it's wrong for me to hold on to the past. But it doesn't mean I've stopped remembering you and our times together. On MSN, you're still listed under that special category of people reserved for my family. I still keep the box of memoirs you've given to me, and I've now named it my 'Happy Memories' box. It's private, not privy to the eyes of people around me, not even my roommate, and I've only selectively added more things to it. But I'm afraid to open it, or even view the videos that Yiwen and the Darwin Gals took, because they will bring me back to the past, and I will cry again. Yes, I'm that weak. But having written all that, I figure I will open the box again, and start rummaging through my past.
I know that if we meet again, I will not feel awkward around you. Because we are still friends, and we will still talk and laugh together. I figure you'll still giggle at nerdy jokes, coz I'm still lame enough to crack that kind of stuff. But I know that we've stopped, and that there'll be boundaries which I'm more than happy not to cross.
But I've moved on, and so must you. And don't hold back, because you'll not be cheating anybody. I'd hate to see you become a nun-like character, much as I wouldn't be able to become a monk-like character. If you feel it's right, go and find someone else, because you won't be cheating on me, and I know that you now probably have the wisdom to find him and give him everything, as he will give you everything, and won't be as selfish and stubborn as I was two years ago on December 5th 2005, when I flew home. When that happens, I will be happy for you, because it would be the indication to me that you've been liberated from your past, and found a new life.
I'm re-united with Christ whom I lost when I rejected Him in P5, and in doing so, I found a new life too. I now no longer worry about things that haven't been assigned under my care, things I can't control, because I know that somebody above is managing it all, and that all I have to do is give my best. He will find me somebody, if it's meant to be.
There's this hymn which we sang, back in SAJS. It's called "Pass It On", and it's a very nice song. I dedicate this song to you, now, in hope that you will join this big family. Not because I want to be back with you again, coz I know it's not what both of us will want, but because I sincerely believe in Him and that I'm here to share the love.
It only takes a spark to get a fire going.
And soon all those around, can warm up in glowing.
That's how it is with God's love,
Once you've experienced it, you spread His love to everyone;
You want to pass it on.
What a wondrous time is spring, when all the trees are budding;
The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming.
That's how it is with God's love;
Once you've experienced it, you want to sing
"It's fresh like spring"; you want to pass it on.
I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I've found.
You can depend on Him, it matters not where you're bound.
I'll shout it from the mountain top - PRAISE GOD
I want the world to know; the Lord of love has come to me,
I want to pass it on.