I met her when I was 7. She was in a singing competition with me, and from then on out, she has spent 17 years of her 20 years with me, and I am eternally grateful to have her in my life.
Her name is Megan.
I was a Malay girl in a chinese primary school, where at the time, Malaysia was still struggling with racial issues. Being the only Malay in the class, I was at the short end of it, by my classmates, my peers, and even the teachers.
No one ever believed me. They all viewed me as a waste of space, useless to society. I would never become anyone useful.
She was the only one who became my friend. She was the only one who thought I sang beautifully. She was the reason school wasn’t so bad. She was the only one who believed I could be somebody. She had taught me to speak English, and borrowed me her beloved collection of books. More than that, she had given me her time.
When we went to a normal high school, it was her turn to suffer from the short end of the stick we call racism. She left to pursue her education elsewhere, but our friendship still stayed strong.
I became an English teacher because of her. I told my interviewers that I will teach English, because I believe it will eradicate miscommunication. I never wanted anyone else to feel the same way both of us did. Because she gave me a chance, because she talked to me, I got to enjoy a lifetime’s worth of friendship. If it wasn’t for her friendship, I would have never learned English properly, I would have never wanted to be a teacher, and I would have never be the person I am today.
I would have always believe I’ll never be okay with myself, if it wasn’t for her.
She’s now studying law abroad. I’m now telling stories of her to my students. I tell them friendships are more than just people yon hang out with. They are people who can pave the future for you, and bring out the best in you.