Retrace Every Wrong Move

[Easier To Run – Linkin Park]

Day 17 — Someone from your childhood

Dear Zhao Hui,

Isn’t it amazing I still remember your name! I even remember the fact that “Zhao” is actually written as “Chao” but is read as “Zhao” in your name and, oh, I’ve just proven how Asian I am.

Anyway, whether it’s from my childish wishful thinking or real memories, I remember that we were good friends when we were little. And when I say little, I meant we were good friends since Kindergarten. I didn’t actually have friends my age before Kindy, so in some sense you were my first friend ever (actually, to be honest, I vaguely remember there being another short girl being my friend before you but I don’t remember anything about her except that she’s short).

It’s strange writing to someone in a language that they don’t speak, in a letter they’ll never read.

I think when I was little, I worshiped you, because you were taller, smarter, and prettier. I think you’re also older than me – here in Australia I’m older among all my friends but in China I was the youngest, having just gotten into my year level. I remember that you actually had another friend with whom you were closer, either because you’re just better friends or because you’d known her for longer, that I can’t remember. That other friend went on to be the class captain in Grade 1, while I went on to be the kid that the teacher hated for no good reason other than the fact that I was smarter than she gave me credit for, and that I was lazy. So yeah, that made me look better.

My memories are only giving me negative thoughts at the moment, like I remember trying so hard to be your friend after we started primary school, but you’d already found the other cool big girls to play with and I was left with this really creepy guy who drooled a lot, and this other weird guy who bragged a lot about himself. I remember that once I was running back to class while grabbing the hand of that class captain I mentioned, but then I tripped and fell flat on my face, getting a huge cut on my nose.

I remember, near the end of my stay in China – I left in Grade 2 – that you’d once accidentally cut your eyebrow on a hair pin, and it bled a lot. And then after that you were trying to hide that cut, so you grew your hair long.

Actually, I think that part was just false memory. I think that happened to my cousin instead. I have no idea.

Anyway, that was a fun trip down memory lane.  I called you once in Yr 7 when I went back to China but we didn’t hit it off because of the language barrier – my Chinese was sucking at that point. But I don’t know, maybe I’ll try calling again the next time I go to China, granted you still live at home.

Take care,

徐如一

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