She stands in front of the whole class and in just an utterance of one word, everybody laughs. The teacher hushes them and lets her proceed to verbalize. She starts reading the paper in her hand and she speaks. She swallows the water in her throat; her hands are shaking; the paper is shivering; she can’t help hearing the chuckling of her classmates, she paused. But she continues in a second but she really can’t help it. Everyone at her right, left and in front is still laughing at her. She looks at her teacher. She turns around and starts crying. Everyone goes into silence. She walks out and goes to the washroom, locks herself in the cubicle and bursts out into tears.
It always seem that every year, a group of people looks down on her. Every time she passes by, she hears murmurs and mutters at her back. She hears gossips about how ugly she is, and how grotesque her voice is. She goes down to eat and asks some girls if she can eat with them, but they say no. She has no choice but to eat alone for the whole school year. Yes, for the WHOLE YEAR.
Oh by the way, her name is Rinnah. Yes, that is me again.
I met a girl in 5th grade, a half Japanese and a half Filipino. Her name is Kaori. I met her before all those rude memories happened. Kaori was the first one who welcomed me in my new school; she was the first one who smiled at me. I first met her in a laboratory; I was about to take a Social Studies exam during that time because I was home-schooled back then. She was in a piggy-tailed hairstyle with Hello Kitty ponytails on it. She was pretty shy but I saw her book same as mine, so I approached her immediately.
“Hey! Are you from 5th grade?” I asked.
“Yes.” She answered.
“What section are you, then?”
(We were in a Christian school thats why our sections’ names are like that HAHA)
The conversation went on and on until I had to take my exam and bid goodbye. I didn’t see her after the examination; but few months later, I was enrolled to being a regular student. I wasn’t home-schooled anymore. Such a joy!
I wanted to see Kaori again after one quarter had passed. When my teacher welcomed me into the classroom, she saw me and shouted out my name “RINNAH!” She was happy that I was her classmate and so was I. We were both happy. And little did I know our friendship grew. We ate together in swing, talked about favorite things and finally talked about our personal lives. I was really happy. I was contented enough that she was the only friend I’ve got in my new school. I was that contented until God gave me another set of friends yet Kaori and I was and still are best friends now for six years and counting and I couldn’t ask anything for more because she is indeed a treasure to be kept for life.
Kaori was the first friend who accepted all my flaws, my defects, my weaknesses, and my weirdness. She was the first friend whom I really loved and I couldn’t be thankful enough that God has placed her in my life—in my heart.
All I wanted was a friend back then—a real friend. And God gave it to me. She is one of the reasons why I still wake up every morning. She gave me that strength and motivation to be strong always because she saw me as a strong woman of God. She saw me as a person who is talented. She was the first person who read my first poem about a guy and saw my potential. She believed in me and still is. She cheers for me and even gives me gifts, particularly notebooks.
I am really really really thankful for her. She made me feel that I am loved and accepted. Despite all of our little petty arguments, we still get back together and move on with life.
Kaori, if you’re reading this, let me say I love you because I really do. You don’t know how much impact you did in my life. Those moments I felt bad about myself, those times I wanted to give up, those minutes I felt weak, you were always there. You’ve been always there for me. And I thank you for being the best friend who is always right next to me. I know that sometimes you have no words to comfort me but having your presence is more than enough. You may not always tell me what you want to say but thank you for being the best person in the world. I admire you for influencing me with your integrity, with your honesty. It really is such a privilege and a blessing to have you.
Just always remember I’m also here for you.
Love you to the moon, sun, stars, universe and back!
-Rinnah Ramirez 🙂