Back when I was in seventh grade, I had a
best friend named Angela. She was a year older than me, and
we did everything together.
I would go to her house almost every day
to read fashion magazines, talk about cloth and boys, and
lip sync to Christina Aguilera. Summers, we went swimming
together, biking out in the park to have occasional picnics,
and jogging at night. We put ourselves on a diets to see who
can under-weigh who. We gave each other makeovers, splurging
on dollar lip-glosses at the drugstore. We had constant
clothes swaps and even pretended to do fashion shoots in
front of the big mirror in her mother’s bedroom.
Angela stayed in the US for two years and
went back to China. That last day, we spent together walking
around the neighborhood. It was sunny, and we stopped by a
lake to contemplate our future. Would she ever be back?
Would we keep in touch? We stared out at our reflections.
The next morning, she left. I opened my
door and found her boom box at my steps. She couldn’t carry
it back to China, so she gave it to me.
We kept in touch via email for about a
year, but as our lives separated like the two countries we
lived in, the emails faded and gradually stopped. For four
years I went through high school with new friends and new
hopes. Angela became a vestige of the past, a childhood,
sunshine, bike-riding friend who resided only in nostalgia
Then, a few weeks ago, I suddenly got an
email from her. She started it off with “Remember me? It’s
Angela!” and my heart skipped a beat. There was her
unmistakably vivacious personality in those exclamation
marks and her offbeat Chinglish (Chinese mixed with English)
between the lines. She told me about her life so far and
wanted to keep in touch. And most importantly, she’s coming
back to America for college!
We have an email chain going now, filling
each other in on what we’ve missed in the past four years.
And funny thing is, it’s still so easy to talk to her, like
we’ve never skipped a beat in the friendship. We vowed to
hang out during my trip back to China this summer, and she
wants to take me shopping, clubbing, and show me the real
Beijing behind all the surface glittery tourism I usually
What a funny thing friendship is. People
come into and out of your life at different times. Who,
what, when, where, why, all a matter of being at the same
place at the same time. Out of the billons of people in the
world, what a random coincidence that two souls collide and
connect. Whatever magic is at work, it is a blessing.