Justin wasn't my closest confidante, but the little stories mattered, and he was there for me when all I needed was strength. Like the time just before our final camp activity when I broke down at the staircase, feeling nauseous, worried that I might not be able to participate, and he told me that everyone was proud of me, and that I was going to do this well. And the time he physically supported me even as he himself shouted in pain. And all the moments he made me let him take over my duties.
Anyway, one certain memory will always remain vivid as day. It was the Teachers' Day celebrations and I was a wreck. Crying at assembly. Crying at the bleachers. Staring at my phone. Pauline skipped a free lunch just to accompany me, and my amazing foster siblings tried to lift my mood at Vivo. When they left, I called Justin. I said that I was feeling like crap and I wanted him to come and take me somewhere, anywhere, just to lie down and forget. He said "okay I'll be there in half an hour."
While waiting, I called Weiliang and sat at the amphitheatre on the top floor, sighing about our problems. He made me say "life is good" enough times to start smiling again. Then Justin arrived and insisted on carrying my bag and said he knew of a pretty place a short distance from Vivo.
So we walked and walked in the 3pm heat towards Keppel Bay and I ranted myself dry and he didn't say a word or offer any advice - all I needed was to get it out of my system. Then we found a pavilion and I turned on some music and we took benches on opposite sides of the pavilion and just lay there. For about an hour. Not saying a word.
And then in the late afternoon we moved to a little grassy field nearby. From there we could see the sun set without any obstructions at all. It was lovely. We just sat there in the prickly grass, exchanging a few words every five minutes, soaking up the quiet and the calm.
We barely did anything that day, but it still remains such a precious memory. My mind has been at war with itself a lot recently, and so often I wish I could escape into a field and lie in the morning sun and feel myself get lost in the atmosphere. So often I wish I could simply call a friend up whenever I just needed someone to be there, whether or not we'd be having a chatty dinner or simply sitting in silence for hours. I wish I had a close friend who understood the beauty of quiet, simple companionship, and who would escape from time to time with me.
I know I'll find that family again soon, and I wonder if he'll be the new guy I'd call, or her, or him for a down-to-earth chat about how life sucks, or him to simply lie down at the rooftop garden with me.
I look at various things now, like his insane laugh and her spontaneity and his loud lame remarks and the her I've always known, and wonder if I'll still miss that about them in ten years' time. I wonder if he'll put his arm around me and call me his sister, or if she and I will have our HTHTs late into the night in each other's rooms, or if he will become my fellow warrior in Christ or someone who will continually inspire me.
Till then, I'll be looking forward to the next time I get to lose myself in a morning field with a friend with whom I share a comfortable silence; with whom I have the reassurance of love.