i am the baby you said that grandma didn't want to keep if she had turned out to be a boy. because three kids were too many to support, and you already had two sons. i am the baby you held in your arms, regardless of gender, that you had already decided not to give away.
i am the baby who was born your fattest and heaviest, yet ironically grew up to be the smallest. the one whom you always had to worry about not getting enough nutrition, the one you babied while taking extra care not to spoil.
i am the little sister, aged one, who clapped her hands in glee as she watched you do the same while standing next to the photographer in Toa Payoh Gardens. an old, discoloured photograph bearing the date holds the key to that precious flash of that earliest memory till today.
i am the daughter who felt truly special when you took her by her little hand and went to sit at your favourite coffeeshop to have tea together. the one who felt like a part of a privileged clan, as your friends fussed over her like uncles do. you poured tea into her saucer and taught her to drink from it, your paternal pride evident in your eyes.
i am the naughty monkey you always had to rescue from getting stuck in furniture or window grilles... the one who disrupts your cooking or ironing with her pathetic little wails for help, as she gets her head stuck in various contraptions time and again.
i am the sister who waited for you to come home from school everyday so you would play Ultima pompom animals with her... the one who made colourful little felt coats for the characters, and was disappointed when you weren't as excited as she was.
i am the sister you could never connect with, as your siblings played those silly little games. i am the one who would always argue with you, no matter what the subject was, the one who slowly began to understand you, when you let your guard down in recent years.
i am the grand-daughter who didn't cry when you passed away, because she was too young to understand the concept of death... the one for whom you have once walked to school to try and purchase a handicraft box made by her brother, which she had wanted with all her little heart. the art teacher did not allow it, but your action probably caused her first experience with feeling touched. i am the one who wishes she really knew who you were, before your life was claimed by alcohol.
i am the girl who was your best friend in primary three, just because her father was the disciplinary master. i am the one who, at a young age, had to start wondering who her true friends really were. i am the one you wrote letters to and shared girly secrets with, the one who learnt the truth two years later, the truth of what best friends should really be like.
i am the teenager who caused you much grief and worry. but as you stood in her school hall and received her results with her, you realised with a smile that she'd never wanted to disappoint you.
i am the student who smiled like an angel but did like the devil.
i am the mate you connected with in an instant, who distanced herself once because of peer pressure... the one who feels regret, and gratitude for the lasting friendship you have managed to build over the last 16 years. i am the one who has shared many gloriously happy moments with you, who would follow you to the pits of hell and back, willingly... the one who misses you as you travel the world with your fiance... the one who is currently writing down corny jokes to tell you, who will be here when you return.
i am the teenaged girlfriend who didn't quite like you enough but gave you a chance anyway... the one who broke it off and watched you as you cut your own arms with a penknife... who shouted at you for not valuing your own life, which was precisely the reason why she could not see eye to eye with you.
i am the team mate you knew you could rely on.
i am the distraction you had to give up, because your A levels were coming up and you needed to concentrate. i am the one who didn't believe you, but didn't see the point in pursuing the case.
i am the student you turned away because of your pride and vanity. the one whose destiny you changed by rejecting her entry into a course she has waited to do for four years. the one who qualified, but you personally disqualified because of your selfish reasons.
i am the master you loved, who loved you back with every inch of her being. the one whom you went to at the snap of her fingers, even though you were a bunny who should obey no such command. she would smack you hard when you did something wrong, and you would toss your little head defiantly even though you understood and learnt not to do it again. you rode on the bus with her, and saw the world from your little pink basket in her lap. i am the one you trusted, who had to let higher authorities take you away. and i am the brokenhearted who cried for you, many days after you were gone.
i am the young salesgirl earning her keep at your boutique, before her architecture course started. you never had kind words for anyone, but she appreciated the fact that you simply scolded her less than you did the others.
i am the girl who charmed your socks off so bad, you waited outside the building every night so you could send her home. the one whom you shared four years of your life with, who survived a long distance relationship with you. i am the one who flew 24 hours to see you (twice), the one that everyone thought would marry you, but left you instead.
i am the crazy friend who ignored your advice and dropped out of college to take a totally different route in life... the one who is glad she did what she did at the time, who will not be where she is today if she hadn't done that.
i am the girlfriend who convinced you to change the path you have chosen, to follow her to australia... the one you swore with, to take care of each other with... the one who drifted apart from you, and likewise, you from her.
i am the uni student who was always problematic but you never gave up on.
i am the hapless soul that you, you, you and you have once done harm to. and i am the one who has survived and looks on you with pity today.
i am the crew member who trusted you like a brother (and still does), who would dance 6 hours right beside you... who knew you so well she went and bought you a lava lamp you had reserved for yourself, without knowing you did. the world was alright, no matter how pear-shaped things got, so long as you were there with her.
i am the girlfriend you almost destroyed in your cruelty... the one whom you decided to change yourself for eventually, although too late. i am the one you took revenge against years later, the one you pretended to be friends with just to earn her trust. you may have ripped material value from her, but know that she is not crippled by you and your greed.
i am the best friend you loved for two years. no more, no less. i am the one who is still baffled by your behaviour, till today. i am the one whom you had let into your world, the one who shared her world with you too... and i am the one who wished we got to say goodbye.
i am the girl who broke your heart, without meaning to. i am the one who is sorry for making you the way you are today...
i am the student whom you had high hopes for, who did not fail you. i am the one who knew she had found her niche in the world, when she could give assistance to the weaker at last.
i am the housemate who fell out with you over the silliest household matters, with whom you finally worked out differences, and began a treasured friendship with.
i am the cat who has been your friend for the last 10 years, who limps to your couch for therapy when she is injured, or irritates the shit outta you when she is happy. i am the one who was hunched over scripts with you at the back of the class, instead of listening to her lecturers.
i am the dark kitten whom you have never turned away from, the one you share a friendship of unbreakable bonds with. i am the one who has physically sat in a pouring storm with you, drenched to the bone. i am the one for whom you brought a life-sized pikachu to melbourne, because it was her birthday present.
i am the girl who made you worry. i am the one whom you asked to rewrite your poetry.
i am the friend who can't wait for the two of you to get hitched, so she can get her ass back to melbourne for a visit... the one who used to skid on your living room floor for fun... the one whom you've seen the best and worst of.
i am the buddy who misses you everyday since leaving australia... i am the one who bounced upside down on your new bed and screamed profanities with you in crowded shopping malls for fun... i am the little weirdo who shared her deepest thoughts and fears, as well as her proudest moments with you... and hopes that one day soon, she will grin at strangers with candy buck teeth in her mouth from your van again.
i am the editor who gave her all to her work, but you failed to appreciate. i am the one who did everything within her power... and finally saw that it was all in vain.
i am the friend who sends emails to your tent to cheer you on as you sometimes run across some desert to raise funds for SPCA.
i am the colleague who is grateful for the support and friendship from you.
i am the leader who loves you, you and you... i am the one who hopes her team will love and respect each other continuously no matter what happens.
i am the daughter who came back to you, even though she was against living in this country. the one who would chat with you on long distance phone calls, till you had to hang up because it was getting too expensive and not because you ran out of things to say. i am the daughter who became your friend, who worried for you, who cried to a counsellor when you said you threatened suicide to her brother. i am the daughter who came home.
i am who i am, because of each and every one of you.
who are you?