This was a real post written by myself five years ago (December 3rd, 2012), salvaged from my old blog. This was written on the day of my last SPM paper, and my last day as a high school student at Catholic High School. This was a really meaningful piece written when I was really into writing it, not just for the sake of writing. It was also one of the last instances I wrote in Chinese, albeit this is much more casual than my best.
The sound of rain is bleak. My life as a CHS-ian is over.
I haven’t been writing a lot as I was working on my major finals (SPM). What can I say? I am just this average underprepared kid who just decided to make a difference in his effort not too long ago. Thankfully my school’s standards were way above the government’s papers, such that everything was relatively easy. Naturally this doesn’t automatically turn me into a star student, but hey it is still a plus.
Today is the last paper ever. Chinese. I have a lot of pressure to do well for this. I was known to be good at this. I better be.
Perhaps suddenly aware that I could very well be wearing my high school uniform for the last time, I was suddenly determined to reach school earlier than anyone else. I did that, and the sleep deprivation ended up leading me to a bunch of mishaps.
Well, I was preparing to do Paper 1 (essay) first. I was practicing all the flowery phrases and idioms, practicing the application essay, and the formatting. But the moment I ventured into the exam hall I had a shocking realization that Paper 2 (objective and short answer) was the first paper.
The paper was tiring, but somehow I had a good feeling about it. I refreshed myself with a bottle of soda (energy drink) and continued to prepare for the Paper 1. I felt like I barely made it as I chose a topic about ‘tolerance’ and wrote as if I have never written before for one hour.
Before I knew it, I finished my last ever examination as a high schooler.
After that, Wyn Yun (a close friend then) and I hung out at Mid Valley (I don’t normally hang out before, let alone Mid Valley as it was one of my less visited malls) for hours. When we headed back home, the rain was causing so much confusion that we boarded the wrong bus home. We found ourselves somewhere near Asia Jaya and had to run a good 400 meters before we got to a LRT station.
I will always remember this. Two schoolboys wearing uniforms for the last time turning into two streaks of shadows in the rain, reflected on the puddles beneath them, as the rain seemed to tear them to pieces and weave them back again.
Drip drop, tick tock.
Right now my chin rested upon my hands as I relive my high school memories, bathed in the moving clock and falling rain.
Textbooks flipping on their own in the breeze.
The familiar aroma of the canteen food wafting by.
Ponytails arching in beautiful curves on the field.
Chalk-white complicated chemical equations on the blackboard.
Uninspiring speeches by the uninspiring (then) new school principal.
Insects specimen in the biology lab.
Rich variety of literature in the library.
Mr Ho’s brilliantly clean shaven head with mirror-like reflective properties.
Flying bits of paper and chalk in the classroom.
My moment of glory on the stage as the last person of my batch to ever get a prize on stage.
One of the reverends showing off his Chinese calligraphy skills at my paintbrush stall during the Chinese New Year Fiesta.
Speeches given by generations of presidents in the Chinese Language Society.
Chinese paintings drawn by me.
And the cozy corridor right beside the Society’s room, where I daydreamed in the breeze.
After today, which soul will be reliving these sentiments? I always wonder.
Perhaps, deep inside I always knew that these fragments of sentiments will disperse in my own stream of consciousness and blood.
Perhaps, this feeling of void will always only be mine, marked by this hollowness I am feeling right now in my heart.
Sometimes I imagine myself being this guardian angel, guarding over every being in these memories forever.
Epilogue: I got an A- for Chinese in the SPM. I have grown more distant from my high school friends. Now I yearn to see them again and talk about all the good and bad. They are all part of us. I have a feeling that I will have to burden being a sentimental man for the rest of my life, but I will gladly wear it like a badge.
ps: The following is probably my single favorite Chinese classical prose of all time by Su Zhe of the Song Dynasty.
“莫听穿林打叶声，何妨吟啸且徐行。竹杖芒鞋轻胜马，谁怕？ 一蓑烟雨任平生。料峭春风吹酒醒，微冷，山头斜照却相迎。回首向来萧瑟处，归去，也无风雨也无晴。”-苏辙 <定风波>