This week one of my oldest friends, Raudhatul Akmal, or Odd as she is fondly called, got hitched. We had known each other since I was thirteen. This means that I had been friends with this girl longer than;
1. Two latest Prime Ministers of Malaysia in service.
2. Brad Pitt’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston
3. World War II
During the solemnization ceremony, as I sat a few feet away from her, watching her sitting beautifully waiting to be married, I thought about how we got here. How twelve years had passed since we became friends, and ended up as dorm mates for the most of our lifetimes in boarding school, how we entered each other’s lives as wide-eyed girls with lots to learn about life, and came out of it as women. If I am to write about my adolescent memories without Odd in it, I will get probably only two pages worth of experience. On the contrary, a lot of highs and lows of growing up had her face somewhere in the background.
Here I have ten top moments of Odd that I will treasure and tell my grandchildren, one day when I’m sitting on my front porch having tea with my buddy Odd at the ripe-age of ninety.
Odd , me and a couple of other friends hiding under the beds during dinner time, because we didn’t feel like going to the dining hall. We were caught by the school prefect eating a bucket of fried chicken in the dark.
Odd, Hana and I in Canberra, Australia, enjoying the final days of college winter break together. All we saw was a boring parliament house, but all I remembered was how much fun we had, like we were school kids again.
A slumber party at her house when we were about fifteen years old. We stayed up watching Korean TV episodes and cried like idiots.
Odd turning up at my college dorm with a dozen of Dunkin Donuts with custard center, because in high school it was the only type of donut I really liked.
The late night conversations we liked to have with the rest of the gang, and talked about life, changes and dumb encounters. Thank God we still do it sometimes up to this day J
When Odd was fourteen or fifteen I let her read a short story I wrote. I couldn’t remember what the story was, but I remembered her crying and saying that it was a good story. Honestly, I think that was just the PMS talking.
Our road trips we take once a year. They always make me feel young again.
When we were sixteen there was this sudden craze on the movie ‘A Walk to Remember’. We watched it hundreds of times and couldn’t stop listening to the soundtracks. One rainy weekend there was nothing to do, so Odd and I decided to take a nap on the cold cement floor while listening to my Walkman. We played the song ‘Only Hope’ by Mandy Moore over and over again. Then she said, “You know, I think we’ll remember this moment for a long time.” It is nine years later and you’re right, girl.
I had a really bad fever and by bad, I mean really bad to the point that I was hallucinating things and going to see the doctor is a ‘less than appropriate’ attire. Odd, bless her heart, didn’t laugh at me (well at least not to my face) and chased me up on the way to go to the clinic to help me get properly dressed. This is when I knew I’ve got a really good friend in this fabulous chick.
The first day in boarding school. Our lockers were next to each other, and I remembered we talked about Goosebumps books. Then her Mom came by and said to her, “Ha, kan dah ada kawan tu! (There, you found a friend!)”. She was right. Alhamdulillah, I found such a good friend.
I’m feeling a bit sentimental because she’s married, and it’ll probably never be the same again, but I know that with us it will be like one of those pals who rarely get to see each other but when we do, it’ll be like we just saw each other yesterday. I really am stoked that she finally found Mr. Right! I sincerely hope for her happiness in the future. And true, I don’t know much about life, marriage, relationships and motherhood, but if there’s something I do know, it’s that a woman who has that much life as Odd has will pull it off looking like a champ.
Winter Break 2008. She hates this picture.