Friend, my dear friend

Every time I want to write a piece about Yan, it would definitely start from our childhood.

We both grew up in a small peasant town in the southwest of China. As our generation is right at the age of family planning, it is very natural that we have no brothers or sisters. Same elementary school, same class and close houses made Yan and I become very close friends. In fact, I cannot recall much of our childhood except the generally peaceful atmosphere around home and school. Although, from the current perspective, this peace buried family violence to a certain degree. While our parents were working for a large decayed state-owned enterprise that once experienced reorganization after bankruptcy, we enjoyed our limited primary school time without being consumed by the upcoming pressure and the dreadful college entrance examination. And this is how our life looked like before the earthquake on May 12, 2008.

Though we barely discuss those things, I always consider Yan as the most important friend to me. Yan always has something special. I remembered her obsession with MJ, Avril and rock music, which was quite rare for a small-town girl, especially back then the Internet was not that developed at all. Just imagine, listen to that kind of music with an MP3 that couldn’t even show lyrics. Also, brave, as she dared to fight with boys while I was standing there like a coward (like always). And when I broke my leg and might have to take one year off in our junior high, Yan proposed she was willing to take one year off to wait for me, which almost had me in tears. That’s something noble.

I didn’t take one year off from junior high while Yan did spend another year in her high school. But that’s another story.

After the earthquake, Yan and I went to different schools ever since. I believe she experienced a lot during high school. But we didn’t communicate that often during high school since we were in different cities and technically weren’t allowed to use mobile phones, I could only catch a glimpse of her life that accompanied by coffee, regular routine and slight self-loathing, which is basically every Chinese high school student’s life, from our occasional chat. I didn’t want to reminiscence the stupid and dreadful imprisonment overwhelmed by endless homework within the high school.

Luckily we both escaped there. A university is a good place for us to discover the possibility of our lives if we have any (we do). I read hundreds of books and then realized I hated my previous major. So here I am, studying cs in a distant city where you can smell marijuana on campus, on the street and on the bus. And as for Yan, I believe she also found something she loves. Becoming a doctor in the largest hospital in southwest China with an enviable generous salary and hectic life, for example.

I don’t consider myself special. I’m always the quiet guy (as some people described) with weird hobbies (can’t deny). But Yan is something different. She was once rebellious, skeptical and cynical (in a certain period of her life). And then she became a trusting, hardworking and awake person. I used to prefer the rebellious minority and think it’s the rebellion that makes them distinct. But here is the thing, what actually makes those people different is bravery. You can be brave whatever your lifestyle is. I admire those people because I lack that kind of courage. Just like years ago, when Yan fought with the boy, I stood aside without a word.

As you can see, Yan is always the brave one. She carried a lot pressure and dared to fight for it. And that’s what makes you spellbound.

Let’s appreciate this Christmas song from Yan, which I’m ninety percent sure it is played by guitar. Yan is good at guitar by the way, I believe it has something to do with her obsession with rock.


        

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