I stepped onto the campus grounds, perplexed. The buildings were worn out, beaten down by the sun and rain. There were only 6 showers on each floor without water heaters, it was a single shower head sticking out of the wall. The rooms were as small as a prison cells, 3 steps max and you’re on the other side of the room. Everything gave off a gloomy vibe, including me. I sulked and walked toward my first class, Psychology. Though I go home to PJ every weekend, the weekdays were still torture for me. The walk to class is at least 15 minutes under the scorching sun and there was no place really that you were allowed to smoke so the rebel in me had to emerge and I was seen smoking everywhere.
Anyway, I made 3 friends in that class at first, Tim, Andre and Jia (on the left). We were all new and none of us really fit in with the rest of the school’s population. Tim’s take on this is take because we’re both tattooed, everyone avoids our path. Andre is the only white boy in school and he’s kind of an airhead so that’s scary too. Jia however is kinda lost because he was the quietest around us, unless he’s drunk and he didn’t really speak to anyone either. The three of them made dorm life a little more bearable. After a week or two, I made friends with the other girls, the first one being Fiona. Fiona lived one floor below mine so we’d walk to class with the boys. After a month or two I started to feel more at ease living on campus, it was a quiet peaceful lifestyle that I quite liked. Still, “Camp Isolation” would get to me from time to time and hence the weekly visits from Rachel, Arthur, Alex and whoever else that was willing to visit me behind those walls or take me back to civilization for a night or two.
Fiona was a steadfast friend. She was also very accommodating, she obliged MOST of my insane ideas to climb trees and once I almost convinced her to swim in the school pool after midnight in our underwear. She gave me more girl friends whom I treasure very much even till today. Soo Yun was over-protective and was always reprimanding us when we got out of hand (like the time I smoked G everyday at the basketball court) while Nelly was always up to no good, the mischief queen who loves to flirt and loves even more the attention from any male. Living on campus we were like a family, we had every meal together, baths together (in separate cubicles -_-), copying homework from each other and cramming for our exams in the library. Eventually my bad habit started to grow on them, and we’d go clubbing together. I introduced them to the usual people I was with and I wouldn’t say they got along instantly but everyone liked each other.
So you can imagine my dismay to get a call from Soo Yun late one night, my distress to hear sorrow in her voice, the alarm to hear that Fiona was ill, and the misery to find out that Fiona has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Imagine how my heart sank when I was told she would have to undergo chemo immediately. Imagine my fury and rage when I did some calculations and talked to some people to find out that her condition would not have reached this stage if a year ago, the fucking stupid and useless doctors at putrajaya would have taken a closer look and figured out that the piece of her thyroid they had removed then was malignant. I am furious.
Please pray for her.