My Dearest Anushka,
I made my first real friend in primary school. A Thai boy, who for the sake of this letter I will call Aun. I can't recall what brought us together, but I know that for that period of my life, we were inseparable.
It's hard to tell why, but Aun didn't like girls. He had a little sister. Perhaps that explains it. I never had a sister. Perhaps she made his life hard. Perhaps he was jealous. For whatever reason, I looked up to Aun. I had little to no experience with friends, particularly boys - I had spent time as a child playing with my parent's friend's children, most of whom were girls. So Aun took the lead most of the time. He was the leader of what become our little gang.
Because Aun didn't like girls. We weren't allowed to like girls. This was a rule. In fact, it turned out that Aun was actively against girls in general. This was slightly problematic, being as a I had made a couple of girl friends at the school. The time seemingly came to cut ties. I had to make a choice between the gang and the individual girls with whom I'd come to know. Retrospectively the choice is obvious. Retrospectively, Aun was bad for me, and had I known what that friendship would become, I would have made the right choice.
You see, I wasn't a bad person. I still don't think I am bad, not in the true sense of the word. I've made flawed decisions throughout my life which has led me to where I am today, but I wouldn't consider myself a bad person. Just misguided perhaps.
After all, friendship was new. And I was young to it; I looked up to Aun. I believed that he had that power of me, and I suppose in a way he did.
I don't know if I can blame him, I don't know if I can remove that from myself. I followed his lead. I did the things he said. I don't know if that makes him influential or if it makes me weak. I did the things he said.
At home, situations changed and I had to move away, not far, but far enough. The time came for me to leave that school. To leave those friends behind. I remember being scared that I wouldn't make friends again. It's an understandable fear, but in retrospect, there are always more people, no matter how great someone seems, I suppose there is always someone else. There are always more great people.
Does that make old people disappear? Sometimes it is best to remember people as they were and to not meet them again. Perhaps I have you on a pedestal, perhaps I have you in an ivory tower. And perhaps it's best you stay there, because if I ever ruined that illusion of you, what would I have then? What would I have to love?