this is a quick note to one of my closest friend, Rebecca.
Ugh, scratch that. Your name is Khin Su Su Han and it’s doesn’t sound right if I call you with your American name. You’ve recently changed your name on my phone contacts because “Rebecca’ sounded too basic and professional. Now I got you as “S” with a series of emojis – a dark pink flower, a red heart, a pink polka-dot bikini, a red high heels shoe, and a lemon. You explained to me what they all mean to you and I just nodded. Ight, you would say.
So again, let’s do this:
Dear Khin Su,
(See how that flows way better? Okurrt) You’re the first person I’ve ever met at Hofstra University. Well, not really. The first person ever was our common global mentor, Becky. She was so welcoming and nice. Then I met my then roommate, with whom I didn’t click much, even though she was a very sweet person.
Yes, then I met you. It was during orientation week and I still hadn’t realize that I was in the USA, finally, after such a tedious year made of exams over exams in Italy. I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t want to be your friend at first, because you looked nice and cute sure, but there were a group of Europeans and a French guy who looked cute and I wanted to stick with them. But the girls were hot, didn’t speak my language, and I was feeling like an ugly duck – bad habit of mine. So I instantly and casually walked over your table and we were the only two sitting there staring at each other.
Damn, you were shy shy. I was the bubbly one asking where you were from and stuff, but you were pretty quiet. Always on your phone – that didn’t change much, lol. I thought that was the end of it, but then other people made their entrance in that room and in our lives – Jao, Sue, Olivette, Stephanie, Connie… – no one from either Italy or Burma.
First year went by, we weren’t that close. You would literally stay locked up in your room watching Korean dramas or whatever, whereas I was 24/7 out of my room at club meetings, gym, in Manhattan (Brooklyn was not a thing yet back then… only Williamsburg… you know what I mean? or Queens… what is Queens?) or listening to Frank Ocean (my Taylor Swift phase was fading… I still like her but… you know what I mean?). We would see each other, though. I would come to your room and sleep over sometimes, watch some movies, talk about how everybody was hot when we was (did you notice the was after we? Where our British English at, ugh??…) feeling like a potato, and childishly making fun of… Greek life… because we didn’t (don’t…) understand some girls behaviors in those groups. We’re international students. We know languages and lots of other stuff. We would make continuous parallelisms between what we used to see on the screen and in real life about America. Our American Dream.
Second year came around and we roomed together. It was the year. Unexpected, full of laughs, full of cries, you saw me growing, I saw you growing. It was beautiful. Everything that we had on our mind was working out and we didn’t ask for any of that. The S to my B. We learned so much. I received so much love… I don’t know why. I guess I had faith in the world and in people back then.
Then there’s now. It started all good, even though I was sensing some personal issues. You know I don’t like studying on campus anymore, you know my values of love, you know my hate-love toward college parties. Then that thing happened and I was just lost. I didn’t know how to react, because I was not imagining to be left in such a difficult moment. You had changed so much in the meantime. You wouldn’t stick with me 24/7 like it used to be. You seemed to have fun, to have forgotten me, and I was so scared. Again, I wanted to disappear. It is a bad habit of mine to get out from places where I feel unwanted and assuming the worst to not feel more sad. My heart was broken. I am somehow still broken.
Yesterday night, I had a hard time falling asleep. I was thinking about my life and how much I love the people I love and how much my experience had such an impact on you too. Do we happen to listen to the same music we once did? No, we added so much flavour. Do we happen to have ladies conversations like during freshman year? Bitch, you even hadn’t given your first kiss (you know the tone of that bitch, ight?). So yeah.
I’m not gonna lie. I find it difficult sometimes talking to you, because I see things with such a sensitive heart and mind, that constantly shapes my creativity and emotional life. You don’t like Art as much as I do. You don’t know any Audrey Hepburn’s movies. But I believe I taught you more than those things, even if you don’t tell me what you have been learning from me. I believe that my strongest suit is my capacity to discern and love only a very limited amount of people. You know I make people wait so long before I can tell them literally everything. I still have a few couple of things I haven’t told you or other people about me. Don’t worry, I’ve never killed anyone or stole someone’s boyfriend – yet muahah (you know I’m joking, ight?). But it takes years to know me. I always evolve. I’m never the same, I’ve realized. I’m a full adventure. So yeah.
Right now you’re living the life you’ve never got to experience and you’re being the star in many people’s lives. I’m happy for you and I love you. You’re Serena Van Der Woodsen, you get to do whatever you want to do. You’ve got a deep-loving-almost-diabetic afro-latina B, who is impulsive, too passionate, and scared to be left out. But I will always be close to you, ight?
I don’t know where I’ll be in six months or in one year or in five years. All I know is that I got the present, I got you, today’s your born day, and the certainty that in the future I will always be by your side. Even when I won’t text you every day or week, you’ll know I’ll be there. Sometimes – and you know it – I need space.
Now. Go back doing your homework or texting your boo (who’s that lucky baby boyyy?) and I’ll see you soon… in the room… than God you’re there, I can’t stand that place anymore…
Ti voglio bene, e tanto, ugh,