take me home.

to the one i had all my firsts, the cocoon of nostalgia that cradles the remnants of my earliest years. colourful murals scribbled on my parents’ calloused dresser, the markings of a thousand playful adventures. nooks and crannies— a sanctuary for all those lost toys, now resting as silent witnesses to the passage of time. the ballerina in the music box stopped twirling, glow-in-the-dark stars now dim and peeling, clinging desperately to the ceiling as if reluctant to let go of the magic that once danced beneath them. 

i still keep every note, letter, sticker, and receipt; faded or not, their presence is a testament to the permanence of memories, the relics of a bygone era. i still remember all the projects we did, the birthdays we celebrated. i miss the ones i lost contact with and/or drifted apart. i miss the ones i used to call nightly, conversations of a distant past. i’ve read somewhere that some memories never leave your bones. like salt in the sea; they become part of you – and you carry them.

i see their milestones, their successes, and the threads of new connections woven into their lives. i wonder if they wonder about me too, if my absence leaves a void in their memories as it does in mine. messages that once flowed effortlessly became sporadic, and the familiar faces mutated into pixels on a screen rather than tangible presences in my world. the silly names i saved their contacts as start to lose meaning.

from small ripples to tumultuous waves, navigating the complexities of adolescence was not a linear trajectory, but a mosaic of experiences. we turn 18 this year; way past the age limit to be allowed in Kidzania, but i’m not ready for the chaos of adulting. the childhood i once knew, where innocence and imagination danced hand in hand, has finally reached a crescendo; an unwanted performance.

take me back.

to those rehats where we would run and play, loiter the kantin; past the arch of indigo morning glories, carefree and giggly. the few conversations we now have merely consist of “remember this?” and “i miss the time when…”. even the littlest moments haven’t left my mind until now; leaving pendidikan seni visual early for choir practice, or the ‘hit songs of 2016’ playlist blaring from the tapak perhimpunan speakers during senam robik.

annual class photos buried deep in the drawer, nothing signed because i left before graduation – but sometimes i wish i didn’t. i see pictures of her and wonder if she remembers the nonsensical songs we wrote together at the back of the class as if we were underrated popstars waiting for their debut showcase, or if he knew i had a crush on him for almost 3 years, even though we barely spoke to each other (just know that i would have given you all the Pixy Stix in the world).p-0oiuy

the world has spun on its axis, and we have become different versions of ourselves. the days we had kelas tambahan in the morning are long gone. the excitement of taking the train for the first time has worn off and morphed into another burden in my humdrum life. the clock that hasn’t ticked from the start has been replaced with a new, working one. a blurred blob of memories sits at the back of my mind, obscured by new ones; new places, new faces, new everything – a whole new life.

 although… almost everyone experiences this, don’t they? : transitioning from kindergarten to primary school, and then to secondary school, and to college. it astounds me that i’ve practically been in school for 13 years, and i’m not yet near the end either. there is a knot of fear in my chest that comes and goes, that the moments of my youth would be replaced; my evocation of childhood becoming fuzzy like static on those old TVs. all i want to do is go back to planning secret meet-ups at the padang with the neighbour kids, but the creaking swing set is now littered in foliage.

the memories are still here, and i hope it lingers just for a little while longer, so the folds of my brain memorise their gentle fingerprints and reminisce. to those who carried out pengawas pusat sumber duties with me, to those i waited for the transport uncle with, to those who streamed despacito with me when it released, our echoes of laughter may now be muted but it is more than enough comfort to know that we were girls and boys together.

Written By: Kyra

Edited By: Merissa

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