Live and Learn, Any Day Given

Being 12

Twelve is a magical age. To quote my favourite book series, Sweet Valley Twins, twelve is the age where you’re not a kid anymore but you’re not an adult either.  That series was written in the late 80s/early 90s, which I am sure is no longer applicable nor appealing to twelve- year-olds these days.

What do twelve-year-olds even do these days? My neighbour’s twelve-year-old kid told me about how her boyfriend of 2 years lied and cheated on her – even though their relationship was strictly online and they never met. Which, based on my very advanced mathematical skills, means she has had a boyfriend since she was 10. Another friend’s kid read the Twilight series. I think I was super childish because my friends were reading Sweet Valley University and I was still sticking to Sweet Valley Middle School.

*a moment of silence for my current predicament*
*moment over*

Twelve was my favourite age. Which may or may not explain why I sometimes behave like one. My real age may be far, far, far away from twelve, but I do suspect wonder think that my biological age may be twelve.

Anyway, I felt like taking a scenic walk down memory lane. Most days at 4pm, especially on Sunday afternoons, I tend to get flashbacks of my being twelve. I don’t know why, but I’d  just remember how my living room would be bathed in the warm afternoon sunlight, I’d be parked on the living room floor in front of the coffee table, watching whatever that’s on TV and snacking on the Ramly beef patty my mother bought and fried for me (because the outside ones are too oily and/or dirty). I even requested that we got burger buns instead of the plain old Gardenia slices, which my mother happily obliged.

But, dun dun dun, the highlight of my year would be my school bus crush. And I am going to tell you all about it.

So he was this really tall guy with really big eyes (do I rhyme or whut) who always smelt faintly of Johnson’s baby powder. I swear in real life I am not as creepy as I seem right now – I do not always go sniffing around. His name was Shaun and he set the benchmark so high that every Shaun/Shawn/Sean I met was compared to him and they never measured up. He was 4 years older.

He lived a few streets away from my house and I would occasionally go on evening walks with my sister to accidentally on purpose go past his house. When I told my sister about him, there was no more accidental walk pasts; he became the purpose of our walks. One time a sausage dog sniffed me (that’s karma isn’t it) and I freaked out and stood still and his mother came to chase away the dog and I said met my mother-in-law then. But I think the main point is, who gets scared of sausage dogs?! Have you seen the legs on them? Pfft.

I have never been happier to go to school on the 20-minute bus ride.

I remember the day I received my UPSR results. I managed a 4A 1C – the C for BM Penulisan – a score which I’ve never received in all my years of studying. But, as much as I would’ve liked to have gotten 5A’s, there was something more pressing on my mind. Yes. That day was the last day I ever saw him. I can still remember how the school bus was early that morning and how I didn’t realise I put my socks on inside out until I got to school. When I got home that day, I handed the results to my mum who got a shock along with my sister, while I dreamily floated up to the study to continue with the jigsaw puzzle I ordered from Foot & Mouth painting. My father came home after work and tried to console me, but little did they know how little I cared about my results. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHH. But my aunt was a lecturer who knew someone who knew someone in the Education department so they asked for a remark and it came back an A. But still. It didn’t feel like anything.

Years passed, yet he still remains as one of my favourite childhood memories. But the important thing is, I only liked what I saw because I never knew him. So he could be really obnoxious and gross. But I’d like to think all pretty people are nice people. That is why they’re so pretty. Until I am proven wrong.

His parents are still living in the same house, he has moved interstate. How do I know? I am a masterful stalker, I am. Everytime I go past the house I can’t help but look; but on the last trip back the house was being renovated. Walls were knocked down, taking away with them the memories I have of that house. Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives.


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