First off, a very deep-seated and heartfelt bow to Zhi Yong for doing something today in Sunday School Class that took a whole lot of guts. Indeed, real men aren't the ones who go about life stoically and laughing their problems away, and real friends aren't the ones who pretend that they completely understand your pains. Here's to real friends and real men. =) (and real women too, if you must)
May kicked the carpety grass once more petulantly, leaving a mark behind. It had been nothing short of a disaster of a day, starting from the dumb spot check to the meeting with the discipline teacher, to not being able to hand up her homework in time, to the subtle but mocking smirks of Saras and gang. Taking a walk with Jean in her "secret garden" calmed her uptight nerves, albeit slightly.
"Penny for yout thoughts?" Jean smiled.
"As if you don't know what my thoughts are."
"Well, it's a figure of speech. Still harping on the bad day, huh?"
May tugged at her skirt crossly, trying to make it cover her knees. "I still don't understand. It was perfectly fine when I first came to school."
They continued walking down the dirt path to a shadier part of the garden. Leafy trees reached up to the sky, clambering amongst each other to make sure the sun had a hard time poking through. Jean lugged her box of odds and ends noisily, interrupting the regular chorus of birds and insects. When they came to a dry patch between two towering trunks, she stopped.
"Here's a nice spot!" She laid a checkered cloth on the ground, so reminiscent of the childhood picnics May always had. "Did you remember to bring the bread?"
"Why, of course!" May indignantly held up a paper bag with a slightly squashed loaf of bread. "And did you bring the tuna?"
Jean stuck out her tongue and raised a can of sardines.
"Isn't this the most perfect place, the most perfect day ever?" Jean murmured dreamily as they munched on their sandwiches, listening to N Sync, Jean's "most favouritest band ever" on a battery-operated radio which May had no idea was even inside the box.
"Yes to the former. Not quite sure about the latter."
"No, I mean isn't this the best day ever when you're here?"
May wasn't quite sure what she meant. "Mm hmm."
"Don't you wish we could just come here everyday?"
"This reminds me of the book Peter Pan. My mom read it to me when I was little."
"How nice of her," said May. "Haha, I watched it on home video."
Jean didn't laugh; instead she frowned and suddenly started rummaging through the box. After much effort, she managed to fish out a dog-eared paperback.
"Ah, here it is," She opened it and read the first page:
"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!" This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end."