The Diary of Anne Ku
2 August 2000 Wednesday
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY FRIEND
Hard to believe that I first met Jackie in the twilight of our teenage years. We were bunk bed neighbours. In a small room full of American Chinese girls, we were distinct foreigners. The other eight girls were loud and spoilt.
We got up early for the national anthem and breakfast. I had trouble understanding her English at first. Hers was real English compared to my twinge of Californian accent here and there.
That summer we were inseparable. Somehow, even before I met her, I knew she existed by her name. We celebrated her 20th birthday with her uncles in a Chinese restaurant. We indulged in the mouth-watering food while her uncles just sat and watched.
When I decided to come to England after university, she had decided to study in Taiwan. When she came back, I had moved to Singapore. Timing wasn't always perfect, but our overseas correspondence strengthened our friendship.
Besides being my friend, she's my doctor, lawyer, and psychiatrist. She's never jealous or envious. She's always giving. On my last birthday, she gave me a musical wall coat hanger. I'm not so imaginative. On this birthday, I give her the gift of music and cyberspace.
The birthday girl at age 20.