Best Friends Are Made of These

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‘Her over-the-top kindness and her loud voice suddenly made all my self-pity disappear, but it only made the embarrassment hotter.’

BEST FRIENDS are supposed to be wonderful, but sometimes, they can drive you up the wall. Kennice is just like that. She has been my best friend for two years now, since Primary Five. We have been in the same class, first in 5 Loyalty 1, and now 6 Resilience 1—those are the fancy names for our classes.

She sits in the second row from the right, third desk from the front, and I sit to her left, right across the aisle. It’s a blessing to have your best friend so close. We didn’t plan for this to happen, we ended up seated side by side on account of our height. She’s 1.45m tall, I’m 1.43m. She wears a ponytail, so do I. She’s a loudmouth, so am I, though not as loud as her. She’s the giggly type, I’m the same, except I’m gigglier.

That’s how we became friends. One day, she came up to me and said, “Hey, I like the way you laugh.” I was thrilled because my mother is not particularly fond of my laughter. I immediately warmed up to Kennice, such a nice name!

The only trouble with this girl is she’s not very discreet. She would, for instance, let loose a secret the moment she hears one. One time, I whispered to her that I really wanted to slap Corrine’s face, and as soon as the words left my lips, Kennice shouted out, almost in glee, “Oh my goodness! Xin Yu can’t stand Corrine!”

The whole world heard her, including poor Corrine, who was within earshot. And the worst part of it all is that this silly girl usually has no idea how hurtful she is. Even though in this instance, she may have caught her own stupid indiscretion, she only made it worse by proclaiming, “Oh, no, no, it’s just a dare, I didn’t mean it!” So much for pretending to sound random.

Discretion may not be her strong suit, but she’s got a big heart.

Once, I slipped down the stairs in school and felt my bum bumping down three, four steps before I hit the ground floor. The pain in the bottom wasn’t killing me so much as the hot flush of embarrassment. Some school mates snickered, others just walked right past. Only Kennice came rushing to my rescue.

“Oh, Xin Yu!” she cried. “Are you OK?”

She pulled me up, and surveyed my face, then my arm, and gave a quick inspection of my bottom. I looked fine, but she seemed to wonder if I had suffered some internal bleeding: “You sure we don’t have to go to the general office?” Her over-the-top kindness and her loud voice suddenly made all my self-pity disappear, but it only made the embarrassment hotter.

But that’s just Kennice. Her readiness to please is so hyper, it smothers you to bits. And nowhere did I feel more smothered than when we were eating chocolate-chip cookies our classmate Lindsay had brought to school one day.

“Mmm, this is so good!” I said.

“Yes, it is,” she agreed. “But I can make it even better.”

And it’s true she could. It was everything I could have wished for in a cookie, much the same way that Kennice is everything I could have wished for in a friend.

(556 words)

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Chia Xin Yu, Primary Six
May 2018

For more essays by Xin Yu, visit Xin Yu Writes.


This essay was written in response to the theme, “Best Friends” and a picture of two girls whispering to each other

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You may also enjoy Not Just Friends. Best Friends.

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Friendship is Priceless

IT’S hard to think of anything else as precious as friends. Money can buy friends, some may say, but chances are, such friends may not be true.

Friends, you could say, are the opposite of loneliness. Without friends, your world would be quiet, devoid of fun. I can’t imagine my life without friends, particularly my best friend, Adielle, pronounced just like the famous singer, Adele.

Adielle and I have known each other since we were babies, so our parents tell us. I recall those long ago days when we used to play catching on the church grounds. We must have been four or five. The kind of joy you find playing with a friend is priceless, as is the kind of connection you get from sharing a special moment.

On a mission trip to Nias in Indonesia to help the poor, we seemed to have had a strange falling spell. We fell into a drain, we slipped on the wet floor, we tripped over the threshold of one of the houses we visited. Falling is no fun, but the fact that I didn’t fall alone, made it feel less horrible, less painful.

Mischief can somehow feel more thrilling too in the company of a friend. Not that I’ve committed a heinous crime, but once, I played truant at a church camp. Because we were playing with light sticks, cutting them up to let all the glowing liquid flow on our bed, we turned in only at two in the morning, Naturally, we couldn’t wake up early. The plan was to skip devotion at 8.30AM and sleep in. We rose only at ten, but managed to slip into the breakfast room to steal some croissants, ham and cheese, and orange juice before slipping back to our rooms to enjoy our breakfast haul. 

Alone, I wouldn’t have done such a crazy thing. I wouldn’t have had the courage. That’s the other beauty of friendship. The power of two beats the power of one. In this silly venture of ours, we felt brave together. Imagine if we were together for something nobler, something more meaningful. We could forge something really special. That something hasn’t come to us yet, but if and when it does, I’d really be looking forward to it. That collaboration would be priceless.

(383 words)

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Glenda Chong, Secondary Four
August 2017


This essay was written in response to the ‘O’ Levels 2014 exam, Question #4:
“The best things in life are free.” Write about some of the occasions when you have found this to be true.

For more ‘O’ Level essays, visit:
. Student Essays
. 2014 ‘O’ Levels Essays by Viv

Not Just Friends. Best Friends.

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LIFE would be empty without friends, but it’d be a disaster without best friends. Best friends have that special edge over other friends: they are the ears to your most intimate secrets, you laugh more freely with them, you can be silly with them, you can do just about anything and never worry one jot.

Wei Ling is such a friend. She’s a classmate who sits four rows in front of me because she’s short. I have known her for only one year and two months, but I feel as if I have known her for years. I guess that’s what friendship is about—you just hit it off.

Our friendship started on the day I approached her, after she was bullied in the canteen. Another classmate, Xinlu, had commanded her to return her plates to the plate-return corner and she meekly obeyed. I was outraged though. Speaking to her, I would learn that she was bullied too into lending money, erasers, pens—all of which weren’t ever returned.

Xinlu was lucky I never punched her. I had just encouraged Wei Ling to stand up for herself, that meek, timid girl. I generally dislike mousey people, but with Wei Ling, I closed not one eye, but two. And that’s the strange thing about friendship. It’s partial, biased, and not very logical.

Wherever she lacks in courage, she more than makes up for with a great sense of humor, an irrepressible urge to seize the comedy in almost everything. Once, at PE, when we were stretching the tricep in that exercise where you pull your right arm leftward with the left forearm, she made her right arm go limp like an elephant’s trunk, and for good measure, she moved the wrist up and down, and announced: “Look! Elephant!” How funny that in her unabashed playfulness, a thick-skinned sort of courage comes through, while mine just disappears, consumed by mortification. 

But that’s fine. Wei Ling has many fine qualities. When you talk to her, not only her ears are with you, but her eyes as well. How many good listeners are there in this world like her? And how many happy-go-lucky girls are there like her, considering how every other student in school is a worry wort, stressed up to the nth degree, myself included.

Her jolly, merry, devil-may-care attitude makes her a bubble of positive energy. No wonder Korean barbecue is all the more delicious in her company; and movies, all the more fun and enjoyable. I consider Wei Ling to be reliable—she’s always punctual to a fault, but don’t trust her with your secrets. She has never kept any of her other friends,’ which somehow end up flying to my ears. Maybe she’ll keep mine, but I haven’t tested her out yet.

Perhaps soon, but in the meantime, I just smile thinking how fortunate I am to have such a friend. She calms my nerves, teaches me to worry less and laugh a little more. Who knows, if I hang out with her a little more, I just might end up laughing with my fists to the lips, just like a squirrel.

(530 words)

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Jiji Setavoraphan, Secondary Two
February 2015

For more essays by Jiji, visit Jiji Writes.