“And he called them the Land of Kabul,
a name they have to this day.”
1 Kings 9:13
He was a transfer student at a high school located in a big city and was feeling pretty
lost the first few days of school. Wu became a loner by necessity, not by
choice. He would like to have a friend, yet his new classmates seemed to look
at him with suspicion. People appeared to be sizing him up and trying to
determine where to place him socially and academically.
He was an artist and was very good at reading people’s feelings and inner emotions, which
caused him to become reluctant to strike up a conversation with anyone in
class. He knew they were trying to avoid him.
Things were easy during class time, for he could always daydream and didn’t have to worry
about talking to anyone, but it got tough during recess when everyone found
their niche and he had no place to go. In fact, he didn’t mind being alone, he
just did not want to be perceived as lonely and needing friends. He didn’t
necessarily need anyone, yet being perceived as needy made him extremely
“Hey, I am Lin, nice to meet you,” a guy came to him during lunch time and introduced
himself. Lin was another loner in class who seemed to have trouble finding a
group to fit in. He was from the countryside and didn’t seem to wear the right
clothes or speak with the right accent. Wu wasn’t that keen to become his
friend, but he simply couldn’t afford to be too picky at the time. “Beggars
can’t he choosers,” he said to himself.
For the remainder of the school year the two became fast friends. Lin became a security
blanket for him and he at least had someone to have lunch with and to do things
with when there was nothing to do. They weren’t friends by choice, really, but
They were both sensitive and melancholy types, and for a while they both felt they had
found a soul mate of sorts. Together they drank beer and flirted with girls,
going to moves and concerts. Indeed they were rejected by their classmates, but
they liked to think that they were far above them intellectually.
A year or so later, they both graduated and joined the military. They made an attempt to
keep in touch with each other for a while, but when someone failed to write,
the relationship ended abruptly.
Years later, they ran into each other by accident and the encounter seemed awkward,
embarrassing even, to both of them, for they had nothing to say to each other
beyond “How have you been?” They bid each other goodbye as fast as they could,
before they exchanged contact information. It was a reunion between two friends
that were never friends; they merely got closer to keep each other warm in the
cold wintry world, and the chance encounter on the street reminded them of the
days when they were both unwanted and undesirable, the awkward time in their
lives that they would like to leave behind, never to visit again.