Back to Singapore and life resumed. I graduated from uni and started working, travelled a bit for work and joined a couple more exchange programmes.
In July 2003, I was in New Zealand for my honeymoon. Still hoping to catch up with my watch mates, I tried emailing some and one did reply...a Julius Heighway popped up in my inbox!
Kid was living in Dunedin but he was determined to take that over 4-hour drive up to Christchurch to meet up on my last night there. We made plans to meet at my hotel and catch up over dinner. As the minutes ticked and snow started to fall, I began to wonder if we would get to meet at all…but Kid did not show up.
It was finally in 2016 that we reconnected on Facebook. We caught up on lost time over the past 20 years on Messenger, including what happened on that fateful night in Christchurch. I also found out that Kid had relocated to Australia in the same period that I was working in Australia.
Again, another missed chance to reconnect. We continued to follow each other on social media and after many conversations on FB messenger, Kid decided to come over for a visit. After 22 years and 2 misses, we met again on 28 October 2019, this time in Singapore.
Anticipating the reunion, I wondered if time would have created an awkwardness between us. Seems that our friendship defied the long period of separation and we naturally connected, as we had back in Anakiwa.
It’s a warm familiar feeling to be talking and hanging out together again, yet surreal, to meet again after so long…but I’m glad we did. It's not every day that you find someone from your past who can walk towards the future with you but I did.
Grateful and humbled by this journey that I may not have experienced had it not been for OBNZ…I say thank you. Maybe I’ll have a chance to return to Anakiwa some day.
Noor Haslinda Ibrahim