國中時菁被欺負、、、只因為她想跟我們班的太妹要回10元。對當時的她而言，錢很重要，即便是10元也是很重要的。國二時菁因為渴望朋友而浪費錢陪岑去上沒用的英文課(菁跟她妹妹兩人一向數學很好，但菁的英文就是不行)。 其實他們家經濟拮据，她實在不應該為了陪朋友而補習的。 那回英文段考菁因成績不理想而被她爸爸毒打一頓。
Last night, I recalled some things about an old friend of mine Ema. When we were in grade 3, we didn't talk to each other. Ema was taller than me, so her seat was always in back of mine. As a result, I never intended to talk to her. I usally just chatted with classmates who sat near me. I think that we first talked to each other in grade 4 on a trip to Kenting. At that time my best friend called Yaling moved to Fangliao, so during the excursion I basically talked to two girls: Qiuyan and Ema. I felt somehow lost, and to tell the truth I didn't feel that Ema and I were like-minded. But one thing that I'm sure is that Ema was kind, as she always was. Still, Ema wasn't really my friend back then. I remember that in grade 5 to 6, Ema was in Class 3 (there were 20 classes in grade 5&6). Ema often asked me to borrow my calligraphy set. A lot of students often forgot their calligraphy set. The funny thing is that since Ema and I were not familiar with each other, it was quite bold of Ema to have the courage to ask me to lend her my calligraphy set. But I was very different from other Taiwanese children. I lent Ema my calligraphy set without any hesitation whenever she needed. I think that some Taiwanese students would find it awkward that people like Ema would ask such a request from an acquaintance.
Ema had a hard time at junior high. She started being bullied just because she had the guts to ask a gangster girl to give her back the NTD$10 Ema lent her. But strangely Ema could always feel happy. I still don't know why she could do that. But anyway, I remember that at that time, Ema longed for friendship. She once took some English lessons with my twin after school simply because she thought that as a friend, she should try to do something with a "friend". Ema's family isn't well-off, and since she was never interested in English, it was a waste of money to take such lessons. She didn't do well on her English mid-term, so her father punished her harshly.
I wasn't very nice to Ema, too. I remember that at 16, one time my mom and sister travelled to Singapore, and my father and brother were on business trips. There was only me alone at home. So I phoned Ema to sleep over at my home. Surprisingly Ema's parents said okay. That night, Ema wanted to chat with me because she didn't like the awkwardness of silence. But I wanted to listen to classical music, which was only broadcasted at midnight. Then after 2am, Ema stil wanted to chat. We chatted until 4am. I was so tired that I pretended to fall asleep so that Ema stopped talking. But I always remember it, and I know that I was doing something that wasn't very nice to Ema. Ema was my friend, but I was somewhat cold to her.
At 17, Ema was changed, as she had two friends at her school. Ema often talked about those girls with us, and she seemed very content. I believe that those girls, especially the prettier one called Fen, was very important to Ema. She gave Ema something that my twin and I couldn't give to Ema. I feel very embarrassed to admit, but both my twin and I never cherished Ema's friendship as much as her friend called Fen did. I don't really remember her name; I think that her name is either Peifen or Huifen. Really I always feel glad that Ema had met Fen in her short life. Fen showed Ema what a genuine friendship was. Ema started to dress like Fen and her other friends. They liked to listen to music by a Taiwanese group called "May Day" (五月天). They liked to do many things together, which was good.
Ema started to have part-time jobs at 17, too. She worked at a supermarket and a bakery near my home. So occasionally my twin and I would pop in the surpermarket to say hi to Ema. She didn't change jobs as frequently as me:P She usually stayed with the same company for 2 or 2.5 years before she switched jobs. The only exception was that once Ema started her new job at a bra/underwear shop. One or two bras was/were stolen. Since no one caught the thief. All employees had to pay NTD$7000-8000 for the missing bras. Ema therefore left the bra shop. She then studied at Night school and worked in the daytime. I don't remember where she worked. I only remember that she studied tourism, and that was when Ema picked up her foreign name. She told me that it was a Spanish name, but I haven't found out whether it's true or not. Anyway, to my surprise Ema got her diploma. Ema was always good at math but bad at English. However, she still tried her best to get a degree in tourism, which involved some languages courses: English, Japanese and Spanish. Then, Ema worked at a book shop near the cram school where I tutored Irene and Danny. I often went to Ema's book shop to chat with her after Danny's class, and now I am happy that I once frequented the book shop where Ema worked. Afterwards, Ema told me that she wanted to continue her studies. I think that she was aware that with a higher degree, it would be easier for her to find better jobs. This time she studied accountancy, which was quite ideal and suitable for people like her. The same year (2005), Ema started to work for the company which I believe caused her to die from overwork. I remember that Ema was very happy to work there in the beginning. She said that she got free lunch boxes, and if she had to go to school, she was allowed to leave half an hour earlier. When I returned to Taiwan last July, I contacted Ema. Ema had to put in overtime so often that we didn't really have time to meet each other, and I didn't know that the overwork could be fatal to her.
On 28 December, 2007, Ema fainted on the way home from her uni. According to the doctors, there were no visible signs of life after less than 5 minites Ema fainted. What caused her death is still a mystery to me, but I really do not want to phone Ema's sister again to find out what Ema's forensic report is.
There are some anecdotes about Ema. At 17, cyber space had just begun popular. One of Ema's friends met a guy on the Internet, and she arranged a date with him. However, since the girl had no idea what the guy looked like, she wanted Ema and their other friend to go with her. Ema and her other friend checked out the guy at a chain store selling chips and chickens (not fish and chips). According to Ema, it was a fat sort of boy who brought with a cake. On the top of the cake, it said, "You are my only love." Ema's friend didn't meet the guy in the end. The whole event sounded hilarious to my twin and me, and the sentence "you are my only love" was the best part.
During college, I once asked Ema to attend a concert with my twin and me. Ema always had no idea when she should clap, and at times she told me that the classical music made her sleepy. How cute Ema was.
I do wish that Ema was making a joke or playing "hide-and-seek" with all of her friends. Her passing is just so real and cruel that I can hardly believe that she has left everyone for good. But Ema would never grow old, and her hair would never become gray. She's now in heaven with her father. She has slept coldly ever since 28 December, 2007. She would turn 27 years old this month. I really wish that I could tell her in person how nice she had always been, and without her, I might not have been able to persuade my mom into letting me do some things that I should do. Ema was never my best friend, but she understood me more than most of my other friends.