Shortly after I entered primary school, there was a meet-and-greet gathering in the school auditorium. There were about 40 children from our class and another 40 from the class next to ours. Except for one friend with whom I went to the same kindergarten, I didn’t know anybody from other classes, so I was excited to meet new friends.
In the auditorium, we were told to make a big circle and hold hands with people on both sides of us. I don’t remember who were standing next to me that day, but what I do remember is that while I stood there in the circle, I saw a girl from the next class standing on the opposite side from me. She also looked at me and smiled. I smiled back.
That was it. We didn’t talk during that gathering since we were located far away from each other. I also didn’t know her name at the time. But there was something delightful about the connection we experienced in that exchange of smiles. From that day on, whenever we met on the corridor, we smiled to each other in recognition as if we had been friends from a long time.
I later told this story to my mother at home with excitement.
“I don’t know her name, but she’s a friend I made with my eyes!”
My mother greatly loved this story and said that I should write about it so that I wouldn’t forget it.
I am now writing this story 25 years later. It has never left my memory. Even now, I can vividly recall the moment we smiled at each other in our first meet-and-greet gathering from the opposite ends of the circle.