(in lieu of Mukhsin)
We were seven.
His name was Shahrizal. We were in the same class. Satu Merah.
We would buy each other kuih during recess.
The only time he didn't take the curry-puff I gave him was because he had just had his bersunat and there were meat in it. "Kalau makan daging nanti ko*ek aku bentan, mak aku cakap", he said.
On the last day of the year, we had already chosen a place next to each other in our future Dua Merah class. Cikgu Zuraida had to stop us from putting our heads in each other's lap.
At recess that day he gave me packet wrapped in newspaper and told me he will be moving to another school.
I think I still have that pink-beads necklace somewhere.
I've never heard of Shahrizal ever since.