Today, I have intense pain in my heart as I write this column. No, it’s not a heart attack. It’s more like a broken heart. This week is the last time I will be meeting a young friend. 

I first met the 11-year-old girl at a friend’s tuition centre about a year ago. Since then, we have grown close to each other; it’s more like a mother-and-daughter relationship. It is easy to love the cute little girl; she is sweet, innocent and wears her heart on her sleeve.

I learnt from her last week that her family members were moving her to another tuition centre because of transport problems.

My young friend wants to stay on at the current centre and wishes she can. But the decision has been made by her elders and it is final.

It is obvious my young friend is devastated by her elders’ decision. But there is nothing she can do except shed tears of sadness and despair. Last week, she was sad and shed tears in front of the principal.

Only God knows the pain in her heart! I also shed tears of sadness in silence when I walked away from her.

Now, I can understand why some people never want to get close to anyone. I can understand why some teachers keep their students at arm’s length and why some people never get close to their co-workers.

It is to protect themselves from heartbreak and heartache. When your heart is not entangled with anyone, it is easier for you to walk away unscathed and with your heart intact.

Imagine if you are the class teacher of 40 students and you get close to each and every one of them. At the end of the school year, some of your students will leave you for schools in other towns, cities or even countries.

If you don’t protect your heart, you can end up a terrible emotional wreck at the end of every school year.

My young friend has requested for a special goodbye gift this week. “Please buy me iced Milo. I will drink it up and not spill it,” she told me.

The last time I presented her with iced Milo, she treasured it so much that she took time to drink it. Unfortunately, in the end, it was accidentally spilt by one of her hyperactive brothers. She cried in silence but it was no use crying over spilt milk.

I promise myself I will not cry if my young friend cries when we say our last goodbye. But will I be able to keep to my own promise?

My friends, if there is a sad movie, please don’t invite me to attend it with you. Just like they say in one of the songs, sad movies make me cry.

The last South Korean drama that made me cry was “Mr Sunshine”, a historical drama starring Lee Byung Hun and Kim Tae Ri which was set during the political upheavals of the Joseon era. If I knew that the drama had a sad ending, I probably would not have watched it to the end.

Now coming back to my young friend and I, will we get to see each other after our last goodbye? I have already advised her to be obedient, to study hard and to move on in life.

My friend is young. Her young heart has probably not been hurt much. But for me, my not-so-young heart has been hurt numerous times. And each time it happened, I had learnt to pick myself up and move on in life.

My friends, let me share here with you the following funny sad/heartbreak quote or advice by Katelyn Cardwell I found online: “Don’t fall in love. Fall off a bridge, it hurts less.”

Such advice, of course, is easier said than done. Can you really control who you fall in love with?

Anyway, to my young friend this week, I’d like to say, “I bid you adieu! Till we meet again.”