We met in primary 1 and sat near each other in class. I was already eloquent in English whereas it was a completely new lingo for her. Like a hare in the race, that was my advantage and I was ahead of the class for the first few years. Then she overtook me.
We became good friends and went to the same secondary school together. We didn't sit next to each other this time. She started in a better class and later joined ranks with the smartest girls in school. As best friends, we joined the same uniformed group (National Cadet Corps) so that we could be together. Once again, she excelled and was promoted quickly to lead the troop whereas I stagnated as a lance corporal. She was a natural leader.
By the time we got our GCE O Level results, the disparity was too great to ignore. She secured a place in one of the top junior colleges. It was simply beyond my reach. She went on to graduate with flying colours. We went separate ways but stayed in close contact.
Like a hare in the race, I was ahead of her when it came to marriage and kids. She was the bridesmaid at my wedding. Two years later, I attended her wedding with YK in tow. Now we each have 2 sons.
Like their mother, her kids excel in sports and academia. The older one secured a place in one of the top schools, the same one his mother went to.
While her marriage stayed solid as a rock, mine collapsed after 10 years. During the years I was fixing the pieces of my life together, she became a high-flier in a prestigious industry commanding alot of respect and salary.
When I introduced her to running a year ago, she was a newbie compared to me. Then she started training seriously. Today, she returned from Beijing where she just completed a half marathon (21k). Her timing was excellent, way better than what I had ever achieved all these years.
"Shall we run together at the race this Sunday?", she chirped merrily. Emm, I had better not.
Once again, she had overtaken me. While I feel happy for her, I can't help but feel like a loser. I just hope I'm not a sore one.