the storyteller, revisited.

When we first moved here, a week apart from each other and together survived an entire month without wifi, Intern Girl and I spent many evenings just chatting the night away. To put it simply – there wasn’t much to do in the house except to acknowledge and get to know each other. So we did.

Unlike one or two younger girls I’ve crossed paths with in the past however, Intern Girl doesn’t actually remind me of my younger self. In fact, to be completely honest, in the beginning she was always extremely polite and really shy – like any newbie-intern – and I… couldn’t stand it. I wanted her to feel comfortable with me so I took the initiative and effort to break the ice and awkwardness. I did so by sharing tales, as usual, from my personal history – from those memorable days as an intern myself, here in Miri, to my years Stateside to general, random stories that would come to mind as we chat. 

I brought her with me to the beach trip last Saturday with friends, and again took her with me tonight to a talk/meeting to support a close friend – and tonight it finally hit me square… she’s been keeping score. She’s trying to remember faces to names of people who have come up in my stories, especially those she gets to meet in-person. As if trying to check answers in a preliminary examination, she’d whisper to me, “Is that-?” or “That’s [insert name] right?” No wonder when I talk about my siblings too, lately she’d go “This is your [insert sibling and their number] isn’t it?” I am… kind of stupefied by this realization. I tell stories all the time yes, but I’ve also always been the only one keeping score.

So I guess… if it’s one thing I can now say that I’ve maybe-accomplished in life, it’s that my personal history thus far now lives on in another person’s mental compartment – no longer just mine. And maybe someday she’ll pass them on, this collection of candid and unintentionally honest stories of a girl she befriended and temporarily lived with when she was an intern in Miri, Sarawak, in 2016.

I hope she finds in them, something to keepsake.

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