No matter how old a friendship is, every single one of them teaches us something that’ll take us a long way in life. The beauty of friendships is that despite not seeing or talking (in some cases) to your friend(s) for a long time, we can always pick up from wherever we left off and continue as if the lapse in time never happened at all. To celebrate this momentous day, we got four people to share the special bonds that they have with those who are close to their hearts. One thing we found in common among all their stories is that pandemic or not, they’ve always been there for one another through thick and thin, and nothing will ever change that.

“You’re the sister that I got to choose”Brynn Zalina Lovett, 28

Photography: Brynn Zalina Lovett & Edited by: Fatin Izzatie

“I met Michelle Chong Su-Ann in 2001 when we were eight years old. She has a twin sister named Danielle who is friends with my twin sister, Tracey – and they’re BFFs too! I still remember the day they moved to our primary school, Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Selangor. I couldn’t wait to meet them cos I mean, how cool is it to have someone else with a twin sister be in the same school as us? The moment Michelle put down her bag, I walked up to her and said, ‘OMG! You have a twin? I have a twin too!’ And just like that, we became BFFs and have been inseparable since!

I always thought Michelle was very outspoken, loud and good at interacting with people. I’m the complete opposite of her – quiet, soft-spoken and not the best at interacting with others. I felt like she ‘adopted’ me all this while and I wouldn’t be where I am today, 20 years later, if it wasn’t for her!

During this pandemic, we’ve kept each other updated with the latest happenings locally and globally. We have a group chat with our other girlfriends and we update each other about almost everything, including tagging each other in funny memes, videos, pictures and online giveaways on Instagram. We have yet to organise a game night because #adulting is hard and we’re busy with work, but we try to be there for each other all the time. While we can’t physically see each other during this lockdown, steal each other’s fries or play pranks, in reality we’re only a super ugly selfie away!

We’ve had times where we couldn’t see each other for two to three years when I had to work in Dubai, and yet when we reunite, it’s like nothing has changed at all. I’m always proud to have Michelle by my side and whenever I’m too scared to do anything like voice up or learn a new skill, I know she’d do it and turn around and want me to do the same! For me, friendship is being with anyone who has been with you through good and bad times. Whether they’re there in person or a phone call away, friends will show up for you no matter what you’re going through. During these tough times, it’s important to have solid friendships that’ll keep you sane. They remind us that we’re not alone and keep our minds off things that make us sad. They’re always there to listen to us and share the pain we go through, and that is what everyone needs!”

“Best friends make good times and bad times easier”Ezad Ibrahim, 32

Photography: Ezad Ibrahim & Edited by: Fatin Izzatie

“I’m blessed to have many BFFs in my life. The two that top the list are Raffiey Nassir and Raja Ilya, whereby our friendship seems like it’s made of gemstones and has been built using platinum, silver and gold! I knew Raffiey since my college days and he’s helped me a lot in my career. The three of us started from ground zero and we are who we are today because of our friendship. Despite the good and bad (a lot of drama, tears and arguments involved), our love for one another remains strong today.

Nadia Aqilah, on the other hand, is an artist that I’m a die-hard fan of. I used to stalk her, DM her via MySpace and chat with her like a fan, but we became close when I got the chance to do her makeup for a telemovie shoot in Langkawi. At that time, I had just broken up with my partner and she was there to motivate me and keep me going. Ever since then, we’ve become BFFs who have the same theory: that if we aren’t happy about something, we’d talk it out and move on. Fun fact: before the pandemic happened, we’d return to Langkawi to celebrate our friendship annually!

Another BFF of mine is Anzalna Nasir who I first met during the production of the telemovie, Jauh Dari Cinta. She loved the makeup I did for her so much that she’d always recommend me to other producers, and I’m very, very thankful for that. Over time, I became her personal makeup artist, and I find her to be a very honest person who’s never been envious of anyone. It’s been really hard for us to catch up during this pandemic but we’re still very much close at heart. We’d usually video-call each other and there are days when we’d watch Netflix together virtually via Scener.

Photography: Ezad Ibrahim & Edited by: Fatin Izzatie

The pandemic has actually taught me a good lesson because all these friends that I’ve mentioned were there for me when I was confirmed to be a Covid-positive patient. I contracted the virus from a group that I’d call pretty selfish as the guys chose not to quarantine themselves despite being in contact with another Covid-positive patient! Despite having recovered from Covid-19, I had ‘friends’ who told me that they weren’t interested in meeting me. FYI: you’re no longer contagious 14 days after you contracted the virus as it’s already considered ‘inactive’. In fact, we’re the ones who need to be more careful of other people being the carriers after our recovery!

I also had to bite the bitter pill when I had other ‘friends’ tell me that they didn’t want to see me after my recovery cos I’m not vaccinated yet (FYI, there’s a waiting period for Covid-19 survivors). I consider this to be rather insensitive as they knew very well what I’d been through. But my core group of friends (those whose names I mentioned earlier) helped me pull through my darkest days. They texted me, chatted with me for hours and encouraged me to regain my health back.

During this pandemic, I’m very happy to see my friends move forward with interesting ventures. For instance, Nadia sells her own chilli oil and Raffiey opened a café in Singapore! In a nutshell, for me, friends are like family. Even though we may be separated physically, it’s undeniable that our bond is still there. The most important thing in maintaining any friendship is to take the effort to text them and ask how they’re doing. Personally, I love to send food over to my friends to show them my love. Don’t wait for others to make the first move. We’ll never know how they truly are until we take the first step and that’s how the bonds are strengthened even during the toughest days.”

“Friends are the family you get to choose to have in your life”Janet Lam, 37

Photography: Janet Lam & Edited by: Fatin Izzatie

“I have two groups of close friends – the first comprises of my childhood friends and the second is a group that I feel blessed to have in my life. With the first group, we’ve known one another since we were 14; we went to neighbouring schools and are like family, even though half of them currently live abroad. From us meeting as kids to meet-ups with a few of them with kids of their own today, and us being godparents to their kids, it’s overall a beautiful experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world! There were times when we’d go over to one another’s parents’ houses whenever we were invited – and there were also days when we’d show up unannounced sometimes. I guess there’s no questioning there, seeing how we’ve all been friends for decades now!

When it comes to the second group, there are only four of us, but I must say, the bond we share is very strong. I’ve known them for about 20 years now and we’ve all been through good days and bad days together. There hasn’t been much of a difference since the pandemic hit; we might not be able to see one another face to face but we all chat on a daily basis (or to be more specific, hourly!). Someone could randomly start a video call and the rest would join in. We’re spontaneous like that and despite the time difference between Perth, Malaysia and Seattle, someone from the group will always pick up the call! For us, the pandemic has turned out to be a sweet reminder that we can always count on one another. Those who are based outside Malaysia and are concerned about their parents here become less worried when those of us living in KL are able to help in whatever way we can – even if it’s something as simple as dropping Uncle or Aunty a message just to say hi, which means a lot to them!”

“Farewell, my dearest friend”Nor Azliany Mohamad, 35

Photography: Nor Azliany Mohamad & Edited by: Fatin Izzatie

“I first met the late Yusshaimi Yunus (fondly known as Emmy Agung, the makeup artist) 10 years ago when I started working for an online magazine. My editor at that time was the one who introduced us and since then, we became close over time. Emmy was the one who opened the path for me to join EH! Magazine a few years later. From the first time I met him until he took his last breath three months ago, Emmy was the only friend in life that I could pour my heart out to.

We enjoyed talking to each other daily, not just about work but everything under the sun. Both of us loved the beauty world very much and back when I was working as a writer, it didn’t matter what time of the day it was, we’d always share ideas and make them come alive through photoshoots. I was never a fan of Madonna, but Emmy taught me everything about her work and her art as well as how to appreciate these things. At the same time, he was never stingy when it came to sharing knowledge. He’d gladly share everything he knew, especially about our religious beliefs, the things that his mum taught him and then some. He’d even take the effort to have follow-up conversations and ask me if I tried certain prayers and practices; he was always so eager to hear all about them!

Unfortunately, Emmy was diagnosed with cancer last year and when I first got to know about it, it was very, very hard for me to accept it. It happened during the MCO when we could hardly meet up. Whenever we spoke over the phone, we’d always cry, but after a while, I knew that I had to be strong for him. The last time I saw Emmy in person was in November 2020 and it was heart-breaking for me to see his physical appearance slowly change. Despite the MCO, we never failed to call and text each other every day.

Early this year, Emmy was admitted to the hospital again and we made a promise that no matter what happens, he had to get out and I’d find a way to visit him at home. With the strict rules in place, it was impossible for me to visit him in the hospital. I remember praying so hard just so I could see Emmy again but alas, he got into a coma instead. That same night, I had a dream of him, where he was dressed in a white hospital gown and being his usual jovial self, telling me, ‘Nani, I’m free now. I’m not sick anymore!’ Although I smiled at the vivid memory, in reality, Emmy passed away two days later.

Photography: Emmy Agung & Edited by: Fatin Izzatie

As a friend, my role was to be there for him and help him become stronger progressively, but at the same time, I knew that I had to let him go so that he’s free from his suffering. I was totally devastated by Emmy’s departure, but after seeing the number of people who showed up at his burial site at 1am despite it being a fasting month, I realised that it’s important for me to carry on his legacy as a good, honest and humble person when he was alive. While the pandemic has brought out the true colours of many people, it’s important for us to be there for our friends when they need us the most – just like how Emmy was there for all of those who showed up for his burial. It’s still hard for me to digest this whole episode but I’m forever thankful to Allah that I found a true friend in Emmy.”

Featured image: Tim Samuel/Pexels

( Answer in less than 20 words )
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
This is some text inside of a div block.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.