Written by pre-Khmer Rouge literature teacher Sim Chanya, A Friendship shows different aspects of people’s lives. The literary piece puts weight on the importance of reading and writing, and of the real meaning of friendship and love.
A Friendship follows the story of Romdoul, a teacher who is addicted to reading. She usually stays inside the library, scanning through her favourite books and getting lost into the world of literature. As fate would have it, she meets Den, a man who is also fond of reading. They both have found a friend in each other as they share the same passion. Because of this, both characters also start exchanging opinion on specific stories and authors, as well as the realities of life.
Both of them feel the instant connection they have that even after they met, Romdoul and Den can’t help but think of each other.
They unexpectedly meet again at a gym. In this part, the author maneuvers the story to the importance of reading about health.
At the gym, Den finds out that Romdoul has a daughter. However, he later realises that the little girl Romdoul takes care of is her adopted child, a former student who is forced to withdraw from school. Den realises how compassionate Romdoul is towards her students.
Meanwhile, Romdoul also finds out that Den has a wife and a son. Though she feels something for him, she also knows that it’s wrong to pursue her love for a man who is already legally committed to somebody else. She finds out about the couple’s problem and thinks of helping them out.
Romdoul presents herself to be the tutor of Den’s son. She gets pained when she sees the family of the man she loves, but she knows she can’t and shouldn’t ruin their family. So she talks with Den’s wife to understand their conflict.
Because of the wide and deep knowledge she gained from reading books, Romdoul easily formulates solutions to bring the happiness back to Den’s family. She shares what she has learned to Den’s wife. Eventually, the couple get back together. Den’s son has also improved in his studies and receives his class’ top honours.
Romdoul becomes the couple’s trusted friend. She is hurt, yes. But she is also happy that the man she dreams of can now live happily with his family. She feels delighted that her choice to choose friendship and morality has resulted to something good not just for her but for other people. She now understands that family and friendship are far more important than selfish desires.
Author: Sim Chanya