The Beginning of the End

Last Moments Together With My Classmates Before Heading Off to University

3 min read by rransuuuu. Published in Essays & Stories.
“First Frame.” Tokyo, Japan. Shot with Olympus OM10 on Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400.

A cream-coloured film burn with a torn-looking glimmering edge is obstructing the first frame of my roll. To me, this is the most important image out of all the exposures on my 35mm cassette. It marks the beginning of an adventure.

The photograph above, the first frame, was taken during my board school field trip to Japan. It was the beginning of the end. One of the last moments together with my classmates before heading off to university.

After spending six years together, from matthayom one (Thai for “grade seven”) until the last day of high school we are about to set on our separate ways. I felt heartbroken then, knowing that we’ll never relive the times we’ve had together as one big family.

The guys.

“Boys.” Narita, Japan. Shot with Fujifilm Simple Ace 400 Disposable.

The guys. You taught me things my parents wouldn’t.

During my senior-high years, I lived away from home in an apartment close to the school. My neighbour and a friend owned a motorbike, which he taught me to ride, to share the road with other vehicles while on it. I drove it every day. Mom, dad: if you are reading this, I’ve been safe.

Friends, you taught me how to talk to girls, how to talk to people I liked. You taught me how to dress better, how to act and how to behave. You led me to be the person that I am today.

The girls.

“Girls.” Narita, Japan. Shot with Fujifilm Simple Ace 400 Disposable.

The girls. I love your company.

Each time we spent together you made me feel at ease. I could talk to you about things the guys wouldn’t be able to help me with.

You let me copy your homework, which you write in a beautiful, legible manner that felt easy on the eyes.

Your obsession with K-pop I could never understand. But your friendship, your kindness and your compassion made my years with the family a wonderful experience I could never forget.


The final frame has been exposed; I have rewound the film and placed a new one in its place. A cream-coloured film burn with a torn-looking glimmering edge will be obstructing the first frame of my roll. It’ll mark the beginning of a new adventure.

Farewell, my friends.