Dear Hong Kong,
You were bleeding the last time I saw you, a nasty cut running along your cheekbone, a fresh split lip. The room fell silent then, as we watched you on the 7 o’clock news. A few seconds and the image was gone, replaced by a presenter with lipstick on her teeth, but now it seems ingrained in my head. I wanted to send you a plaster, some ice for your lip. A silly idea really, the ice would have melted long before it reached you, maybe your cuts would have healed by then too. But I was close to sending it anyway, I still am.
I was taught, when I was young, that things get better with time, that wrongs are always righted. You, in your youth must have been taught a similar thing – how else can you find the hope to rebel as you do? – I hope you shall never lose that fire, never lose the fact that the taking away of your freedom is wrong. I hope you shall never cease to fight until your wrongs are righted and I hope that you shall never be alone.
I talk of unity from so far away, from where I know you cannot join me. I double checked my friend, 1997 that landmark of a date, passed before either of us were on this earth so you can’t claim citizenship here. Is age really to be your weakness? For I am young like you and yet you seem so strong to me. A few years older and you could be here. Would you come though, if you could? I can see your face now, you’re hesitant to answer, biting your lip you run a hand through your hair. You were always too selfless for your own good, you wouldn’t want to leave the rest, wouldn’t want it to seem like you’re running. And it is a scary thing to leave a home, a different kind of bravery is required.
I guess it doesn’t matter anyway, you are there, and I am here. There is no use dwelling on things that cannot be, we must only work with what we have.
The world is watching you; can you feel their eyes? They flinch when you are knocked down, frown when yet more laws are passed. They want you to win, though they are too scared to voice those thoughts too loudly. You of all people know how that feels. There’s something different about you, perhaps it is the fact that you have known peace, rejoiced in freedom. It seems almost worse to have those rights taken away then to never have had them in the first place.
I’m sorry, I know how much you hate my pity, besides pity isn’t what you need or deserve.
You sound tired my friend, I listen to your voice on the tv, there is something sad in it, something ever so weary in your young eyes. It makes me want to hold your hand. Rest a while then, spend time collecting your thoughts. But don’t lose that hope, cling on to that message we were taught when we were young. Things will get better; wrongs will be righted. We may be old and grey by that time my friend, a new generation who have never known what it is to be free in our place. Promise me you’ll teach them.