Emilie Giovanna Ramu, 12, and Natasha Poon, 11, shared a close bond despite being in different levels in school.
So when Natasha found out her Primary 6 friend Emilie was among those killed on Mount Kinabalu, her heart broke.
"Emilie and I, we treated each other like sisters. When I'm sad, she would comfort me," said Natasha, a Primary 5 pupil at Tanjong Katong Primary School.
She added that whenever she was bullied, Emilie would buy her food and comfort her. "I still remember the times we spent laughing in the canteen. We would play games like truth or dare on the weekends," she said.
Other pupils said Emilie was caring and nice to everyone. "She was in my project group," said Primary 6 pupil Muhammad Shafiq Aiman, 12. "She was very nice. It's hard to imagine something like this could happen to her."
Emilie was also a budding ballet dancer who intended to perform at a ballet recital this weekend, said Shin Min Daily News.
Emilie's friends told The Straits Times she would never be forgotten. A tearful Natasha said: "You will forever be in my heart."
This article was first published on June 9, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.