A farewell too soon

Today, i laid you to rest in eternal peace.

Today, i said goodbye to a friend, a personal confidante – my amazing pillar of strength.

Tomorrow will come, but it may never be the same.

4/5/16 – Azry and I @ Dmsara Uptown after ccf

I remember when we first met – through social media. Who would have thought FB and Whatsapp would have connected a once introvert (you) and a known extrovert (obviously, me). Yet, social media did just that.

But i’d like to think it was fate.

You once told me, that you rarely – if ever, meet anyone you’ve come to know through social media, in real life. That’s because you were the hermit who’s shy in person, but can go on texting behind a tiny screen. You were more comfortable with texting as a mode of communication.

Yet, after a few many chats, you finally cooked up the courage to meet me. And yes, even after you knew i am an insurance agent! You were either so bored with life or just plain fearless back then. Dinner was great, but I wouldn’t forget how soft spoken you were at the beginning with the movie ‘Colombiana’ blaring on the projectors at the mamak – i could hardly hear a word you said. I managed to catch that you would drown in all shades of the colour purple; describe your perfect Sunday with a good book and dessert coffee; you absolutely adore ‘dreamcatchers’. And we spoke nothing about insurance 😛

I knew then that we could be really good friends.

8/9/15 – Penang

We kept in touch in the weeks and months after that dinner. As i came to learn through your incessant long texts (not that i’m complaining ^^), you were a budding lawyer working for a local firm in DH, an avid reader (of almost every book-turned-movie of our time: The Hunger Games (!), Divergent, The Maze Runner, Fault in Our Stars, etc), and possessed a epic brain with elephant-like memory. You even became my partner in crime for marathon watching the ever addictive TV series – The Walking Dead, How To Get Away With Murder, Quantico – as we would sometime watch 3 episodes back to back!

You can recall almost every detail in our conversations, in everyday life’s activity; from my birthday to the date of days i’ve had to ask for your help to send me around. You were so meticulous in all you do and never fail to impress me. I am very pleased you remembered our 1 year of friendship with a box of Patchi. And all this within your awkwardly-shy demeanour you which carry ever so fondly, everywhere you go.

Time passed and it was years as we hung out more often, being each others confidante and support through hard times. There was this one time, you got a new job as one of the senior lawyers in an esteemed firm in DH, too. You had SO much to do, you rasa nak pengsan, nak give up. But after a cuppa coffee, a slice of yummy cake, and a lonng heart to heart talk, you rose above the challenge. And soon enough, you were doing things you never thought you could. Never have i seen such a brilliant researcher who could prepare for a case in a short notice and get the job done. And to be a practicing lawyer, to face a judge in court proceedings (mostly in Shah Alam), is by far the biggest achievement of your self — and the proudest moment for me to know how far you’ve come from being the introvert i first met at the mamak.

24/9/15 – Hari Raya with Simon

You have a gift that you seldom realize you have. You are so strong willed yet so kind hearted and full of compassion. How could i forget how your eyes light up in fierce excitement and passion each time you tell me about standing up – for a cause you so proudly champion – women’s rights as well as transgender issues of equality (which you did your research about in university). With much might and tenacity will you debate us over Whatsapp chats and sometimes shoutouts in FB; thus proving many times over, how much these matter mean to you, as an individual. You always believed in the power of the people and how the few, when united as the many, can make a difference. Sometimes i forget, that you’re just in your 20s.

Not forgetting the Hari Rayas when i was over at your house, sharing laughter with your family over your mother’s best made lontong – “got money also can’t buy”, i used to say. You are such a filial son and always so mindful of your elders; yet you always had this uneasy anxiety with babies 🙂 Remember how you were caught in dilemma: whether to cuddle with new born niece when she was sound asleep or quickly pass her back to nenek the moment she cries for milk? Needless to say, you two became thick as thieves as she grew up; too soon until you found her somewhat mischievously annoying, sometimes.

In work and in leisure, whether in company of good ol’ b***hing gossiping buddies or new found friends; be it in choice of ‘outrageously’ colours and patterns in outfits or the uncoordinated of reception to social cues, you’ve always stood out in your own way. 🙂 Though always initially silent, you frequently bring a smile to everyone you meet, either by your sudden burst of laughter or your awkward, and sometimes lame, humour.  Some would even agree, your drama episodes never fail to entertain. And ever since we’ve met, you’ve only grown bolder and more open in embracing yourself, life and society.

Still, you tend to think you are small and flawed in many ways. Sure, you may not be flawless, but you always put on a tough game face (or struggle to sometimes :p), to try out new things. I am humbled by your modesty – you have been an inspiration to me in more ways than one. Whether it is being butt strapped to a harness and swung (mostly against your will) 50+ meters towards a waterfall with Ray; taking on the helms in BERSIH 4 with me and the rest of your firm of lawyers; travelling to HK and the Indo-China countries with friends; raiding a toy story for counterfeit brands in Paradigm with a team of customs officers; or tagging along with my family for CNY visiting last year and got a big angpao collection, i have nothing but pride, love, and pure adoration for you and what you’ve achieved so far in life.

You have coloured the lives of so many – just by being you.

While you didn’t have to conquer Mount Everest; you did so with every mountain within you. You never gave up. No matter how hard it felt. Or how lonely it became. And if you ever felt close to giving up, each time you had steady help and endless nudges from your friends – especially the Whatsapp Group Five, from whom you often drew support and let loose your mind onto. I take comfort to know they were there for you, even when sometimes i wasn’t.

You have made everyone so, very damn proud!

19/11/15 – Krabi

All that aside, we will truly miss you. Your name will always be in our gossips conversations. And we will laugh out loud like how you used to make us laugh. You will be fondly remembered; your memory, cherished. With you suddenly gone like that, i keep thinking that time is a jealous partner in our fated friendship. Yet, underneath all the confusion and denial, my heart believes that God truly loves you more, and has taken you home to be with Him. You have ran this good race of faith; have left footprints and memories of love and friendship in the lives of many, including mine.

I am glad to have known you in this lifetime, my friend.

Even so, goodbyes are never easy, especially with you, my dear Azry.

This is a farewell too soon.