Copyright © 2003-2006 Jeff Medkeff, all rights reserved
We used to call you Mr. Valentine, although the B.O.D in your ID stated clearly that you were born on the 16th February. Still, you told us that you dad registered you a bit late, thus forgot the actual date. So, every Valentine's Day we always remembered you. Sometimes we sent you e-cards, most of the times, some short and naughty SMSes to remind you of that special day.
I first knew you during the first semester of our Uni days. Staying in the same residential college and doing the same Diploma programme, we see each other everyday. We became friends almost immediately.
You're one of the gifted people who can just make friends with anybody you met. Always jovial, making jokes, laughing happily and treating everybody around you with special attention. Never once did I hear you making any bad remark on other people, not even complaining. Maybe you were born to love everybody, and we all loved you, in every way.
We shared the ups and downs of Uni life. Making important decisions, falling in and out of loves with a few people, doing assignments, copying tutorial answers, copying each other during exams, failing/passing exams and completing our Bachelor's Degree.
Perhaps luck was on our side, we started off our career right after graduation. Both in the IT industry, but working for different companies. Then we saw and heard from each other less. We had a few reunions, and everytime I met you, you were always the same you. Smiling, making fun of my weight, telling your jokes to the rest of the guys while planning for your next golf sessions.
The last reunion was in 2003, most came with our spouses and kids. Me, with 2 sons then, while you with one son and another on the way. I could see how much you loved your son, who actually resembled you a lot. I called him your clone, and you gave a hearty love, your eyes shone brightly.
Then, about 6 months ago I heard that you were diagnosed with the big 'C', we were all surprised. I heard you had a hard time accepting the fact, kept on questioning, why you, why now? You were in denial for some time but started with the treatment anyhow. I tried to see you but you're always away for treatment during weekends, so we just SMSed, asking how you're doing and your plans.
You were strong, despite the weight loss and the pain, you were still the same you. Sounded positive though scared, only god knows your feelings.
Two weeks ago I received an SMS from a friend saying you were admitted to ICU, one of your lungs collapsed. I rushed to the hospital, yet I was only able to watch you from outside the room. I saw you suffered, too weak to get up but you tried hard to open your eyes while your lips always moving, as if trying to tell the nurses and doctors that you didn't want to be there. I inderstood how you felt, you preferred to be at home with your loved ones. I stood there watching you for almost 15 minutes.
Then, the day before Christmas I knew that that was the last time I ever saw you. You left us in the afternoon. The day was gloomy and sometimes drizzling.I received the phone call from Is sometime after Zuhur prayer. In between her sobs, she told me you're gone ... for good. I gave a long sigh while holding back tears. Finally, then I knew you're in peace and not in pain anymore.
What's hurting so much now is realizing that we'd be using past tenses when discussing about you in one of those reunions, open houses or the coffee sessions that we'll have in the future. We'll always remember you and pray for you. Now, every Valentine and Christmas, we'll remember you even more. You were one of the nicest friends I ever had.