In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.
It’s 3.24am now. I found myself waking up at 2.45am on the couch in the living room for the second time since last week whilst my husband had fallen asleep in the bedroom with the aircon turned on and the bedroom door left open. My husband had been struggling to cope with driving for long hours in order to make ad-hoc deliveries. He found that he was not as fit as he used to be when he was younger. He didn’t have the smoothest of delivery days earlier before he picked me up from work at 9pm. I wasn’t being a good wife to him in the car on the way to see my grieving friend, RK. In the midst of holding my emotions in as I talked shop with G Hustler while trying to brief my husband on my impromptu plan to see RK, I probably snapped at my husband and he reciprocated in kind. The tension didn’t ease off even as we reached the condo guard house but at that point, I had channelled my energy into preparing to meet RK that I dropped everything: the shop talk, the need to make amends with my husband, and my pride.
The layout of the vehicular entry is pretty weird at the condo. You gotta communicate with the guard from the other end as the exit barrier was closer to the guard house. My husband was already at a hot boiling point and didn’t want to communicate with the guard so I alighted to approach her.
I was glad that I had already gotten used to entering condos, partially from visiting G Hustler and partially from doing ad-hoc deliveries myself. I managed to get the details from RK on the way to her place so the registration process was a smooth one.
I think it was only when we entered the carpark that my husband fully understood my non-familiarity with the place. I think he thought I had visited RK at her place before when it was my absolutely first time. He relaxed a little with that realisation and accompanied me up to the ground floor to find RK.
When we met RK, he was kind to extend his condolences and to wander off on his own on the property grounds as RK and I looked for a private spot.
RK’s family members staying at the condo kept inviting me through RK to come in to their home but I kept refusing. I really needed the privacy with RK.
I don’t know how long I spent with her but I know we both wished we never had to leave each other. It was nice to be able to banter with her despite the circumstances. I knew she could use a good chuckle here and there. If there is something about myself I appreciate, is the ability to make people laugh a little without trying sometimes.
Somewhere in between, I realised it was probably the last time we got to see each other. Me, being an absolute nimwit at socialising, verbalised that to her and it made her sadder.
I confessed to her my guilt of not having been a better friend to her, not reaching out to her more immediately when I got the news, and for being lost in my own first world problems, which are so petty compared to hers. Yet she was so sweet to reject that notion and to comfort me instead. But truly, I feel like an asshole for being happy and aloof on the same day she was struggling with the possibility that her mum’s final days were approaching fast. The struggle is definitely greater during this corona time when you can’t cross borders easily.
Just last Sunday evening, we were hanging out in the staffroom and I was laughing with her as I recounted my struggles and true feelings about things.
And then, suddenly, we found ourselves together again but crying about everything that was hurting us.
I can’t get over that; by how quickly things turned around.
Like how about a week ago, I was having a ball with my husband and G Hustler goofing around in Giant Tampines. At the end of it, even G Hustler said that the night would go in his books as a memorable night.
I don’t know why I decided to take a photo of our shadows on the parking lots. I was the one on the left, my husband was in the middle, and G Hustler was on the right.
That was a happy moment with a little hint of sadness over how fleeting happiness can be. A stark contrast to the photo I took of RK and I below. Again, I don’t know why I took a photo of our shadows. RK was on the left. I was on the right.
That was a sad moment with a hint of gladness for being given a chance to say, “See you later.”
I only offered her what little financial support I could, knowing that she would be out of work for some time given the circumstances, to which she was flustered by. She said she didn’t know how to repay me.
That made me choke. How could she even think about giving me anything in return when I feel indebted to her for her kindness and friendship? I mustered all the strength I could to tell her as clearly as I could without croaking, “I just want you to be happy. That’s how you can repay me.”
It was just the waterworks from both of us all the way, man.
I don’t know how we reached the end of the night. I told my husband to meet us at the lift lobby since we were done.
But I guess we weren’t really.
I generally don’t initiate hugging when I’m with my friends. Not really in my personality to do so. But I made the exception because I knew it would be some time before we could see each other again.
We held each other for as long as we could and as tightly as we could, like holding on to dear life. Even as we let go, it didn’t feel like it was enough so we embraced again. But no matter how much we both wanted to stay in the moment, time envied us more and we had to take our leave.
My husband got to witness our heartbreaking farewell. I saw that his eyes were red and teary. Hehe. Before leaving, my husband extended his condolences again.
Needless to say, whatever unhappiness that filled the car earlier had completely dissipated. My husband was kinder to me and I was still crying.
I don’t know why I’m still crying now.
During times like these, I wish I could go back to the peaceful days.
Like that day when G Hustler and I wanted to enjoy the sunset as a treat for our hard work.
We walked from one end of Imbiah Beach to another but couldn’t find any access to the beach. I was disheartened when we reached the end but noticed that the sunset could be seen in between the board fence. I pointed out to him the view. He whipped out his phone and took a picture of it.
I nicked the photo from his social media without him knowing. Shhh. He doesn’t read this blog anyway. Hehehe. I set this as my phone’s lockscreen. It helped me through the recent days when I had to process hundreds and hundreds of transfer-out of items. It felt like there was no end. Just like trying to find access to the beach.
But just like chasing the sunset, the view is worth the effort. I managed to help my team be done with it.
Just like the inevitable sunset, all bad things will come to an end as much as good things do too.
And Allah knows best. – MM