Aug 1, 2007

See You Later

'I dreamt of arwah again last night,'

What was it about this time?

'Nothing, except that I saw him again and he looked happy, like always.'

You must've been thinking a lot about him then. It must have been at least six months since I last dreamt about him.

'No, I just miss him, like you, that's all.'


My dearest Syakir,

I keep thinking that if I weren't a Muslim and didn't know the certainty of the Afterlife, I'd imagine you soul fluttering above me every time my thoughts strayed to you. I'd probably picture you perched on top of the wire-mesh butterfly you made me years ago. I take everywhere with me, you know. It sat on my dressing table for a whole year until you left. I took it with me to Brisbane and I took it with me when I came back. I have it here right now on my office-issue whiteboard, next to the pencil-sketch of John Lennon that Apiz gave me.

I remember the day you made it for me. You came and set at my workstation in the studio, twirling and twisting the wires while we talked. I was excited when I saw the butterfly taking form but I went speechless when you handed it to me and said, 'Nah, ambikla.' You've given me many other gifts of the like but the butterfly is the most meaningful yet. I'd had a vague, unattended obsession with butterflies but you put it into a physical form that day, almost off-handedly.

Your sudden departure still leaves me staring into space. During those first few days I'd cry until I thought I'd suffocate. More painful than your absence was the fact that the rest of us get to go on with life and you can't. Most frightening of all is the possibility that you might be forgotten.

It's been two years now and I can see that that is no where near possible. The pain of saying goodbye to you has turned into bittersweet remembrance. I've found that my prayers are a better offering than any amount of tears I could shed for you. I take solace through my faith in God's bountiful wisdom.

I know now that it was never a goodbye. Just a 'See you later!' where the 'later' isn't as clear cut as usual but it's deifinitely there. In your case it's somewhere better, somewhere outside this life. There's a long wait but it's definitely coming.

So, my dear friend, I'll see you later.

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