She used to joke, that one day we should break the chain.
It was probably my closest and longest friendship. We lived nearby. We went to the same elementary school, the same junior high school, the same senior high school. All three different schools. We were teammate for badminton games. We joined the same theatre group. We chose the same foreign language class and we sat together in class. She accompanied me in my dates, in my first public bus experience.
We almost went to the same university. I’ve always wanted to study in Bandung. She said no, this has to stop. Otherwise, we would live in the same neighbourhood, our kids would be growing up together, they’d go to the same school, have the same hobbies, and maybe get married. And they’d have kids, and the circle would go round.
Her crush bears similar resemblance with my crush, similar background, and I used to joke that not only in the same neighbourhood, we’d live in the same house, same husband. Isn’t it lovely? I got an opportunity to study in Singapore, while she went to Bandung. But, guess what, I went back to work in Jakarta, and my office, is within walking distance from hers.
Despite being a friend for so long, I could never remember her birthday, while she never missed any of my birthday, for 25 years. So she saved in a calendar of every single phone I’ve ever had, her own birthday. She would put huge notes in my agendas. Thanks to Facebook, I never missed her birthday for the past four years. But she didn’t reply my last greeting.
We lost contact when she spent the best moment with her mother. We only met again during the funeral. And the next meeting for our friend’s wedding. I had a driver ready and was ready to go. But when she suddenly offered me a ride, I thought , man, I missed this girl, who knows when I would see her again? I told my driver to drive my mum instead to the nearby mall and waiting for her to pick me up.
We had a good time, a nice chat, just like old times.
That was two months ago.
It was the last time I saw her.
We will never be neighbour. My kids will never see the kids that never be born.
People make theories about death. They said good people are called because God wants to save them from this world’s wrath. Because they would then be able to reconcile with the people they loved. Because this is a fate we have to accept.
But at the end of the day, nothing makes sense. Except that it brings out the reality about how fragile we are. That sometimes you just can’t control how your body behave. And one thing leads to another. And that there are some things that we cannot stop.
We are mortals. There would come this one time, when the only thing that you could do is to surrend everything and believe in God. Nothing else matters. And that the people left should be grateful with their life and taken care of their health and life well. Such an expensive experience.
Even that lesson of reality, I could not get it. It still feels unreal for me that my 25-year-old friend is now gone. Maybe because I have never gotten the chance to say goodbye. I am currently battling the same illness that took her away.
I only saw her in my dream. Healthy and alive. We were travelling in the only place we’ve never been in close geographical proximity. She asked me which train to go, I showed her. We went to take the train together. But when I reached home, she was not there.
When I woke up, she is not here.
The chain has been broken.