Episode 19: The End

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2008 by -f-l-o- in Labels:

It was like a dream. And the irony was, my dream never felt like one.

I was holding Amy’s hands the whole time at the funeral. My mind kept on playing back on how things had happened since the past few days. Everything was so fast-forwarded, except that there was no button to control any of it from happening.

Myself, Amy, Nina, Mike, Kamal and Rafee were at the funeral. It was done that evening and Rafee had made some calls informing of Prof Z’s passing to his friends back in Terengganu. Prof Z didn’t have any family but good friends around. In a way, I thought it made things much easier than if he had any family members.

And about Hakimi… I wonder if it was really fate that we didn’t get to meet each other. It was like having a friend back from the past, but losing it again.

Amy asked me again if I really wanted to stay long in Malaysia. I didn’t answer her right away. It had only been two days and I would like to give it at least a few more days to think about whether or not to stay.

I initially planned to stay for at least a couple of months, renting a room perhaps, do some traveling and a bit of research in Terengganu. Maybe picking up where Prof.Z left off, I don’t know.

But I was not too sure about that plan since Nina and Mike decided to return to Penang while Rafee said, ‘I will be out of reach for a while’.


The man next to me has just finished reading the news paper.

“Do you mind if I read that, Sir?” I asked. Shaking his head, he said ‘No, no. I’m done.’

I picked it up and the front page read: Malaysian survivor returns home.

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian survivor who was thought dead in the London conference disaster two weeks ago returned safely to his hometown last night. Hakimi M. Hashim, 28, a Penang-born Malaysian who lived in Sussex for the past ten years was reunited with his family in Gelugor in an emotional turn of what was initially thought going to be a funeral gathering for the family.

Earlier this month, three attendees were feared dead when they were missing after a water tank holding a manta ray broke at a marine biology conference in London.

“I know this guy!” I reacted.
“You do? Is he your friend?” The man asked.
“He was. I mean, he is. This is unbelievable.”
“What are you going to do?” He asked.
“I don’t know. I guess I need to decide after we reach London.” I answered, looking at the time. Ten hours more to go…

I have decided to contact Hakimi once I get myself settled. I need to find his new contact since he no longer has his old phone and we didn’t have each other’s email. Before going on my connecting flight from London to Edinburgh, I texted Amy, who was back more than a week ago: Pick me up at 10am. I am bored and dying to have coffees with you!

“That’s crazy…” was Amy’s first reaction after I told her about the news that I read. We were having coffee in our favourite coffee place in Old Town, Edinburgh
“I wonder why they said he was dead before.” She asked. I shook my head.
“It’s a shame I don’t get to meet him still,” I said. Amy’s phone beeped for an incoming text message. She reached the phone to read it and started making a call.

“Yelloooo, hey! I’m having a coffee at Elephant House with Maya, why don’t you come here instead? Yup… no problem… see ya in a bit!” And she hung up.
“Who’s that?” I asked.
“I forgot to tell you. The other day Linda came by to pass me your books and a CD to the presentation she made. She came with this Malaysian guy. After a quick chat, I found out that he used to stay near our place in Penang. How freaking coincidental is that? Later he claimed that he has a vague ‘memory’ about me but there’s a possibility that he might know you instead after I mentioned your name. Chicky!” Amy exclaimed.
“Wow. That’s odd, you seem to bump into everyone that I know from the past,” I teased.
“I know. So we’ve been hanging out these past few days and I told him that you’ll be around some time this week if he’s free for a meet up and turns out that he’s free today.”

“Another weird thing is, remember the book that you gave me for my birthday? I have been reading those for weeks and marked it with this metal marker that I got from Malaysia years ago. Turns out he has the same marker that was given to him by his late brother, although he claimed to have lost it recently. What a shame… He also told me that the brother said ‘yello’ like I do. Wicked, eh?”
“Haha… What’s his name again?” I asked.
“Abu. Do you know any Abu?”
“Do I know any Abu? Of course! I was just mentioning about him to Rafee the other day… wow. This is really, really odd.”
“Why don’t I know him?” Amy asked.
“Because he was in my primary school with me for a while before he moved away and hadn’t start school yet. He and I were friends for two years, I think, I can’t remember. Gosh…”
“Was he cute back then?” Amy asked again.
“Haha. I don’t know. Is he cute now?” I asked back.
“You’ll have to wait and see.”

‘Wait and see’ it is then.

“Do you know how long Abu will be in Edinburgh for?” I asked.
“He told me but I can’t remember. Why don’t you ask him later? I’m sure you guys have a lot to catch up on.”
“He should be here in ten minutes.”

Ten minutes. I sipped my latte and looked outside the window. It was grey as a depressing winter should be until a few seconds later, when the white flakes started falling down from the sky. I tapped Amy’s shoulder, asking her to look outside. She turned to look at the falling snow and we both smiled.

Yes, I did wonder if Abu was still as cute. And I hoped for an enough time for us to do a hell lot of catching up. Oh this is the longest ten minutes ever! Can I have my forward button please?