“The only constant in life is change”…Einstein said that. When you think about it, its completely true…People change, for better, for worse; Your environment is constantly morphing around you, even you are constantly undergoing metamorphosis! But more often than not we tend not to notice these changes, they play along and we accept them as normal. Friends come and go, People grow up and move away, Governments and policies change…Like a glacier in constant motion we trudge along, oblivious to everything around us. Numb to the little things in life. Until something abrupt and sudden jarringly forces you to acknowledge the life you take for granted.
My Sunday nights are usually spent hanging out till late at this suave little café’ called “Oxygen”. It’s this cozy dim lit place in the Maldives, with a partial view of the sea and the airport, with square wooden tables and colourful cushioned couches. We had a “regular” spot with seating for three. We would meet up at 10pm and have mocktail mojitos and Oreo cheesecake till the early hours of the morning and go home feeling dazed and drowsy coz our bodies were begging for sleep! We have no proper “Hellos”… you just pull out a chair, seat yourself and start talking…Conversation was random and aimless and usually consisted of us bitching about work or life or each other! Free wifi ensured we updated our Facebook check-in and showed each other pictures of places and faces on our phones. The night ends with a casual goodbye and mocking comment and we all go our separate ways…this was the routine. Normality.
I think back on those hundreds of outings and it breaks my heart. There is SO much I would have done differently, so much I SHOULD have done differently but its not in our nature to appreciate till something is gone. Our hellos should have included a hug, our conversation should have been about each other and how much we valued the company and kind words in times of need. If I could go back I’d tell you that it was friends like you that made living in the Maldives away from family and old friends worthwhile. that you ease the pain and make life a lot less lonely. I would have told you how pretty you looked and how much I adored your bratty giggles and snide comments! I would have hugged you tight and said I love you when saying goodnight, if only I had known…
I think back on things and I cant recall the way you looked the last time I saw you, when things were normal…and it kills me that the last image of you is one of you hooked up to a machine, with tape on your eyelids and tubes all over you. Its just not right. I cant believe we don’t have a picture together….just you and I…doing a goofy pose or whatever! How the fuck did we not take ONE picture together? were we in that much of a hurry that we couldn’t find a split second to take a snap together? Strange. Annoying. Heartbreaking. Its still all a blur, one confusing mess with no proper answers. fever, coma, liver failure…it makes no sense. but then again why bother. Our story ended just as soon as it started.
Today would have been your 25th birthday if I’m not mistaken. I don’t even know that for sure. And if you were here I’m sure we would have gone for one of our late night coffees since its my off day and all. We would have laughed and screamed and bugged each other and ate till we couldn’t breathe…yes…that’s exactly what we would have done! There would have been chocolate cake and maybe a tiny gift to mark the occasion! But now it’ll just be a quiet lonely evening. Empty. Cold.
Life is not fair. This is the prime example of that. But in dying you have taught me SO much. I swear I’ll live my life just that much better knowing that nothing is forever and that I too once took SO much for granted! Never again. Never! Strange that your last words to me were to “be nice” as if you knew it would have some profound impact on me!!!! These little things are what keep me up at night, questioning. lingering!
Happy Birthday my sweet sweet Arafa. May angels lead you in and may you be forever 24…radiant. full of light and goodness and kindness far beyond that of a us normal people! I miss you SO much…