“I’m really sorry I’m not Dennis. I’m sorry for all of you that it’s not Dennis sitting here, and mostly I’m sorry for me. I’m sorry that it wasn’t me that was in that car. Dennis was amazing. Just all around good, right till the end. He was loved by everyone. He never deserved to be taken away. Snatched away. To me, his absence has left such a gaping hole in so many people’s lives when it could have been me, and it should’ve have been me.”
This is what I wish to say out loud most of the time. Unlike you, I’ve no patience for this encumbered Life. Whilst you were known to embrace every little thing Life throws you, I’m more than happy to dawdle along. That’s what I do. So believe me when I say I more than wish it was me. Mostly, I’m just plain selfish. I wished more than anything that it was me mostly because I refused to be the one left here missing the shit out of you. I’m not good with grief. Hell.. you know that very well. You know me like the back of your hand. You know that I can’t take a broken heart and the day you were taken away from me? I’ve lost more than half of my soul.
Some days I don’t even remember what I was doing half of the damn time. Some days, I wish I wouldn’t wake up. Maybe then I could see you? Touch you and talk to you?
I’d sit by the couch watching TV and then zone out completely. I’d look at the front door thinking at any moment now, I would hear the familiar jingle of your keys. I’d half expect you to walk through that door, with your black Nike bag, slung across your shoulder and a packet of Nasi Lemak in your hand. I’d look at you and you’d cock your head to one side, give me that cheeky look that says, “Yes, yes..it’s Nasi Lemak for dinner again because you don’t cook half as well as Mummy does.”
Or I’ll be lying in bed, trying to read because God knows I’m slowly and surely turning into an insomniac and I’d happen to look at the bathroom door. And I’d get the wind knock out of me and a sick pain just shooting across my heart because I miss the ‘bathroom door conversations”. You’d come out of the shower, the smell of your shampoo wafting out. A cheeky grin again as you stamped your feet on the mat as you always do. “Where are you off to now?” I’d asked. “Out with friends,” you’d say. I’d cluck my tongue, pretending to be annoyed and you’d flash me your pearly whites before dashing off to get dressed and then spend almost an hour hogging the dresser, meticulously ‘arranging’ your hair.
In the middle of the night, I’d wake up sometimes with a start, almost expecting to find you snoring like a damn choo choo train next to me. The cat will be pissed because you took over his side of the bed and would’ve kept me awake the rest of the night. Nowadays, Jasper sleeps peacefully. And your side of the bed..? It’s as cold as winter’s bone. And my heart? My heart is left with a pain so excruciating and raw, that I sometimes wonder if it’s still capable of beating. You know that line from Iris, off the City Of Angels? “Yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive”? I get it now.
On the last night that your MNL Family was in Kuching, they celebrated your Life. Rita told me that the night before you all were home bound, they all gathered in your room. You were packing and in good spirits. And you were delighted and exultant even. You danced around and sang, “I’m coming home, I’m coming home. Tell the World I’m coming home.” And I knew then, that you miss us just as much as we miss you. And even as I’m typing this, I’m letting my tears flow freely. For every tear that falls, represents every second of the day that I’m missing you dearly.
So, my baby.. It’s Che’s turn to sing this to you tonight..
And this is what I really want you to know today.
For every breath that I take, I do it for your vivacious appetite for Life
For each arduous step that I labour up the mountain, I do it for your zeal in embracing Life’s challenges
For every smile I give to the World, I do it for your fervour and devotion in friendship
For every sincere laughter that bubbles out of me, I do it for your honour and in your memory
And for every tear I shed, I do it to immortalize a soul so adored and cherished
I love you, Nik.
Ever thine, Ever mine, Ever ours,