About 8.30 pm – Thursday; December 9th, 2010. It was just another day – but maybe it was not.
I was about to enter my beloved Ford (I don’t drive – my wife is the pilot) when my cellular phone rang. I picked up the call without closing the vehicle’s door. My wife stalled our Ford – waiting for me to close the door so we could be on our way. My five kids were chatting relentlessly in their seats – making merry in their own felicitous world.
A voice came over the phone’s speaker. An unfamiliar voice, but only for some brief moments.
“Ali Sobree, is that you?”
“Yes, I am he.”
“I am Ariffin.”
Instinctively I knew the man.
A long long time ago – in perhaps a parallel life once written in the cosmos; we were buddies, fast friends, the best of friends or whatever string of words you wish to call it.
Fate would have us go our own way and we would be missing each other in life’s own transit for some 35 years, a decidedly long period of blank space in our mortal life.
The rest is history, as they would always love to say.
Ariffin came over to my humble place with his wife and their youngest kid, a lovable, joyous and vibrant son. He’s got two daughters but they were not with him – they are abroad doing their studies at this time of our little rendezvous – or was it a reunion of sort? It matters not.
He’s still a friend I used to know – as a matter of fact.
I was happy to see him again, even at the third and perhaps the last phase of our life. We were in our teenage years when we got to know each other. We were inseparable and we were adventurous and we were joyful, making merry with whatever we did; be it studying or playing.
The world has changed around us; but I would still feel the warmth of his friendship. Perhaps it would last until the end of our days. Perhaps – God willing.
Right now he is a Captain with Korean Air – and I am damn proud of him. He called me a genius, but perhaps he is the real genius one.
I certainly wish that he would remember me as one if not his best buddy when he looks out of his cockpit and watch the streaming golden light beyond the horizon as he flies his Boeing 777.
As I ponder about our friendship; I know this beautiful and gorgeous moment would fly me through the same sunset.
Go on my brother – spread your wings and fly like an eagle. I shall be here looking up to watch you cruising in the shadow of the cloud above…