I looked out of the window and stood-still. As the moon made its hasty retreat, the sun appeared in its various conflagrations and hues. The air was sultry and crispy. From a distant, I could see the verdant hills of Bukit Jelutung nestled amidst the lush greenery of the jungle. I could hear the cacophony of sounds – the chirping of a multitude birds, the crowing of roosters and the din of my father’s conversation with his client in the garden. It was a fine, peaceful and tranquil morning.
Sun rays penetrated through the window panes and stroke into my shirt. My most precious shirt. I would not trade it even with mountains of gold. It was a black Billabong shirt given by someone which I loved forever in my life. I looked down, scrutinizing every inch of the shirt and downcast. Memories stirred in my mind. Flashbacks and all of those moments spent together suddenly came across my brain. Reminiscing my memories back then, without me realising it, tears started flowing down my cheeks as I recalled this, “Friends forever right? Only death can separate us”.
It all started when I first moved in to Seberang Jaya. My father, who is a successful businessman, was transferred to work in Penang. I was reluctant at first and so hard-headed not to move from my beloved Kuala Lumpur. I was condemning and cursing along the way until my father turned daggers to me. My mother, who is a music aficionado, was more understanding and cooled me down.
But all of this came to a complete stop when I finally met Bryan. He lived next door and was a very talented footballer. With his aquiline nose, well-kept pearl white teeth, auburn hair and always dressed to the nines, he will surely steal the limelight whenever he went to the town. Bryan is a mixed Chinese-Scottish teenager. At a height of 180 cm, people may sometimes regard him as an adult worker or even as a university student. He was my classmate and to be frank he was a very good Samaritan and helped me a lot to adapt with my new surroundings.
One salubrious evening, I was playing cricket with him on the field in front of our house. After a few games, we were very lethargic and both of us made a beeline to the nearest restaurant to quench our thirst and sip some drinks. We ordered orange juice and began chit-chatting and talking about the cricket game, the latest and music and fashion. I told him that I always yearned for the Billabong shirt that he used to wear. Then, he replied,
“Oh, the black one. It is a hand-me-down shirt from my parents.”
I nodded and grinned. He then said,
“I could give it to you if you want it.”
I trembled in jubilation. Grinning from ear to ear, I thanked him and we both headed home as he said he would give it to me the next day.
The following day, I woke up at the wee hours of the morning. I needed to finish my Physics report as I had to pass it up that day. I groped a little at the cupboard to find my red round alarm clock and suddenly it blared at its top forty. After donning my school uniform, I shoved my feet in Cheetah felt shoes and carried my precious iron steed in front of Bryan’s house. I waited for him with tenterhooks and at last I perceived a hinge of door cracking. He approached me and on his right hand, I could see the thing that I was hankering after a long time – the shirt.
He smiled at me and handed over the Billabong shirt. I was ecstatic and clueless. After thanking him, we rode our bicycles and ventured the road to go to the school. He manoeuvred and whirred past a few cars. We were riding like hell as we were very late to school. Out of the blue, a car came across and before I could utter any words, “Boom!” An ominous crescendo shattered the silence. I blacked out on that congested road.
When I regained my consciousness, I perceived sound of cars juddering to a halt and voices of people talking about cars, students, body and blood. I was thunderstrucked when I heard the word “BLOOD”. I tried to open my eyes. I could see students clad in white uniforms and I was still lying on the road. Then, I reeked a smell which I feared the most, blood. It was oozing from my head and I could see a pool of crimson-red thick blood on the road. At that very time, I remembered Bryan. I called him again and again but to no avail. Oh my God, I could see a body lying numb on the road. I could not stand it. Bryan was dead. He left me alone. Tears started racing down my cheeks. I was in a great bereavement.
And now, it has been a year since Bryan left me. The moments cherished will be vividly remembered forever in my heart. Bryan, thanks for your shirt. Thanks for all the good memories. Remember, you are always my friend. “A friend in need is a friend in deed.” Bryan, you are the epitome of a true friend.