Today I lost another friend. I don't even know how he died. Some said it was a disease. Whatever it was, it was too sudden.
On May 12, 2008, Frank Lee added me as friend on Facebook. A couple of months before that, I bumped into him when I was out shopping. We chatted briefly - and I chirpily made one of those empty promises which now, I would never ever be able to fulfil. I said we should catch up for tea one of these days.
I really like Frank. He's your Mr Nice Guy - patient, kind, softspoken and caring. He's a bit of a geek - but he's always very pleasant to hang out with.
He was also my ex-colleague who had left the company barely a year ago. He is always smiling, always willing to help. He was such a bubbly and optimistic guy that we enjoyed teasing him. To us, he was "Frank Lee Speaking" (a pun on "frankly speaking"). Having worked with him for a while and interacted with him on a daily basis at work previously, his passing left me reeling with extreme shock...and a lot of pain.
In a fatal stroke, everything was taken away from him. His wife-to-be, his future, his career, his life, his family...and our tea date. News of his death drowned me like a tsunami, paralysing my senses. I wanted to deny it so badly. For once in my life, I want to live in this lie.
But the verdict is sickening and final. He's no longer around.
I feel my heart plunging to my stomach. The sense of loss is overwhelming. Why him? Why now? Why does it have to end this way? He was only 32.
Frank - I am so, so sorry. I wished we had met up for tea. I wished I had been more proactive and communicated with you more actively on Facebook. I wished I knew you more. I wished this wasn't real. I wished I was more of a friend than a colleague. I wished I could have done more.
But I know now no matter how hard I wish, you are gone forever. Once again, I was too late.
I really hate this.
Artwork by *Miss-Rita