Sunday, 1 November 2009

Chris

I am ready to forgive

My heart had melted, so I sent this short message in the hope of a reply.

I hope this message meets you in good health and spirits. I am sorry that I cut all contact with you. I let go of all the hurt I selfishly held on to, I hope I can find forgiveness with you too. Be at peace and God bless you always.”

I signed off and waited.

A tall handsome Englishman in whose company I felt I had all the friendship and company I needed but it was never really fulfilled.

We would talk at length about so many things, he was not of great means but when it came to his case even I never had a head to think through what I was doing, I spared no expense, my heart always had the better of me and I never really came up trumps.

But each time we did get to meet up, it was just pure fun if I could engage his attention long enough before he wanted to do other things.

A worthy son

2006 was a most difficult year for him, his mother who had kicked him out of their home when he was 15 died in his arms in his home drawing all the comfort she could from a son she had so desperately wronged – he buried her like a good son and honoured her greatly as his mother, I have never been so proud of Chris as he conducted himself in this solemn and grief-stricken period.

As the year closed, his father also passed away and though he had so many older half-brothers, all were too absorbed with the will; it was Chris, the once rejected son that the father could trust with his estate and testament. Chris became the man amongst men, burying his father like a worthy son.

The irony of life that the son once disowned in his youth was the only one they could in their heart of hearts rely on to do well and do right – life can be so mysterious when viewed through the collapsed lenses of time.

He had a sense of duty and a great survival streak that did not necessarily reach down to the affairs of the heart for companionship and deep friendship but the company for me was just so pleasant.

I was having enough

Probably, the last straw for me was when I could not even get him to attend his own birthday dinner at one of the swankiest restaurants in London last year.

What expletive did I not rain on him, even he reeled at the quality of my language and I was surprised the vehemence of it all, but I really had it. Only 4 months before, I had invited him for the winter sun in Gran Canaria because the year past was quite an ordeal for him, even the clock had not struck the midnight of the new year before I was boredom and other things were fun.

And one really does wonder how despite all else, one can be infatuated in the quest for simple friendship – some matters just defy logic just as this completely defied my sense of proportion.

For another brief moment

Communication was soon reestablished, he had difficult times, I had a listening ear and a few comforting words, being distant, there was no prospect of arms getting involved in the comfort but a friend I wanted to remain.

It came to a head again and this time, nothing he sent to me got a reply, for through August, there was a text message asking after my health, my work and many more things, I ignored them all.

But he was always in my thoughts and that lead to the text message I sent just last night.

Gone to where they never return

The reply came this afternoon and it read:

Hi! This is Chris’ flat mate. I am really sorry to tell you but Chris died of kidney failure two weeks ago. It was very sudden and he wasn’t in pain.

I last saw him out of the corner of my eye almost two years ago walking up the road in the winter sun towards the shops, we did not attempt to engage each other.

I liked him a lot and now he is no more; I am left with memories congealed on 4 days of 2003, 3 days of 2006 and 2 days of 2008, a friendship of almost 7 years where we met for only 9 days.

My dear friend, my dear Chris, was 36, he had beaten even cancer in his 20s; I will miss your humour, your smile, your stubbornness and the hurt that so easily accompanied our friendship; good bye and rest in perfect peace, the peace of God be with your tender departed soul.

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