Friday, May 25, 2007

When you’re so young…

At 17 or 18 years old I took one of my first jobs in the UAE in a satellite television company. I worked in the customer service call center for the better part of two years. During my stay, I was able to build strong friendships with many members of the staff, in particular the man who was at the time the Regional Director of the company and is until today one of my very best friends.

I had a coffee/meeting with him last week concerning some future endeavors we’re considering. Usually, these meetings will bring up stories from the past like the one about Shakil and the office boy.

Shakil was one of the greatest people a person could know. He was always smiling, always positive, and always full of energy. He was young and healthy, the kind of guy who though a smoker, always ate the right foods, exercised and took ten-minute power naps in the office in afternoons on particularly busy days. The man would often buy me lollipops, since I was the baby of the group. And the guy was a fucking comedian as well.

At the time, we’d had an office boy who couldn’t speak much English. Everyday around lunch time he’d knock on Shakil’s door, pop his head in and ask him, “Sir, I go now?” To which Shakil would respond, “Yeah, yeah fuck off then.”

It wasn’t long before the office boy’s English vocabulary picked up. Shakil was just finishing up a coffee with a few business guests, when the office boy pops his head in and with a big grin of pride and achievement on his face and says, “Sir, I fuck off now?”

The entire office stared for a moment, before finally bursting out in laughter.

Stories of Shakil were always light hearted and entertaining, just like that one. He left the company shortly before I did shortly after divorcing his wife in one of the quickest, kindest, and rational divorce proceedings full of mutual respect I can until today imagine, and moved to the UK for better opportunities. I hadn’t heard a peep from him since his move, though I’d often wondered what happened to him.

So, last week when my friend casually asked, “Do you remember Shakil?” I was quick to respond with a huge smile and an “Of course I do! How is he?”

Before the words were fully out of my mouth he responded, “He’s dead.”

Shakil was young; maybe in his late twenties or early thirties back then. He was healthy. He was full of life. And the word ‘dead’, just didn’t and still doesn’t seem to fit. My jaw dropped. How did it happen?

Apparently Shakil had suffered a heart attack. There are rumors that imply personal habits may have helped conceive the heart attack, but knowing Shakil I can’t believe them true.

Whatever the cause, whatever the reason, he’s gone. And I’ve spent the better part of my time since learning this ignoring, trying to forget or push that fact back – while somehow it manages to keep me awake at night. I don’t want to believe that another truly amazing person is no longer on this planet. And I haven’t even shared this fact with even my closest of friends or fiancé, excepting the one person I spoke to on the evening of that coffee, and even then it just sort of slipped out without prior thought because I was absolutely exhausted from my trip to Abu Dhabi (where this meeting took place).

I suppose it’s time I really face it. Life is fragile. You’re not immortal. Neither am I.

May you rest in peace Shak.

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Blogger i*maginate said...

Lovergirl, I love being #1 and the first to comment on your post. From your earlier post about death, it scares you. I guess it's a part of life, but I'll cut the psychology crap. This guy seemed cool. The bit where he said "I'll fuck off now?' made me laugh. Sorry he's gone, and at such a young age.

I might comment again on the same post but my head can only think a certain amount the day after the night before ;)

I don't want to say I'm glad you've posted about something, I'm just glad to see you have something to say. You seem to be one of those beautiful women a woman might see somewhere, the kind who you feel like going up to and saying hi, but don't, because you fear being branded a lesbo.


And bye for now...

1:00 PM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger Lizza said...

I'm so sorry about the unexpected passing of someone who seemed to have brought sunshine into many people's lives.

It's good to read you again, though.

2:24 PM, May 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That i*maginate is one crazy girl!

I still think she's a figment of my imagination. The Dark Side of my mind!

5:19 PM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger black feline said...

NOTHING is cherish the moments..and u will have no regrets..whatsoever.

6:17 PM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

i*maginate, if you ever see me, you're welcome to walk up and say Hi. I won't brand you anything. I'm Canadian, we talk to everyone on the streets naturally.

lizza, it's good to see you. And thanks.

travellingstranger, I think she's cute!

Thank you BF.

8:10 AM, May 26, 2007  

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