It is in this moment of time when I remember the most of you. I remember you in silhouette while we’re both facing the departure of the sun to the world. You uttered the words ‘after all’ to the summer breeze at the top of the hill with so much sadness as if the sun will never come back tomorrow. As if I will never come back again.
“Does it make you feel sad? watching this beauty in front of us? and watching the city lights dancing as if there’s no sad people at the top of the hill right now?” I asked. But you never answer it. So I just left you while I stared blankly at the golden skyline… Feeling thankful because after all of these years… you’re still here guiding me with your light.
I met you when you are just 17 years old in one of those bench that most people would avoid seating there and just like you… I prefer to be there – alone. I was there hibernating myself from being drained. I wasn’t good at making friends or talking to strangers and pretending that I’m friendly – I’m not that kind of person. But there’s something inside of my heart and my mind that day, that very moment telling me to do things I don’t usually do. So I gather all my fears and turn it into prowess. “Hi, can I know your name?” I asked. My voice was shaking. “Ziya” you answered and smiled at me.
And that is the best thing I did for the entire of my life that I will always treasure forever.
As days goes by… I never got the chance to speak to you again while we’re both having our solo moments on that bench under this huge balete tree because I believe you choose to be here so that you can have your own time. So the days goes by like this, you and me in one bench. Not talking to each other.
The rest was history on how we became friends.
As the air started to freeze and the stars started lighting the dark night sky, I saw you staring at me. And I stared back at you and as I watched my reflection through your unaided dark hazelnut eyes… I’ve seen you yearn for a warm hug so I did gave you my warmest hug I could have ever gave for and in return you hug me tightly. So tight – so tight that I could feel the heaviness of your sadness. I whispered “It will be okay” as if this will say goodbye to your sorrows but it didn’t. I know it won’t aid you so I just let you cry the whole afternoon as we both witnessing the transition of the day to night.
Ziya didn’t like the idea of me leaving my hometown to find my dream job. In short, Ziya didn’t want me to leave her. But she knows how I needed to. She knew how difficult it was for me.
After that long afternoon at the top of the hill, I left my hometown and bid my farewell to everyone. I never thought that leaving the place where you feel safe and happy can be a major heartbreak, but I did my best to control my emotions during my flight.
I never heard anything about Ziya after my departure. I did tried to contact her but she doesn’t answer any of my calls.
One day I called my friend and asked about her and the next thing I know I was crying and I don’t know what to do anymore.
Ziya died at the age of 22. She died because of Leukemia. The doctors said she was strong enough to last more than 1 year. She was a fighter. Yes, she was. I never thought she was sick the last time we’re together at the top of the hill. I hated her for keeping this thing to me but I’m sure she was just trying to help me with my dreams. She was this kind of person who will support you and do everything so that you will achieve all your dreams. We both dreamed about having a good job that can sustain the needs of our own family but sadly Ziya cannot do that anymore. Ziya will never experience how it feels to have your first salary. Ziya will never know how it feels to help her family using her hard earned money. Ziya will never experience the things that I’m experiencing right now and it makes me sad.
Ziya doesn’t deserve the world but she was good enough – so good that it hurts to imagine life without her anymore. She deserve something better than Leukemia. She was the light of my life.
I will never see her anymore, but I know if there is one person aside from my parents who’s proud of me right now, it would be her. I will always remember her smiling at me as we both laugh so hard to each other.
I know she was one of the stars now that shines above the night sky every night for me and for her family and friends because Ziya means light in Arabic and she will always be our light.
And whenever I wake up at 3AM and feeling alone, I will just look up at the night sky and everything will be okay again because you are there shining like you used to be.