She sat next to my tiny cubical at the office. She first walked in about 2.5 years ago. She was still new to the job. I gave her the low-down on the getting around the office, the annoying management systems and all that stuff HR usually promise to take care of when you are hired, but never do. We had lunch several times. We had loads of common friends. She was smart, a good laugh and pleasant. A really great person to have around in the kind of office I work at.
Few months later, I realised she hasn't come to the office for a while. I was told her father was sick. Very sick. Cancer sick. A while after that, he died and she took personal time off to deal with it.
After her father's passing, she did checkups and discovered that she didn't only share her father's looks, he also passed on some of his bad cells. She took leave of absence to deal with that too.
He, was my childhood best friend. We know each other since since 1st grade. We both were kindda
nerdy at school. We shared the same fascination by Lego, aircraft model building, sci-fi
movies and cartoons. We both spoke better English then the rest of the kids on the block. At school, we both got our lunches stolen, regularly. We both had dreams of being toy-designers that can fly jet fighters and have superpowers, all at the same time. We stayed best friends for 10 good years.
We lost touch in the 1990 gulf war. Our families drifted apart. I came back to Kuwait for my high school diploma, he stayed behind. Last summer, I accidentally passed by his old house back home. I stopped and asked around. I was told his family still owns the place, but no one has seen anybody living there. Though the last time i tried looking for an old friend didn't go very well
, I really wanted to know what happened to/with him, his family.
I started googling his name. Every couple of months, I would try a different search. A different spelling of his extremely Arab name. Last month I got a hit. I found him. I even found a photo of him. He lost lots of hair. He still has that geeky smile though. It was him. He has published articles in several scientific journals. He lives in the US. Works as senior consultant. Teaches classes too. I got his email and sent him one last week. Its been 20 years since we last spoke.
Today, he called me.
Today, she died.