It was a stormy night. Thunders strikes down the earth and lightning lights up the darkness. Suddenly it’s raining. Daniel ran as fast as he could as the black shadow chased him from the abandoned bungalow. His hand full of bruises and blood tear down from his mouth. The shadow kept chasing him. Daniel fell down. The shadow rise up its hand that hold a knife. And suddenly Daniel woke up. His alarm clock keeps shouting and wailing to Daniel, asks him to wake up. After turn off the clock, headache strikes him as his head become heavy. That dream was a recalled memory that happens to Daniel when he went for a camping with his friends at Pulau Tioman last week. He experienced an extreme night where he almost being killed by a sea terrorist. Until now, he can’t seem to forget the event.
“Daniel! Come down and have your breakfast!” his mother shouting from downstairs.
“Wait until I have my bath!” he replies back. As fast as he always does he grab the towel and have a nice warm bath. After finish dressing up himself, he run down the stairs and go to the kitchen. His mother is preparing something on the stove while his father is reading the ‘Berita Harian’ newspaper. A local news involving smugglers in town attract Mr. John to view the report.
“Where is your sister, Daniel?” ask his mother with a plate of sandwiches on his hands.
“Upstairs, maybe,” answer Daniel as he take a sandwich and eat it with a mouthful bite.
“ Maybe she has gone to work,” Mrs. John pour the coffee into her husband’s cup.
“Look Daniel! Is this your friend?” pointed the article as Mr. John show the picture to Daniel. Daniel shock with the picture shown to him as he grab the paper from his father’s hand. It was Firham. ‘Misfortune Night for A Novelist’ is the title for the article. Daniel read through the article.
JOHOR BAHRU - It was on 8.15pm. Firham was on his way back from a famous hotel after launching his third novel titled ‘For Your Love, Eva ’ and celebrating his 21st birthday with his relatives and friends. After that he drive his car late that night. At a T-junction, Firham who drive a BMW car made a turn and suddenly he crashed a tree. The police said that Firham was being sabotaged. But other evidence showed that Firham was crashed on purpose. The Police kept on doing the investigations with the help of The Forensics Unit, leader by a professional Forensics Team Leader, Chief Inspector Izzee. Firham was send to the hospital for the further treatments.
“How can this happen? Last night he was okay and he celebrated with his girlfriend. Who could do such a thing to him?” shout Daniel after read the article.
“Relax, Dan. How about we visit him today? After all I don’t have any meeting today,” suggest Mr. John as he try to find something to do today.
“But I can’t follow you two because I have to see Puan Rosnani. She said she have something important to show me,” said Mrs. John as she finish doing her work.
“Women. Only know to show off and gossip about others. They don’t thinks about others feelings,” said Mr. John.
“Let it be, dad. But not all women such like that. What I’m saying that is for your daughter-in-law,” Daniel said.
“Men, only know to accuse us, women because they didn’t know who they attract to before,” Mrs. John fight back.
“Mom, stop it! It’s nonsense. I should be going to apply a day-off. I want to see Firham and I want to know the truth,” said Daniel and go to his black BMW. He start the engine and drives down the road to the United As Friend’s Tower. After he park his car, he go to see Lina, his CEO. Knowing of her temper, Daniel come into her room with heart beats faster than ever.
“I’m sorry Miss Lina but have you read today’s paper?”
“Don’t you see what I’m doing?”
“Please turn to page two and read the main article,”
“About our friend, Firham, right?”
“Yes, and that’s why I come here,”
“I know and can I come with you?”
“Certainly yes. But when?”
“During lunch time. Is there any problem?”
“How about now. You can ask Miss Mira to manage your schedule,”
“Wait a second,” Miss Lina pick up the phone and press a few button. After a while, her face fills with smiles and happiness.
“What are you waiting for? Let’s go to meet him,” Miss Lina walk out the room follow by Daniel. She walk into Daniel’s car and they go to the hospital. There, they see a lot of reporters waiting at the entrance. They ignores them and go the fifth level. When they enter the room, their old friends are already there. Izzee, Shawn, Memey, Oja, Maya and Ina staring at them with hopeless and sorrowful.
“How’s his condition?” ask Daniel to Izzee.
“I’m sorry, Dan. I don’t know. Only our friend, Khai know everything. He will come in a few minutes,”
“How did this happen?”
“I don’t know. My investigations shows that he was slipped over the road divider and crashed to the tree. His car wrecked badly. Luckily he was alone,”
“Luckily you said?! He’s dying over here. Don’t you see, he’s right in front of you, lying unconscious. When do you want to awake?!” shout Ina suddenly after overhearing their conversation. She was crying beside Firham since Daniel had a chat with Izzee.
“Calm down, Ina. Soon he will awake,” said Mimie try to calm Ina down. Then, Dr. Khai come in and shake hand with Daniel.
“How was it?” asked Daniel.
“A surgery will done on this evening. He’s unstable, related to his emotion. If his mental drop, the percent of survival is less than we thought,” said Dr. Khai.
“Hopefully he is all right,” suddenly Firham begin to awake. He see all his friends were beside him and Ina is still holding his hand.
“Sorry to make you all worried,” said Firham slowly. Everyone there were relieve.
“Are you okay, Firham? You seems like just wake up from a thousand years,” said Shawn.
“I’m like this and you still want to make fun of me? Anyway thanks for the visit, guys,” said Firham.
“Firham, how could this happen to you?” asked Daniel to him.
“You won’t believe if I told you. After the T-junction, I had a flashback memories about our life during school. Remember that we had a function at school where I hurt my wrist because of that stupid pitcher? After that, it was all black,” told Firham about what happen.
“At least we know that you are safe,” said Ina.
“Yeah. If this don’t happen, I already scold Daniel because he is late again!” said Lina remembered of her daily routine.
“Daniel, I want you to do something for me. And Lina, please don’t scold him at this time,” asked Firham and Daniel come closer to him.
“Tomorrow, I want you to come over to my house and take the brown envelops on my table. You know where it is, right? Don’t take a single look. I’m warning you. After that, I want you to go to Eva’s house and hand it over to her,”
“I can do it but why you still thinking about her? She already dumped you when we were form four,”
“Because it’s my fault and it has been five years. Just give it to her,”
“As you wish, my friend. And don’t forget to take the medicine that Khai gave to you. I want you to treat me after you’re discharged,”
“Okay, and you have to buy me kapur barus,”
“It’s smells good you know,”
“Whatever, as long as you are able to write another novel,”
“We’ll see about that,” then, a few nurse and Dr. Khai enter the room.
“I’m sorry but I have to take him to the surgery room,”
“Why?” asked Daniel.
“The result from the previous test was a mistake. He will not survive if we don’t hurry,” Dr. Khai push Firham’s bed and go to the surgery room. Everyone there were shock and panic. Ina crying louder and Lina are still calm her down. After a half an hour of waiting, Dr. Khai come out from the room.
“I’m sorry, guys. He lose too many bloods and his organ are badly injured. We could not save him,” all faces goes down and Ina are starting to wailing. Their old buddy left them at this age. Daniel could not stand his sadness and tears begin to fall down. Everyone feel sorrow and sad for missing their best friend.
On that afternoon, Firham’s body are ready to be buried at Tanah Perkuburan Islam Mahmoodiah. All his family, relative and friends come and give a last view of his face. The burial is done by his family. Daniel also involves. He could not stand to see his friend are going to left him. The burial is already finished after a half an hour. Only Ina, Daniel and Lina are still at the burial. Then, they left and do their daily routine as usual.
That night, Daniel cannot sleep. He still remembered the memories between them. He take out his album when he is studied at SM Teknik ERT Azizah. He still remembered that Firham ask him to buy kapur barus. He thinks Firham only joking but it was not. It’s a sign of him to go. As all the memories flashed back, Daniel’s hand keep turning from one page to other page. So many pictures of Firham beside him. And also the picture of Firham and a form five student. They were somebody at that time, but it doesn’t long. They break up and pretend to be unknown to each other. Firham always told Daniel about that form five student.
His wariness known by his family. Mrs. John are worry about Daniel’s condition. Finally Daniel fell asleep beside the album. Early that morning, Daniel go to Firham’s house at Taman Kemas and begin to enter. It was clean and tidy. The smell of his favorite perfume, Gallardo fills Daniel’s nasal cavity. Daniel go to his table. A big envelope written ‘MY ORIGINAL ASPIRATION’. Daniel take the envelope and walk out from Firham’s house. Suddenly a women come out from a taxi and Daniel shock. It was Ina.
“What are you doing here, Ina?”
“I would like to collect his pictures. That’s the only way that I can remain keep him in my mind,”
“Okay but how can you go home?”
“I don’t know,”
“Like this. How about you come with me and follow me to fulfill his will. About that pictures, you can always come to my house. You know that we are best friend, right?”
“Okay, but where are we going?”
“Someone who her name had became his novel’s title,”
“I don’t know. I think she still mad at me,”
“Ina, it’s five years already. Impossible she still remembered of that thing,”
“Okay, I will follow you, but I don’t want to meet her,”
“Promise,” then, they both walk into the car and Daniel drive to the place where he usually send Firham five years ago. He insist to go but Firham always bribe him with a treat. So, that place became familiar to him. A few minutes later, they arrive in front of Eva’s house.
“Wa’alaikumsalam. Can I help you?” ask a women look younger than her age.
“I come to see Eva. Is she here?”
“Wait a second, young man. I will call her,” then the woman go inside and Eva come out.
“Are you Eva?”
“Yes I am. Why?”
“Don’t you remember me? It’s Daniel. The one who always came here long time a go,”
“Oh, it was you! I almost forget. You look different. More elegant than before,”
“Same as you. You looks more beautiful. That’s why he said you are pretty,”
“Why are you here, Dan? Are you missing me?”
“No, but I come to fulfill my missing friend’s will,”
“Missing friend? What are you talking about?”
“Don’t you read the newspaper?”
“I did but not that detail. Why?”
“Firham already left us yesterday,”
“Serious? You’re not pulling my leg, aren’t you?”
“I’m not joking, Eva. You can ask Ina inside my car. We were at the burial,”
“But how?” tears start to fall. Eva could not stand her sadness.
“An accident after lunched his third novel,”
“Patient, Eva. Let bygones be bygones. He already left us. Oh, before I forgot. He would like you to take this. I better be going now,”
“Wait! Dan, can you help me?”
“Of course. What is it?”
“Please tell everyone, our friends to meet me at somewhere we could read this will together,”
“How about at my house?”
“That will be fine. Thanks for this, Dan,”
“It’s my job. See you later. I have to arrange this event,”
“Thanks again,” tears still not stop from falling down her eyes as Daniel’s car move away. Eva hug the envelope and go inside her house. Ina remain silence. Nothing to talk about. Daniel see Ina begin to cry. He pass the tissue box to her. After reaching Taman Perling, Ina walk out and go home without any words. Daniel cannot say anything unless go back to home. That night, he start to massage everyone. The massage written:
8.00 pm, at my house
We will read Firham’s will
For the last time
After that, Daniel go to sleep.
“No!!!!!” shout Daniel as loud as he could. The shadow swing its arm and suddenly, Firham jump to it and begin to fight with it. Daniel only could see the fighting between them. He’s exhausted. Firham fight fiercely. Finally, the shadow lying down unconscious. Firham walk to Daniel with a few bruises at his faces and blood tears down from his arm.
“Get up, Dan! We must go to the police station and report to them about this,”
“No. I can’t even move my leg,”
“Climb up behind me. Hurry, before they find us here,” Daniel climb Firham’s back and Firham begin to run as fast as he could. They almost fell when they across the river. But Firham keep Daniel on his back. When they arrive, Their friends are already there. Firham knee down and bring Daniel down. They both were wet. Rain is still not showing any sign to stop. Firham lye down. Exhausted. Their friends begin to shout their names. Daniel woke up and realizes that it’s already morning. Another memory strikes his night sleep. It is true. It’s a flashback memories. Daniel still thinking about his dream, not knowing it’s already 8.30 am. Suddenly, his hand phone ring loudly. It was his boss. Now he realize that he is late again.
“Hello,” he pick up the phone.
“Daniel! Do you know what time is it? I’m not your wife so get up and come here at once before I come to your house,”
“Sorry, Lina. I guest today I’m requesting an MC,”
“Why? Don’t you know that today is the big day. Your father’s partner, Encik Abu will come here,”
“I’m sorry, Lina. It’s related to Firham’s will. I have to settle it as soon as possible,”
“Okay, fine. Make sure your don’t stress too much,”
“Thanks for your concern, Lina,”
“Anytime. Got to go. Bye,” Daniel really feel relieve. He thought he would never expect that Lina will be that kind. There’s something going wrong between Lina and Daniel after Firham’s dead. She become more concern or caring to Daniel. Is Lina fall in love with Daniel? Oh, please! Not in a millions years. It’s nonsense. It’s just a best friend care. Not more than that.
Daniel don’t know what to do. Finally he realize that tonight, Firham’s will are going to be read by Eva at his own house. He run down the stairs and look around. It’s a mess.
“Mom! Can you help me?!” shout Daniel calling his mother.
“What is it Dan?”
“Today, there will be going a simple and short function tonight in this house. I want you to help me with the feast. Can you?”
“Of course, but a function? About what? Your birthday just left last week,”
“Firham’s will are going to be read tonight,”
“Very well, my son. I will do it as you want,” Mrs. John go to kitchen and ask Mr. John to buy some groceries for the function. And Daniel are busy cleaning the house.
Finally, the time has come. All his friends come at his house for the function. Even smiles and laughter fills the air in the function but the sorrowful strikes each one of the guests.
“Attention everyone. First I want to thank you all for coming to my house. It’s been a while since our last meeting. Now, we meet again with a missing of our friend. As you all know, Firham is already left us. I know you are sad, but life must go on. But before that, we must fulfill his will so he can peacefully rest. Now, I call upon Miss Evalina to read the will,” Daniel said and welcoming Eva to the stage. Eva slowly walk to the stage as the sorrowful strikes her from yesterday.
“Thank you, Dan for this opportunity. I know it’s hard for you all to accept me up here, but I have to do it. And I’m sorry to you all for hurting everyone during our last meeting. And now let us see what inside this envelop,” Eva slowly open the envelop. It was a letter, poem and pictures.
“Dear, my friends. I’m sorry because it’s been a while since our camping day. I feel happy for you all achievement. Izzee, you are a great Inspector. Shawn, thanks for giving me ideas for landscaping my house. I really appreciate it. Lina, Don’t be to angry with Daniel because it could build up love. And Eva, if you read this for me, thank you very much. All the memories at the past always be in my heart and I know you still mad at Ina. I want you two to be close friend. But, you jealousy strikes your mind and become a little bit violence. I know it’s my fault that I do that but please tell the truth that you still missing me even Ina are already become my fiancée. I want you to be the best.
Anyway, these poem, I already gives to you all. It’s all my inspiration. When I read it the poem, I will remembered you all. I really missed that time. Pictures inside this envelop show how sweet our friendship. I know that I’ve angry with you all and a few argument happen. But, I really felt alone when we are separated. Remember when Raz left us and transfer to SM Teknik ERT Setapak. Even she is smiling, I know somehow she really really missed us. Same with me. I don’t know what will happen when I’m leaving you guys. Maybe tonight is the last time we were together. At least I want to see Eva for the last time. I know she will be going to be a graduated next week and now she are on vacation. I want to celebrate my birthday with her and I want to launch my third novel. This novel is not like my previous novel. It’s based on what happen to me and where I found my true love with her. I hope you all enjoy yourself while you can. Stick to your heart and do as best as you can. I will no longer be with you. Thanks for the memories,”
Eva start to cry. Everyone there put their face down with sorrowful. No words come out from their mouth. The function being silence.
“Hei, I want to see those pictures,” shout Izzee with tears falling down his eyes. Eva hand over the pictures to Izzee and he start to see one by one. After that, he give each one of them a picture. Eva is the last one. Daniel come to her and try to calm her down. Daniel see the picture of Eva and Firham. It was the PIBG’s day. At that time, she was a promoter to the guest and Firham worked on his Tunas Bistari jobs. They were so close to each other. Tears keep falling from Eva’s eyes. Suddenly Ina come to them and Eva start to hug her.
“I’m sorry, Ina. I should never do to you at that time. I still love him. Because of him I became more cheerful but when I dumped her, I start missing him. And when I know you being his couple, I start to jealous. I’m sorry, Ina. Really really sorry,” said Eva when the two of them still hugging.
“It’s okay, Eva. I already forgive you. I know you still love him. And I tried to make him happy again but I couldn’t. he keep thinking of you. You deserve to be him better than me. But it’s already too late. He left us,” Ina’s cries become louder and louder. Daniel couldn’t stand of what he saw. Plus, the picture in his hand make him more sorrow. It’s the picture when they were at class. Daniel start to sad but Faizze come and calm him down.
It’s already 11 o’clock. Everyone start to leave his house. The last person is Eva and Ina. They both thank to Daniel for the function and leave together. Daniel know that Firham wanted this to happen. That’s why he write that will and no one know about it. Daniel lye on his bed and stare the picture.
“Firham, your dreams had come true. It’s already finished. May Allah bless your soul and put you within all those who had blessed by Allah,” as he finish his word, he fell asleep.
It’s been two years. Eva had been graduated and now, she is working as a gourmet chef in a famous hotel in JB. Daniel just got the news when Eva called him yesterday. Daniel became a CEO of United As Friends. Lina was transferred to Segamat and still a CEO. Daniel now had a hobby. He now always buy a magazine, titled “Friendz Thoughts”. Why? Because the author is Ina, Firham’s fiancée. Daniel always giving thought on questions and opinions written there. How about others? Well, they are really successful. Even their closest friend are already left them but they still looking forward ignoring all the sadness. Until the end, their friendship were never break especially to Daniel because once Firham had said to him, “No one will ever be a stupid or a failure if you got a friend. Even I died, but my spirit never died inside all my heart’s friend including you.” It’s the last phrase from him to Daniel before they separated to continue studying.
Daniel’s phone keep ringing. He pick up the phone.
“Hei, Dan! What’s up?”
“Lina! It’s been a while before I heard from you. How’s the things going?”
“Fine except the routine that I usually did there,”
“What is it?”
“Scolding you, remember? I really missing you,”
“Is it? Me too. When do you come down to JB?”
“Tomorrow. How about a reunion party?”
“At my house, 8.00 pm,”
“See you there. I got job to be done,”
“Thanks for your call,”
Daniel grab his diary after put off the phone. He see the date. It’s two years of Firham’s death. He close his eyes slowly and begin to whisper.
“You’re my inspiration. I couldn’t become this successful without you and same with others. Only you will always became my friend.”
Daniel and others still as friends until this day. But they never ever forget what happen at the past. Even they far away from each other, but they’re the closest in heart.