Yesterday was a day of mixed emotions.

I was up early, minding my business, chatting with my mom and sister when I received a text message from one of my best friends.

“Dude, Zulkarnain Bujang passed away in a car accident.”

I read her text five times over. Then I frantically made phone calls to some friends hoping that somehow, it was a case of mistaken identity.

The worst was confirmed… but my brain just wouldn’t comprehend.

I knew Zul since primary school but we became really close when we were about 15. Thanks to ICQ (you guys remember ICQ?), we spent many many nights chatting away about everything under the sun. I got close to his friends too and he, Shafiq, Cheng Yau and I would have the most ridiculous conversations you could think of.

We even came up with so many silly nicknames for each other through our conversations. The silliest one he’d call me was Miss Roach. He loved my disgusted reaction to the nickname so much that it stuck. That was how he greeted me every time. I fondly called him Razzy.

As time went by, we went our separate ways, saying hello every once in a while on line but never really keeping in touch.

I last bumped into him at a shopping mall. That was the last.

As I sat in disbelief all morning, Shafiq texted me mid afternoon.

“Raje, have you heard?”

It finally sunk in. I fought hard to hold back my tears.

He’s gone now. May Allah forgive his sins, bless his soul and place him among them in jannah.

Zulkarnain Bujang
1983 – 2012
(picture taken in 1994) 

* * * * *

That very same afternoon, I attended the wedding of another childhood friend. We were classmates in Standard 1 and went to the same school all the way through up until Form 3. Azri looked so happy, beaming as he introduced his beautiful bride to us. Here’s to the new bride and groom. May Allah bless you with trains of beautiful children, Insya Allah.

Congratulations Azri and Aisyah 🙂

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