• Dane

To My First Love...Farewell

I lost someone I loved a few weeks ago due to cancer. After years of fighting the darn disease, Andre (let's call him that) succumbed to it on Thursday morning in August.

"He went in for the chemo, and never woke up," a friend said over a phone call, "At least he's at peace now, he's no longer in pain."

We dated for two years before parting ways. When we were together, Andre had severe headaches, so painful that he would often bang his head against the wall, me holding him back from doing so, asking him to hit me instead to relieve the pain. We went to the doctor to find out why but he insisted on going in alone, so I waited outside. He did not mention the headaches to the doctor, fearing of what it may be.

Months after we broke up, he called me up to say that it was a brain tumour, "It's the size of a golf ball," he said jokingly, "imagine that, a golf ball in my head."

We stayed in touch for a while after that, Andre had surgery in Singapore, and the doctor successfully removed the tumour. Post-surgery, rehabilitation was hard for him as he was temporarily paralysed from the waist down. But he got back up, started partying again, living the life, until one dreadful visit to the doctor revealed that he had bone cancer. It hit him hard, physically, emotionally, financially, the whole lot. Scary how critical diseases like that would take away everything from you, just like that.

Unfortunately, we lost touch. It was a few years after when I found out that cancer had taken Andre's left leg, they had to amputate him. A series of chemotherapy later, he was in remission, no more symptoms, no more growth.

Then it came back with a vengeance and took his life. The morning of his passing, I went online and checked his The call came in late that day while I was walking the dogs around 7 PM. I broke down and cried in the middle of the streets, in the dark.

He is no longer with us.

It's ironic how at moments like this, you reflect on the things you've shared with the person, the best moments you had together - or at times, the worst. The day the news came, everything hit me at once, like a flashback that went through my head in lightning speed. The day he told me he liked me, our first date, first kiss, the day we defied the law and walked holding hands down the main streets of Kuala Lumpur while people looked at us - both amazed and disgusted. The day he kissed me in public before heading to the office while I had my day off. The day we said "I love you", to the day I told him "I cannot do this anymore."

He was my first real relationship, my first love, my first everything. Our relationship was passionate, dramatic - it was a combination of Korean drama, US reality show and cheesy rom-com series. Us against the world. We tried, as naive as we were.

Well...you're gone now.

There are things I wish I could've done or said, but I know you already know what I will say.

I love you, be at peace.

I'll see you on the other side.

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Bali, Indonesia


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