He was larger than life. The touch of his hand was enough to make me feel like I’d never been alive until that moment. I’d never met someone so hopeful, while yet honest with the bitterness of reality. He had known heart break and God knows what else. And still he was undaunted.
It seemed like a fool’s errand. For as much as I knew I wasn’t a part of his life, I couldn’t stop my heart starving for that life to touch mine. Even seeing him for a moment was enough to turn me around and make me look at the world in a whole new way.
So through the years I came to love him deeply, to admire his hope and energy. He’d never be mine, but I was happy just to dance in the light of his warmth.
And that is why everything stopped when I heard.
I mis-key the transaction.
“How are you doing?” A smiling stranger.
“Fine, how are you?” I smile back.
And as I turn to count the change it all hits me again.
Fahad is dead.
I miscount the change again.
I lived hours away. I hardly knew him. There wasn’t anything I could do.
I saw photographs and I saw him faking it beautifully. He was still as dashing as ever, as well dressed as ever. But I knew better.
I fought my way to find him.
And then I saw. Still as dashing as ever. Still as well dressed as ever. But the light inside him had gone out. I touched his hand and it was mine that gave the life.
It had taken his brother. It had taken him.
Death is the ultimate thief.