I have been meaning to write this post ever since I heard about it but my work load kept putting me off till now. This post is a dedication to an acquaintance that I never had the chance to know him better. Let's start on how I knew him first.
When I was in college, I live in the provided hostel. So many students from different programs being put together but the hostel admin still group us according to our program i.e. students from the same program will live together in the same room. I was at at that time under the south hemisphere program and I was quite shy and reserved at that time. I don't really mingle much with others from my program let alone other programs. I have my own small but close gang. However, I wasn't really like shy like don't talk to others at all. I mean sometimes we have a chat but that's just about it. It was here that I met this acquaintance.
Being in the same hostel it is normal if we bump into students from different program and this particular student caught my eyes. Well he caught my eyes firstly because he's a cutie. *smiling ear to ear* He's from a different hostel block and though I wasn't sure which program he was in, I was absolutely sure he's not from my program. Trust me, I'd notice if there's someone that cute in my program. There's something special about this guy. Something that made me more attracted to him. He always smiles at me whenever I bump into him. Not many people did that. And now that I think about it, he's the only one who ever did that. He always smile and not in the plastic way. It was a genuine, friendly, sunny, warmth smile. No matter whether he's tired or not, he always smiles. Sometimes I'd bump into him when he's just finished class or playing basketball or jog, he's tired, we all do if we had just did that, but he never failed to give me a smile or a quick hello whenever we cross our paths. But that's just it. It never manifest into a conversation, never once did we introduce ourselves to each other. This goes on for over a year. Until ....
I was on my way out to buy my lunch. I saw him sitting at the basketball court alone with his bag and from the way he dressed, I figured he just came back from the college. At first, when our eyes met, as usual, we just smile to each other. But something came over me that time. I thought "You know what I'm going to get to know his name." I made a u-turn and joined him at the court and I can still remember my first words to him. "Hey, we have been going on like this for a year. We bump into each other and we smile to each other but we never know each others name. My name is ****. What's yours?"
"Oh hi! My name is MG."
That's how we officially met. That's the very first time after a year being two strangers giving each other a smile, we became an acquaintance. It wasn't a long conversation. It's more like a small chat of where he came from, which program he's in and things like that. Then, we had our good byes and we go along our merry way.
I never really did managed to keep in touch with him after I moved on to my next stage of my studies until 2009, if I'm not mistaken. I randomly typed his name on facebook and managed to get a hit and there he was. I sent for a friend request but he never approves it till now. And it just ends there, until a few days ago.
A few days ago, a friend posted a status of farewell and RIP to a man named M and it striked me whether this is the same M that I knew. I did a little digging and to my shock, it was. It's the same guy. Somehow, without me knowing, I was overwhelmed with this feeling of sadness and grief. It was weird. We never know each other but his passing just overwhelmed me. Turns out he passed away due to a post operation complication.
Since then on, some of his friends have been commenting on the status on what kind a person he is. His best buddy even dedicated a post at his blog to him. From there, I managed to know just how wonderful and kind and inspiring this young man is. If only I knew him better. If only when I sent for the friend request, I slipped on a message saying that "Hey! It's me! The guy from college that you always give a smile when we cross our paths." Maybe then, we can rekindle the acquaintance-ship and changed it into friendship. Now, it's too late.
It was amazing how a stranger's smiles, heaps them, for over a year for every time we bump into each other can leave such deep memories in me. May you rest in peace MG and may God bless your soul. I shall never forget that smile of yours that were always filled with warmth, kindness and friendliness.