Last Letter: To a good friend of mine

Rijal was asking a question on our PSP days in Westin Hotel, Alexandria, Virginia, USA

This personal letter is for our lovely friend: Khairur Rijal Usman Abra who passed away on August 9, 2020

Dear you, how have you been there? I hope you’re fine. It takes a longggg time for me to write this letter. I wrote it, then erase it and do it again and repeat. I started to write but my tears keep dropping off.
Actually I want to say a lot of things to you. I also want to say thank you. I want you to see me-how strong myself right now. I miss your cheerful voice, the happy face you always had, the silly questions you had asked, random things you always wanted to do such as doing tik tok, dancing, acting like a beauty pageants, doing a random question-answer while watching miss universe year 1970-2020, slept over at aninda’s apartment while cuddling to weny, aninda and oscar, watching Netflix series “Never have I Ever” until dawn and have a CSI meeting at 10 in the morning. We barely attended the meeting with those dizzy heads and fluffy faces. Good thing is, nobody cares how sleepy we were back then but we do enjoyed our quarantine days more than our “normal day”. I miss the way you requested me to cook a food for you. You called me in the night either I have food left or not just because you’re hungry but don’t have energy to cook. Let say you were lazy to cook. I knew you’re not good in cooking. Lol. That night you came to my apartment and ate all the foods I have. Maybe you didn’t know how grateful I am seeing you eating my food delightfully. I was not sure with my cooking skill. You said it was delicious and you ate for the second and third round. We always had an essential deep conversation while it was just the two of us. We didn’t badmouthing people or gossiping others. Oddly, we talked about our dreams, what’s next, our plans after this exchange ends, our future dream jobs, our plan to meet up in Jakarta before coming back to our hometown, talked our own crushes, favorite things we do as introverts, we also talked about worries that we had, how to cope it, what has changed to ourselves during the program, how exhausting it was when we talked too much to the stranger and laughed to ourselves that we were tired to pretend as cheerful person. I remember our first deep convo was in the bus from alexandria campus to Arbor Park. We sat in the fourth row from the back. I asked you a question which I was very curious about, since we were still in Indonesia. You cried next to me while telling all the stories and how much you love your family. That time I really wanted to hug you tightly but I couldn’t. So, I told you “I wanna hug you, but I can’t. I hope I can comfort you while sitting next to you, Ijal”. Apparently, you cried louder and people in the bus was looking at us. I was so nervous back then and asked question to myself “what’s wrong did I do to him”. Maybe people thought I did something really bad to you. Lol. I should’ve choose another place next time. Few days later, you told me that you were so grateful with my question and you can feel much more comfortable with me. That circumstance was the day where we started to get closer and became a good friend.

Our full member picture. Left to right: ade agus rijal mici aninda me weny

Another “the two of us” story is when we planned to go to Clarendon festival after doing a volunteer in Islamic Relief. After finishing all the task we were in rush to catch the first bus and metro train. Unfortunately it was saturday where the bus schedule is different rather than weekdays. We couldn’t catch the first bus so we decided to take a walk until train station. We thought it was not that far while seeing the gmaps. But these two dumb and dumber couldn’t learned google maps. Lol. We lost once and it took 30 min by walking. During that 30 minutes, we talked and talked everything. I don’t remember our topic specifically but I do remember our talks were full of laughters. It made that 30 minutes feel like 3 minutes away.
Our last conversation was in Aninda’s apartment. It was in ramadhan month and we finished preparing iftar and waiting the breakfasting time which was in 1 hour. We invited oscar as well and aninda was there too. She was sick and slept over on the couch. We sat next to the balcony in the TV room. We spent that 1 hour while talking all the things!! I don’t know why but talking to you is always super fun and I couldn’t hide my dark stories. Lol. You know how to dig information in person. We stopped our convo when the time for iftar is started and at the same time aninda woke up and oscar came too. Back then I didn’t know it was our last favorite convo. Yes, all of them are my favorite deep convos.
We also had a good time in Oldtown, that random day when you, me and weny went to oldtown because we need to take a break and Old town was our choice. It was winter and freezing and we were only walking around oldtown, bought a not so popular BoBa tea in oldtown, took a lot of pictures with your new iphone, bought a kind of sweet popcorn snack which you and weny recommended and took trolley and back to home! See, you always asked a random thing to do and we keep saying yes and go! Lol. All the circumstances we had are super fun :”

Dear you, my good friend. After knowing the news you were gone, it was a heartbreaking for me. I have a lot friends, but only few of best friends. Since the day 1, I didn’t know you’ll be one of my best friend. We started to avoid each other since the day 1 but turned out need each other.
That day, the first day you passed away, I didn’t know how to react. I wanna cry but I deny admitting the news. I don’t want to believe it but all of your friends posted your picture telling it was true, they cried for you, they posted all good things and how nice you were in person. Me, even couldn’t posted your picture in social media. I stopped to open Instagram and facebook but I keep watching your videos which I recorded in my phone. That’s crazy, bcs it was not only me. All of your friends feel the same way like me.
Dear you, you are a precious friend, a friend who always encourage people, support friend and always say positive things, you are smart but you don’t make me feel inferior, you usually corrected my grammar or my pronouncing without me feeling offended. You always can see a good thing in every person, whenever I feel sad and show my sad face, you told me to chin up and keep smiling because happy face is contagious. You always had impromptu idea. Four of us (you, weny, aninda and I) finally had group pictures, we recorded our first tik tok dance (with that dance like a stone. Lol), we had our first watching netflix series in group and the karaoke time! Who doesn’t missed it?!
In the end, I am so grateful we made umpteenth pleasant memories with you. Today is your birthday and I promised to write this letter after two months of your passing. I pray for you, you’ll be placed in a good place. You have a good heart and you are always be loved. May Allah shower your soul with His Infinite Mercy. I am sending you a lot of salawat and istighfar. For ijal’s friend and family, may Allah make your heart to be stronger, wiser and better.

A letter from Ikrim, your Baby Shark (nobody calls me the way you did again :”)

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