Your life is, to others, the memory you leave behind. The effect that you have on others is the only truthful measure of your existence. I met Anuar 12 years ago. He was one of those charismatic ones who would leave in indelible mark in the people he met.
He went to design school with my brother. Thanks to his boyish charms, his wicked sense of humour, and his constant presence in our home he soon became part of our family. And when he had a family of his own, we accepted them too, as family.
I went to work for him fresh out of college. At that time, he had a thriving little business and a bubbly little girl. Through months of blood, sweat and tears, a payoff would come in just one short year. He was approached and offered a partnership in the struggling business of cash-rich entrepreneur. Life took a turn for the better for Anuar and he took me along for the ride.
But fame and fortune is not without its snare. With his newfound status and salary, he would epitomise the image of a rich, young playboy - an image he eagerly embraced. And then it happened. An affair. It was inevitable, for one such as Anuar, and circumstances at home did not help.
His life would go downhill from here.
He tries to pull a fast one on his business partner to support the two household he was now keeping. When he was discovered, he disappears, leaving me to face the music of his misappropriation. But fortunately for me, I was not implicated in any way. But for him, his family fell apart as did his finances.
My family helped patch things up for Anuar and his family. And they helped him back up on his feet again. And for awhile, things were okay once again. But 3 years and 3 kids later, he would go back to his wily ways.
And then one day, he would go to work and never return. No explanation. No goodbyes. And as he started life with his new family, his old one would be left to fend for themselves. And he would continue to disappoint his family and friends with his lies and deceit.
That was seven years ago.
Last week, his brother called up at his former family. Anuar was dying, they were told. It would be the last they would ever see him, they were told. But they didn't want to have anything to do with him. This must be one of those sneaky maneouvres he was so fond of pulling. Seven years of hurt was far too painful to buy into his little tricks now. His family didn't believe him.
Last Thursday, Anwar passed on. At 12 in the afternoon, at the age of 38 he left for good without ever reconciling with his family. And he left, with a lot less friends than when he started off.
But death is never easy to accept. Despite his shortcomings, and despite his failing, I can't help but feel a deep sorrow in his passing. Perhaps it was that he wasted his life on his excesses. Perhaps it was that he never learnt to appreciate his family until it was too late. Perhaps I feel for his kids who never got to say goodbye.
Anuar is gone now. Hopefully, all the hurt and pain he left behind would go with him as well. Hopefully, in the end, people might remember him for his boyish charms and his wicked sense of humour. Hopefully, one day, we will all remember him for how he used to make us laugh. And perhaps we will remember too that once upon a time, Anuar was a good friend.