Want a shocking truth? I am not dead. My friend is.
Yesterday morning when the sun is doing its everyday routine of climbing the ever blue horizon, my dear friend Ian was killed by a hit-and-run incident. That was eight in the morning and he was twenty-four.
I met Ian back in my high school years -- we were both in third year. He was a transfer student who is usually regarded as a math prodigy. Topping math exams in those days was his identifier. A wizard, indeed. Ian often smiles a lot. And never did I see him wearing a sad mask toppling his real face. Whenever I notice him in the corridor during recess, he's not aloof but rather enjoying the company of his new school -- his new family. I was not yet a classmate of Ian by then, if I recall it correctly. I'm not quite sure either if he knew me by then. While he's busy solving math problems especially trigonometry (I'm in love with proving identities in the past if you'll ask me) and talking to pretty girls left and right, I was -- as always (again!) -- computing my way with accounting (my one and only ticket).
We're friends in our last year in UE-Manila. Oftentimes, we kid our classmates and even some of our professors. Speaking of which, I remember one instance when Professor Bigno (he's gay, I suppose) threw a wooden chair towards Ian's location with me speaking mentally to him, "Watch your flank!" Professor Bigno almost hit Ian but luckily he's as quick as lightning when he avoided it. He's agile, after all.
Aside from pestering others, we stalk pretty girls around campus with me as the main conspirator. Well, who else? Like him, I do love numbers; gorgeous ladies, a religion. In any case, Ian and the rest of our so-called F4 group did those things just the same. We were young, happy, and had the big world in front of us -- looking at us.
I know he wanted to be an engineer. Believe it or not, in our group, I was the only one who took accountancy (the ticket is still valid, I guess) while all of them decided to be an engineer. They love math. We all loved it. After graduation and saying goodbyes, we realized that the world is now closer than we imagined. It was huge. Tremendous. Cunning. Unfathomable. And lastly, unfair.
Years passed us by and our paths did not cross again. I met some of my classmates last year but the F4? Still disbanded. No fucking reunion.
Ian told me once that Math enthusiasts are always hyper, always-on-the-go, and surprisingly naughty. I still hear his voice whispering those words into my ears. The memories we shared. The smiles we showed. And the hardships we surpassed. We made it all. We really did.
He's dead all right. And I know in the coming days, I will be meeting my classmates. Even the F4 group would also have this chance to meet but sadly, like the Fellowship of the Ring, it's now broken because Gandalf the Grey is no more and has fallen into the shadows. Of course, it's sad. The thing now is to move on and relive the tale of our dear old friend. Err, no. Our wonderful friend.
Requiescat in pace, Ian.
Thanks to my classmates for the photos.