May 07, 2005

The Passing Of Someone Very Special

I was going to write a post about my personal experiences since returning back to the United Kingdom, but unfortunately, I received tragic news this evening.

Having lived in Japan for many years, it has been wonderful to get back in contact with all my friends who were there in my formative, and somewhat experimental years. It is delightful and reassuring to discover that the years have made no difference to our friendship.

One of my most treasured friends, who I had known since school, was a very beautiful lady, named Stephanie. I had fallen in love with her from the moment she started dating a fellow classmate. She was a vivacious spirit, who brought vibrancy everywhere she went, and I was absolutely smittened.

A favourite pastime of ours, was to constantly rib each other with the best, most entertaining insults possible. Being a goofy-looking teen, I had little chance to match her, since her enchanting attractiveness was an exquisite shield.

As we grew older, our friendship continued to unfold. Like myself, she was a dreamer. We would constantly engage in conversations that were full of hope for the future. She often mentioned her hope to become a famous personality. It seemed so far-fetched, and yet, in Stephanie's case it was very plausible. She really had everything to succeed: She was glamourous, intelligent, charming and an absolute pleasure to be around.

I so wanted to date her, but I suppose I was not her type of guy. I still held hope that this might happen, when I finally returned to Britain from Japan. I really did love her.

Yesterday, while telephoning around to contact my long lost pals, I called Stephanie's parents, in the hope of getting a contact number. They were not in, so I left a message on their answering machine.

When I returned from watching a movie today, my father informed me that her brother had called, and that he wanted to speak to me. This immediately brought concern. My instinct was telling me that something awful had happened. Unfortunately, I was correct. Her brother slowly broke to me the tragic news.

She had recently become a police officer in London, but had been suffering from a mysterious cough. On March 19th, she became very sick and was rushed to hospital. The doctors immediately assumed that she had TB, but this was discounted after tests were taken. Rapidly, her condition worsened, with the doctors desperately trying to drain the fluid build-up in her lungs. Stephanie finally passed away, with her parents at her side.

I am absolutely heartbroken by this news. She was one of my dearest friends and I cannot express how much it hurts. Only this afternoon, I was thinking to myself at the movie theatre that we often saw films together, how much I looked forward to resuming our cinema visits.

Her brother, who now resides in Holland, was so gentle and kind on the telephone. I will meet him on Monday, so that we can visit her grave together. It is so difficult to accept the finality of it.

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