My dear sweet Hazel Eyes,

I remember when you first asked me about what I’d like to do for my birthday, about two years ago. I shrugged, telling you that I didn’t feel like it. You frowned and wondered why, so I told you this:

“I’ve been asking for the same gift for the past four years and God hasn’t given me that yet.”

You’d looked so sad that I instantly felt bad. I didn’t mean to; I’m sorry. You said that there was nothing wrong about celebrating my birthday, no matter what. I still deserved it, despite the situation I was in back then. That didn’t mean I loved my ailing father less – or that I didn’t care about him that much.

We’ve known each other long enough that we sometimes can finish each other’s sentence in a heartbeat. I’m the worst liar for you and somehow – you can often tell what’s on my mind, including my very, very vivid imagination. (Remember the white cat with the black patch under its pink nose and that funny-shaped dough on your metal tray? *private jokes*)

Honestly, I can’t think of what to give you this year, especially when you have given so much to me. I’m still a lousy cook and man, I love your foods! I know that I tend to get really sentimental and emotional, but that’s okay with you. You’re one of the friends who never call me a ‘cry-baby’ and I really appreciate that. You were even there when my friend Robbie passed away.

You’re right about one thing, though: birthdays are worth celebrating for. Of course, there’s always that bit of sadness if it’s the birthday of our deceased loved ones. However, we can always be grateful that once upon a time, they existed in our lives.

I used to hate getting older, but now I have accepted it. It’s unavoidable. You’re also one of the many people in my life who often remind me to make the most of it.

I will. Thank you for everything. Thank you for being my brotherly best friend and I love you for that. It’s your birthday today…and I am happy.



(Jakarta, 2/8/2016 – 8:15 am)

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