It hit me while I was on the bus on one of those early-morning-bus-rides-to-work that I've grown to hate so much. I know they say when work becomes uninteresting you should just walk away, but I've got other things to worry about. Maybe one of these days I'll leave and just serve people coffee while I slack the day away.
Maybe one day, but I digress.
I was on the radio, trying to forget the fact that nothing is worth going to work for, and it came - this song I've forgotten.
Now that I've come to think of it, I dont' remember the song now... But it was there, playing in my ear and forcing its way into my memories. But sure as hell it made me remember.
It was the month of August 2005. Just a normal day at work for the rest of us. I was serving NS then, and it was one of the most unfulfilling positions you can find yourself in at anytime.
Guys reading, don't deny it - that period of time when you're inside sweeping up after everyone and being screwed inside out every single day - not fun. Whatever 'experience' you took out of it isn't worth shit when you go out into the work force and see other people from your batch in school (namely the women) already getting work experience while you're still stuck at "Erm... I did journalism for the SAF?"
Reality check - go ask around and see if any emlpoyer will even bat an eyelid about your NS experience.
The only thing, in my opinion, that was worth it would be the company of like-minded souls stuck in oblivion with you. Kudos to all the people who spent it with me - BMT, HQARMCEG, PNR, and BMT2 - t'was my honour to have met you.
So the story goes - I walk into the office that day, and the other NSFs were busy chatting in the artists' room. It's our usual fare of bitching about the boss and wondering what the hell we're to do to spend the day at the office. I joined in when they picked up on the slacking members of the community, and that's when the phone call came.
Someone whom I haven't met for a long time was over the phone. It sounded bad. There was this sorry tune in his voice, like he's stole something from my cookie jar.
"Do you know Adrien Seow?"
That was the guy who showed me what it was like to have a buddy in the army. We did everything together - I was the new guy and he protected me and showed me how it all fit together. Times in the office were bearable because I had his company. We shared secrets and promises, chatted our days away and slaved for superiors when we weren't chatting.
"He committed suicide yesterday morning."
He broke our promise.
"We don't know what happened. He left a note for his family."
He said we won't ever do it without telling the other person.
"We are carrying out investigations now. I'll let you know when the funeral is."
Silence. The dead tone of the phone stung my ears.
I remember now. It was Michael Buble. He was always wanting me to teach him how to sing. I never did - told him that I didn't know how to teach it, it was just something I could do. He'd get angry and kick up a fuss about how I was selfish and go out smoking. One day he came to work and told me he got a Michael Buble dvd so he could practise singing.
I never did say goodbye. Maybe it was just too hard.
Adrien, I remembered. And I'm sorry.