I have been away so much lately from the island. Out of one month period from mid of September until mid of October, I was away for about 18 days. The last trip was to Ipoh to visit Andi, who was an intern with us until July. She came back to work at Ulu Muda, Kedah. I knew from Pavin that she would drop by Bukit Kinding Resort for about a week before heading off to work. I decided to give her a surprise visit. Together with Nathalie, we were off to Ipoh for 3 days. We couldn’t stay any longer as we all had planned to celebrate Cam’s birthday back at Perhentian.
We probably arrived four hours later than her at the resort. It was nice to see Andi again. She has slimmed down. Throughout my whole time there, I got to know more of the other FUZE staff. Pavin was as usual busy at work. Most of the time, it was his guys that kept us entertained. They were a bunch of fun-loving, sporting and cheerful outdoor guys, who brought us to the waterfalls, bought us food, etc.
I became close with Sharithan on our last night out. We first went to a bar and continued the night in a club after the bar closed. Pavin couldn’t join us so only his guys were there with us. Sharithan jokingly said we should couple up as it was a gay club. Automatically, Andi was with Agilan and I was stuck with Sharithan. Everyone was just having fun, dancing the night off on the dance floor. We left after 3am, sitting at the back of the 4-wheel-drive until Bukit Kinding. I didn’t say goodbye to him when I left, assuming that he would join us for dinner, together with Pavin. In the end, they didn’t show up.
Today I received a phone call saying that he passed away yesterday. Still in shock and disbelief, I couldn’t concentrate at work at all. The hangover from Cam’s birthday’s celebration yesterday is definitely not helping. Although I know he is a tough guy, my first reaction was to call Pavin to see whether or not he was alright. As for myself, I wanted to just escape from reality. A way to do that is to sleep because it takes me off the real world. That was what I had been doing the whole day, pretty much.
I gathered pieces of information about his accident at the waterfall from Michael and Andi. Apparently they went kayaking and he fell into the rapids. After seconds, he didn’t come up to the surface, the rest of the team started going in to get him out. His head was underwater and it seemed like he was stuck underwater among the rocks. None of them could dive long enough to figure out what actually kept him underwater as the water was flowing very fast and it was raining. The rescue team found his body this morning and he was already dead, covered in blood. I couldn’t help thinking that if I had prolonged my stay there, I definitely would be kayaking with them as well.
I can’t say I’m close to him but tears just started pouring down my cheeks. I remember one his last sentences ‘Seh Ling, when I come to Perhentian, your gonna be my girlfriend at Long Beach, just like yesterday in the club!’ And now he’s gone. It seems surreal, like a dream. Mum said it’s fated, when your time is up, it’s up. I can moan for his loss and feel sad about it but life still goes on. RIP Sharithan, you’ll always be in my heart!