1st January 2021
What greeted me on Facebook was your obituary.
My heart was beating real fast.
I asked myself if it is true.
Is this a prank?
There were many thoughts flying in my head.
I dare not cry because I was at work.
All I did for the remaining day was to refresh Bernard’s post to make sure I weren’t dreaming.
Gathered all the youngsters to visit you the following night.
You looked the same.
Still as handsome as ever.
Why didn’t you tell me earlier?
My life is changed forever because I have lost a dear old friend.
If only you were honest to me, we could have done so much more.
I would make time to hear your story and write your book for you.
Why? Albert. Why?
Flash back to 2013.
“Hello, my name is Albert Lim” marks our first conversation.
One month into this industry and I am still clueless. Not that I mind because I am beginning to see how things work.
By the way, I am Viola, the new sales executive at Southern Steel Mesh, Tanjung Langsat. That year, I was 23 years old. Still young and ignorant.
Amazed at the fact that I can even find this place during my interview session. Do you know that GPS is not even a thing back then?
Time flexibility. Independent. Lone Ranger. Results driven.
First day at work was horrible.
My senior, Phang passed me one or two brochures. That’s all.
Literally wasted the whole day waiting for my manager to come in. He came in at 6pm, only to tell me to reach out to Phang. What the.
I will be alone. No doubt. Followed Phang for a day or two. That’s it.
Several weeks had gone by, Phang (my senior) told me he made a lunch appointment with BRC Trading and would like to take me along. I was thrilled because we always worked independently. Most of the time, we go separate ways.
What to do. Nobody has the time to hold you by hand nor to watch your baby steps.
You are on your own, girl.
Here comes probation period. Why on earth do I have to go through a six month’s long of probation period?
Who cares? I need the money. I really do.
By God’s grace, I get a sales or two.
In my head I was already thinking of finding another job. Before I even met Albert Lim.
Our first visit was scheduled at Albert’s hardware shop at Kong Kong, Masai. I know. Very deep in. Not as deep in as Tanjung Langsat though.
Still, I don’t know where I am. Can’t even imagine who I will be meeting later. Butterflies in my tummy.
Excited and yet, terrifying.
By the way, I didn’t even put on make-up nor getting my brows done.
We greeted Alice, the lady boss, spoke a word or two before we were directed up to Albert’s office.
There you are. Sitting in your office with your casual Polo-Tee. So this is the man I am supposed to meet.
You stopped whatever you are doing just to focus on me.
“Hello, my name is Albert Lim” marks the beginning of our fate.
All the fears in me disappeared like magic. Now, here is someone who is English educated.
Like finally. I am not the odd one out.
We shook hands and talked more. The atmosphere was comfortable.
Surprisingly, we clicked.
Over lunch, the only topic that kept you going was your son. I could tell that you are very fond and proud of your eldest son. Could even spot the sparks in your eyes despite you trying so hard to hide from it.
Have to be honest, I was a little curious about this son of yours because you spoke so highly about him.
At the end of our first meeting, Albert told me “You will be the perfect daughter-in-law for my family. I have been searching for you for so long. I want you to meet my son soon”.
My mouth went wide open.
The girl who knows nothing about make-up until today.
The girl who doesn’t even know how to dress up for the right occasion.
The girl who knows nothing about this industry nor businesses.
How can I be the person you are looking for?
And, love takes two hands to clap my dear.
How do you possibly know that I would be in love with your son?
Yes. These are the questions that had been flying through my mind ever since you mentioned that.
I believe I told you that every single time.
“Nah, he must be kidding. I bet he tell this to every single ladies that he had met”, I told myself.
Why? Obviously you are an overly protective father. You want to find the right candidate for your son because you are afraid. You are so afraid that people would use your son and take his kindness for granted.
Wait. His son has a name. He is Bernard.
You think our story ended like this?
Come on. It wouldn’t even be a tribute then.
Albert is an initiative person.
Me, being a small fry in this industry, I have the phobia of contacting big bosses.
This is my confession. I never did like calling anyone or talking over the phone.
I am just afraid. No particular reason. Just No.
My soul is an introvert. I prefer texting.
Albert is the only person in the World I wouldn’t mind talking to. What can I do?
Phone conversations with you will always last more than 30 minutes. Longest was one and a half hour.
Sometimes, I was desperate for help because I just can’t seems to shut you up.
What to do? You always called at a wrong timing.
All in all.
You are not a nuisance. I do enjoyed talking to you. In fact, very much.
I never had the heart to not answer you phone calls.
What’s more, after our first meeting, you initiated the first call which I am forever thankful for.
Without that call, I wouldn’t have the chance to know you and your family better.
Albert is the most generous man I have ever known.
Many times, you invited me for lunch.
Even got me gifts during Chinese New Year, Christmas and on my birthday.
We shared many similarities and dreams.
You know my love for writing and I know you as the lonely man who is too ego to open up to your family.
You have so much love for them. Why don’t you tell them?
Don’t you know how lonely it is to always imagine you being all alone in your own room?
This is him.
“You will be the perfect candidate for my son”, he said this to me every single time.
You said I suits you like “T”.
That’s because I am only doing what I know best.
To me, you already have almost everything.
In order to get you something that money couldn’t buy would have to take me more efforts.
You said you like me very much because you imagine myself sitting at the corner of my room, doing all these.
You said you treasure all my handmade gifts.
Can I be honest with you?
You are most probably the only adult in the World who would appreciate my handmade gifts.
Other people would have just said “Thank You” to me and get rid of them the next minute.
Thank you so much for making me feel as if I were special.
Albert helped me a lot in my career. No doubts about this.
You gave me most of my sales. You specially informed the whole office to be sure to pass these sales to me.
We cooperate together and I did my part to serve your company to the best that I can.
I even got suspected by my current company before.
You have an intention.
An obvious one.
That’s to make match Bernard and me.
Sometimes, fate likes to play a fool on us.
We are just a little tad too late. You just don’t accept it.
You know that. I tried so hard to explain these to you.
You would be the best father-in-law. I can vow for that.
I just don’t have the privilege to be one.
I love you and your family.
Our friendship has long evolves into another level of kinship.
You will always be somebody important to me.
You offered me a position at your company.
I was flatted but really weighing out the options.
Don’t get me wrong.
It is going to be a long journey for me.
And I was right. Six years.
Six years since I got accepted to Eco World.
There are times when I really wonder if I made the right choice?
Still, I learnt a lot out of these six years.
Lost my dad.
One thing I regretted is that I never get to hang out with you often due to conflict of interests.
You are just too ego.
I know you never want to disturb me since I have move on with my life.
In fact, you might think you are a burden to me.
How silly of you to think this way.
I would have love to chat with you.
We only meet occasionally after that.
You love Christmas.
Every year, you will have house warming on the second day of Chinese New Year.
This is not all.
My fondest memories of you are usually the time when we both will go high tea on our own at Double Tree. From there, we would chat for hours.
Some other time, you will drive us to Pulai Spring for your favorite Chinese cuisine. There, you will reminisce all the good old memories when your kids are still young and how you always have family day there.
You showed me how much you appreciate my gifts.
You display the cross that I gave you in your car and made sure I sees them.
You are a sincere person.
No wonder you have friends all over. I bet they must be feeling angry with you too because you left without telling us.
Yes. You would brag sometimes.
But this doesn’t make you any lesser.
You are still Albert Lim.
My only regret is that I didn’t get to hear your life story nor able to help you to fulfill your wish to publish your book.
You wanted to go away for a month in order to prep for your book. Therefore you invited me to be your driver and writer. You told me you would like to take a month’s off to visit every single beaches in Malaysia. From there you want to tell me about your life and stories.
You are afraid of flights. You feel contaminated to be stuck in a place for hours. Therefore you never wanted to travel overseas.
People might think otherwise but I am taking your wish seriously.
Maybe because I am a writer in general. Therefore, I see this as an opportunity instead of thinking differently.
You always joked that you will be sitting on a rocking chair by the beach, holding your book and slowly draw your last breath.
I have to admit that I am still very angry because you didn’t inform me of your illness.
On the 1st January 2021, what greeted me on Facebook was your obituary.
Can you imagine how I feel?
What kind of sugar daddy you are?
But I know, you are too ego to show people the weaker side of you.
Thus, I shall forgive you for this reason (deep down, I am still very upset).
You robbed me off my opportunity to visit you or to spend your last days with you.
At the same time, I am extremely proud of you because you have fought a good fight.
Heard that you finally decided to get baptized.
Previously you said you won’t baptize because you are still sinning daily.
Now you are finally with Jesus.
Please rest assured that your son has grown up and will be able to take over your tasks.
Stubborn man you are.
You need to learn to have some faith in your son.
Just like how you have faith and confidence in me.
Albert Lim, you are the best sugar daddy I have ever had.
You gave yourself this title because you said you always brought all the joys and good stuffs to us.
Totally agreed on this!
You treated all of us like your own children.
You groom us into somebody who can stand alone.
You bring all of us together.
Without you, I wouldn’t have so many friends from the industry.
It is much too soon to say goodbye but I know you are in a better place.
Someday, I might walk down your memory lane to revive your journey of success.
Who knows I might be able to write your book after all?
Heaven is great isn’t it?
Till we see each other again.
Goodbye for now.
To the man who have the biggest heart, rest in peace.
You will always be my friend, my Sugar Daddy.