Sunday, April 14, 2013

Desperate Call For Help


It is about an old friend, a secondary school classmate whom I have lost contact for some years or I should say I have deliberately deleted his contact following an event that has upset me till today.  In fact he lives very near where I live.  It is still the same old place going back in the late seventies when we were in secondary school, ya that long.  I did see him on few occasions around the neighbourhood but each time, I pretended not to see him.  Some may say, hey...he is an old friend after all, no harm to even say 'hello' to each other and for that, I have to admit I have been quite petty.  I won't give his real name for obvious reasons and I shall call him, D then.

D has always been very ambitious, not the studious type and owing to his 'not that bad' family background, he has had many opportunities than most of us.  He can afford to fail his exam, re-take and re-take again.  He even managed to study abroad for some years while most of my classmates including me had to start work early in lives.  I have never been good academically, anyway.

I remember when he was back from abroad, sometime in the eighties and he was already boosting to us that he will make big buck and drive big car like BMW.  Well, he did land a good job in the food and beverage industry and was made a manager.  He won't allow us, his classmates to visit him at his workplace because he was afraid we were not at their level to meet his colleagues and peers then.  I have never enjoyed going out with him, only to hear him ranting away about his job and the many important tasks he was assigned and slowly, I distanced myself away from him.  He was particularly close to two other classmates of mine and that went on for many years.                

For many years, among the classmates, we still kept in contact with Chinese New Year gathering at one of our classmate's place.  In recent years, the CNY gathering started to fizzle out for varied reasons and this year, we did not initiate any gathering at all.  D was notably absent.  When a spouse of one close classmate passed away some years ago, D did not bother to visit her at the hospital, not even some words of comfort and worst, he did not even attend the wake.  He was aware of the situation and when I learnt about it, I have decided to disconnect myself from him for good.  I had thought, even an acquaintance would have at least sent condolence on hearing someone demise but D had known her through our many years of friendship.  Admittedly, the late spouse of my classmate was close to me and it did rattle me greatly when D stayed away completely. 

Just recently, I received an urgent text message from D who appeared out-of-the-blue.  He did send numerous text messages to some classmates too.  He was urgently seeking for loan from us.  After talking to some classmates, we decided to ignore his text.  Nobody offered any help.  He continued to send desperate text to some of us.  One day I received a call from D.  Instead of asking my well-being, he just went straight to the point.  He was seeking a loan from me citing not having a job since beginning of the year and he is in desperate situation.  I could have told him off but I didn't.  I told him that I can help to find him a job but no money to loan him.  I then asked him to send me his resume and when he did not send his resume, I asked him again.  Fine, no reply and I thought nothing about it.

D started to sound more desperate in his plea for help through his continued text message to us.  I called a classmate to discuss if we should help him.  He was never a sincere friend, had ever offered to help anyone of  in distress and now, he was expecting help from us.  I relented and was prepared to loan him a small sum, even prepared to forgo the loan if he were to default.  He could have been harassed by loanshark, forced up against the wall and do something silly.  All these played up my mind and I wont' feel good if something really bad were to happen to him. 

I then replied to D asking for an appointment with him with intention to first 'lecture' him and to loan him some money too.  Gosh, when I received his reply, I decided not to offer any help anymore.  Instead of wanting to meet me, he said something to that extent that it is normal to face cash flow issue at some point and if I can help, fine and if I can't, fine too.  He made it sounded it is not a big deal if I don't help.  Or probably, he still wants his pride.  D is still single, only needs to feed himself and if he can lower his pride and dignity, he still can find a decent job, I am positive about it.  I did not reply him but I have told myself from that moment, his desperate call for help was not desperate after all.  I would have prefer to spend time helping those whom I may not know but they are more in need of help from us, be it monetary or otherwise.  D could have read this blog posting, not now but perhaps much later and I hope he will read it to know he has lost many old friends due to his selfish, self-centred behaviour.  Upset I may be but I am not shutting my door completely from him.

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