everytime i miss tino...


After a horrifying break up, i sent myself into isolation. Away from friends, away from family, away from anyone or anything that breathes.

One day, i decided to buy myself a holiday. A long long holiday of 2 weeks. and i chose Bali, Indonesia as my destination.

While packing my bags, i checked if i had everything i needed....

Passport? Check
cash? Check
Surfboard? Check

Hmm, looks like thats all i'll need when i'm away.

my brothers sent me off to the airport that day. God knows i love them to bits as they have been the ones taking care of me since mum and dad moved to japan when dad got transfered.

The flight took 7 hours, but i didn't care. I needed time alone. Actually, i wanted time alone.

I reached bali with a somewhat happy heart. No one i knew was there, no one to bother me..life was good..for that few minutes.

Then i heard my name being called. I turned around to look, and oh my goodness, my heart stopped beating. It was tino! My childhood neighbour!

He came over, we talked and found out that we were staying at the same hotel. Since i had airport transfer all booked, i told him to jump in with me. He saw my surfboard, i saw his surfboard and yelled 'yay!!!!!'

Tino and i have been friends since we were 4. I've lived in so many countries over the past 27 years of my life, that i've got friends everywhere. But tino was special. even when i was a kid, i'd tell my parents that i'm gonna marry tino when i grow up. He told his parents the same. So imagine how my heart skipped so many beats when i saw him! if i remember correctly, i last met him at the airport, was when we were moving away. we were 10 back then. I cried and hugged him so tightly and told him i was going to miss him, but not to worry, i'll come back to visit. He cried and said its like he's losing his best friend. Deep inside me, i felt the same.

As we reached the hotel, we found out that we were in rooms right next to each other. I asked if he was rooming with someone..he said 'nah. I'm here alone bubba'.. I said 'hehe, same here'

We went to our rooms to unpack and my room phone rings.. 'bubba..lets go surfing!'... It was tino. I replied 'ok. Come over in 10'.. I put on my bikini top, shorts, and my wetsuit on top.

10 on the dot my doorbell rings and there stood tino with his board shorts and surf board. I laughed and said ' you're freaking pasty tintin'..he told me to shut up and get moving and gave me a hug when i was near enough.

We surfed, laughed and then got hungry so we walked on to the hotel cafe to have a bite. The owner of the cafe walks in and asks if we were a couple. I kept quiet and smiled. Tino said 'yes. We've been together since we were 4!'. I looked up at the cafe owner and swore his eyes were going to pop out of their sockets. He said 'since the both of you were 4??'... We answered 'yes!!!' together.

Time spent with tino was fun, emotional and somewhat familiar. It was like going back to my childhood where nothing mattered, no worries, and the main goal of the day, was to have fun.

One night, over dinner, tino asked me, 'bubba, why didn't you come back?'... I replied ' i did. But you weren't there. You were with amii.'

tino looked at me and said ' you knew?'

Of course i knew, jules, arly, raizz and tay-o were keeping me informed..too well informed..they wrote to me every week. No matter where i was. But tino didn't. I didn't receive one, not one letter from him since we moved.

I told him 'we share the same friends tintin. They wrote to me. But not you.'

He sat there. Tears started forming in his eyes. He looked at me, and a tear fell.

'i didn't know what to write bubba... I didn't know how to start... everytime i tried, i failed. Everytime i tried, i ended up crying. I felt so alone when you were gone.. I sat on your porch every evening hoping that i would hear you, or see you run up the driveway...but that didn't happen.. I felt so lost.. It was like a part of me died..my best friend was in another country.. I died the day you left bubba..i died.'

I answered with a simple

'we're here together now aren't we? In a different country..at the same time..'

It's like we were still connected even though we were so far apart. i didn't know how else to explain how we both managed to book flights for 2 weeks to the same destination, same hotel, and how the of us just decided to bring along our surfboards.

After that night, he said he didn't want to be apart anymore. He proposed. I accepted. We called up our families to tell them and my dad's reaction, was priceless.

'bubba? How in the world did tino propose to you? You're all the way in bali aren't you?

I replied 'emm.. Dad, he's right here with me. I saw him after i got off the plane.'

My brothers were estatic. They couldn't believe that what i told them when i was 4, was actually happening.

Even though we were engaged, we had to go back to our countries to get stuff done before we could be together for life.

After 3 months of him flying to be with me, and me flying to be with him, i found out i was pregnant. We were excited! Not only were we going to be together forever, but now, we would have a family! And after a few months of doctor's visits, we found out we were having a boy... We planned to have our ceremony right after our son was born to make it an more joyous occasion.

Tino was already planning what he was going to teach our son..they would go fishing, hiking, do 'manly' stuff..then out of the blue, tino said 'i bought us a house. It isnt grand or anything but it has a garden up front, and at the back, we have the beach'.. I was stunned and the house he purchased sounded so familiar. He bought the house where i once lived.

I was in my 36th week of pregnancy and so far, it had been an easy one. No morning sickness..no aches or pains..nothing.. We had an argument that night, and tino headed off somewhere.

He headed off to be with some so called friends that we both knew were nothing but trouble. I couldn't sleep that night. I had a nang feeling that tino was in trouble.

8 minutes after midnight, i get a call from ananda saying that tino was in an accident. He rammed into a tree. The car was a total loss.

He was drunk driving.

I rushed to the hospital but when i got there, it was already too late. My tintin....was gone.

I was sad, heartbroken but mostly mad at him for doing something so stupid.

Then i had pains. I was in labour.

The day my tintin died, our riley came into the world. a happy bouncing baby boy. Perfect in every way possible.

now, when riley asks me 'mum, where's my dad?'

My eyes fill with tears and tell him.. 'dad's watching over you. In fact, i think he's right next to you. If you close your eyes and listen, he might be telling you stuff my dear boy'

Riley closed his eyes, and listened.

he then walked up to me, smiled, gave me a hug and said ' dad says he loves you and that he's so sorry for being stupid. He says he'll never leave you and that he'll always be with us. Always always.'

When riley said always always, i knew tino was talking to him. Only tino and i ever say always always because saying it twice, means forever.

Now, everytime i miss tino, i just have to look at our son.

Riley Sky Marriott-Beth.

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