Today is my colleague-sister Jacelyn's last day of employment with our company. I've been bracing myself for this day ever since the day she told me she tendered. Well, D Day has come and l'm telling myself to get a grip on it, face it and let her leave happily. Besides, it's not like we can't continue to hang out. It's a bittersweet feeling: I'm sad that she's leaving but at the same time, I'm glad that she's getting out of the situation and moving on to a new career adventure.
Jace is going around the office giving free hugs and bidding everyone farewell. When Lily hugs Jace, Lily starts to cry. As Lily dries her tears, l turn my face away because l have to swallow this lump that has welled up inside my throat. It's painful seeing what's before me now. The three of us have come a long way together; always taking breaks together here and during our overseas trips and we shared secrets.
l guess it's now down to just Lily and me when it comes to breaks at the office and overseas company trips. 3 was the magic number but from now on, Lily & me will have to make the best of 2 instead and l'll do my best to take care of her. Just for the record, I've been calling Lily 'Onni' and she has been calling me 'Oppa', which mean 'Sister' and 'Brother' in Kimchi-Speak respectively.
Jacelyn finally managed to clear all her paperwork and handing-overs and it is now time to leave the office and proceed to her farewell lunch at Miramar hotel. Jess, one of our newer colleagues wanted to give me a ride earlier but l explained to her that since today is Jacelyn's last day with us, l wish to hitch a ride in Jace's car instead. Jess is a sweet girl, she immediately understood.
I'm doing this not because it means that l'll never have a chance to sit in Jace's Chevrolet again, no, but rather, it means that this ought to be the very last time she'll drive me out from the office building compound and l just wanna cherish it for the memories. Jace may or may not come back for a visit but I'm taking it with the assumption that she won't, so this should be the very last time l see that quirky red Chevrolet with the carbon hood here at the office compound's parking lot. Well, everyone else has already left and proceeded to the lunch venue except the 2 of us, so we both have to hustle.
I'm snapping photos all over while sitting inside Jace's ride, since with her leaving the company, the chances of me being seated in her passenger seat will be reduced and so again, it's for the memories since l happen to like her Chevrolet; It brought us places. I think Jace should give it a name like 'Chilli' or something, but she's not geeky like yours truly.
She begins to hit 5 on the Panic Ritcher Scale as we are already late for the lunch. Now that we've hit Chinatown, she makes a wrong turn and that is eating up several more unnecessary minutes. Part of the fun. She always has to dig out her worn out street directory and she's doing it again now. Her street directory is so worn out I'm amazed at the fact that it hasn't disintegrated yet after all these years, though it's already falling apart and reminds me of some ancient papyrus. The next time I see her again, I should buy her a new and updated street directory. I've actually thought of doing that a long time ago but l always end up forgetting to do so.
Me = Bad brother
Jace and me are finally here at Ikoi Japanese restaurant and everyone else including Big Boss already arrived earlier and have already started eating. Well, that's kinda embarrassing. Luckily, Jace is the star of this lunch session and I happen to be crashing in with the star ★
Sashimi, Chawanmushi, Tempura and an assortment of Japanese delicacies are the things we are feasting on but the food is not the main point. The main issue here is that we will never see Jace in the office with us anymore and I wonder why my appetite is way down the Om Nom Nom scale when I actually like Japanese food. Big Boss then announces after some time that he has to leave and he presents Jace's farewell gift to her. Boss then leaves while the rest of us continue to hang around further for a while.
It's now time to split and Jess asks me as we are making our way out of the restaurant: "Are you going to give your sister a farewell hug?" You bet, Jess, you bet. It's the least a brother could do for his sister, nevermind the fact that we are not siblings on biological grounds - Hugs happen to be non-restricted by such an issue.
I'm having a conversation with Jacelyn now outside the hotel and we remind each other to keep in touch and I'm letting her know that she can always look for me whenever she needs help with anything.
Me: "Don't worry, I'm sure you will forget me when you start hanging around with a new colleague guy that is just like me if you are unlucky."
Jace: "Trust me, there will never be another guy I'll know who will ever be the same as you."
How sweet. Heck, she didn't even flinch or shudder when saying that, so I'll take it as a good indication pertaining to the state of the interpersonal relationship between her and me. And with that, l give her my hug. A solid one.
As I make my way home, I wonder when it will be my turn. I wonder when I'll follow Jace's footsteps she has just left behind her and right in front of me. I'm staring at them right now and wondering if I will seek a change and start a brand new adventure for myself.
God speed and God bless, Jace. I've told you many times that you are one of the best survivors I know and survivors always find a way. Go forth and pursue your dreams and happiness, sister. Your brother here will try to do the same.
-De Lion Speaks