Have you ever had a great relationship with someone, only to see it end suddenly, without warning or explanation? Such a situation usually makes me hope to see the person again, to see that she/he is doing well, and to finally put some closure to the mysterious ending.
As I prepare to leave Batam and Indonesia for an extended stay in the U.S., I am faced with reliving my time here, and of the people I have met and become friends with. To be honest, it is difficult sometimes, knowing that I may never see these people again, and remembering the things we did together.
And occasionally, my past turns up right at my feet.
Yesterday, I was finishing my long, daily walk, which always ends on the streets of Kampung Bule (the local entertainment district where I live) about 6 pm. It is also my time to pick up any juice or sodas I need before heading to my apartment, and a time when I often see people I know. It’s nice to hear the “Hi, Ken” from people along the way, or to get a greeting or a smile from a street vendor who you buy from frequently.
So yesterday, as I was nearing a store looking for soda, a white car stopped in front of me, lights flashing. A young woman opened up the passenger-side window and yelled my name. I did not recognize her but she motioned for me to open the back door to see someone.
The person in the back seat turned out to be a friend I had not seen in two years. She had left suddenly with some guy, gone off to Bali to live, without so much as a good-bye. I often wondered how she was doing, but here, about a week from leaving Batam, possibly permanently, she shows up in a car with friends precisely at the moment I was walking in front of her car.
We only had a brief, friendly chat, as there were cars wanting to use the road, but it was good to know that she was well, still living in Bali (albeit with a new boyfriend) and apparently doing just fine. She said she’d talk to me later, which probably won’t happen.
But what are the chances of us reuniting like that, on a side street in Batam, literally just before such a meeting would never have another chance? I don’t believe much in coincidences, but I do believe in the power of the (my) mind to create such situations. Similar “coincidences” occur for me on a frequent basis, so I shouldn’t be surprised. I just wish my mind would give me fair warning.
And I wish my friend all the best.