No Wil, No Hope

Alex Wong-Ip-Lee is a heart-breaker. His crusty, thick rimmed spectacles and inspiring aura seem to invite you into another world, full of adventure. However, do not fall for this trap as I have. Still young, I had once called him for some casual Playstation 3 fun, a little “us” time. As soon as he picked up I was near the pinnacle of excitement. I was filled with high hopes of recreational gaming and cheap pleasure. Unfortunately, those fantasies were crushed with the harsh truth, plain and simple. He had to work.

“Wil you got a job? That’s nice. We’ll chill some other time. Make that money, my Asian brother.”

I and everybody else I knew called Alex, Wil, just cause if you take the first letter of his 3 sur-names Wil would be spelt. Wil is a different kind of guy. He insisted on taking the sur name of his dad, who walked out on him and his mother when he was a baby, his deceased mother, who had a sudden aneurysm, and his adopted family, which he never cared for. He’s a special guy. At least he used to be.

Before he changed. We had so many misadventures. Specifically, the tree-house with wooden steps and tire-swing. We spent countless nights and days in there. So many memories. Whenever we had an issue we always handled it there. However, we only went in the morning. Something about the cold, hard wood in the morning. It was soothing like angels and mermaids singing. Lord, we were the best of friends. I thought nothing could ever come between us. Yet, out of the blue, he tells me coldly that he has work.

Work? What was work? Work was life to Wil. If you can call being a slave to the corporate giants, being the whipping boy for the “big-time” store manager at your nearby McDonald’s life. Then, indeed, Wil was living “life”.

Wil became a work-a-holic. Every day the 3 O’clock bell would ring and he and his trademark brand-less red hoodie, brand-less black shorts and brand-less perfectly imperfect fauxhawk would be off. I would peer from my locker, observing Wil as he hastily exited the building not even stopping to say “Hi”. He would have made my day just with a casual head nod. But, no, that was not the case. I felt utterly empty. Before I knew Wil I thought I was perfectly fine. What I didn’t know was such an enormous void would be created by him. He was my best friend then he was gone. I’ve never felt anything worse than that void. A cringing, shrill and ultimately unbeatable pain.

Luckily P.E., which was also my only class with Wil, was a great distraction. However, that day I felt an unearthing courage seeping through me. Everything I had on my mind was going to pour out uncontrollably like a waterfall. Little did I know that courage was completely unnecessary. Wil was nowhere to be found. He was like an assassin at times, appearing and vanishing without a trace. My tight, stereotypical Asian eyes glanced at the ceiling and I let out a deep, tiresome sigh. Out of nowhere, in came Maria. Jesus…

Christ. Who was Maria? She was the most beautiful girl I had ever laid eyes on. She was one of those “mixed” beauties. Half Japanese-half French, one hundred percent gorgeous. She had big eyes that would light up like a firecracker and a smile that made the strongest of men crumble. You know how people say “we are all created equally”. Well, Maria was the exception. It’s as if all the God’s met up for a round of golf and drinks and out of their drunken haze they decided to create the perfect female. And I had her within my grasps if only I made a move before Wil. Not only did I lose my best friend, but he takes my dream girl too. Prick.

“Hey. What’s good? I know it must be hard with Wil droppin’ outta school to become a DJ. You feelin’ alright?”

How was I feeling? Are you joking me? I didn’t even know. For Heaven’s Sake, I thought he was still making Big Mac’s for $7.50 an hour at McDonald’s. I felt betrayed. I wanted to give Maria a backhand across the face out of pure anger and I would have. If only Maria hadn’t taken my breath away. Granted, I still wanted to break someone. Something! Anything! I felt like a dragon was about to burst out of my body. I could feel a hidden fire emerging beneath my frail, pale body. All the magical fun we had. All the hardships we went through together. I genuinely thought we were going to be “best friends forever”, but I learned nothing lasts forever. And that no one was to be trusted. We live, we die. That was the cycle of life, everything in between was just meaningless foreplay to the anti-climactic finish line of Death.

“Oh, yeah I know. I wish him the best. And hope he makes it. I guess he’s going to make that money.”

And make it he did. In mere months, Wil became DJ Alex. He was the undisputed King of Late Night and Early Mornings. He replaced his spectacles for “better-than-you, celebrity shades”. He was an absolute party animal. He abused drugs, sex and alcohol like an Asian Charlie Sheen. The man with no life was now the life of the party. I wish I was there with him, but it gives me great joy to proclaim from the times of late night phone conversations to the break of dawn like a couple of prepubescent females or high-risk secret rendezvous that I was able to witness this majestic transformation right before my eyes.

He was transferred to Neptune and I was still on Earth. He was finding new life. Living however the hell he wanted. I was going through the motions. Still, no matter how different those planets are we both orbit around the Sun of life with our own pathway. And in time we would be aligned with the Sun of Life. Reminiscing in a tree-house, getting high off the feeling of unmitigated nostalgia, just DJ Alex and I. Only to realize to my own damnation that things could never be the same. I had to accept the unforgiving truth once more. Except this time I know Alex Wong-Ip-Lee was never a heart-breaker. In fact, all along he was and always will be the heart-breaker.

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