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Goodbye, Sir

Archie Modequillo (The Freeman) - February 28, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  We met as total strangers. I might have been just one of the hundred or so people you had come across on that busy day. And, for me, you were just a ‘job’ I had to do.

I must admit to have been taken aback when your temper flared in the course of that taped television interview. You did not scare me, though; instead, you got me truly interested about you – the outburst gave me a peek into the real person you were. Not many people of your standing would dare let others see their ‘raw’ side.

As you quickly turned from fierce to mellow in seconds, I was soothed. I began to feel very comfortable around you. The ‘ire’ after all was not directed at me; the stressful day might just have taken its toll on you. 

It’s amazing how that awkward first meeting grew into a beautiful friendship. Mostly because of you, Sir – how nicely you treated me since, like I was someone dear and special, despite that fact that we were never of the same personal stature and social level. I had not had any greater compliment.

Your invitation for me to join The Freeman, a few years after, was flattering, of course; although it was not in my life plan at the time. I had, just a month prior, opted for an early retirement from a well-paying job at an international media company. I wanted to slow down and have a life, but could I say no to you?

Truth to tell, I could actually have refused your offer – but I wouldn’t, and so I didn’t. Soon enough I was already enjoying working for you. And yet you always emphasized that I “work for The Freeman, not for me.”

It was my rare privilege, Sir, being allowed to have access to your wisdom. And sharing your personal woes with me, you earned my utmost loyalty. I was willing to be drawn into trouble for you.

I tried my best to deserve the kind of attention and good regard you had for me. In the process, I had pushed myself up a notch higher, all because I didn’t want to fail you, although you never asked for more than what I was willing to do. You made me feel like we were equals.

It’s sad that such enriching friendship will now cease to be. But I’m glad that you have been relieved of the various physical and emotional sufferings that pester this earthly life. May you now have the peace and rest that you very much deserve.

A part of me goes with you. But the beautiful memories of you, the lessons I’ve learned from you shall sustain me. You will stay in my heart for the rest of my life.

Goodbye for now, Sir. Till we meet again.

JOB
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