It tumbled out of a bag that I hadn't used for years. And it laid on the floor. I was talking to my brother after coming home yesterda...

It all began with a thumbdrive - A story dedicated to a friend

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It tumbled out of a bag that I hadn't used for years. And it laid on the floor.

I was talking to my brother after coming home yesterday and it was past midnight. After we finished talking, I looked down and saw the thumbdrive and told my brother, "Oh look! A long lost thumbdrive!!!!"

And I was like, "Oooh, let me have a look at what's inside." Always exciting to see long forgotten thumbdrives and what they store.

My brother went, "Maybe you might find some photos. Like photos that you lost when you were in Myanmar after you lost your phone!"

I was like, "Oi! Wahlau." Then I thought again, ehh... not so bad an idea eh? That would be freakin awesome!!! But of course that'd take a god damn miracle.

I read it with my laptop and yeah I saw a whole loada stuff. Stuff from years ago when I was Year 2 in Uni. I must've misplaced the thumb drive and never found it again.

I also saw some photos of my exchange in New Zealand. So fun! And I clicked on a video, which my German friend made. It was a slideshow of all the pictures that he took with a cheesy Katy Perry song playing in the background. I chuckled to myself. That's so Jay-Z lol. My friend looks like Jay-Z lah, the way he dresses and his good looks coming from mixed German and Kenyan parentage.


Fun and stupid times in NZ


I remembered all the good times at New Zealand just watching the video. And I remember him WhatsApping me quite a long time ago asking me how I was, after we went back to our separate home countries. Not once but twice! I thought that was so nice of him. And I wanted to see how he was doing again. But how ah? I lost his contact and I remembered that he deactivated/deleted his Facebook quite a while back.

But I decided to still try to search for him any ways because he was such an awesome dude. He let me stay at his apartment at Auckland when I was heading for my trip to Australia with Vivien and Jiaqi the next day. When I asked if I could stay, he said, "You can depend on me. Anything for my sister!"

And so I typed his name in Facebook's search bar.

Nil. His Facebook profile was still not available.

I decided to search again.

Bing! This time two posts came up. One of it was mine when it was the World Cup in 2014, which I tagged all my German friends to tell them that I was rooting for their country.



The second was by another girl. I had a read and I had to read it numerous times before I understood.




I read it. Over, and over and over.

I couldn't believe it. Or maybe I didn't want to believe it, though deep down I knew what it meant.

I contacted the girl via messenger. I asked her to reply me as soon as she's read my message. It was around 2am. I tried to go to bed but all I could see and remember were the times I had spent with him. The good times. But I was also trying to piece together what had happened. Oh dear Dominik... What did you do??? And why??

I figured it was no use trying to go back to sleep. I couldn't. Memories came flooding in. And I remembered all the wonderful pictures that he would take so enthusiastically while we were on our campervan trip.

I had to find them. I remember he passed them to me before I last saw him. I had to find it! They were the remaining memories that I had with him. And I wanted to see them again. There were so many wonderful photos of him and I and everyone else. I had to find them.

And search I did.

On the same night, I managed to find where that hard drive, which contained the pictures, had been all this while. It had camouflaged on top of my computer's CPU. It was found easier than expected.

The memories were sweet and happy..

Stunts for the camera with a gorgeous backdrop

Which the others tried to do but couldn't haha.

Taught my American friend how to dance in the middle of all these mountains haha

He had this one really funny thing he liked to do, which I had forgotten over time...
He'd take this Moto Moto figurine from Madagascar and pose it in front of various backdrops. It's so hilarious!!!! At that time, I thought he was so ridiculous lol!!





hahahaha!!

One of my fondest memories of Dominik, which proved his mark of a gentleman, was this bicycling trip.


Since all of them were angmohs, they were damn bloody athletic and fit and I was trailing behind. Especially my annoying other German friend, Jan, who was like the alpha male and was going so dang fast. They were all speeding down the coasts of the lakes and I was breathless and finding it hard to catch up with all of them.

But he slowed down, and said, "Jan is too fast! We should slowly cycle and enjoy the view. I am a gentleman" and he smiled. I was thanking him from inside my head and heart for being so gentlemanly and keeping up with my slow pace. It was also during a hike up a mountain when he accompanied me too, at my pace.

chillin' with the Asians

By the time I had found the photos and seen them all, it was 5am.

I tried to go to sleep but I couldn't help looking at my phone continuously to check if Diana had replied. I needed answers.

At 6:24am, she eventually did.





As we continued to talk... She told me that she also believes that he took his own life. My suspicions were confirmed.

Oh my dear friend..... you were suffering on your own...... What was it?? How I wish you didn't have to suffer alone.

As you can tell from the pictures, Dominik would have been the last person I would think could take his own life. He was so happy, cheerful, positive and confident. You should see the way he danced. Everybody in the club literally would stop and stare. What happened, my friend?

It hurts to know that you died this way.

My brother told me that sometimes the happiest people are the saddest people. Because they don't want others to feel the pain, the suffering and the sorrow. So they are always happy and cheerful for others.

But I don't know... The time since I last saw him was too long ago. 3 years. Anything could've happened. Perhaps something triggered his depression.

I asked the girl whom I was corresponding with, but she didn't know.

It's a mystery and I still find it hard to accept that he left this world in this manner. Suicides are depressing because their spirits left this world unhappy with souls unrested. They were troubled. And they needed help.

And afterall, it was just this Diana person right?? There was no one else whom we could find to verify with. I told my German friend, Jan, about everything. He messaged me this morning that he cried when I updated him. We are still trying to piece the puzzle... Trying every means to reach out to his friends or loved ones. Anything. To find out what had happened to our dearest friend.

At least for Diana, she told us that when he passed away, their dance crew put up a busking performance to raise funds for his funeral... It's heartbreaking to hear that.

As for myself? I am still in shock. I can't really express myself. I still find it hard to believe or accept.

Firstly, it occurred last year. How could we not have known? How could I not have known for so long??? Why didn't I try to reach out to him before he left?

And it dawned on me that his Facebook wasn't deactivated or deleted at his own will. He passed away... so it was shut down, perhaps by a family member.

I had been thinking about him every now and then throughout these years. Because there were moments that we shared that were just between the both of us, which I thought were precious. Like when he revealed to me what it was like to be biracial in Germany. The time when just the both of us sat by the river and drank beer. When I broke his luggage after coming back from Australia but he didn't take it to heart. And how he spontaneously gave me a golden tuktuk souvenir after his trip from Thailand. Those were my last few moments with him.

I'll always remember how open and generous he was. Always so friendly and trusting of others. Letting us stay at his Auckland apartment because that was where the airport was. He was genuinely nice. And not many people in this world are. And not many people that I know are. He is one of them.

But I am glad to have been his friend. Whatever that he was going through... I wish he knew that he was loved by so many people. That he is a fantastic human being. And that... he was simply amazing as he is.

And as I looked through the photos that he took through his lens, it was heartwarming to see how much fun we had and how close we quickly got. He was the few dudes that I felt comfortable getting so physically close with.








And I found a picture of me in his camera that he captured so nicely :')

:')


Depression is a terrible illness and I wish we had known then what we know now. We would have fought through it together.

Dominik, I miss you. And you will always, always, be on my mind.



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