It’s still hard to swallow.
I can’t get him out of my mind and now I find him in my dreams – In most of them we’re both sitting on the train talking about life… we’re both good humoured and smiling in my dreams but I always wake up heartbroken wondering if I’ll ever shake this feeling of regret…
I met Flávio in one of the darkest moments of my career.
He’d just began working for the Outsource company that I helped manage back then and he just happened to catch the very same train home that I took each evening.
I didn’t work on the same floor as he did so I didn’t see him often during working hours, but when I did go into his environment, I always found him helping a colleague, clarifying procedures or simply motivating the person next to him.
Intelligent, there was nothing that I didn’t teach him in our weekly training sessions that he didn’t grasp almost instantly.
We became fast friends, it was so easy to like Flávio – he always had a smile on his face and he never hesitated to begin a conversation with anyone.
He always had something positive to say, something new and interesting to tell.
Even on my saddest evening trips home, he always managed to put a smile on my face and lift my spirits.
I finally changed my working environment and Flávios CV is one of those that I took with me, soon after we were working in the same building again…
Nothing changed, whenever I saw him he’d have that contagious smile on his face and we’d catch up on all the time we’d lost.
Flávio is that friend that you think of first when you go for coffee and want to invite good company along.
But I hadn’t thought of Flávio lately, I’d been busy and since I began working in a separate building, most of our latest conversations had been over the phone.
The last time I saw him must’ve been a month ago. We ran into each other one evening close to home – it had been a really pleasant surprise!
Our last conversation was two weeks ago, he’d called to invite me and my man for a drink that evening. I had plans and so he invited me out for coffee – I had work and so I blew him off telling him that if I got the chance I’d pop in for that cup of coffee.
I didn’t – and it’s a decision that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Flávio went into respiratory arrest and consequently into a coma a few days after that phonecall. Doctors says this happened during the night and the fact that his parents found him in the morning left an enormous gap in which he didn’t receive oxygen to his brain.
Flávio Bento was pronounced brain-dead on the 18th of February 2009 and after almost 10 days after being in a coma.
He was around my age.
I can’t wrap my head around it.
I simply can’t understand it.
He was fine… We spoke not too long ago… What the hell was God thinking?!...
Flávio had his whole life in front of him!
He was a bright kid, with vision and a passion for living. He loved cars and movies and music and his PSP. He loved spending time with his friends, he was everybody’s friend! Because he was the kind of person that never meddled in anyone’s business and accepted people for who they were.
Flávio is the kind of friend you keep for always….
Was… because he’s gone now.
The last two days I’ve been numb.
Incredulous – it still seems like a crazy story somebody made up.
I expect my phone to ring and have him invite me for coffee.
God, I wish I’d gone for coffee that day!
People keep telling me to let go of my regret, that if I’d known then I’d gone for sure.
All I know is that we’re all mortal, we too often forget that.
Too often, we take the people we care about for granted.
Too often we miss the opportunity to spend time these people.
I’m keeping the sweet memory of Flávio Bento in my heart as the angel that brightened some of my darkest days with his smile.