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LOST MEMORIES

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Marriage between two men was impossible in Thailand, but for Mew and Gulf it was something that they wanted to do. Mew and Gulf were together for 5 years and they have been engaged for a year already. It may sound like a perfect love story, but both of them experienced a lot of challenges in their relationship. They got hurt. They cried. And they once broke up. But their love for each other was so strong, which helped them to stay together for a long time.

On their 4th year anniversary, Mew proposed to Gulf. Back when they were studying, they were the university sweethearts. Everyday, they did something to prove how much they love each other. When Mew proposed to Gulf, Gulf can see how much Mew prepared and gathered all of his courage to kneel down in front of him and asked his him to be Mew's other half for the rest of his life. He knew that his boyfriend was certain about this matter and who was he to say no? In fact, what Mew did make him want to jump in so much happiness because finally, they were bringing their relationship into the next level.

In 5 years of being together, of course, their family knew their relationship but it wasn't that easy when it comes to declaring it. Both families opposed at first, well, except for their moms who were very open and understanding. Thailand may be open about gays but it didn't mean that the old generation were accepting this, they sometimes criticized it.

After years of fighting their love, their families finally accepted them and they were very supportive to whatever Mew and Gulf's decisions. And when they said that they wanted to get married, smiles were painted on their families faces. No one even dared to oppose as they expected about the marriage as well.

Since same-sex marriage was not yet legalized in Thailand, Mew and Gulf were set to get married in a foreign country where the said marriage is accepted. They will hold a wedding ceremony in Thailand after legalizing their marriage overseas. Their honeymoon would follow weeks after the ceremony and the two were planning to spend their honeymoon in Maldives.

Everything was already set for their wedding. Documents, plane tickets, suits for their wedding ceremony, a wedding cake, reception area, wedding rings and other things that they needed for their wedding were already prepared and organized with the help of their families.

 

 

"Boo~" Gulf cutely called his boyfriend who was sitting at their desk while encoding on his laptop.

"Why Bii?" Mew answered, eyes were stuck on the screen.

Gulf approached the older at the desk and placed their extraordinarily beautiful wedding invitation on it. The beauty of their invitation caught Mew's attention as he stared at it in an awe. "Mom gave me that this morning. What do you think about it?"

He then shifted his attention to Gulf who was standing beside him, waiting for a response. He smiled before blurting out his opinion. "This is beautiful!"

"Yeh, I know! Good to know that you like it too." Gulf beamed.

Mew picked up the invitation and checked it. He smiled after seeing a panda, soccer ball, sea wave, and a mountain. They designed the invitation using symbols that described their personalities. It's cute but elegant as well. "When are we going to start giving our invitation?"

"Hmm, we can start giving it tomorrow." Gulf suggested.

"Right~ Tomorrow?"

"Why? You have plans tomorrow?"

The older pouted his lips in a cute way. He turned his swivel chair to face his boyfriend. Placing his hands on Gulf's tiny waist, he looked at the younger with eyes full of love and affection. "I need to go to Rayong province tomorrow. It's about dad's business."

"Ahh~" Gulf chuckled at his boyfriend. Everytime Mew acted cute in front of him, he couldn't help but to let out a small laugh or smile. "It's okay. Why are you pouting? You know, we still have enough time to give the invitations to them. I am going to meet my friends tomorrow, I can hand them the invitations. Then the next day, if you're free, we can give it together to our remaining guests."

"Such a kind fiancee!" Mew stood up from his seat then he lightly pinched his boyfriend's cheek. "Okay, that's a deal. Hmm... Aren't you tired today? Do you want to sleep now?"

Gulf raised his brows at Mew's statement. Just a while ago, he was busy with his laptop. And then, he's asking him to sleep already. "Sleep? or you want other than that?"

Mew laughed. "No, just sleep." Then he gently pulled Gulf to the bed while holding the younger's hand. But Gulf didn't budge and just stood up in front of Mew who's already sitting on the egde of the bed.  "I'm going somewhere tomorrow so I'll be missing you."

"Come on, Rayong is not that far Boo. It's just... 2 to 3 hours from here. You'll come back, right? Or you'll stay there for a night?"

"Of course, I'll come back. So~... Are you not going to give me anything even if it's just a kiss oh?"

"Naughty." Gulf mumbled and playfully rolled his eyes at the same time. He leaned his face closer to Mew and dropped a peck on the older's lips.

After the soft peck from Gulf, Mew smiled shyly. It felt really different everytime Gulf initiated their kisses. Gulf was a not a romantic person, so it was really special for Mew if Gulf made a move first. "Come on, let's sleep now."

"But how about your work?" Said Gulf and pointed at the laptop with an unfinished presentation.

"I'll continue that one tomorrow."

"Okay." Gulf saved the presentation before turning off Mew's device and crawled on the bed.

As soon as Gulf lied down on the bed, Mew immediately pulled the younger close to him. Gulf loved Mew's arm as his pillow and so Mew slid his arm under Gulf's head while his other arm was wrapped around the younger's body. Gulf also did the same, wrapping his arm around Mew.

"Goodnight, Bii." Mew softly whispered, dropping a peck on Gulf's forehead.

"Hmmm, sweet dreams Boo. Goodnight."

 

 

"I'm ready, Bii. Let's go now." Mew informed his boyfriend who was still fixing the collar of his shirt.

"Okay okay, I'm done." Gulf said before looking at his boyfriend and he immediately drew his brows into a pucker. "How many times do I have to tell you not to show your chest too much?"

Gulf trudged towards Mew and buttoned his polo while Mew chuckled at the younger's action.

"I didn't mean it, Bii." Mew tried to defend himself.

"You really like to show off, huh?"

"Come on, don't be angry na Bii." He held the younger's hand and softly caressed it, but Mew received a glare from the younger. He just laughed at it and gently dragged the younger out of their apartment.

 

They sulked a bit but make up right away. Mew drove the younger going to his family's residence. When they reached Gulf's residence,  Mew stopped for a while and sent the younger inside. He greeted Gulf's family and had a short conversation with them before excusing himself.

"Mew, drive safely, okay?" Gulf's mom reminded the younger.

"I will Mom. I need to go now, bye mom, by dad."

"Okay, drive slowly my son." Another reminder from Gulf's dad before they got inside to give some time for Mew and Gulf.

When Gulf's mom and dad entered the house, Gulf let out a deep sigh which made the older to look at him. "Are you okay?"

"Just I feel something weird."

"Weird?" Mew repeated, tilting his head as he stared at Gulf. "If you want, I can just stay with you. I'll just ask dad to send someone to Rayong."

"No no no, it's okay." He shook his head vigorously in disagreement. "Maybe, this is just about Mild and Boat. They'll come over, you know how much these two love teasing me and I don't know what they're up to this time."

But Mew was still worried. He was not convinced with the younger's explanation, so he lifted his hands and cupped his paranoid boyfriend's face. "Are you sure?"

"I'll be fine~"

"Okay." From Gulf's face, he brought his hands on the younger's shoulder and pulled him into a tight hug.

As soon as Gulf felt the older's arms around him, he let himself drowned unto Mew's hug. He always felt safe with Mew's hug and it's making him feel calm and relax. He caressed Mew's back and patted it afterwards then pulled away. "You should go now."

But Mew didn't budge. He leaned his face closer to the younger, slowly closing his eyes before his lips touched against Gulf in which the younger gladly responded to the kiss as well. They shared a sweet and quick kiss before they pulled away.

"Call me if something happens, okay."

They younger nodded his head at the older then smiled. "Be careful. I'll wait for you tonight."

"Okay. Love you, Bii."

Gulf felt uneasy, but he playfully rolled his eyes when Mew said those three words. He didn't usually respond to Mew's I love yous, believing into a saying that it would lost its meaning if you often said it. Mew gets in his car with his eyes still on his boyfriend. Gulf will be fine, he thought. He would be back at night anyway. But as soon as Mew droves away, Gulf places a hand on his chest. He had this weird feeling ever since they left their apartment. He breathed heavily and shook his head to chased away the bad feeling.

 

The whole day that they were far from each other, they didn't miss a single message on line. When the other one sent something, the other would always give a reply. This was not the first that they were far from each other, but it was the first time that Gulf felt strange about Mew going out of town.

Gulf always checked on his boyfriend and Mew never failed to update his worried boyfriend as well if he had time to check on his phone. After the meeting, they video called each other. Mew talked to Mild and Boat who came over at Gulf's house and they had a funny conversation. When their video call ended, Mew took a nap before driving back to the city.

 

Boat and Mild took Gulf with them and dropped him in his apartment. They had a great dinner with Gulf's family before leaving the house and since Gulf didn't bring his car, Mild and Boat decided to tag him along.

Before entering their apartment, Gulf checked his phone. It has been past an hour since Mew sent him a message, so he assumed that the older was already driving back to the city.

He placed his apartment key on a shelf at the living room as soon as he got inside the apartment. After placing the key on it, he accidentally hit their picture frame by his arm. The frame dropped on the floor and it shattered. Gulf flinched at the sound of a broken glass. Staring at the broken frame, the weird feeling that he had that morning suddenly came back and it's getting weirder. On top of that, he abruptly thought about the meaning of a broken frame. It was a bad omen.

His phone ringtone echoed at the living room and snapped him from his deep thoughts. He picked up the call without even checking who the caller was.

"Hello?" He answered. " Oh mom, why?"

"I need to go to P'Mew's house, right now?"

"Okay, I'm going now."

Gulf crouched down on the floor to pick up the broken glasses from the frame. He grabbed his couple picture with Mew and placed it on the shelf before picking up the glasses. After cleaning the mess, he immediately headed to Mew's house just like what his mother told him to do.

 

Since their apartment was not really that far from Mew's house, it only took a few minutes for him to reach the place. When he entered the house, he was shocked to see all of his family members. It was the same with Mew's family, they were complete. Mew's father was usually busy with their family business, but he was surprisingly there at that time.

He was slightly shocked and confused. He didn't even know why his mother told him to go there in the first place. His had this question on his mind about why everyone was present and sitting around the living room like they were going to have a very serious meeting. What's even more confusing is that everyone looked like they were dejected.

"Gulf, son, come here. Sit here." Gulf's mother called him, instead of asking, he just followed his mother and sat on a couch between his mother and father while Mew's family were sitting across them.

His mother held his hand tight and caressed it. What was wrong? He looked at his parents, but they didn't say anything. They just showed him a small smile.

"What is this all about?" He finally asked everyone while showing a smile, hoping to brighten up everyone's mood.

It was Mew's mom's turned to speak. But something is bothering Gulf as he looked at his soon to be mother-in-law. Her eyes looked like they were swollen from crying. Did she cry? He asks himself. It was the same to Mew's sister who was sitting beside Mew's mom. "Gulf, we have something to tell."

"Okay... but..." He looked at everyone suspiciously before he continued. "Aren't we going to wait for P'Mew? He's on his way already."

Because of Gulf's statement, Mew's mom was taken a back. She wanted to speak, but she suddenly loses her strength. She looked down, hiding her tears from everyone. Luckily, her daughter was there to calm her. Looking at Mew's mom, Gulf's mother knew the difficulty that she was facing. So she tried to help her out.

"What's going on?" They could hear Gulf's tone of voice has raised a little bit. Everyone was acting really weird and he was starting to feel annoyed.

"Gulf..."

"When you left our house a while ago, I received a call from them." Gulf's mother said. Gulf nodded his head as he listened to his mother. Gulf's mom glanced at Mew's mom who's still hanging her head low. "They informed me about the news that they received a few hours ago."

"What is it?" Gulf asked. He was getting impatient. He also has a feeling that what they were about to tell him is something that he didn't expect.

Gulf's mom was at the verge of crying, but she composed herself to properly deliver the message to Gulf. Her son needed to know what they all knew. "While driving back to the city... Mew---"

"What happened to him?"

"Mew... Unfortunately, he got into an accident."

Gulf held his breath, he tried to remain calm but his mind was starting to go wild. Did he just hear it right? He gulped and nodded his head once again. "And then?" He still asked, not minding the sob that he started to hear from the rest of the family members.

His eyes were brimming with tears already, but he didn't want them to fall on his cheeks yet. He wanted to know more about what happen, but his mom didn't have the courage to tell him more about it.

"His car fell on a cliff... and exploded." Gulf's father continued what his mother couldn't say. "The rescuer came. They tried to retrieve him, but according to them, no one can survive from an explosion. He's gone. I'm sorry, son."

And that's when his tears started running down on his cheek. His whole world crashed with the news that he heard. He felt like draining, like everything was taken from him. He slowly shook his head. "No, that's not true."

"Gulf..." Mew's mother called him while sobbing.

"That's not true. He texted me that he's on his way home." Trying to convince everyone that it was just a hoax.

Mew's father facepalmed after hearing those from Gulf and he ran his hands through his hair. If he was hurt, then how much more it was for Gulf. He witnessed how they fight for their love only to end in a tragic way.

"I'll call him." Gulf grabbed his phone from his pocket, but his mother stopped him.

"Gulf..." His father called and tried to hold his son, but Gulf wouldn't calm down.

"Son, that's enough." His mother said softly while crying.

"No, he said he will come back." He insisted as his tears continued to fall nonstop.

She pulled him into a hug, Gulf was still insisting on grabbing his phone and call Mew. He tried to let go from the hug but after a few attempts, he ended up giving up in his mother's arms and he just let her hugged him.

"Boo..." He wailed in so much pain. Gulf's father and his sister caressed his back to calm him down. They understand how painful it was for Gulf. Not to mention that they were about to get married few days later.

After crying for hours, Gulf fell asleep. He was so exhausted from crying so much that he fell asleep on the couch while tightly holding his phone with Mew's picture on it. Seeing Gulf in that state really broke their hearts. They try to imagine how Gulf will manage his new life without the person that he loved the most.

His family stayed at the Jongcheveevat's residence, they needed to prepare for the funeral the next day. They didn't try to bother Gulf who's sleeping on the couch, they surely knew how tired he was just from crying non-stop.

 

 

 

Morning has come, the very first morning that Gulf woke up without Mew beside him. Mew was his pillow. And starting that day, he wouldn't be waking up with his pillow anymore.

He slowly opened his eyes. His eyes felt heavy, maybe because he was crying for hours last night. He was crying? Why? He thought while furrowing his brows. He looked around and noticed that he fell asleep on the couch at Mew's house. Then, he saw his mother with Mew's mom sitting on the couch across him.

"Mom, where is P'Mew?"

The two turned their heads at Gulf right away, after he asked that question. They glanced at each other before approaching Gulf who got up and sat on the couch. They sat on the couch as well, sitting in each side of the younger. And that left him sitting in the middle of his mom and Mew's.

"My head hurts, mom." He complained while holding the other part of his head with his hand.

"Do you need something?" Mew's mother asked him.

"I'll give you medicine for your headache. Do you want anything else?" His mother added.

"P'Mew." He blurted out. "I want to see him. Where is he?"

His mother looked down, she didn't know to respond to his son. She didn't want to see his son crying once again. With a small smile, Mew's mom placed her palm on Gulf's cheek.

"Gulf..." She caressed Gulf's cheek as she called his name. "I don't know how to say this to you."

"We won't be able to see him anymore."

When he thought that what happened the previous day was just a dream, but no. It was a reality. He wanted to scream and cry. But he's already too weak to do those things. He locked his gaze at a corner, unable to utter any words. Then he could feel Mew's mother pulling him into her arms.

"We all know how you feel. I know how much you love my son. And I just want you to know that we're still here for you even if he's gone already."

His tears started running down once again after hearing her saying that Mew has gone already. When his mother saw him crying, she lifted her hands and placed it on his son's back, rubbing his back softly to calm him.

"I want you to be strong." Mew's mother wished with her voice sounded like she was begging as well. "Please be strong for Mew."

 

 

Mew's family did a counterfeit funeral for 3 days at the temple, a kind of funeral ceremony which was not common in Thai. This kind of ceremony was conducted when a person's body is missing and it was a rare ceremony in Thai. The normal Thai funeral ceremony consisted of bathing ceremony, daily chanting by monks, and cremation ceremony. Instead of performing these ceremony, they just displayed Mew's picture without the presence of a casket.

For Gulf, he was opposed to having the funeral ceremony as he still had hopes of finding Mew alive. The same reason on why the ceremony was delayed for days. Mew's family understood him, but they insisted on having the ceremony and his participation is really important. They couldn't carry out the ceremony without him. He didn't have any choice but to respect Mew's family's decision and so he agreed about it.

Flowers and wreaths play a big role in Thai funerals and it's common to choose the deceased person's favorite flower. Gulf came at the temple bringing Mew's favorite flower, the forget-me-not flower. He remembered Mew mentioning this flower one time. As the name suggests, this flower is given with hope that the receiver won't forget the giver. And that's what Gulf wanted to imply, for Mew not to forget him wherever he was and Gulf would do the same. Other than that, it also symbolizes true and undying love and memories. That even though Mew was gone, Gulf would love only him and cherished all the memories that they shared together.

Their plan going overseas for their marriage, he didn't expect that it would turn out to be a day for his partner's funeral ceremony. Despite of the pain that he was feeling while looking at Mew's picture, he slowly approached the displayed photo and decorated the flowers that he brought around it.

"One time you said..." Gulf started having a conversation with Mew's picture while he was doing the decoration. "You want to be this flower because you don't want me to forget you."

With a small smile painted on his face, Gulf showed the flowers in front of Mew's picture. "Here. I brought a lot for you."

"I promise... I will never forget you."

"You know, today is supposed to be our wedding." Reaching a hand up, he caressed Mew's cheek on the picture and traced every inch of his face though it's only a picture. And he began to sob, and again tears flowed from his eyes. "But you were gone."

Relatives and friends who attended the ceremony witnessed Gulf's grief over his lover's death. Mild, Boat and Run who were also there cried seeing their friend in that state. They were not sad only for Gulf, but also for Mew. He was a good friend and brother to them, but he was taken away from them. They weren't able to say goodbye to their good brother before the accident happened.

"Let's meet again in our next life, Boo. I love you... always." That was the last thing that Gulf said before he went back to his seat while holding a stem of flower that he decorated. It was hard for him to accept the reality, but he would try. He would try it, for Mew.