“Never give up.”

I had heard this phrase a lot of times but she made me understand what it actually means.

I met her in engineering college. I still remember her wide smile, sparkling eyes, and her soft voice in which she greeted everyone in the morning. We were in the same class for four years, or should I say only two years, because for the last two years she couldn’t come.

She was diagnosed with cancer in July 2016. (sarcoma – last stage). I can’t forget the day when she called me from Delhi to tell me that, to which I replied, “Shut up. It’s not possible. Don’t say that”.

For days, and even today, I think, “Why her?”

But never did I ever see a sign on her face that would say, “Why me?”.

Or never did I ever hear her say, “That’s it. I quit”.

She struggled through it with grace and courage and always kept talking about what she would do after being completely cured. She had very strong willpower. This often makes me think, why do people commit suicide? How come there’s no way out for them? How come there is no solution to their problems? How could they lose hope, give up on life, when she never did?

I mean she was the head of our department and now here she was lying on the bed helpless, yet she talked about hope. She never missed a single day in college and here she was missing from college for the past year and a half. All of this at times depressed me, but she was hopeful that life beheld great things for her. Even in that condition she completed her remaining four semesters and passed all the exams with flying colors.

She told me once that she wasn’t afraid to die but she did want to live for her parents, to fulfill their dreams as they too suffered a lot both mentally and economically.

She was an inspiration, not only to me but to every person who knew her.

Despite being ill, she cured me completely. I never had a best friend, a person I could talk to or someone who would actually listen to what I say. But she did. She healed the hole I had had in my heart all my life.

I always had a low opinion of myself, lack of confidence, inability to trust anyone. But she changed my thinking and my attitude towards things, situations, and most importantly, to myself.

She really tried, undergoing rounds of chemo. She fought for more than 20 months but nothing worked.

She strived really hard to live, for just one chance of life but at the end death is evident. It sometimes makes me sad that she’s not around and I really miss talking to her. But I know she is in a better place – without any pain at last. The only thing I regret is I never got a chance to say goodbye to her or to tell her how impactful her presence was in my life. That she was my angel, my best friend, my chemotherapy.

Heba Beg is an engineer who loves painting, sketching, and writing. She began writing after the death of her best friend because she wanted everyone to know her story and to be inspired by her life.





Image courtesy of Bruno Nascimento.