I was probably about Medwen's age now, maybe eleven when I moved to a new neighborhood and was mighty nervous about making new friends. One day, mucking about in the back garden I could hear a group of young lads singing 'Stand By Me.' I climbed the back wall and was greeted by the grinning faces of a handful of young lads about my age, serenading me. Those boys became my tightest pals during those crucial pubescent years. One of them was a chubby Pakistani kid named Nadeem. Nadeem had the sweetest voice of them all, believe or not. He was my first muslim friend and I learned a lot from him, including how to swear in Urdu. We had many an adventure, breaking into houses, being ninjas, BMXing, skateboarding, discussing girls, cracking each other up over our cultural idiosyncrasies and of course singing terrible 80s radio hits. Later on, we'd have a fight that I never really forgave myself for and our friendship would never quite be the same. I tried getting in touch with him at one point, to apologize for being a angst ridden angry little thug but failed to do so. I doubt Nadeem held a grudge. From what I hear he became a wildly successful motivational speaker, inspiring young kids to go out an attack the world. I believe it. While I may have had the courage to do stupid physical feats it was often Nadeem sweet-talking me into it, in the way only he could. I just heard of Nadeem's death today and never realized I'd be so crushed by the death of someone I have not seen since I was teen.
Rest in Peace, Mate.