updated 8 May 2012, 21:20
user id password
Tue, Apr 17, 2012
Simply Her
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
She reunited with soulmate, only to lose him in a bike crash
by Cheryl Leong

Their on-off relationship spanned nine years. But six months after Lenny Syafawatie, now 28, finally married her great love, their life together was yanked away. She tells CHERYL LEONG how she's riding on despite her grief.

"Excuse me, Miss. May I know your name?"

These were the first words my husband-to-be, Faizal Mohd Ajis, said shyly to me.

I was 17, a cheerleader at the National Day Parade 2001.

He was 20, a Guard of Honour in the police contingent.

He asked for my number and if I would take a picture with him.

I never got a copy of that shot then. That very night, he sent me a text and we started talking.

Things weren't awkward when we had our first date three months later.

After two years of dating, in 2003, his conservative parents, who thought we had dated long enough, urged Faizal to marry me or call off the relationship.

I agreed to get married, but insisted he had to propose to me.

He did so shortly after, going on bended knee as we were walking along the beach.

We were happy but our worst arguments were over his parents' expectations of how their future daughter-in-law should act and dress.

Things came to a head four months later, and I knew that no matter how much I loved Faizal, I couldn't live with this.

Two weeks later, in Muslim custom, I asked my mother to break off the engagement.

We avoided each other and the places we used to hang out in.

But we bumped into each other six months later, and he sent me an MSN message to ask after me.

Three months after that, we met up for a coffee, decided to remain friends, and eventually started dating again.

His mother made an effort to accept me and in April 2010, his parents came to ask for my hand in marriage.

Faizal and I tied the knot in July that year.

On the day before he died, a Sunday, Faizal woke me up and insisted that I go with him to his soccer match and then to Marina Bay Sands (MBS).

It was also odd that later that night, he held me tightly and said: 'Sayang, please remember that I will always love you, no matter what.'

The next day before he left for work, he did the usual routine of kissing me before saying 'I love you'.

I told him to ride safely and to text me when he arrived at the office.

I waited for Faizal's text, which would usually come in by 7.15am.

But I didn't receive it, so I texted him. He didn't reply - a first for him.

I was worried, so I texted or called him whenever I had a break at work.

I kept calling Faizal until my phone battery went flat.

At 11.30am, I left my phone at my desk to charge and went for a meeting. I came back an hour later to a lot of missed calls.

'Lenny, Faizal is no more,' my father said to me when I called him back.

I refused to believe him when he explained that Faizal had been involved in a bike accident.

When I cried, it was because Faizal still wasn't returning my calls and messages, and I was worried.

It was not because I had accepted that he was gone.

It was a difficult journey and it wasn't until four months after the accident, that the pain started to let up a little - and I could get through the day without breaking down.

Now, more than a year after my husband's death, moving forward is getting slightly easier.

These days, I'm mentally and emotionally more prepared to move on.

But I don't think I'm ready to love again.

Perhaps it's because I feel I'll compare everyone else to Faizal, who'll always be my No. 1.


Get the April 2012 issue of Simply Her for more interesting stories. Simply Her, published by SPH Magazines is available at all newsstands now. Cheryl Leong is a features writer with Simply Her magazine by SPH Magazines. Check out more stories at Simply Her online,






readers' comments
Posted by

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.