He cried because he was diagnosed with a growth, possibly a cancerous one. His nose was red and his cheeks were wet with tears. His voice trembled and broke several times as he spoke to someone over his handphone in hokkien. A minute later, he hung up and visibly tried to pull himself together. With clumsy hands, he wiped his tears away, put on his big pair of glasses and struggled to his feet, the walking stick as his aid. A shudder ran through his entire being. And as the old man limped away slowly, I found myself staring helplessly at his defeated figure, shaken and close to tears. I didn’t have any words of comfort that I could offer him.


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