My alarm rang at 6.45am, just like any other morning. I turned to my bed side table, and hit the snooze button, with both my eyes still tightly shut.
At 6.54am, the alarm went off again. I was only half awake when I picked up my phone and proceeded with my daily social media routine; I checked my Instagram feed, followed by an automated tap on that familiar blue icon.
It was on Facebook when I first learnt about MH17. I was shocked to find the news of another Malaysia Airlines tragedy flood my newsfeed. I read enough to know what had happened, and hastily got up to get dressed for work.
When my colleague raised the conversation about "the MAS flight that crashed", it tugged at my heartstrings because Malaysia Airlines resonate very well with me; this airline has brought me home numerous times and as a Malaysian, I have grown up flying this airline before Air Asia came about.
This could happen to anyone of us. I thought about the people on board flight MH17 and felt sorry for their family and friends, but I snapped out of it and got on with work just like any other Friday morning.
It was not until about 11.30am when I received a text from my brother that read: Elaine was on that flight.
I read it over and over again, in shock and disbelief.
I don't know what prompted me to do a quick search on Google for updates on MH17 but true enough, I found Elaine's picture on The Age with a caption that read something along the lines of "Melbourne University's student Elaine Teoh, believed to be on flight MH17".
I cupped my mouth in shock, the hair on my arms stood up like soldiers at attention and streams of tears rolled down my cheeks.
I tried to hold it in but it wasn't long before I broke down and started to sob uncontrollably in my seat.
I must have shocked my colleagues with my sudden burst of tears, as they walked over to ask what had happened and if I was okay.
I struggled getting any words out, but when I managed to pull myself together (just barely), I managed a short response, "I just found out... My friend was on the flight that crashed."
The news still hasn't sunk in when I muttered those words. I was still in disbelief. "No way, no way, no way!" I chanted silently to myself. I struggled to come to terms with the news, and honestly I still do.
I trembled in fear and my whole body shook as my boss drove me over to Elaine's apartment where her Mum, her sister and mutual friends were present. We hugged, we cried and we reminisced the good times and memories that we all shared with Elaine.
I won't deny that it was one of the most difficult day of my life. I have never once felt this vulnerable, ever.
It is a day I will never forget. Every Friday, I relive this day in my head. Every Friday, I think of Elaine. Every Friday I hope there are lots and lots of good food up there for her. Every Friday, I ask under my breath, "How are you, Laine? Are you doing all good up there?"
Even though I knew it had happened, but I still could not believe it, up until now even, I still cannot believe that I'll never get to see Elaine again. I refuse to accept that this is true.
Before her body was being identified, I still had this small pang of hope that she managed to survive the crash and that she was alive, somewhere in Ukraine.
It is true when they say, you never truly understand the pain of losing your loved ones (especially in such a tragedy) until you experience it first hand. This pain was indescribable; it felt like a part of me died.
I've also learnt that everybody deals with death and pain in many different ways. Some manage it better than others, but I for one, do not handle death well.
Time heals, as many would say; I agree it does get better and easier over time. At least I no longer break out in sudden tears at the thought of Elaine, but deep down inside, it still hurts. This pain will never heal, time simply numbs the wound.
It has been 3 months now since Elaine left us, and whilst I've managed to come to terms with the fact that she has passed away and is now in a better place, I still cannot help but hope that she was still around.
Elaine was one of the most genuine and kind-hearted person I've met and her presence is very sorely missed.
I miss hanging out with her, I miss teasing her, I miss pulling tricks on this rather gullible friend of mine, I miss sharing my baked goodies with her, I miss her goofiness, I miss having girly talks with her over good food and I really, really miss her laughters.
I miss you, Elaine.
I have so much to tell you and I know it is now too late to say this, but I wish we had caught up more often. I'm sorry we didn't get the chance to see each other before you left for Amsterdam.
Till I see you again, my friend. :')