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RIP My Poker BFF, Hend Matthews – I miss you

April 23 Sandra Wong
My dear friend Hend… my poker best friend, PFF, poker or WSOP will never be the same for me again.
I am devastated I will never get to walk the strip with you again under desert stars. Topless girl flyers stuck to our flip flops; the stench of drunk tourists with their obese plastic drinks; the plinking of penny slots in our ears. Vegas was ours and you and I knew it. The gambling halls are only reserved for the degenerate souls and you my dear friend, was the purest of VIPs.

You were my Stu Unger in tank tops and blue jeans. You, with your really bad bleached hair and your sunken dark eyes. Your cheeky smile and your sarcastic laugh. Your Jersey accent and your no bullshit attitude.

The night everyone went to outside bar and we sat in bed with masks on our face watching last years WSOP main on TV and calling outs. You looking at me and saying ‘Fuck, we know our poker.’ You and your Fiji waters. Noodle Bar at the Wynn. God, how I hate how you call Wazuzu Noodle Bar. How do I ever eat at Lotus of Siam ever again without tears in your favorite Thai Beef Salad? 3am Pho at the Quad.

From the moment you 3bet me on the turn with a straight and flush draw in Nola to you telling Pete ‘…and you said no girl would like me and want to be my friend.’ I was yours.

You never let me play pit games and instead made me wait for you to destruct. And I must have been your lucky charm because I never saw you lose.

The nights we walk by tables and bink $100s in minutes were our highs as dice rolled off your finger tips.

Ice tea vodkas and two wandering souls who just understood each other without words. We occupied space and time… in every moment, in every comfort we kept finding each other in familiar dark places.

The sides I got to see of you that very few knew sting the most. Red dress to Absinthe. The little girl in us all just wanting to be pretty. Accepted. Cherished. Loved. If the world would stop disappointing your heart then maybe you didn’t need to be so hard.

I saw you my gentle and loyal friend. Our secrets, our friendship, our souls forever connected in the last words you texted to me in the dead of your last winter. ‘Miss you’. You made me promise you July 4th and now you are gone. Now I am even more alone here on Earth with another hole in my heart missing you for the rest of my life. I’m not ready for you to leave me. I love you Hend Matthews. While it wasn’t nearly enough time to hit that fire bet, thank you for the memories and being one of my best friends. ?

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