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Stories for my three heroes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

SHE


I am standing here at this same spot.

The same spot I first met her two years ago. Tired, worried face and constantly checking her watch. I asked and offered help but was kindly rebuffed. Still I saw that she was in trouble. So, I stayed with her until help arrived. I was late for office that morning. Something out of character for me. But, I would be late for many other mornings as well, from then on.

During such mornings, for about half an hour, I get to speak to her. And as the days went by, I learned more about her. She worked the whole night. And sleep mostly in the day. She was someone's favorite. 'Someone important'. She told me she was tired of the whole thing but could not do anything. She was trapped in a situation she can't figure a way out. Truthfully, I think she was afraid to find a way out. I knew it was most likely because of her daughter. Her cute 3 year old girl who meant the whole world to her.

As we became more familiar, we talked more about ourselves. Things we were ready to share. I was always excited to hear about her little girl. She would show photos of her antics captured in her handphone. I enjoyed everyone of those photos.

We would talk until someone working for 'someone important' would arrive to fetch her. Back to her place she called her hideout. Away from the prying eyes. But, I corrected her, calling it her sanctuary. Where she can be herself; a lady and a mom. Those mornings continued for about a year until my health temporarily kept me away from those moments.

Not long after, troubles started to show their ugly faces. It wasn't surprising to me though, as she had forewarned me that this 'someone important' would not take kindly my knowing of her. The threats are nothing. It did nothing to me but made me more determined to resolve the issue at hand. But, soon the threat became physical.

Despite her strong protest, I turned to the authorities. Not for my safety, but for hers and her daughter. Soon after, they took them away, of course.  The police did. But, not before promising they will put away the source of the threat on her, her daughter and indirectly on me. It also meant that I won't be able to continue my morning chat with her. It was a small price to pay for her happiness and new lease of life. I promised her I wouldn't regret my decision.

It has been two years. And, although I know I won't see that face here, I will just find myself driving to this spot. Not wishing very hard, maybe, to see her sitting calmly sipping coffee, eager to show photos from her handphone. Smiling at me when I open the glass door. But, no. That won't happen.

Still, I am here anyway. Just to remember those times. Those moments. Moments when I was standing here with purpose.  At this spot. In the early morning like this.


PS : 

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Friday, October 24, 2014

WHEN THE GAME ENDS


One day you'll wake up and realize that all the games that you played have reached the proverbial injury time. You'll realize that the ref and the linesmen would no longer be siding with you.
You will notice that the pitch could now be soggy and laden with water. The grass are too long. The ball is too soft. Your boots are one size bigger or smaller. 
And the crowd would not be cheering your every move anymore. But they be more discerning and judgemental. They will remember all the fouls you committed, all the fake dives, the hand's of God that you employ and the shirts you pulled. They will be less forgiving.
Then, it would be too late. To late for everything. Too late even for me to save you.
You can turn to me. But, I'll be waving the board with your number on it. And another number so you know that your time is up.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sometimes when the night gets too cold..


Sometimes, when the night gets too cold, I would just wake up and I remember.

I remember the day the damn bike just would not do what I want it to do. The day the damn brake just would not grip strong enough. The day the stupid handle would not budge to the left enough. The day the stupid truck would not stop long enough.

I remember holding you. But, I don't know what to do. I don't know how to keep the blood to stop flowing from your bloodied everywhere. I don't know how to keep you awake and your eyes to open. I don't know how to keep you labored breathing to continue or to last longer.

I remember holding close but losing you at the same time.

And, on those nights when it gets too cold, I remember hugging your warm body getting cold. I remember my warm tears running down my cheeks and falling on your face getting cold.

I remember your warm smile telling me everything will be alright.
But, they never did.

So every night when it gets too cold, I will hold my body warm and I remember.


Natasha Wong :
Forever in memory




Wednesday, May 28, 2014

THINGS TO THINK


Abang has returned. For his summer vacation. Three months. Home in Malaysia. I was really looking forward to see him. Talk to him. Discuss things with him. Things that matter to him. And to me. Two guys talking.

However, it has been three weeks since he arrived. I have yet to do any of those that I wanted to do. Well, one or two maybe. But, not as I wanted it to be. I am seeing him less. In fact sometimes I forgot that he is home.

Every morning, I will leave early. He is not up yet. Even if he is awake, I will be too preoccupied with my morning routine to sit and chat a little with him. I learned from Ibu that occasionally he would send Acik to school and back home. He will drive my Black Proton to do that. At night, when I returned, late as always, he would be there in the living room, eyes glued to the computer. He would dutifully shake and kiss my hand. I would go up to change and pray, if I haven't in the office. Thereafter most likely I will check on Ibu and fall asleep quickly. Some time, I would be able to go down, chat a little with Abang and promptly fall asleep on the couch before I could say anything meaningful.

It has been almost 4 and a half month since I returned to work. New job and new demand. I didn't realise if it had changed me. People around me say so. People I know say so. I don't feel so but I must have. I feel so enthusiastic in things I have to deal daily that I'm lost in all of them. I need sometime or something to do always to reclaim my private space. I tend to value too much on spending my private time by myself that I am only aware the weekend is over when I woke up Monday morning. I don't seem to have time for others including those important to me. And I will forget the limitations that were imposed on me and continue with my pace that would worry those caring for me.

I can't stop. And, I am getting reckless.




Thursday, April 03, 2014

DECISION MAKING

Adik's birthday is coming up. Ibu and I are busy thinking of what special gift to give him now that he is 16.

'He likes to listen to music. So, let's get him an ipod touch. His old ipod is already giving problem. Maybe he'll like a new one', Ibu suggested.

I am not too keen on giving him ipod, simply because he would then be lost in his own world. I know I would. I am more concerned that it was quite difficult to get in touch with him when he is outside with his friends or at school. The Blackberry he's using, the old worn out handed down by me seemed to have its own mind and preferred its own working hours. It is difficult then to reach Adik whenever we have to tell him of any change in plan or if there was gonna be some delay in picking him up due to one reason or another.

'I think it is better for him to get a new iphone. The phone would solve all these problem of communicating to him. And the iphone also has ipod facility, so that would address his current problem with his ipod', I tried to reason with Ibu.

But, Ibu being the ever Minister of Finance enforcing economic austerity programme that goes on forever came back to me with just this simple reply, 'But, iphone is more expensive than an ipod touch'.

So, I finally decided that Adik is big enough to decide on what he wants without us having to make his every decision.

I spoke with Adik, 'OK, this Sunday we go to Pavilion. You see what you like and tell us.'
'Alright Ayah', Adik looked relieved.
'Yea', Ibu said, short.

Friday, March 28, 2014

BROGA AND ME


Semenjak balik dari Kanada, aku sangat terminat untuk memanjat Bukit Broga di Semenyih. Bukitnya tak terlalu tinggi. Kalau orang asli mengukur, dia akan cakap tak sampai setengah batang rokok pon udah sampai ke atas. Tingginya hanya lebih kurang 400m sahaja. Tapi mempunyai 3 puncak yang tidak terlalu jauh antara satu sama lain. Namun begitu, aku cukup puashati jika aku hanya mencapai puncak pertama sahaja kerana pada aku tiada bezanya antara puncak pertama, kedua atau ketiga.

Aku tak tau kenapa aku terlalu tergoda dengan bukit yang tidak seberapa tinggi ni. Mungkin kerana mudahnya untuk mencapai ke puncak tanpa perlu mengeluarkan terlalu banyak peluh. Mungkin kerana panorama kehijauan yang mengelilingi laluan ke atas. Mungkin juga kerana udara bersihnya di pagi hari. Atau keceriaan pagi hening sebalik sinaran matahari yang muda. Mungkin juga kerana gelagat dan ragam manusia-manusia yang sama-sama memanjat bukit atas satu alasan ke satu alasan yang lain.

Rutin aku pula ialah aku akan memanjat samada pagi Sabtu atau Ahad. Sebaik selepas solat Subuh, aku akan akan terus memandu kereta menghala ke Semenyih berbekal sebotol air mineral, topi merah, iphone dengan koleksi lagu khusus untuk memanjat, tuala kecil dan Canon T2i aku. Selalunya dipuncak, aku akan mencari sudut terpencil bagi bersendiri, dengan earphone melekat dan DSLR di tangan. Aku suka merakam saat Matahari mulai naik di balik bukit, embun yang menutup hehujung pohon atau saja kelaku orang lain yang sedang memanjat atau mengelamun sendirian di puncak seperti aku.

Waktu aku bercuti lama dahulu pun, aku masih dapat memanjat dua atau tiga kali meskipun Doktor melarang. Hinggalah saat memang aku tak langsung dapat melakukannya selama hampir dua bulan yang mana kerinduan aku kepada nya amat memanggil-manggil. Bulan ketiga, aku sudah tak tertahan dan mula memanjat kembali. Kini, aku berusaha memanjat sekali seminggu selalunya di penghujung minggu. Pernah juga aku memanjat di hari orang sedang berkerja supaya aku dapat bersendirian dengan bukit itu, di pagi Hari Mengundi 2013 dan pada Hari Raya Cina. Aku paling tidak menyukai kalau terlalu ramai orang bersama memanjat kerana ini bermaksud akan banyak botol dan sampah sarap yang akan ditinggal manakala dahan-dahan mungkin mati dipetik oleh tangan-tangan yang gatal. Mungkin, satu hari nanti aku akan memanjat di waktu hampir senja dan melihat matahari jatuh.

Aku pernah mengajak Ibu memanjat sama, tapi kadang Ibu terlalu gayat untuk sampai ke atas dan hanya menunggu aku di bawah. Faim pernah juga ku bawa naik. Walau pun pada awalnya dia agak ragu-ragu tapi bujukan dan galakan aku berjaya juga melihat Faim sampai ke puncak.

'Isn't it great Faim, to reach the top?', tanya aku ingin memberi peransang dan galakan atas pencapaian Faim sampai ke puncak.
'Yeah', jawab Faim ringkas sambil mengunyah biskut bekalan Ibu.
'So, we come again next week?', tanya aku lagi.
'No, Ayah. Next week, in the morning I just want to climb down my bed. That's all!', jawab Faim selamba.
Aku pon diam.










10th ANNIVERSARY

Just a short one.

Never thought it could last this long. 

Baby Faim is now not a baby. A 10 year old boy whose preoccupation is Minecraft and Disney Channel. Adik is in his own teenage world, oblivious of everything else that's going around the house. Once in a while he would ask about current happenings ie the MH370 or situation in Ukraine.

Abang is proceeding well with his study at Carleton. His earlier plan to transfer to Vancouver had to be shelved for now. He seems happier these days. Abang is coming back this May. I can't wait to talk to my adult son.

Ibu is fine. Busy running the household. I am fine too. Got a new assignment. Slogging through.

Happy Anniversary my blogger friends. 

Here looking at all of you. Thank you.

Friday, September 13, 2013

ADIK AND THEATER

Minggu lepas Ibu minta aku hadir persembahan teater Adik di sekolah kerana Ibu perlu bawa Faim ke majlis ulangtahun kawan Faim di seberang KL, jauh dari sekolah. Oleh kerana aku memang minat teater, terutamanya yang bersifat 'experimental', maka aku pon bersetuju.

Mengikut programnya, Adik diarah berada di sekolah selama 24 jam untuk mempersiap diri bagi latihan kepada Teater tersebut yang dipanggil 24hr Theater. Ke semuanya ada sebanyak 14 mini teater yang berdurasi antara 5-10 minit. Aku dapati Adik terlibat secara langsung dalam 2 persembahan yang mana salah satunya dia memain peran utama. Dan, sememangnya aku menikmati ke semua teater yang dipersembahkan di samping cuba memahami maksud tersirat yang ingin disampaikan.

Aku memang lama ingin Adik melibatkan kegiatan seni teater dan seni lakon ini. Pada hemat aku, Adik ada ketokohan dalam bidang ini kerana dia mudah membuat kami terhibur dengan kelakuan dia semasa dia sedang membesar dahulu. Lagipun, pada aku Adik ni jenis yang suka kepada benda-benda ringan dan menghiburkan tidak seperti Abang yang lebih serius dan intens perawakannya. 

Selesai semua persembahan, aku menunggu Adik di kereta. Nampak dia berjalan dengan kawan-kawan sambil tersenyum riang dan bergurau senda. Aku dapat merasa kebangaan Adik dan kawan-kawan ke atas kejayaan penghasilan teater tersebut. Dalam kereta aku cuba mengukur sejauh mana minat Adik kepada bidang teater ini.

' Dik, that was a great show. I enjoyed it so much especially your second performance. Can you explain a bit to me', tanya aku.

' Thank you Ayah. The second one where everyone seemed to carry the boxes and moving them to different places on the stage refer to the competing demands and priorities we put on our lives. Sometimes, we put education up front. or Health and maybe security. At other times, they are at the back. Ocassionally we put two or three boxes together to show how equally important they are to us at certain particular time in our life', jawab Adik panjang lebar. 

' Oh, yea. I guess that much also. Umm will you continue with this. You can make a career out of it you know ', aku cuba menduga sedalam mana minat Adik.

'I am not sure. Maybe. But what is important is that I have done this', jawab Adik.

'You know, sometimes the play call for a kissing scene and you have to do it', aku cuba mengusik Adik dengan menambah 'inducement' yang tak lojik.

' What are you trying to say, Ayah ', jawab Adik menjeling tajam kepada aku.

' Well, at the rate you are going, that could be the only way you get a girl to kiss you. Only through a teater. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA', aku gelak sebesar-besarnya.

' Hey, that's not fair', jawab Adik sebelum tergelak sama.