Monday, January 18, 2016

Lappy:: Describe a sunny day to a person who is born blind.

This was actually an assignement for my Creative Writing class a few years ago. I really want to keep this forever, which is why it is here. 

                I have a beautiful friend named Sal. She has beautiful brunette hair, fair skin and a pair of mesmerizing honey brown eyes. Every time I look at her I feel happy and sad at the same time. She always looks so cheerful and she always has this positive aura that whoever approaches her, will feel as happy as her. But it saddens me to know that despite having the beauty that she possesses naturally, she couldn’t see it for herself. She always asks me about the view from the top of our valley or what the park looks like during fall and winter. I know that it kills her little by little on the inside every time she hears people say “Oh it’s beautiful!!” when she couldn’t see a thing and  it kills me a little too every time she says “Oh I bet it’s very beautiful.”

One fine afternoon, she asked me to take her to the park. We always go there for walks or play on the swings or even just to sit quietly and enjoy each other’s silences. Suddenly, when we were walking over a bridge, she asked me,
“Billy, how is the weather today?” with a soft smile of her lips and her right little hand holding on to my arm.
“Well, it is sunny, Sal. Not the ‘oh, it’s very hot’ kinda sunny, but a picnic day kind of sunny.” I tried by best to explain to her simply. I didn’t want to make her all worked up thinking about what sunny days look like. But, the question didn’t stop there,
“Billy, I can’t see sunny day, I can’t feel the sunny day. I want to see, Billy. I’m tired of living in the darkness.” She said while holding her left hand out in motion of searching for something to be held or felt- in this case the sunny day. Her voice was really sad and I heard a little crack in it that I knew she was holding back tears.
“Sal, honey…” I took a deep breath and hugged her. She had been holding on for so long and this was the time for her loosen up her reigns.
“Sal, you don’t need eyes to enjoy a sunny day. You don’t have to have eyes to see beauty. It’s not your eyes that tell you about beauty, it’s your heart.” As I said that, her tears slowly fell and rolling down her cheeks.
“For example, a snowy day could just mean a white cold thing covering every inch of the surface- what’s the beauty in that? This is for someone that can see but doesn’t put in any meaning to what they see. They didn’t find beauty because they can’t see it with their heart. They only see it with their physical sight. ” I saw her nod as a sign that she had understood and wanted me to keep going.
“Sal, all you need to do is see things with your heart, feel. I can help you. Here.” I took her right hand and lead her to the side of the bridge. I put her hand on the bridge’s handle.
“You feel that? That’s the warmth of the sun.” I then pulled her to the field nearby the bridge.

“Come Sal, lie down next to me. Just relax.” She lied down next to me with her hands behind her head- she did looked relax.
“Do you feel the warmth of the sun on your skin?” I asked and she said,
“Yeah, it’s very relaxing. And the grass is so soft and warm, I feel like sleeping on a warm comfortable bed.” I said while smiling.
“Yeah, I agree. Now, do you smell that? It’s food- delicious food.” I said while doing a sniffing sound and she did the same too.
“Now can you hear that? Children are laughing and screaming playing with each other-”
“I bet they are on a picnic!” she said just before I could finish.
“Yes, you’re absolutely right. Now, can you feel their happiness?” I try to say that as softly as possible because I’m afraid that it would upset her thinking that she can’t see them being happy. But instead she said,
“Yes, I do. And it’s very contagious! I feel like running and playing with them too! ” She said with an upbeat voice. “Oh! I can hear birds chirping! How nice! ” She suddenly got up and run towards the middle of the field with her arms stretched out to her sides. When she ran, her hair flew hard like she was waving a brown flag tied on her head.

“Billy!!” I ran to her side and her hand caught my arm again.

“I can see it Billy. And it’s beautiful!” She said with tears of happiness in her eyes. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Lappy:: Diary of a Moth

I am nothing but a moth. In my short life, I never get to know my name. Maybe it’s because I don’t have one and there’s no one here to call me or talk to me or even ask my name. So, there’s no need for that trouble because there’s nobody here except me. Zero. None; I am all alone.

“You are not alone, I am here with you. Though we are apart, you’re always in my heart…,”

How I wish this to be true for me. I heard this song once from some random student’s MP3 player. Yes, I know songs. I know Michael Jackson. I am one clever moth. Clever- but lonely. Don’t be surprise, but I live in a library where it is so cold, quiet, big and interesting- just my kind of scene. I never actually knew how an insect like me could actually know and learn so much. Being a moth, I could fly everywhere and see almost everything and this is my way of learning. I observe almost every inch of this library from up-top to down-below and it is very entertaining and educational as well. Weird when the word ‘educational’ comes out from a moth’s mouth. But yes, it’s true. I love watching various modes and moods of the students. There are noisy students, sleepy students, and diligent students and then there are some hard-thinking students; now I don’t really understand this kind of students because they always stare into blank spaces, some even stare out the window. I only assume that they got a lot on their mind that all of the work and fun take place in their head; how chaotic.

I also love to listen to their talk, discussions, and gossips or even for those who listen to the MP3 so loud that I can hear the music miles away. It is sad to think that some people do not really care to mind what they say. I am an ordinary moth but even so, what people say is hurtful even when they’re not even talking about me. But I can feel the pain because these people, they really care a lot about looks and appearance. Materialism. Beautiful, handsome, rich; Cool. Ugly, poor; Loser. It is sad because I am an ugly moth. Compared to a butterfly, my colours are dull. If I were to fly in front of a group of people, I am practically invisible and nobody will notice me. But, for a butterfly, it will turn heads and there will be smiles, camera clicking and people would even chase it. I am a loser.

I am not trapped in this library. I choose to be in this library to alienate myself from all of the beauty outside. Truthfully said, I have inferiority complex. Here, I don’t have to compare myself between all of the butterflies out there and the beautiful flowers. I can be content with the belief that I am the only unique being here and I can do whatever I want. But on the other hand, I am lonely. I am confused and I am sad. Why can’t I be beautiful? Why can’t I mingle and have friends or be in a group like the students in this library? Am I that pathetic? Maybe I am similar to the lonely students studying in the library on their own. They look independent and comfortable and they survive. Maybe I’m like that as well? But I can’t say that. Those students look alone but that doesn’t mean that they’re lonely. It’s not fair for me to compare myself to them. I am just a moth. I am alone but sadly, I am lonely.

I fly around when I think. I fly around when I’m sad. I fly around when I feel lonely because I will try to find some crowded place so that I could busy myself with indulging in their discussions. There are a couple of times that I almost get slapped or get smashed by a book. I don’t know why but these humans hate me. I don’t know what their problem is. Do I smell? Am I too loud? I know this is a library, but I don’t think I made that much noise. Does my existence bother people? Even the humans don’t accept me. Maybe I shouldn’t care that much. I am better off alone.

I need to make a landing. Thinking too much – like now - is not really good for me, I could fall into depression if I keep this up. Wait, that looks interesting. I have never seen this book before. There are a lot of colours and images. Very interesting! Wait, I have seen this, this looks like a—no, these are organs. Human organs I think. I‘ve seen these before. There are a lot of science students studying here. This is beautiful, the paper is nice too; smooth and it’s cold. I could lay here and sleep all day if I want too but – Hey!—why has it gotten dark? Who closed the drapes? Oh wait a minute, NO! Wait!! I have to fly--

Saturday, November 2, 2013

100 word story #1

I would- if I could- just cry and cry and cry. I'm not sad but still I'll cry. Crying is not a sin, it's not something to be ashamed about because it is a relief. It's an escapism. So I will cry because my heart needs to escape. It can't handle of confusion, too much hope and happiness. It doesn't trust itself to not doubt every single one of them. So I cry; secretly hoping that my little dark cocoon will leak- and I'll slither myself out of it. To cry is not a cowardice act. It's an act of freedom.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lappy:: Sally #1

She closes her eyes as the wind blows through her hair. she feels like she's flying as she spread her arms out to her sides. She smiles and finally opens her eyes. The sun is setting and she sits down quietly. Just enjoying the silence and the beautiful sunset like there is no care in the world. "Wouldn't it be nice to do this everyday?" she thought.

"Sally!!! Come down this instant!! Whatchu doing up there? you crazy?!" An annoying voice calls for her and with a heavy heart, she climbs down the roof through the attic. It's the second time that she was caught by Sam, her little sister. A little bossy for a 'little'  sister huh? She better keep a look out and stay away from the roof for a little while or she is sure that Sam is going to tell on her.

Sally walks to her bedroom, shuts the door and begin to sketch right away. She is a very talented artist. Or at least she hoped to be. She just loves to draw. anything that she sees or that she likes- what ever that inspires her, she will draw. No matter how it turned out to be, she will be happy and content by it. It is very rare to see this kind of attitude from other people because people nowadays always look and expect too much from the final result and not the process or the love and passion for it. It's such a pity. That is why Sally only draws and keep her drawing in her own private room. It is her own world and that is where she can truly be herself and be happy to express. She feels that the world is cruel and unjust. But then, she had a glimpse of hope that it isn't all true. There is beauty in the world.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sense: Look, listen, touch

Look; Anya

“Kelana!! Can you pleeeaasse close the fridge’s door after you took something out of it??! It’s become a habit of you hasn’t it? What, do you think I’m your maid who’ll do anything for you? Close the door! Go on!” 

I moved my head signaling to the opened fridge. I can’t even describe how mad I am with that boy! Does he think that he can just come around, poke his head inside the fridge, take the things that he want and then just leave the door open? Oh no, no. Not under my supervision! I mean, I know he is just four years old and he can barely understand a word I was saying just now. Just look at his face, all cute with those big brown eyes and curly hair. Adorable! He is my youngest brother and I love him so much. That is why I decided that I would not spoil him. Ahah, he closed the fridge’s door!

 “Haa..there you go.. Good boy…you deserve some milk! Tadaa!!” I showed him his milk bottle. He giggled when he got his prized possession. I was actually preparing his milk while he rummaged through the fridge just now. I know that he is a bit too old to be drinking from a baby bottle, but I figured that there is no harm in that. He must have been hungry. Being the only ‘adult’ in the house everyday like this (actually it is only during daytime while Mom and Dad are out at work) taking care of four hungry monsters are sometimes just too much for me to handle. But they are my flesh and blood. Who would take care of them while our parents are out working if not me? So, every time I feel like breaking down or crying, I’ll just swallow that feeling and put on my ‘macho’ face. Actually I don’t think I can put up a ‘macho’ face. I’m a girly girl! My face is too soft to be ‘macho-ish’. Oh shoot! We’re late!!

“Guys! Come on! Get all your stuff and hurry! I have to walk you to the nanny’s house before it gets too late! I have a test today!” Well actually the nanny’s house is just two houses away, and it’s not really that far or that it will take a long time to get there but you know, better be early than sorry. “Kelana, do you have your backpack on you?” he just nods to my question since he still has the teat of his milk bottle inside his mouth. “Ok, let’s get you there fast because I need to hurry.” I grabbed his free hand and guide him out of the house. This is my routine everyday.


After I sent Kelana and Farissa, the second youngest in the family (she is six years old), to the nursery, I set out to school with Lisa who is in Standard 6 and Dalil who is in Form 1. We walk to school together, or actually we don’t. They have their own friends to walk with and I just tail along at the back just to make sure that they do get to school safely. It is my responsibility. Usually I have Amar to walk with me but I don’t know, maybe he is late today, as per usual. He is always late and rushing. Ahah! Speak of the devil! Look at him, hastening with his tie, with his ruffled hair and his….wait a second, is that eye goop I saw?? Euww!! He is just plain MESSY! I don’t know what is to become of this guy. Anyway, no matter how unorganized that guy is, he is my best buddy. We have been friend since forever! He is the only close friend that I have. It might sound weird but I actually don’t have any girlfriends. I’ve had one or two who stuck around for a few years and then vanished with another cooler group or richer girls. Oh well, I couldn’t care less. Guy friends are more loyal anyway and they don’t just gossip all day long. Blurrggh! Whatever! It’s time to mess with Amar’s head! My favourite time of the day! 

“Hi Amar! What’s up with you? Coming to school looking like a zombie everyday. Do you think you’re gonna get the girls looking like this? Huh?” His expressions on my comments were just priceless that I just started bursting with laughter. 

“Yeahh, yeahh..Laugh all you want Anya! You should know very well why I’m always like this.” Then he just ignores me busying himself with his tie. Of course I know why he is always like that. Amar (his real name is Zamani but he made people call him Amar because he hates the real one) has this huge trouble of waking up in the morning. His mother used to take more than half hour knocking on his bedroom door calling him to wake up but Amar is just like a hibernating polar bear that refuse to wake up and choose to curl up in his blanket instead. There were times when his sweet mother was late to go to work just because Amar could not wake up to go to school. If it was just any normal day, his mother would have just left him sleeping but that day was PMR examination day, so his mother had to wake him up no matter what. The reason why he has trouble waking up is because he stood up until half the night painting or drawing those artsy fancy things that he does which I could never understand. 

Since he is almost done with his tie, I started asking “Are you going to the training this afternoon? It’s really important you know and don’t you dare try to skip it. We got that big tournament coming up and we can’t slack off..” I started babbling when he suddenly stops on his track. 

“What? Why are we stopping?” I looked at him. Puzzled.
“Before we start walking again, can you stop babbling? It’s really early in the morning and I don’t need you to ruin my day before I even get to drink my morning coffee. Okay?” Yes, he is a coffee person. “Can’t you see that I’ve already get this big bag over here? What do you think this is for?” He looked at me with a totally annoyed face that I can’t help but to smile and he smiled back. That’s just how we are. We bicker every single time of the day that sometimes we don’t even realize what we are arguing about. I know it is ridiculous but it is fun. “Ok, ok, I can see your big bag alright. But there is no harm to make sure that you are really going. You are going right?” I asked him again but this time it is just to mess with his head and he saw right through my plan and instead of getting an answer, I get a knock on my head.

“Serve you right for messing with me like that! Now let’s hurry up to class before we get into trouble you silly girl.” With a wide grin that shows lines of perfect white teeth on his face, he nudge my shoulder with his to signal me to keep walking and our banter just continues up until we get into our own classes. Amar’s class is at the back since he is taking Art Stream and my class is located at the other end of the building. 


From where I am standing I can see Amar sitting alone staring into (I follow the direction of his gaze)…nothing. Is he actually dreaming in the middle of practice?? How could he? I mean, it’s not even the perfect time to daydream. The sun is blazing, burning my skin producing red dots all over my face. I get sun burn everyday nowadays. Like I said before, this is not the best time to day dream. It is HOT! Right now, my sweat is prickling down my forehead and down my back sending chills down my spine from all those running and dribbling and passing practice. Oh, I forgot to mention that I am on the school football team for girls! Football has always been my passion since I was little. I guess I got it all from my mother. Yeah, my mom is the one who’s all crazy about football. My father is never the sporty type. He prefers cooking, a talent that I believe I possessed as well. I’m just multi talented. Anyway, where was I? Yes, football. So my mom is the one who is into sports. Back at home, we watch football matches every week in any league, Malaysian League, Barclays Premier League, La Liga, you name it, we watch it.

 This is how I developed my love towards football. Even my brother is on the school football team. The only problem is, the girl’s football team at my school SUCKS! Everyday since I was thirteen, when I first join the club, I dreamed of winning trophies and tournaments. I dreamed of glory but all I got is loser doom. It is their entire fault! Look at my useless teammates! They only join this club because it is compulsory, none of them actually know how to play or even want to play. All they ever do at practice is sit around in one corner and gossip, giggle, gossip again, watch the boys practice, gossip again and the giggle some more. They just drive me CRAZY! It’s not like I’m against any gossiping but you have to know the limit. When they don’t practice, we always lose! It’s even embarrassing to play with them.  I wish I can play with the boys. They always win and if we add a super striker like me to the team then maybe we could win even more! Imagine how I will lift the championship trophies..What a triumph! And then I’ll….Wait! What am I doing? Now I’m the one who’s dreaming at practice! Shoot! I better go to Amar.

“Hey! Are you slacking off again?!” I give him little pull on his messy head. Yuck! It’s sweaty.

“Why you little…Can you not do that? You startled me Anya.” He exclaimed. He looks pissed but I’m not scared. He’s just my Amar. 

“Well, don’t blame me.. I’m just waking you up from your ‘daydream’. What were you think about anyway? Do you have girl problem? Huh? Tell me. Come on, tell me.” I nudge him with my elbow a few times and he rolls his eyes in annoyance. 

“Do you have to mess with me now? Really, do you? You want to smell my armpit? Huh? You want some of this??” he started grabbing my head pulling me towards his armpit and I cry begging him to let me go. His shirt is wet and he really smells! Gross! He’s such a jerk when it comes to getting back at me. 

“Now you know eh? Don’t mess with me or you’ll get some more!” and then he laugh a big laugh when he saw my expressions and as usual when I see him laugh, I’ll laugh too. 

“You’re such a jerk, you know that?” I make a face and he laughs again.

“Yeah, I know. That’s why you can’t leave without me right?”

“Heh! You wish!” Ignoring him, I put my legs forward and does a hamstring stretch. 

“Ha! Ha! Actually I was just thinking of treating you for persuading me to join this club but because you are too ‘kind’ to me, that intention has been cancelled!” I just give him a look because I don’t really believe what he is saying.

“Ahem! I see you got new shoes. It’s pink. Nice!” he lift his right eyebrow a few times. 

“What these?  I don’t know. I found these on my shoe rack this morning with my name on it. I guess mum bought it for me but she didn’t get the chance to tell me. She knew I need a new shoe anyway.” I gave him a weak smile and start getting up to run one last lap.

Even though that is what I told Amar but I don’t actually believe it myself. My mum couldn’t have possibly bought this gorgeous pink Adidas Predator LZ DB and plus it’s a grade A boot not the cheap lower grades boots that I always purchase. It could cost up to RM 700 and mum definitely could not afford a boot at this price! She’s got other bills to pay. It’s kind of weird because I keep getting gifts from out of nowhere lately and it’s always the things that I need. I want to ask Amar if he has anything to do with it but I’m shy so I keep it to myself.

“Hey are you coming with me to the cafe this evening? We promised Adam that we’ll come remember? It’s been a while since we last hangout together.” I don’t now since when but Amar is suddenly running besides me.

“I know, but I can’t Amar. I have to babysit this evening. The nanny has some urgent matter so I have to take care of Kelana and Farissa. Maybe I’ll see him at the carnival. We’re still going to that right? Send my regards to Amar okay? I miss him.” And with those last words, my face goes red. I am flushing. Oh my God! I cannot let Amar see so I run faster so that he’ll trail behind. What is up with me? It’s not like Adam is Jude Law (although he does have Jude’s jaw)!! He’s actually so handsome. Stop! What am I thinking? He’s our friend. (Actually I forgot to mention that I have another best buddy called Adam. Sorry Adam.) He’s been with us since he first moved here with his family. I was the first one who talked to him because if it were up to Amar, he wouldn’t care to make new friends. We were only six and seven at that time. It is ten years later now. We’ve grown and I’ve somehow grown fond of Adam. But he is so mysterious and I don’t know much about him like how I know Amar but it’s his mysteriousness that I find charming and the way he smiles...Hmmm... Aahh! I don’t want to get it all over my head! Shoo! Shoo!
I wake up this morning with my stomach growling, asking for food. So I drag my body out of bed and go straight to the kitchen to look for food. I hope the kitchen is already smoking with fried sausages on the pan and hot scrambled eggs readied on a plate with baked beans on the side. Mmmm..even the idea of it makes my mouth water. I quickened my steps to the kitchen with my hopes getting higher with each step I take. But to my dismay, when I get into the kitchen, no deliciously cooked food is waiting for me. All I see are dishes piled up from last night’s dinner in the sink and the kitchen table is in a mess with bread crumbs and spilled jams. I guess I have to get started with cleaning and cooking this morning. When I am done with all the cleaning, I wipe my hands and go to see if I can get something to cook from the fridge. When I open it, another disappointment strikes me and my stomach. It is totally empty! Totally cleaned off! Now there’s nothing to cook. I know because just now when I went to the food cabinets, it is also empty. So, reluctantly I go to my parents’ room and knocks on the door. 

“Mom, dad... there’s no food in the fridge...Wake up. It’s almost eleven..” there is no reply but I hear sounds from the room so I wait outside the room for them to come out and at last my mom shows up. She looks beaten up. She must have come home very late last night. Mom and dad are working at a restaurant. Mom is the waiter and dad is the cook. 

“Honey, can’t you just cook something? Toast the bread or fry the eggs. Me and your daddy will buy the groceries later ok?” she looks so troubled that I can sense something is off.

“I would just toast a bread mum but there isn’t any left even the eggs. The kids are going to wake up soon and they’ll want something to eat. Can’t you give me some money? I’ll go out and buy something.” 

“Anya...I..We can’t..” she trails off in her words and I figure it out already.

“You don’t have any money again, do you mum? And daddy too?” My eyes are starting to tear up because we just had this same situation a few days ago.

“Look Anya, it’s very hard for us right now.. The restaurant is not doing well so some of our wages have been cut off. Your dad and I are trying very hard to make it for us. I’m even trying to find a new job. We just have to be patient for a little bit.”

“I get it mum.. I understand very well.. And maybe I can help you a little. I can work part time after school. I can give up football to help, you know..We need food in this house and Kelana still needs his formula milk and that is almost finished too...and..”

“Stop it Anya! I don’t want to hear it anymore! We are your parents and we can still provide for you and your siblings! I know you are smart and capable but you don’t need to show that off on our faces! We might not have the best education or the best jobs but we can still provide for all of you..” Her words struck me like thunder. I never meant to be those things that she accused me of. I was only thinking of my brothers and sisters. This is where my sadness turns to rage and then something comes out of my mouth before I can stop it.

“You are sad mom! You’re pathetic! If you can’t provide for us, just admit it! The fridge has been empty for forever and you don’t have to give us any more reasons for that. You are too proud to admit that we are broke. We are broke mom. Broke!”  I said all that right in front of my mom’s face and she looks devastated. I regret it immediately. I cannot believe what has just come out of my mouth...

“I’m sorry mom.. I’m sorry.. I shouldn’t have said that. I shouldn’t have said anything..I’m so sorry.” Tears begin to streak down my face and I can see tears in her eyes too. I am so ashamed of myself that I started backing away from her, from everything. I run out of the house feeling angry. Not to anyone else but to myself and I run to look for myself that I just lost. 


A few days after the ‘incident’ mom and I still has not talk to each other. I avoid her paths whenever necessary and she does not even look or ask for anything. Anything she wants to say to me was conveyed through either my dad or my brother. Maybe she thinks it’s better that way.

I am watching the TV when my phone suddenly rings in my room . I feel so lazy to go and pick it up but thinking that it might be an important call, I get up anyway. Oh, it’s Amar. What does he wants now?

“Hello, Amar what do you want? I’m watching TV right now..” 

“Anya…I need you Anya..please quick! It’s my mom…” the panic in his voice makes me panic as well. 

“Amar are you ok? What happened to your mom? Is she alright??” my hands started trembling as I thought of his mother and my mother. Oh God please don’t let anything happen to them. 

“She pass out at home just now.. She’s been having this headache for weeks but she refused to go to clinic. Now she’s lying here and I don’t know what will happen. Can you please come Anya? I’m really scared…” 

His pleading voice is one that I never heard before and with that I said,
“I’ll come Amar, of course I’ll come. You just wait there alright. I’ll be there..”


When Adam immerged into the Emergency room’s hallway, he looks stricken and worried and he goes straight towards his father who’s apparently a doctor here. Not just any doctor, a specialist! When he finishes talking to his dad, he turns towards us. He gave a pat on Amar’s shoulder and then he said something about leaving Amar’s mother under our care for a while. Does that mean it’s going to be just the two of us? Slowly I look at him and then for a split second our eyes meet before I pull my gaze away. Oh God, my heart is thumping!

“Ahem! Yeah Amar.  Go and win that tournament for your mom.. I promise I’ll never leave her side. Adam’s here too right?” with that he nods and started to leave. He reminds me about a hundred times to give him a call if anything happens before he leaves. I am finally alone with Adam now…Awkward…

“Hmm.. Nice shirt.”  What?? Nice shirt?? Out of ALL the great things that I could say I chose ‘nice shirt’? That is just plain pathetic! Arrggh! But I managed a weak smile in front of him. 

With a half laugh, he says, “ Oh this? Thank you.. actually Amar bought this for me from one of his flea market I guess..” 

“Ohh..” is all I could managed. I nod a few times just to fill the moment and then I said it, “You never told me your dad is a doctor.”

“There’s a lot of things that I didn’t tell you Anya..” he said with the most charming smile I had ever seen.

“I think I know that now.. but I never understand why you’re being so mysterious and secretive. We don’t even know where you live after 10 years together..”

“ There’s a lot of things going on in my mind and in my life that I think you and Amar should not know. I live in two different worlds. You guys are in my happy side of the world and I don’t want to bring anything from the sad side to the both of you..” he said all of that with that smile still on his face and that makes my heart melts like butter.

“ I think I understand.. there are some things that ought not to be shared even with your best friends, right?”  I gave him a reassuring smile that sends a message saying ‘It’s ok..’

After the ‘crisis’ that had happened to Amar’s mother, I made up with my mother immediately. I begged for her forgiveness for everything that I have said and done and she forgave me. Everything has been better in my family since then. Mom and dad even got new jobs that pays better and does not consume as much time. And Aunty has been recovering very well indeed after the operation. The doctors managed to get the tumour out of her brain safely. Thank God it was only a small tumour.

Oh, I found out through Adam’s letter after that day we spent together at the hospital that he is the one who has been giving me all those gifts. He said that he did all that because he couldn’t stand seeing me going through all those troubles alone..and.. he also told me in the letters about how he actually feels about me and I am quite delighted to know that I’m not the only one who felt it.. I wonder what Amar would say if he knows about us.. I bet he’s going to tease us to death as he’s always do!

I might seem all happy and cheerful on the outside but under all these façade, I am just another troubled teenage girl who is dealing with the challenges in her life no matter how big or small it is and if anyone dare to look closely, they’ll see what’s really inside of me. And I think Amar and Adam did look that’s why they understand me the best.

I have to go now because we are meeting at our usual place. (Actually it’s their usual place. I don’t really fancy coffees.) Anyway, this is the last hangout session before Adam goes to the city with his father. He’s actually going to help his father at one of his father’s clinics that needs extra hands. I’ll miss him when he’s gone but thank God I still have Amar for a company. Got to go now! CIAO!


       “ADAM!” I cover my ears as my name is being called. 
       “Adam!” Again, I hear my name being shouted from down stairs. 

It has been called a few times before and it’s getting annoying really. So, at last I give up and go out of my bedroom. 
      “What is it now, dad?” I shout back reluctantly.
       “Come down for a sec” Dad reply. 
He’s really lucky that I’m in a good mood today, to even respond to his call. If not, I’d be locked in my room studying or something. I’m like that sometimes. It’s actually good to be alone once in a while, it helps you to rejuvenate. 
     “Sit down son, let’s have a little chat.” Says dad; trying to take control over the conversation before it even began. 
We have gone through this kind of situation for quite some time now after we have had “the talk” and I’m beginning to see a pattern here. I know what he’s going to say. But I guess I should just play along. 
         “So, have you thought about what I said before?” His face is hopeful but I can see that he’s trying to be careful not to make it too obvious. But I knew better.
           “Yeah dad, I have. But my decisions are still the same.” And with that, his face fell. I can see the disappointment and sadness in him. I do feel bad disappointing him, especially about this matter. But I must make him understand. I really must. It involves my future and I refuse to let people set them for me. 
             “I’m really sorry, dad. I know how much you want me to..” 
Before I could finish, his beeper goes off. He raises his hand as a gesture for me to pause. That’s it! I can’t take this anymore.  I have just about enough of this. Every time we are about to have one of these important talks, his beeper will interrupt and he would have to rush to the hospital for emergency. I know that he is not to be blamed but somehow, we will always end up quarreling.  So much for communication. I ignore his hand gesture and just go straight up to my room. What’s the point in having a professional surgeon who owns a few clinics as a father if he can’t even dissect what’s in his own son’s heart?

                I’m holding on to my cold caramel cappuccino. Smelling the killer aroma; so inviting. I’m just about to have a little taste of heaven in a cup when someone pocked me on the back. Before I could turn around to see who that was, a messy looking boy sits in front of me without even being invited. 
              “Dude! Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for you? Why don’t you just come by next year while you’re at it?” I exclaimed. 

It may sound as if I’m mad at him, but I know that he knows that I’m kidding, even though I did literally waited for him for about half an hour. But, I don’t really mind, I know how he is with his business. 
              “Aawwhh chillax Adam. Don’t be such a fuss, you know I love you.” Amar bats his eyelashes and gives an apologetic look. 

Honestly, I usually am able to ignore that silly face of his but I think that this is the best one yet and I couldn’t do much but to laugh at his expression. He is really good at it though, I wonder why he never considers to becoming an actor. 
               “Hah! You silly old brute!” I give him a quick light punch on his shoulder. 
                “You want to order? ” I ask him, feeling relaxed. 
              “Of course. I can’t be sitting here doing nothing but looking at your face all day can I?” He burst out laughing. 
      “Yeah well, I know I am not much to look at  apart from my  Jude Law’s jaw, Shah Rukh Khan’s eyes and  Robert Pattinson’s hair, I can see why that tortures you. I’m irresistible.”
Now it’s my turn to burst a laugh. He raises his hands as a sign of defeat. He gives up so easily which makes it boring. I always enjoy his rebuttal- it makes things much fun and pretty much brightens up my day.
              “So, How about it? The usual?” I ask him again as he calls the waiter to order his hot café latte. 
It’s funny how we turned out to be coffee people which are one of the things we have in common. Truth to be told, I really miss this little guy. Even though he’s a year younger, I can’t really feel the difference because he seems mature for his age and we can get along really well. The fact that I knew him since I was eight, that doesn’t really matter because there are people that knows other people since they were born or even their own family but still cannot get along. This makes me appreciate him and Anya very much. Anya, our third musketeer, is a very cheerful girl which is also one of our childhood friends. She can’t join us today because she has to babysit her younger brothers and sisters while her parents are out working. 
           “It’s been a while Adam, how are you? And how’s your study? I guess SPM really drains you out huh? I can see that you haven’t been sleeping well.” Amar starts the conversation. 

I always knew that he’s such a good observer. He manages to notice a little minor detail about anything that he can lay his eyes on, which is really cool. 
               I chuckled “Yeah, I’m alright as always. Studying has never been a problem for me- you know that don’t you?  I guess it’s just the nerve.” I answered truthfully, leaving the family stuff out of it. It’s never appropriate to talk about your family problems to anybody, even your best friends. 
                “Good for you, man. Hey, have you checked out my new gallery?” He asks. 

I certainly have. Amar is one of the greatest artistes I know. He always manage to catch my breath with his every drawing- Like I said, he’s very observant and he draws everything that he sees with the little details. I really envy him, to have that kind of talent. He can even survive living in the street. It’s not that he lives there but he might as well be. He’s good with public transport, he knows the ways; the cheapest and delicious place to eat, where and how to get here and there- like I said, it’s like he practically live there. 
              “What kind of question is that? Of course I have, it’s the first thing that pops out when I go online. Anyway, I really like your latest masterpiece- your strokes are getting better. Good job! But maybe it’s time for you to make your work sell in the market. It’s kind of slow selling them online don’t you think?” Amar seems to be considering my suggestion but shrug it off.
                    “Naaah, man. I don’t think it’s ready yet. You have to remember that we live in a society that doesn’t really appreciate art like we do, have to give it some time first. In the mean time, I’m trying to expand my market online, reaching to the right crowds and mingle with the right people. Expanding my connections, you know what I mean?” He explains. 
                 I nod exaggeratingly. “Oh wow, pretty smart for a lazy bum.” I make an impressed face and give him an evil laugh as he punches me on the shoulder in return. 
Amar is smart, intelligent even. But he’s just really lazy. Like sky high lazy. I remember having to tutor him for math and science. He understands and gets them really fast but he’s just too lazy to do the exercises and his homework. Even if the teachers gave him some projects to do at home, he wouldn’t even lift a finger. That’s how lazy he is. But, come to think of it. He’s just lazy doing things that he doesn’t like. But for his paintings, he would travel thousand miles to meet his clients or to buy some supplies. That’s how Amar is.
                    “Shut up Adam. I know I’m not like you. I’m not even as good looking as you. I’m just a no use lazy bum who feeds only on his mothers’ salary” Sulks Amar.
Man, this guy can really act. I just ignore his remarks and continue enjoying my cappuccino. He’ll get around soon. I know he’s not even serious at all; it’s just that I have a thing against self-pity. Even though he’s just joking, I will not encourage that kind of jokes because I believe in “everything you say is a prayer” So better not talk nonsense because it might come true in the future. 
After we have done chatting and making fun of each other, we drop by Al-Ikhsan on the way home to browse for sport shoes. It really took me by surprise knowing that Amar is on the school’s football team. I’m really happy for him because he is finally doing something normal for a change- for a sixteen year old boy that is. What I’m more impressed is how impeccable Anya’s persuasive skills are to have managed to make someone like Amar to get off his butt and run laps around the field. Good job Anya! And I’m pretty sure that Amar will succeed in whatever it is that he does. I can tell that he has potentials. But like I said before, he is one big lazy bum!


                      The house is- as usual- empty as I park my car in the garage. As I step into my house, suddenly it’s like the sunshine had been taken away. Everything seems to be gloomy again. What’s up with this? Seriously, I don’t really understand. This is one of the reasons why I never invite friends over. This door, in front of me is a separation line, a boundary; the line between my world and the world outside. I live in two different worlds where I am two different people but somehow, I am still- Me. In my own home, I feel like a total stranger where I am just here. I just exist, like there is no life. But outside, I am alive. I see people, I meet people, I am the person that I ought to be and my life here, in my own three storey home is just a nightmare. But, right now, at this moment, as I stare out the opened door, I feel like my life outside, in the world where everything is bright and lively, is just a dream.  Sounds dramatic? Well that’s how dramatic my life is. 
       A few seconds have passed and I start to feel like an idiot standing there alone while staring at the opened door. Shheesshh! Pathetic. So I climb up the stairs to my room. Ohh heaven on earth. I jump on my comfy bed. Ohh so fluffy. I close my eyes; trying to enjoy the bounciness of the bed. Suddenly out of nowhere, Anya’s face pop into my head and before I know it, a smile helplessly appears upon my face. A feeling that I couldn’t understand and I doubt that even the ‘Love Guru’ could enlighten me and bring me out of the dark. I don’t know how to define this feeling. This is why I hate being a teenager- All confusion and no confidence. So immature. I am aware of everything that I’m going through but somehow I’m clueless at the same time. So I guess I should accept the fact that the matter of the heart is uncontrollable; the matter of Anya, is unreachable; As simple as macaroni and cheese.  
               “Adam” An unexpected voice calls for me just outside the door. God, I forgot to lock the door.  
               “What the..?” I exclaim quietly.
Dad? That’s weird. I thought he’s at work. He never misses work. But then I notice the paleness of his face and how he looks so haggard and messy; He’s sick. 
               “What is it dad? You’re sick? Do you want to see a doctor?” How ironic. A doctor is going to see a doctor. But he says nothing and just comes into the opened door and sits next to me.
              “Son, why are you so against being a doctor?” He suddenly asks. This is really unexpected. He caught me off guard. 
                    “Oh dad, please, not again” I sigh while trying to sit up.
                 “Yes, again. I really don’t understand. You would be an excellent doctor; it’s in your blood.”
                  “In my blood? Dad, I don’t want to hear how it is my destiny or being a doctor runs in the family. What’s wrong with being a teacher anyway? It’s a noble job and I..” Before I could explain, he raises his voice in protest. 
                    “I don’t want to hear it! A teacher?  There’s nothing wrong with being a teacher but I don’t want you to be a teacher. Can’t you see how good you are? I see how you work at our clinic. Even if it’s only part time, you looked like a real doctor already.” He sighs deeply. 

                  “Can’t you be like Alyas?  He embraced his destiny and now look where that got him; A neurosurgeon at the biggest private hospital in Malaysia”
I’m trying so hard to control this rage that is building inside of me. I steady my breath, stand up and start to pace back and forth slowly. I really hate it when he compares me with my older brother which is a totally different case.
                      “Your brother had bring honor to the family and he’d be disappointed if you..”
That’s it! This is my limit. This is how far I could go with my patience. 
               “Honor?! NO dad! It’s honorable because he earned a lot of money right? It’s honorable to you because people look up to you thinking that you had been a good father and a great mentor to him. But dad, it’s honorable because he’s happy. That’s what he wanted to do. And what? Disappointed? I swear that he’s not gonna be disappointed at all because he understands. He’ll accept it. But you dad.. you…” My voice trails off. 
Shaking my head like I was trying to deny whatever it is that’s in my head. My tears sting my eyes and I run off before he could reply. I cannot let him see any of these tears. I feel that he doesn’t deserve it. As I run, I hear his voice shouting after me. 
               “Don’t you walk away from me, young man! I’m not finish.”
I ignore him and go straight for the car. I need to get out of here. It’s suffocating.


I’m not sure why but suddenly today, I feel like sleeping all day. It’s not because the subject is boring or anything- I just feel like getting out of school and forget about SPM. There’s too much pressure- even for a book worm like me. I stare blankly at the English teacher only to see last weeks’ fight with dad. I have not spoken or even seen him since that big fight. He’s been busy with work and I’m busy with my SPM preparation along with work at the clinic. Does anybody else feel this stressful as I am or is it just me?

               I sigh sharply and look out the window. Then, I sit up in a slight shock with a smile on my face. What a pleasant surprise- There’s Anya. On the field. I didn’t expect her to be on the field early today. How lucky can I be to get a class- a seat for that matter right next to the school field? I get to see Anya and Amar running around chasing balls all evening. This is the only way for me to see them since I have no time to actually hang out. Oh how I miss them. Oh! There! I just realized something. Anya’s wearing that pink shoe that I bought for her from Al-Ikhsan. So cute. Amar told me at the café back then about Anya’s feet and about her old sport shoes. So, I did what I always do..

                 Alright, today is the day. I must go and see dad. It’s very important. Amar needs me. It’s about his mother and he really needs my help so I can’t make this as an excuse to not help him. That would be stupid. He only has his mother so…suddenly I feel sad as mum’s face enters my mind..STOP! I took a deep breath, pull myself together and make my way into the hospital. 
                 There’s dad! I run to him. He’s holding a clipboard- must be his patient’s particulars. He seems quite surprise to see me- No doubt.
             “Dad, you got a minute? I need to talk to you. It’s important.” My voice is shaky. 
             “I’m busy.” I can see that he’s still mad.
             “Dad please, it’s Amar’s mum, we think that she might be sick but we don’t know for sure. There are symptoms but we…” Like always, he would cut in.
             “Son, why don’t you go ask the teachers, they might have all of the answers for you” He says that with ease. Dad sure is the king of sarcasm. He’s beginning to turn away.
             “Dad! PLEASE! Just. Listen. To me.” I almost shout the words out. I stand there on the hallway staring at him with all tears in my eyes. 
I’m just so exhausted. I can’t keep on living like this. He’s my father and I am his son. He’s the only parent that I have left. I refuse to have this kind of relationship with him. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. He stares at me for quite a while and people are starting to take interest in our little scene. He sighs and pulls me out into the hospital garden just a few steps away from where we stood just now. It’s quite far from the crowd and also the patients so it should be okay. 
             “Okay then, let’s hear it” he says slowly with his hands on his waist. I take a deep breath before I begin.
              “I’m sorry dad, if me wanting to be a teacher offends you so. But you inspired me to be one, dad. You taught me a lot and I feel that even a great doctor like you used to have a good teacher to inspire and teach you to become as great as you are now. Well, dad, I want to be like that- to teach people things that you have taught me and change their lives.” My voice shakes as tears fall down my face. 
I can see the tears in his eyes as well. He breathes in deeply; like he’s breathing in every single word that I said and let out a long sigh; like he had finally understood. It looks like he’s trying to find the right words to say. While he’s taking his time, I feel like waiting for a test result or something. Hoping I didn’t fail. 
                 His face becomes calm and says coolly, “So, what are the symptoms?”
 I almost scream from this joy and relief that’s bursting inside me. I step forward and hug him tightly. I feel like I’m a little boy again. I feel like I have been set free and like flying and soaring in the clouds. It’s liberating.


                Dad said there’s a possibility for a tumor or a cancer. It was not for sure because Aunty had to go in for a checkup first. It’s best if she goes in earlier. But I guess now it’s too late. Amar just called me saying that Aunty had passed out and was sent to the emergency room. Turns out she has a brain tumor. I’m racing towards the emergency room and see Amar and Anya on the hall way. Then I see dad walking out of the room. I run to him to ask about Aunty.

                Then I realize something, today is the big day. Today’s amar’s big football tournament. Oh God, how hard it must be on him. I approach him and give him a pat as an encouragement.
             “It’s okay Amar, Anya and I will take good care of her. My dad said that her condition is stable now. Go and win that tournament. I’m sure that’s what she wanted you to do. Don’t you think?” I say with a soft smile.

             Hopefully he’ll feel better knowing that we got his back and that everything is going to be just fine. At the same time, I feel goosebumps just by standing next to Anya and knowing that we’ll be alone when Amar’s gone. I gulp. My heart is beating so fast and so hard against my ribs that I began to worry that she might hear them. Then on that split second, our eyes met. DDDUUMMMM!!!! DDDDUUMMMM!!!! I feel like the lighting had struck me- Can she actually hear them? I swallow a big lump of saliva nervously. This is going to be a long night.

                It has been an interesting year this year. SPM went on well and I’m glad that’s over with. I feel like a huge load had been lifted off of my shoulders. Dad and I are doing better. It’s great to have broken down that big thick wall between us. Now, it’s like nothing had gone wrong before, just like when I was young. Just like when mum was around. I guess we both had learned our lesson. Next week, I’m going to the city with dad to help him around at one of our clinics. They are short of hands so I’m just going to lend some. Dad even said that this is a good opportunity for me to gain new experiences to share with my students in the future. I’m glad that he’s giving me his full support in my ambition now. 
              Aunty is recovering well. It’s fortunate that it was a minor tumor so it’s still could be treated. I’m happy for Amar because of his loss in the tournament. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sorry for him and all. I’m just happy that he has found his remedy other than paintings. Anya and I on the other hand… ahem… well, let’s say that something great had happened. Like a miracle or something. Somehow that night- at the hospital, I’ve decided to write her a letter; something that I would have never imagined doing, telling her about how I feel and also come clean about how I was the one who had been secretly giving her things when she needs them. I was afraid to tell her that, not knowing how she would react, but like I said, miracle. We’re not actually together, but things had definitely changed for the better.
          Now we’re all meeting at the café before I leave next week. It has been a long time since we’ve gathered together. It feels really good and I can’t wait to have a taste of my iced caramel cappuccino. CIAO! 


 Touch; Amar Zamani

Sorry mom, I have to go
I’ll be back soon
I’ll be okay
I love you.

To be free is like flying and soaring up on the sky, touching the cloud and feel the wind kissing you gently. It is simply intoxicating you will never trade it for something else.
 To be free also means to be lost.
You don’t know where to stop, when to rest, who you belong to.
At least that’s how I feel.

I was born with parents, but I was raised by a parent; mom.
She is my joy and sorrow; my everything.
Dad?  He’s a guy who craved freedom. He got it. And I hope he is free to his doom.
Friends? I don’t have any but two; Adam and Anya.
Anya is my strength; she sees within me things that I never saw, she kicks me at the back when I feel like giving up and she stands beside me when I feel estranged.
Adam is my conscience, he guides me when I’m lost, he saves me when I drown and he pats me on the back when I succeed.
They really deserve the title. They are no hypocrites as the rest of them are.

I am only 16 years old, and I know I’m living the dream of so many people. Since I was little, I was given the freedom to choose what I want, to be who I am, to do what I like, all thanks to mom. With mom, it is always like this;
           “Mom, I don’t like my name. It sounds old fashioned. Can my friends call me something else?”
                   ‘They could call you….Amar! That’s nice isn’t it?’ she said.
                  “Mom, I really like the paintings!”
                  ‘We could go to the Art Gallery again next Sunday darling’ she said.
                  “Mom, I can draw the painting we saw!”
                   ‘Let me buy you an easel darling’ she said.
                   “Mom, I think art is my ‘thing’”
                    ‘You could join art classes if you want darling’, she said.
                   “Mom, I sell some of my paintings online.”
                    ‘Good for you darling’ she said.
                   “Mom, I’ll be out a little bit. I’m delivering some paintings to my customer.”
                    ‘Okay, be careful darling’ she said.
                   “Mom, I’ll be late tonight. Please have your dinner first”
                    ‘It’s okay. I’ll wait for you darling’ she said.
You see. Total freedom. But, deep inside, there is a question that keeps on bugging me.
Am I doing what I want? Am I being myself? Am I choosing the right thing?
I guess these are some of the unwanted parts of the freedom package. Uncertainty.

            I never like sport nor do sport or even watch sport. I am too lazy to even think about the benefit of sport. But, somehow, Anya had managed to persuade me into joining sport. Football, to be exact. You see, I always see myself as someone who preferred to be indoor rather than outdoor. I’m not lazy, but the idea of getting all sweaty and stink does not tempt me at all. I rather draw a drain hole than taking shower thrice a day. Too much time wasted on showering activity.
          However it is, here I am. Standing in line for the school football team final selection’s try out. I swear, I never intended to go this far. I’m pretty sure I would never nail this round. The previous selection’s round must had been full of real losers I suppose. Or else, I won’t be standing here.
Oh, the coach is calling me. It’s my turn now. Here I go!

               “Zamani!” Do I hear that right? Is that my name he’s calling? God. I’m an official member of the school’s football team! What did I do wrong?


          A good dose of caffeine has the magic to lift you up from the ground of all sorrows. Although Adam said that only his Caramel Cappuccino could give that kind of effect, I knew better. Nothing could beat the sensation of a hot and smoky cup of Café Latte. It could help you grow a pair of wings on your back and make you fly, even.
           This is the spot that we used to hang out; Adam, Anya and I. Anya is not really a coffee person but she joins us here anyway. We talked about our life, jokes around and just having a good time. Most of the time, Anya would not join us as she had to take care of her little siblings. But, I meet her every day at school.  Adam is taking SPM this year, so we rarely bump into each other at school. I believe he needs to be busy with studying like other SPM candidates do. Thus, it has been quite some time since we could hang out like this.
Where’s that fella? Oh. There he is. 
                    “Dude! Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for you? Why don’t you just come by next year while you’re at it?” 
Such sissy. It is not like a thousand years had passed or something, it is just an hour and a half. Anyway, I better put my sorry-I-am-late-I-would-never-do-it-again face. That will cheer him up a bit.
See? With Adam, it works every time! Haha. I feel kind of guilty though, to make this kind-hearted creature to wait for me. But, it is not my fault that cute cat suddenly rested on my window sill. She is so cute I couldn’t resist sketching her.
Anyway, as I sipped my coffee, I naturally tell Adam about what Anya and I had been up to. The football selection, the coach’s moustache that keep on dancing when he speaks, Anya’s usual trouble with the girls’ football team and some other stuff. I also did mention something about Anya complaining that her feet hurt recently. It must be due to her haggard shoes, I told Adam.

The thing with Adam is, he always has this mysterious aura lingering all around him. It took me quite some time to figure out what kind of person this guy is. He’s very discreet even though he’s filthy rich (he doesn’t know I knew) and he is so thoughtful he never fails in helping his friend who is in need. I hope he could open up to us a little but he must have his own reason for not doing so. Hence, I better not make an issue out of it.
Even now as I am speaking to him about Anya, he got that thoughtful look on his face. Okay, now he wants to go to Al-Ikhsan after this. I could kinda guess what is in his mind somehow..


            The football practice went superbly well. I never knew this but somehow I do like football! Football also has its very own ‘art’ of playing. Who knows I could actually relate my passion for art and use it for some other different things? 
             Oh yeah, two weeks from now my team will be joining the most prestigious football tournament of all. Every top teams from high schools all over the nation will be there and the grand prize of this tournament are 7 full sport’s scholarship for the best team. I don’t really need the scholarship but most of my fellow teams really need it to further their studies at the tertiary level. So, this championship is very important to be won. Thanks Anya, if you had never forced me into this, I’ll never realise my own hidden ability. Hmm. Better treat her later. 
            Speak of the devil! There she is, busy doing the warm ups before the football practice. 
I had known Anya since, hmm.. I couldn’t remember! I feel like I had befriended her since forever. Look at her, once a boyish girl who likes to tease me around, messing with my head (literally), and always picking a fight (not that she loses the habit now) had somehow in the blink of an eye turn rather.. How should I put it? Womanly? Haha. I feel like vomiting hearing my own thoughts. 
           Nevertheless, yeah, I admit she had turned prettier as we grow up. Look at her hair, for example, no more bob-style and messy. It was quite nice to see her long, wavy hair tied in a ponytail.  Well, at least guys see her as a girl despite of all her boyish interests (or obsession, I might say) in football and sports. 
          You see, Anya is not like the other regular girls. She hardly shows any girly weaknesses or over-sensitivity. She’s one cool girl, in simpler term. But, being the eldest child in a family that suffer financial aid like drinking water, it must be hard for her to have some time for herself. She had supressed everything inside I wonder how long would it takes until she break. 
She never did.
       That’s why I stayed besides her all this while, I suppose. All I could offer her is my support if she needs me.
Ooof! When did she approach me? Sheesh. She messed up my hair again. Just you wait, Anya!

            Mom is quite quiet these past few weeks. Or is it just me? I am frequently out due to football practice, art classes and some other stuffs, I hardly talk or eat together with mom. When I asked, she did say she’s okay and that she is having minor headache from work. I did offer doing some massage or anything but she refuses and asked me to go do what I want to.
Somehow, I feel like I’m a balloon that is floating freely towards the sky when all I hope was being touched and hold by a hand so that I feel needed and happy. 
Perhaps I could ask Adam about this. His father is a doctor. He must know something about mom’s problem.


          I KNOW something is not right with her. Even Adam mentioned about the possibilities of various diseases. Not to forget how Adam actually lectured me for not taking good care of my own mother. Well, I did try didn’t I?
       But, couldn’t she just straight tell me what’s wrong and not trying to pretend as if everything is okay when it’s not? This is one of the things that don’t make sense to me at all. Why should people pretend and hide the truth from someone they care for with lame excuses like ‘I won’t tell them in order not to hurt them’? It is all rubbish! Sooner or later, the truth will be out and that person will know and he or she will be hurt no matter what. So, why delay it? 
Somehow, inwardly, I snapped.

             What I do next is the stupidest thing I could ever do in my entire life. I rebel. I refuse to talk to mom and I even avoid her whenever I’m home. If she could pretend that she’s okay and better off without my help, then I could also pretend the same thing.
Moreover, my huge football tournament is tomorrow. Better focus on that.


          The last time I met her was this morning. When she tried to talk to me about something and I refused to listen as I quickly went out to school. She’s tough and independent (like how she pretended to be). If she has any problem of course she could figure out the solution later. 
At least, that’s what I thought. 
            Now, here she is, lying helplessly in the emergency room. Surrounded by all the doctors and nurses. So much for being an Iron lady. So much for pretending to be one.
‘Crack, crack, crack’
               The cracking sound is so intense. I think it’s the sound of my ego. It’s crumbling to the floor with, what’s this? Tears? I never streaked even a single tear before! Not even when the rest of the kids in the kindergarten isolated me because I had this thing called autism. Not even when they called me a ‘retard’. Not even when dad left. Not even when I got to know he left because he wanted to be free of all the burdens my ‘specialty’ gave him. Not even when I saw mom heartbreakingly plead him not to go. Not even when I heard her cried in her sleep. 
           This is new. I could even hear my inner conscience swearing to me for being ridiculously stupid to even consider neglecting my mom; my everything. Now, she might leave me forever! Mom, I’m so sorry. Please wake up and say that you forgive this lazy, ungrateful and stupid son of yours! Please mom… don’t leave me too..
The tears keep on flowing down my cheek and I don’t know how to make it stop.

                    I feel two hands patting me, comforting me. Of course I recognized these hands in a heartbeat.  
                        “Amar, let me take care of her. Go, now. I know you have to” Anya small hand patting my shoulder gently.
Oh yeah, my tournament. My huge football tournament.
                      “It’s okay Amar, Anya and I will take good care of her. My dad said that her condition is stable now. Go and win that tournament. I’m sure that’s what she wanted you to do. Don’t you think?” Adam large hand pats me on the back firmly.
Obviously. If mom is fully awake, she must have scream and chased me out to go join the tournament. She always wanted me to do what’s best for me.
                      “Take good care of her will you. And when she’s awake, give this to her” I passed Adam a little note that I scratched hurriedly before I go.
You see, I do live in the life dreamt by many. I have these guys who are always there through thick and thin. They are my friends for eternity. And I have mom. You see, I have been wrong all along. 
               Mom did not pretend to be strong, she is strong. She braced herself and gives me the freedom to do what I want and go where I want. Of course she had been worried stiff if I was home late or even if I got into trouble while travelling alone. But, she swallowed all the pain and the worries in order to let me taste the freedom and learn about the world in my own pace. She never forces me into anything and she let me decide what I should do because she trusted me. She trusted me of being capable to make a wise decision for myself. I, on the other hand, am the one who failed to trust myself. 
               All this while, I craved to be touched, to be hold, so that I won’t get lost floating within the freedom cosmos. Now, I finally realised, I am being hold dear by everyone dear to me. They do it without I even realising it. All this while, I am being fully embraced by their love. How could I be so blind and ignorant?


                  At the age of 16, I learned to understand myself better and I learned to appreciate people around me as I never had before. This is a memorable year if you ask me. So many things happen I do not know where to begin.
                Yes. My mom is recovering just fine. It is a benign tumour on her brain, that’s all and it had been removed safely. No harms done. She is back to her chirpy self as always. I even promised her not to be home late ever again and take care of her better in the future. She rolled her eyes when I said it but she still hugged me tightly after that.
               No. We lost the tournament. But, one of my team-mate who is the best player among us had been selected the best player and received the sport’s scholarship. We did not do too badly I would say. Well, we did manage to go until the semi-final round, you know.
Yes. My online painting shop is open for business. I do want to get rid of most of these paintings I accumulated for the past few days. Too many cute cats and kittens had been resting on my window sill. 
                 Yes. Adam and Anya are pretty much alive. Something is definitely up with the two of them, I could feel it! Hmm.. Something must have happened at the hospital when I was gone, I suppose. Well, whatever. It is better if Anya is with Adam than she is with some unknown losers. At least, I KNOW this loser very well. Haha.
Oh! There they are. 

                  We are hanging out for the last time (at our usual port; the café) because Adam is going to help his dad and living somewhere in the city for a few months. It will be a while until we could actually hang out together again, I think.
So, got to go now. Ciao!
(Oh, the new waitress is very pretty indeed. I wonder if she’s single.)




Look: Dini fareha
Listen: Liyana Johari
Touch: Maryam Zamberi

This is our creative project for semester 3: Literature for Children and Young Adults. We got ourselves into the young adult's literature and this what we had came up with. 

The Journal