Friday, April 13, 2012

The evening sun shone brightly with its fierce orange ray beaming on the land of the metropolitan, creating arts of shadows as it stroke all the skyscrapers out and wide. The traffic was rather congested, which was entirely expected, since by the time the trio of us got on the road, the time was already sometime past 6 o'clock. Tiara was behind the wheel with Bob sitting next to her, while I comfortably sat at the back seat, surrounded with files, stuffed animals and an outstanding array of female's shoes.

Typical female's car.

The atmosphere in the car, other than momentarily-cheered up by the sounds from the stereo, was rather static. No one was talking nor making any sound except for Tiara who was cheerfully singing along with the songs in the radio. The air-conditioning unit blasted us all but Tiara frozen in our seats. She seemed not to notice that her car was literally a mobile freezer - could be the reason why Bob and I were quiet because our lips were stuck together from the cold temperature. Come to think of it, I didn't hear anything coming out from Bob's mouth since so long. Oh my God, I said to myself, is he still alive?

"End station, right?"

Tiara broke the silence between us three by popping up that question. I nodded a few times to confirm our final destination, in which she looked at me from beyond her sunglasses through the rear view mirror. The second middle ring road was packed with cars of homecoming workers. By my estimation, we were around ten more minutes to the LRT station, although the walking distance to the station could take less than five minutes, thanks to the traffic jam. As Tiara worked her way through, my mind winded up all the previous conversations that the three of us had right before we left my house previously - the conversation that led to the construction and layout of the overall 'plan'.

* * *

"So what's the plan?"

Tiara took the first corner and out to the main road from my home street. The tire screeched a little, and I was moved from where I was sitting; I was sitting behind Bob at first but moved to the seat behind Tiara after she took the corner at God knew what speed it was. Bob was holding to the the seat belt and tried hard not to get relocated as well. Tiara remained calm on her seat as if nothing happened while Bob and I were gaining back our courage from the shock caused by Tiara's extreme driving. I could say that Bob shrunk a bit as well as to add to the after-effect of the entire experience.

"What plan?" Tiara asked.

"The hunting plan you said just now," I replied.

"Oh that one," she said. "Simple, we'll go and check her out at the LRT station."

"Wait, wait," I fixed my seating. "We what?"

Tiara turned around and looked at me before turning back to the windscreen. 

"We go there, and we'll find out where she goes after work."

I leaned back on the seat of the posh sedan car and spread my arms wide to each side while in my mind I began to wonder about the plan. Seriously? I had doubts in mind. At that point, I wasn't sure if the plan was what I really wanted. Even worse, I wasn't even sure if I was ready to see what we were about to see during the hunt. What if what I was about to see will hurt me the most? What if Min's sayang's gonna be there? What if, what if, what if. Too many 'what if'. 

"You ready, Eddy?"

We finally stopped at a traffic light that will later lead us into the middle ring road. Tiara and Bob turned their heads to look at me who was at the time still indecisive about the whole idea. I twiddled my fingers together and I looked at them both one after another. My head worked fast to make a decision. The traffic from the opposing direction had seizing from moving, for the traffic lights on their side had turned yellow, and next was us to move. Two choices: proceed forward, or make a U-turn now. It's my call. My eyes stared at the green light on our side. Anytime now, I said to myself. The traffic from the other side stopped moving. The motorbikes in front of us were ramming their engines. Tiara and Bob were waiting for my answer. And the light turned green.

"Go," I said. "We'll hunt her down!"

* * *

Tiara stopped the car next to another car that was parked by the road. The LRT station was full in view. The exit was directly in front of us. People was moving in and out the station in a large number. Bob and I were staring straight at the exit to identify our victim of the day. Tiara on the other hand was cleaning her sunglasses. 

"So," she said while still cleaning the lens, "found your girl yet?"

"Nope," I said while looking at my watch. "But anytime now."

"How does she look like anyway?" 

"Well," I said, "she's..."

"She's beautiful," Bob cut me off before I was even able to answer Tiara's question.

I turned around and stared at Bob in horror. Bob realized this and returned my horror look with another horror look. 

"Come again, sayang?" Tiara asked Bob. Her tone was very soft. And when Tiara went soft with her intonation, it meant that the world was about to go rocky. I changed my view back to the entrance of the station to avoid to see just how close to death Bob will be. Well, served him right anyway. Rule No. 7: Never make the mistake of complimenting other women when your lady is around. I didn't hear any reply from Bob but a series of very, very, very painful screams from him. The hair behind my back stood up straight. So very scary, it was. I tried to focus to the people going in and out of the station instead. And then I saw her.

"Hey," I said to the couple in conflict, "hey hey stop it. She's here."

Tiara turned around to the right side of the car close to the window and fixed her hair. 


I pointed a finger to the identified target and inhaled deeply. "There."

There she was. Her hair was tied into a ponytail style as usual. She wore a plain white collared t-shirt and a black pair of jeans. On her shoulder was a cocoa-colored sling bag. She looked tired and after a closer look, I realized that she wasn't wearing any makeup. She didn't look happy too. She looked like she didn't sleep for the whole last night, if not crying for the whole day. Those lips didn't even spark any smile, but still she glowed in the setting sun.

"Wow," Tiara said. "She is beautiful. Good job, Eddy."

Good job my ass.

The three of us were looking at Min until some point that we started to realize that she was walking towards us. She wasn't looking at the car where we were but looking down at the tarmac road and to her left and right before crossing the road, just a few meters more to us. Her hand dug into her tight jeans, looking for something. The reflected sunlight from the station shone behind her, making her looked as if she's walking from some sort of a heavily-lit stage and towards the audience - so vogue, so in style. I stared at her and admired her beauty, and so did the other two of us. Even Tiara was left speechless. 

"Hey everyone," Bob suddenly said, breaking the silence of awe, "why is she walking right at us?"

I leaned back a little and away from the window to hide myself a bit. Tiara stayed but she put on her sunglasses as a disguise while Bob hid behind her, as if it was going to work anyway, for what appeared in my mind was a picture of a walrus trying to hide behind a little penguin. My attention went back to Min who was getting closer. And closer. And even more closer. And...

And she walked behind Tiara's car and to the other side. Before I was even able to wipe off those tiny sweats of suspense on my forehead, the alarm beeps of the car next to Tiara's turned on, signifying that its security system was disengaged by none other than Min herself. 

Knock knock on the window.

I didn't turn around, and so did Bob. Luckily enough, Tiara's car was well tinted, and Min couldn't really see who were inside the car. But then again, why was she knocking on our window? Did she realize that we were in here?

Knock knock. 

Tiara lowered the window next to Bob and Min's head popped near the window.

"Your car is blocking my car. Can you..." she stopped there. From behind the tinted window on my side, I could see her eyebrows went crooked as if she was making a closer look to identify the fat man who sat in front of me. 

"Is that you, Bob?" Min asked. I froze in my seat. Before Bob could even answer, Min took another look at the person who sat at the back, who was, of course, me. I tried to push myself closer to the door so that she couldn't peek in but I guess it was all way too late. 



...To Be Continued.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


I threw another pebble into the drain. The water came splashing upward as it hit the rushing stream and sunk to the bottom. In my hands were a few more pebbles ready to be thrown into the drain with specific trajectory patterns. For the whole evening, I was paying more attention at building a small dam in the drain rather than paying attention to Bob and Tiara.

"Eh hello," Bob continued in his almost-a-hermaphrodite gesture. "What am I, a statue here?"

I turned to Bob, who was then sitting on a wooden bench that my father built next to the backyard's fence, with an empty look before turning back to my small-scale dam project. Tiara was still sitting next to him with a glass of chilled homemade orange juice in her hand, looking at us both, from one to another, repeatedly, trying to figure out just what the hell was going on. From the corner of my eyes, I could see her patting Bob's shoulder a few times and asked him for an explanation. I could feel my right ear enlarging slightly in order to listen to what they were talking about. 

"She cheated on him," Bob told Tiara.

I felt like a long, rusty iron chain was inserted from my right ear and pulled it from another ear with such unmerciful force, causing a maximum achievable damage to my whole auditory system, if not my whole brain. 

"Oh for God's sake," I grunted. "Don't say that, man."

I threw the rest of the pebbles at the same spot where I was throwing them previously, but instead of the pebbles form a damn, they all collapsed and the gushing stream in the drain was reduced back to its normal flow. I looked at the failed construction in frustration. Great, I said to myself, as if I wasn't already frustrated by then.

I turned to Bob and Tiara and sat at the end of the wooden bench. Tiara moved closer to Bob who was sitting at the other end of it, as if she was afraid of me. I took an untouched glass of orange juice that my dear mother made for the three of us earlier from the tray on top of a short table and sipped it fiercely, as fierce as my feelings were. Deep inside, I was very much burning at extreme temperatures. Not even the coldest of ice could rectify my burning heart, let alone that pathetic glass of mildly-cold juice. Realizing my reactions, none of the two companies I had that evening dared to say anything. 

Looking at the very awkward situation, Tiara finally took an effort to redirect the whole course of where the whole evening was going. She tied her wavy, long hair up with a hairband and she tidied up the remaining short strands of hair by placing them behind her ears. Some of them fell free nevertheless. She bit her bee-stung lips for a while before slowly moving close to me. She placed a hand on my back and slowly rubbing it up and down as if she was trying to calm me down from some rage that even she herself didn't really understand why or how it happened. But what she did did calm me down a bit. Instantly I was reminded of that one person who had been wondering in my mind for so long -- that lady who caught me by heart, captured me by mind, and imprisoned me by this unknown, confusing feelings in my chest. 

The lady who was the cause for all my miseries.

Tempered with sorrows, I slowly degraded into a man I never was - frightened. I was frightened from what had happened, and even worse, I was frightened with what will happen in the future. Everything seemed to be incorrect and not in place. The puzzle I thought I have solved suddenly became a very unfamiliar territory with nonsensical puzzle pieces scattered everywhere. I didn't even know where to begin. I didn't even know if it will ever end. Funny, just when I thought things were never going to be anymore difficult than before, they suddenly did. 

I turned to my right to look at Tiara. 

I've known Tiara for almost my whole life. I knew her first, actually, before I knew Bob. In fact I knew Bob through her. As a child, I was always the kid who went around with my bicycle, and Tiara used to follow me with her slightly smaller bicycle. We used to roam the nearby mosque that had a small playground next to it. Sometimes we hung around this one stall near the park within the neighborhood with homemade tube popsicle and wasted the whole evening munching on that brain-freezing but tasty delicacy. It wasn't until one day when a fat kid came and took Tiara's posicle even before she could tear the plastic wrapping open, and I wasted the fatso so much that he cried so badly home. But even before I had the chance to celebrate my knightly victory, he came back with his mother, in which my mother later got involved, and then Tiara's mother too, and the whole situation went from a small-scale kiddish quarrel into a whole domestic emergency. And as a result, I got the most whacking from my mother. 

Needless to say, the fatso was Bob -- still was a fatso after so many years after. How he and Tiara ended up together was still an unsolved mystery.

"Tell me," she said. 

Tiara looked into my eyes with concerns. Her eyes shone with care. She put her hand on my shoulder and massage it slowly. Her lips moved as if she was preparing to say something again, in which she did.

"Tell me what happened."

* * *

"What happened?"

I pulled the zip of the tote bag to close it shut and buttoned its top together. I brushed some dusts off the bag's surface and placed it standing on my lap. I stared for a while at the cream-colored bag before turning to her. 

"Oh nothing," I said. "You fell asleep."

"Oh my," she said while rearranging the way she sat and fixed her hair. "Where are we?"

"Almost reaching the end station."

"What?" her eyes grew large. "You missed your station?" 

I just looked at her, maintaining my calmness, although in my heart there was a raging storm messing everything up. I smirked a little -- the closest thing I could make to a sincere smile, in which I swore, it wasn't sincere at all.

"Nah," I replied gently. "I just wanted to spend more time with you."

Min didn't reply, but from the changing reactions on her face, I was entirely convinced that my words touched her heart greatly. Her lips trembled for a bit, and her cheeks reddened in the most conforming way. She lowered her head and looked at the grey floor of the carriage. Awkward situation. It was good that by the time I said that, the LRT was already at the last curve before it entered the end station platform. Once in, it stopped and all the doors to the platform opened in a synchronized motion. 

Min stood up and started to undo my jacket that she was wearing but I stopped her halfway. So this was where she normally left the LRT. 

"Don't," I told her. "You might need it."

"But you'd be cold on the way back."

"I'll be alright." I just don't want to smell you tonight. Oh, not tonight.

She undid it anyway and folded it up before giving it to me. I took it without saying anything. Her citrus perfume stroke my nose like a thousand arrows did on a small, unsuspecting straw board. By the time I stood up, she was already on her way out of the carriage. I pursued her but she turned around and blocked my way, and the door alarms rang off, signalling that the doors will be closed shut and the train will make a move anytime soon. She arranged her hands as if she was stopping me from moving any further. 

"You have to stay," she said jokingly.

All I did was smiling. I had no words anymore, not because I was stunned with her jovial behavior, but because I chose not to say anything that might cause anything that both of us didn't want, especially when that thing will cause the night to end badly. My heart rebelled in every possible way. I stared at her beautiful face as the doors slowly closed. She raised a hand and in the most adorable way she waved at me and her mouth moved like she was saying bye but the word was not pronounced. At that moment I just couldn't hold back anymore, so I blurted the question that changed the entire course of the night, right before the door in between me and her closed shut.

"Who's Sayang?"

Min's face changed abruptly and the door panels bumped together, dividing the world that we shared into two separate parts. I saw Min was saying something but I didn't hear anything from inside the carriage. Or maybe I chose not to listen. I just looked at her with smiles on my lips as she was panicking in her part of the world. Slowly, the LRT made its move away from the station, and all I saw was Min standing on the platform with her hands held close to her mouth. Her face looked worried -- really worried. I stood at the door and stared at her through the window as the distance between us grew until she disappeared completely from my eyesight.

And the LRT rode into the dark night, as dark as the room in my heart was. 

* * *

"She didn't text you anything?"

I just shook my head, giving Tiara a quick 'no'. 

"Not even anything?"

"No, Tee." Tee was Tiara's nickname. "She didn't text, didn't call, nothing."

"Well did you contact her?"

"Why would I? I'm the victim here."

Bob let out a small cough. I bent forward a bit to look at Bob who was hiding behind Tiara. Bob you bastard.

"She works today?"

"I think so," I said. "Why?"

Tiara turned to Bob and asked him for the car key. She then stood up and brushed her pants off from dusts. 

"So," she said to me. "What are you waiting for?"

"What?" I asked. 

"Come on, boys," she replied while juggling the keys in her hand and rose her eyebrows continuously at the both of us. "Let's go."

She smiled at me before pulling Bob by the collar, in which Bob followed without hesitation. How very impressive, that a man as big as Bob had to succumb to the powerful but petite-in-size lady. She then turned to me, who was then still sitting, my mind clouded with confusing confusions. She pulled my hand but I refused to follow, for I was no Bob, and I won't go anywhere until I know just what the heck she was up to.

"Wait, wait a minute," I said. "Where are we going?"

Tiara stared at me for a few while.

"Oh you know."

"Know what?" I replied with a pressing (and a bit of panicking) tone. "Seriously, where are we going?" 

Tiara juggled the keys again in her hands and she let out a cunning smile.

"Hunting." be continued

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Dear #Min readers,

For some reasons, I might stop writing about Min.

I hope you all enjoyed the story so far. I don't even know if anyone actually read it though. Hardly anybody left a comment anyway. But anyway I enjoyed writing them all, and every second of it was worth it.

Sorry. If only I am strong enough.

Am I?

[Editor's Note: Of course I am! Sorry, but it was April the first! :D Quite a practical joke there! Be cool, people, for E10 is on it's way!]

In my life, there were things in the past that really meant a lot to me.

Among these very few things, I have spared a lot of time in enjoying every moment of them. These were the things that didn't occur daily. These were the things that happened for a reason, and the reason I believed why they happened was that they were meant to be remembered. As far as the story went up until this point, I recalled only two things that were still really fresh in my mind when I was writing this piece of story. Both of them were comparatively similar to each other when it came to their level of hilarity. 

One of these two things was Bob's face when I told him that he needed to go back on his own because I chose to accompany Min home by taking the LRT with her. I had to let it out to him not because I was being selfish (well actually I kind of was) but because I wanted him to make it up with Tiara who was at the time on her way to KLCC to have dinner by herself, or at least that was what I was told by Bob when the three of us were walking from the coffee house previously. It was about time for Bob to meet Tiara and sort things out between themselves, and it was about time for me to accompany Min, altogether making both Bob and me to have a partner to spend the rest of the evening together. Bob's face, as far as I could remember, was so horrified that I thought half of his soul had traveled out from his body. When Min and I said goodbye to him before we entered the platform area, he stood still among other busily moving commuters with his jaw dropped -- he was by all means showing the solid evidence of experiencing a large amount of shocks. My guess was that he wasn't shocked because I left him alone, despite him being my only teddy bear according to Min, but he was shocked because he got to know that he needed to face Tiara that evening; which in fact he did after all. Tiara appeared right in front of us after we entered the platform area, and I managed to introduce Min to her and both of them shook hands before she bid us both a pleasant evening and headed for Bob who, this I was very sure about, by the look of it had lost almost his entire soul by then when he saw what he saw that very evening.

The second hilarious thing that I mostly remembered other than Bob's face was my own face.

Imagine this: there you were, walking with someone you dearly hold tight to yourself in your heart, next to next, just the two of you, after she confessed to you that you were, for whatever reasons, her teddy bear. By all possibilities I thought that she would to hug me or something, but to my own disappointment it never happened. Perhaps I was just the sort of teddy bear that she would hang on her wall for the sake of showing it to visitors and not the type that had the chance to accompany her during her most terrible, if not most wonderful, nights. Nevertheless I was very grateful with her confession, and starting from the minute she confessed to me about how she viewed me as, my face, I reckoned, was annoying enough to almost everyone who saw it at the time - I was smiling ear to ear and my body radiated some sort of strange vibes from the excitement that I noticed some of the people who boarded the LRT with us reacted as if I was the special friend of Min that happened to be born wholly retarded from the beginning itself. It was hard to pretend as if nothing happened, and albeit the fact that I tried hard to be as normal as I could, I ended up being more...retarded. I confirmed this by examining my face from the reflection on the LRT's window. 

"Are you alright?"

I stopped examining myself and turned to Min who was sitting on the blue polycarbonate chair next to where I was standing. She looked so beautiful from up here. 

"Why?" I asked her.

"You have been smiling for so long now."

"I know," I said to her. "I can't even feel my cheeks already."

She didn't reply but just let out a smile. The smile that I had never felt tired with. The smile that came only from someone who had the same feelings you had in heart, the same intentions you had in mind. The smile so sincere that, my God, I could feel that everything in me broke like shattered glass whenever she smiled at me. For once in my life I was so in love. But was I loved? That was the only question that I had in mind. What if, let's say for the sake of arguing, what if she didn't feel for me the way I felt for her? What a scary thought that was. I chose to drop that thought right away.

The LRT came up from the underground tunnel. From where I stood I could see a part of the metropolitan glittering with lights. The FELDA building was clearly visible. As the LRT slowly proceeded to the nearest station to stop, I deeply adored the sights. When the LRT stopped and its doors opened, the lady who sat next to Min left her seat to disembark, and Min pulled the edge of my shirt, like a small kid did to the mother, signalling me to sit next to her. How so very cute. My pleasure, dear lovely lady. 

I sat down on the seat and slowly leaned back. The side of my shoulder brushed against Min's, which was covered safely in my jacket, but never failed to warm me up nevertheless. I badly needed the warmth anyway. It wasn't really a good idea to wear a short and a thin short-sleeved shirt and travel in an LRT that was fully air-conditioned with its ambient regulated close to that of the Arctic temperature. I placed my hands in between my knees to warm them up, and Min seemed to notice this. She gently placed her tote bag on my lap and with such care she pulled and placed both my hands in the bag to shelter them from the tormenting temperature. Unsuspectingly, she placed her left hand in the bag too, and she gently placed her fingers in between mine, clamping our hands together. Wait, what are you doing, Min? Curious, I turned to her, only to see her wide smile and her shiny eyes staring at me. Her hair fell beautifully, covering the sides of her forehead in the prettiest manner. The smell of her citrus perfume, no, the smell of her skin really, drove me into a state of ecstasy. Not even a single word was spoken. 

I swear I had never felt so warm. 

The LRT started moving again, and the situation between Min and I was becoming real awkward but in the same time real heartwarming. I couldn't start a conversation, and it seemed that Min wasn't putting any effort in doing so either. As to explain what I really felt at the time, I gave it a thought and it was really appropriate to say that I was indeed very, alarmingly, alarmed by the entire progress of whatever that was happening between me and her. But then again, I did not have any reason to question, let alone object her entire motion, so I just sat there, enjoying every moment of it. 

In my head I had a lot to ask Min, especially about why she came late last night, where she was and many other related questions about her that I needed to find out quickly before I fall more for her. But I couldn't even arrange a sentence at all. She caught me off guarded, she caught me by surprise. So suddenly, everything unknown about her seemed no longer to be my interests. There were so many things that I wanted to know about her, really, but I just couldn't move my tongue, let alone to open my mouth. The blankness I had, amplified by the almost empty environment in the LRT (there were very less people in that LRT that time) reasoned my every effort to stay quiet and instead just enjoyed the entire ride calmly.

Min rested her head against the corner where the thick glass divider on her right side met with the cabin wall and closed her eyes. Slowly she hummed a song that, upon catching the first few notes, I instantly recognized. It was 'When I Need You' by Leo Sawyer as it was popularly known then, but more correctly  it was first written and sang by Albert Hammond in 1979. After humming for a few while, she slowly sang the song sentence by sentence, in which I listened to carefully and started singing myself in my heart. Apparently, she was quite a singer, and I was driven into another state of ecstasy all over again, this time even more amplified.

'Keeping me warm night and day.'

I enjoyed listening to her singing, and I realized that her voice went very soft as the time passed, in which in the end she went silent all along. I turned to her, only to see that she fell asleep from listening to her own singing. Her eyes closed shut and her lips were sealed close together. And like every man who had seen a charming lady like her sleeping so peacefully like a little baby, I felt so much love grew in me. I felt as if I was becoming her protector -- her only knight. If only I could stayed up all night long just to watch her sleeping. She must had been so tired from her daily work I guessed. Her grip on my hand went weaker, so I gripped her hand stronger, never to let go, at least not now, and not right away. There were still two more stations to go before I needed to get off the LRT, and I wanted to stay with her longer, and I wanted that moment to be gracefully remembered. But suddenly I felt something vibrated in her bag, next to my left hand.

It was her phone.  

With my left hand that was free at the time, I lifted the phone slowly so as not to wake up the darling princess who was soundly sleeping next to me. I took the phone out from the bag and was about to flip it around to look at the caller ID so that I could let her know later about the call. Before that I thought to myself and asked if what I was about to do was at all ethical, but curiosity got the best of me and I flipped the phone around anyway to read the texts that were showing on the phone's screen. So who could it be? Well let's see.

It was a call from 'Sayang'.


...To Be Continued.