Sunday, April 01, 2012

Episode 9: When I Need You

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.

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