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I am a fool when it comes to matters of the heart. I just can’t let go. Of course I’ve been heavily criticized by my peers when the topic of conversation was about my hopeless love life. But the big rock inside my head just won’t budge. Hence, being a laughing stock. Nevertheless, I couldn’t care less about what they have to say.

My excuse, I over-cherish the memories I have with my love interests (one at a time, ok?). Hell, I even cherish the moment I wake up and the first thought that runs through my mind was her! To me, each memories is sacred, be it the tiniest bit of wishful thinking or even an elaborated grand gesture. All too valuable to be thrown away. The result, I’m just being the fool who is too scared to accept the other fifty percent fraction of probability.

So, I’m not a risk taker? Well, I’ve once barged into my boss’ office and uttered dissatisfaction towards his policies in the middle of his discussion with I don’t know who. I’ve bought a house while browsing for groceries in a local supermarket with just RM32 in my pocket. I even quitted my job in my old company while the new position is still in vague. I do take risks. But matters of the heart? Phooom!! I’m invisible. Yellow? Chicken? Takde telor?

Come to think about it, I feel comfortable the way I am. Or maybe I’m just too used to it? Is it a dangerous thing? Ah, maybe time will give me answers. As far as I’m concerned, I not harming others. Annoying, maybe a lot.

I remember one thing I did recently. I tried to sleep early to wake up early. End up it was almost 3am and I still couldn’t sleep. That moment I knew I couldn’t wake up early anymore. I was devastated. I was sweating as if I did something terribly wrong. I went to the kitchen and made coffee, lots and lots of coffee. And I stayed up doing nothing until 6.30am. When the time came, I text somebody ‘good morning, bla bla bla…’, went back to sleep, waking up at 9am for work. Just because of a text message.

It was something foolish for some of you but I like it. And I know it was worth it, at least for my own psychological satisfaction. Ahh, psychology! That’s the word I’ve been looking for!

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JT Alexander was giving me a hard time by favouring the Libyan giant. I was accused of being an irresponsible slacker. Little that JT Alexander knew, the Libyan giant manipulated my whole work to make it his own. As much as I fought for my rights in the dreaded institution, the Arabs will always prevail. The sole reason was because the Arabs contribute more to the institution’s financial figure. Ah, fuck it!

I made my way home, imagining the comfort of my bed to sleep off my problems. That was when my dreamgirl called.

I would like to treat you dinner tonight” she said on the phone.

Well, things might be better after all I thought.

That night I picked her up and we had dinner together. She chose the restaurant. Nothing fancy, just an average eatery for average people. Well, it was a moment of tranquility where I lost track of all my problems. It was just me and my dreamgirl.

After dinner we walked our way to my car. The green Kancil that some people refer it as blue. Well, yeah, the pink slip stated blue as the car’s colour. As we were walking, suddenly my dreamgirl stopped me in front of a furniture store. She dragged me inside.

I would like to buy a book rack” she said.
Sure” I replied.

She browsed the whole floor, searching for the best rack she could possibly see. Then she saw one nice post-bohemian small-sized rack on the display. She picked up the box of heavy unassembled piece.

Could you please carry this to the counter” she said to me.
Errr, actually three units altogether. One for me and the other two for my friends” she added.

I was staggered. I think I knew why she wanted to treat me dinner. I kept myself in silence and carried those three racks to the payment counter and then to the car. In between, she added two modern-minimalistic vases and a cheap pencil case. Ah, fuck it!

Sweaty from the night of hard-labour, I drove her and her things home.

*****

The following week I took my dreamgirl out on a date. We had a good time and thankfully, she didn’t use me for anything. We were on our slow journey, approaching her home when I asked her, “Could you be my girl?

She looked at me with a frown and shouted, “Ah, jangan mengada-ngada lah!!

Because the car was moving slowly, and her house was just nearby, she opened the door and ran home. She didn’t even close the car door. I was left in the car, trembling as if I’ve just seen a ghost. What the fuck did I do wrong? I’m sure she can be more polite no matter how she feels about me. Ah, fuck it! I lit up a cigarette and drove home while my hands were still shivering.

Two days later she changed her phone number and I haven’t seen her since.

On his deathbed, the old man used much of his leftover strength to look around for his son. He then asked people around for his son’s whereabouts. The son never showed up. Old man then died.

*****

Ever since he was little, the son was the centre of the old man’s attention. His two little sisters were not so impressed but later understood the fact that he was the only son. When the son got accepted to the Royal Military College, the old man was so proud and bragged to others. “Next best thing to Sandhurst where I came from!” he used to say.

During school breaks, the son came back and implemented his ragging regime to his sisters. As usual in front of the old man, he was an angel. An angel mimicking his father’s military footsteps. Too bad for the sisters, they were not just army brats, but army brats with a junior army jerk.

After graduating RMC, the old man sent the son to further his studies in Liverpool. After a year, the son came back for his first holiday home. To his surprise, the old man had bought a brand new Ford Escort MK2 for him. “This is for you to drive around KL with your friends during the holidays” the old man justified his gift. The sisters were not intimidated that much. To them, their lives were not that bad. They still got the small slices of the old man’s riches. So why complaint?

In his final years in Liverpool, the son made a phone call back home. He told his parents that he was already married and his wife had just given birth to a baby boy. The old man was shocked. “How could he not have told us earlier?” the old man said to his wife. Two days later the couple boarded a plane to Heathrow.

That was when they first met the son’s wife.

*****

25 years later.

The son came to the old man’s house. He brought with him his two eldest sons. From the expressions on their faces, they were not happy. Before the old man could greet his beloved heirs, both his grandchildren scolded, “You and grandmother are unfair people! You always favoured our aunts and their children! And you gave us only the leftovers from what you have given to them! What will happen to your wealth when you die? We demand what is ours!

The old man and his wife were dumbfounded. They could not even interrupt their own grandchildren. The son just stood there and watched as the confrontation heated. Most of the times there were smiles on his face.

One will get what one deserves. I promise you all that it will be fair” that was what old man had to say.

The son and the grandchildren left and never returned. Tears were falling from the old man’s eyes while he grasped tightly his wife’s hand. He then spend most of his times sitting down, looking into oblivion through the remains of his days.

After three years, he finally said to his wife and his two daughters, “My son is a good boy. I know he is still my good boy. For that I’m telling you now that I have forgiven him long ago

*****

A week after his death, a lawyer came to the old man’s house (Sulaiman Akhlaken?). The wife and the two daughters were already there. Not long after, the son came following three years of absence. The lawyer started, “A month before he died, the old man came to see me and renewed his will. It is simple enough; all of the old man’s wealth is divided equally to both daughters. That’s all.

And then there was silence.

The story was pretty much the same like the first part. It was there, and then it disappeared. I closed my eyes, gave it a rub on both sides, and then it was there again. But then it was again just my imagination. When I looked closely, it was really never there, ever.

He text me to go to dinner but I got other plans. He then text me to go to tomorrow’s wedding together but I’ve made my own plans. He said, “Fuck you and you busy lifestyle!”. I said, “At least it’s not me that you’re trying to ngorat”.

I text her and said, well, I didn’t text her.

And then there was silence. Again.

I let myself loose
Taking deep breaths and found out that I’m alive

I gave a cynical smile
As I marched forward, away from the dreaded noose

Then there’s an urge that pulls
Saw pictures in my mind, a white union with flowers around

But in my mind I was bound
For the triangle was painted bloody pink in full

Deceived

He was fourteen. It started when his mother told him Amran wasn’t just an evil old man from the streets. The recently deceased was his real father.

Taboo

Nights after nights his mother came to his room whispering, “You looked just like him”. A living replica of Amran’s body with different soul.

Liberty

At the age of fifteen he left his home. His mother lay lifeless on the kitchen floor. He walked out wiping the blood from his hands.



This story and the two stories below were inspired by the Mamasan trilogy.

He admitted that there was no pain. No pain at all on his part. He thought he was just dramatizing insanity.

He used to control himself.
Then he lost his self
He used to love himself
Then he rots his self

Lives were taken by his lust for social equilibrium. But eventually his, to the bars that clang.

In the square dark room, he sat his back against the corner of the walls. He can feel the chillness of the concrete. Cross-legged, his hands wrapping tightly around his crus. He was mumbling.

He heard voices in his head. He heard it before, he heard it again. Until he can hear no more in a few days time.

As the sun descents, it gives shades to the trees
almost making this world complete
almost no other kind could be better
almost attaining its purpose
not quite perfect
but it is

When I read it a few years ago, I just swallowed the words and let my imaginations play. But when I watched the film version yesterday, I started thinking, where did Hosseini gets his depiction of the Taliban government? I’m pretty sure not from his own experience. My guess is from the overplayed, stereotypical western media sources. He fled Afghanistan in his early teens, never to return. Not after his novel became a bestseller more than 2 decades later. He escaped it all. I just call it unfair. Apart from that, I can still say that it’s a good film.

But there’s something else better. The story of Christopher McCandless, an idealist who defied the world of conspicuous consumption. Maybe I’m being bias because Vedder did the score. Or maybe because Hirsch’s character jotted down, “Happiness is only real when shared” in the film. Or maybe in its simplicity, the film offered certain levels of deepness.

Whichever way, it was a great film day for me.