Blessed all along (part 3.0 e)

I promise this will be the last part 3.0 . I forgot the possibility of 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 etc. Nevermind, we’ll start with that for the next next next installments.

After PPM, it was the push for SPM. I couldn’t let go of basketball still. I was keeping my eyes opened for any competitions. “Bohoq, udahlah tu, saya nak hang concentrate dekat SPM. Saya nak hang berjaya. Satu haghi nanti mana tau saya pi jumpa doktor nak check mata, sekali bukak mata tengok muka hang. Tak ka bangga saya nanti?” Cikgu Yusuf gave me a short lecture on hearing my request to join the Alor Setar basketball competition. I was stumped. He was right. I forgot what I came to the school for. I was too caught up in chasing my own personal satisfaction.

*****

As a member of the Badan Dakwah Rohani dan Ibadah (BADRI), I was given the responsibility to conduct usrah every 2 weeks.  It was a good chance for me to get to know the juniors better. We would gather at the surau, formed little groups of 10 people and talked about the fardhu ain, the doubts, the rationale of the dos and don’ts. In school, the teachers, the ustazs taught us to treat each other like family members. We had nobody to talk to, to rely on except each other. To see them looking up to you reminded me of the younger me when I used to look up to my seniors for guidance, comfort and assistance.

I was not a very good example of a pious student but still, they respected me, referred to me and that made me felt like “wow, I need to improve myself” for these young’ins.

*****

Theatre competition between sport houses.

My friend Shon, came up with the idea to re-enact the P.Ramlee’s Sumpahan Orang Minyak movie and proposed the idea to our sport house committee. They were excited to hear it. Now the cast, he wanted me to play the lead role. I was like “Hell, yeah!”. Something to do other than studying. As for the Puteri Bunian, we selected a fair-skinned, cute 4th former male. Haha, now I feel a bit gayish.  Remember, we couldn’t mix the production. Ok, ok back to the story. We made props,  practice our lines, and we even watched the movie repetitively to get a feel of how we should act. I brought my father’s wedding baju melayu (with all the songket pattern, and blue in colour) for the actual night. Synopsis of the theater, Si bongkok (hunchback), was a seller of artworks i.e. drawings, batiks, then one day, he got thrown out of the village he was living in for a blame he didn’t commit. The bunian kingdom saved him and cured him of his ugliness with one condition, he would never kill another human being or else he would not be allowed to return to the bunian kingdom and he would return to his original form.

“Indah nian, istana bunian, Puteri Bunian cantik rupawan (I think)…” part of the lyrics that I had to mime during one of the scenes whilst holding the hand of the Puteri Bunian, acting all gentleman-ly and very the romantic (hawhaw).

Fastforward. Si Bongkok killed someone and returned to his original form. He was sad and the Satan came and offered him an aid. Of course there was a catch, he had to rape a certain number of virgins whilst shapeshifted into an orang minyak (oilyman? hehe). As clever as the squirrel jumps, one day it will fall to the ground. Stupid translation I know, but you get the idea, he was caught and killed. I got best actor award and needless to say, our production team won the first place. YAY!

*****

Form 5 Final Dinner. I was a part of the organizing committee. To be specific, I and another girl were the planner for the main event, the start, the intro, the games, the performances, the venue, the emcees, in other words the night of the event itself. The person who I teamed up with changed me a lot later on . In a nutshell, we worked well together though sometimes I did complain of her nagging abilities. I would call her ‘The Nanny’ sometimes haha.

Come the event night, both of us became the emcees as there were nobody around who were willing to take up the role. The night went smoothly and we were glad it was all over although I didn’t get to enjoy the super expensive meals. Sigh.

*****

SPM 2000, I didn’t feel any pressure. I was taking it easy. Probably was too overconfident. Or maybe too lazy. I didn’t know where should I go afterward. My dreams were vague and blurry. I felt something for the girl I mentioned before. For your information, in our school, couples weren’t allowed as it was thought as an interference to the studying process. To each his own. I put my school first, I tried to deny the feelings, but I failed.

One day, a week before SPM I think, I asked one of her friends to call her down to the dining hall. I confessed. She was not surprised because she told me how different my attention to her was. Women do have this extra sense. Then she informed me of her relationship with my senior. “Awak terlambat la”. I just listened. Then she uttered something which shocked me, “Awak harapan mak awak. Mahal harga awak ni. Kita tahu pasal your family”. She went on how she was not officially attached and she still had the right to choose and so on and so forth. I didn’t really listen because I was in a state of disbelieft. I thought I kept the secret of my parents separation well. Turned out as she informed me, most of the female students knew about it.

There was one day when I was in form 3, my class teacher called me up to ask why the address of my father and mother were different. I didn’t answer. “Dah berpisah ye?”. I left her without answering the question.Don’t get me wrong, she was a very gentle and a loving person. I just couldn’t face it at that time.

“Tak payah malu. Awak patut bangga sebab walaupun history awak macam tu, tapi awak ok, malah even better than some with parents and all. Mak awak did a very good job”, the girl continued. I couldn’t say a word. I was questioning fate. I was being ungrateful. I wished her good luck for the exam and we went to our dorms.

A few days before we left the school, I requested to see her again. We chatted a bit. Then before we parted ways, I told her,” Dalam masa 10 tahun, kalau saya jumpa awak, dan awak tak attach dengan sapa-sapa, I’ll come and take your hand”. She looked at me and said, “Entahlah”. I then handed her a piece of paper with the lyrics of my favourite song written on it which more or less spoke of my situation at that time, “I thought she knew” by Nsync.

When I walked out of the dining hall, I wanted to run. I looked at the sky. That was the furthest place I could go. Suddenly I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to be away from the Earth. I wanted to fly, I wanted to know what made things fly. I wanted to be an aircraft engineer. Funny wasn’t it? Who I wanted to be was triggered by what seemed to be a somewhat foolish occurrence.

What of the girl now? I found out that she was married to my senior 2 years ago. They are both very good people, both are doctors. Lifesavers, magical workers. I didn’t feel sad, in fact when I looked at their wedding pictures, they were portrayed perfectly for each other. That made me happy, because I almost interrupted their relation and fortunately, I didn’t. She taught me how to face my past and I couldn’t thank her enough for it. As for my promise, well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

I love theaters and musicals. Pay attention to the guy who sings first, the one with white hair, Garry Barrowman. His voice is amazing.

 

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