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Monday, March 14, 2005

I miss him.. :'(

My brother, Ikram, left for Japan 2 days ago. He'll only be there for 3 months, but as crazy as it might sound, I miss him already..

6 years ago, he was still afraid of the dark. 6 years ago, I was still his sister that he looked up to. 6 years ago, I still lived beneath the same roof with him. 6 years ago, I still tried my best to protect him from everything (though, I never really admitted that).. now, everything has changed. I remember how excited he was telling me that his boss will send him to Japan and how instinctively, I wanted to go with him, just to make sure he'd be alright.

I still remember the day he was born. I was anticipating the birth of a little sister. Living with 2 brothers for the whole six years of my life up until then, was quite stressful hehe.. Yes, I was the bossy big sister, but still being bossy to the terrible two wasn't quite fun. When I knew we were getting an additional member to the family, I quickly made up my mind that the baby would be a girl, no questions asked. Besides, my parents already had 2 sons, and I was the only daughter, of course they'd choose a baby girl this time, shouldn't they?

The day finally came. It was exactly a week after my birthday and on April Fools day. The nurse suddenly called from the hospital and I was the lucky one to pick up the phone. While my father took the phone from me, my brothers and I gathered around my father to listen to the news. We were smiling happily knowing we had someone new to play with but my smile quickly faded when I saw my father's face. I knew it was a baby boy even before he said it. Bursting into tears, I just ran away from the room.

It must have taken my father a long time to coax me to follow him to the hospital. Lastly, I consented but deep down, I refused to even take a peek at the baby. However, it seems that God had other plans for me. As we reached the hospital, I managed to convince myself that I won't have to see the baby if I didn't want to. I stayed outside my mothers room while my brothers gathered around the baby. Suddenly, the baby cried. His cries somehow grabbed my attention, and try as I may, I couldn't help wanting to soothe him. I guess, finally, I did surrender to his charms.

As he grew, we became attached to each other. He'd follow me around, everywhere I went. It was like having a real live doll. I did nearly everything with him around. I couldn't even imagine not having him nearby. Even my mother once told me that on my first day of school, he was so restless at home waiting for me to come back and when I finally did, we hugged each other as if we had been parted for years (that's my mothers version of the story, though I didn't really remember it that much)

He used to sit with me when I did my homework, dragging his story books around and pretending to read them, when in reality, he was just making up the stories by looking at the pictures. That used to tickle my mother who always listened to him whenever he wanted to 'read'. I used to ask silly questions about the stories he read, but he would solemnly answer all the questions confidently.

He was a funny. He hated eating. It was a chore for my parents to make him eat. He could be really stubborn when he wanted to. But we stumbled on a secret accidently one day. It seems that he'd only eat his rice with kuah satay (peanut gravy) and that became our mission to buy as much kuah satay as possible every Friday when we had a pasar malam (night market) near our homw. He also hated medicine, but loved to see the doctor who'd hand over sweets to him on every visit.

One trick we used to play with him was to pretend to pull his nose off and throw it outside. He'd cry buckets if you didn't get it back for him and stick it back on his face. Sometimes, we'd even shut the light off when he's in the bathroom just to hear him begging us to switch it back on. Once we even told him that he was adopted, and he kept smiling while denying it until he suddenly banged the dinner table and ran to our room, locking it behind him.. and this came from a boy who was afraid to be alone. We never dared to tease him that way again anymore.

Then came the birth of my long awaited sister. As much as I loved my sister, I was so afraid that Ikram would be jelous that I tried my best to spend more time with him. It was during this time that I taught him to read and was I proud when he could read and write, though his hand writting was not really readable during that time. When he started standard 1, I must have been prouder than my parents though I could be there for him since I was supposed to register at my new school too. But I did go send him for his orientation.

I stayed in the hostel for 3 years before staying back at home though still with the same school. But during that time, things must have changed. My 'shadow' now has his own friends, and since he doesn't get to see me that often, he doesn't really depend much on me anymore. Somehow, that made me really sad.

Until now, I still don't understand my relationship with him. I mean, I'm used to talking about my siblings but seldom do I tell people about Ikram. Some of my friends sometimes experess their suprise when they know I have another brother aside from Iwan, Adi and Iskandar. Most of them wonder why I seldom talk about him. Even I can't answer that question. I DO realize that I don't talk much about him, though.

Its not that I don't love him. In fact, whenever I'm away from home, I miss him the most. The first day I sleep in the hostel, I cried thinking about how he was going to sleep that night. Even a few months ago, I suddenly felt so sad thinking of him, I really missed him since he went to KL to work.

I guess I just can't let him go yet. I still think of him as the clinging little brother who once became my shadow everywhere. I still fear that people would hurt him. I still want to protect him from everything. But most of all, I miss being his hero. He's capable of taking care of himself, yet I wish that he still wants me around. Its just that, I turned my back around for a second, and suddenly he's grown. I guess, parents aren't the only one that finds it hard to let go..

And to my brother, Ikram : Kak Yong misses you :'(

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