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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Kuchi.. kuchi.. Big Teddy!

"A'kum.. Tq for the VERY NICE card.. just got it! Btw, your prayer in the card has just been answered, TQ!"

*stunned silence*

It took a moment for me to finally understand what was written on the sms and instantly, a smile, as broad as my face allowed, was spreading across my face. My best 'cousin' is gonna be a father! I whooped with joy, sharing the glorious moment with him, though we were hundreds of miles away from each other.

I first met him when we were on the CWE or Cross-Water Elite (a fancy name for our canoeing team), a 'division' of the Engineers' Adventure Team (EAT). During that time, since I was still a bit shy around strangers, I didn't talk much (more like didn't talk at all) with him (or the other guys, in that matter!). However, our paths crossed again during our first year semester break.

Abah wanted me to organize a motivational programme for UPSR students and naturally, I turned to Afizal for help. Now, throughout our first year, Afizal has been telling me about his good friend in Jenan, Ridhwan a.k.a Pak Lan a.k.a Corn a.k.a Yokies but being the girl I am, I never made the effort to find out who he is. Afizal suggested that I ask for Yokies help and when I called Yokies, he wanted to bring in Toroque too! I didn't really mind, the more the merrier, besides, I already knew who Toroque was compared to Yokies. Lets just say, the rest is history!

We took off immediately. I've always taken time to get to know people and this was the first time I knew a great buddy (or two) on sight. I was a bit uncomfortable when he told me to ask for 'Toroque' if I ever called his home and who could forget the look on his face when Afizal asked, "Yusman ni sapa?", right in front of him! But I guess we really 'bonded' during the water-balloon game we organized for the kids. In the end, the kids were helping us, the facilitators, to throw water bombs at each other. That night, I got my revenge during our post-mortem. Armed with a water pistol and pretending to go around the meeting room, I succeeded in drenching them. Indeed, revenge is sweet!

After that, there was no stopping us. I was suprised at how much I liked their company throughout the semester break since it has always been hard for me to grow close to anybody. They even waited for me at Taman Maju on my first day back at Tronoh for our second year, and followed me back home just to see where I was living (and at the same time thinking of ways to get back to me after the meeting incident!)

We grew even closer during this year. There were always reasons to laugh and be silly around them. At one point, we grew so bored that we organized yet another motivational programme, illegally, for a secondary school nearby and it sure was fun. It was during this time that I bought in some of my friends, thus resulting in Yokies going head over heals with kak Maria, with a little help from Toroque and Bebe! Dah ade anak dah pun :-) So, hey, I don't really suck as a match maker, do I?

Sometimes they'd come to my house with Sob in the middle of the night and we'd be chatting outside (btw, mana pegi Sob ah?). I do regret saying that sometimes it didn't feel comfortable, I mean I was weary of what the neighbours would say, but this guys would just pop up whenever it suited them and I find it a bit funny that whenever I think of my second year, I mostly remember these moments. Somehow, I miss those days :'(

During our practical, our conversations became less frequent. Thinking that all of us were busy ("Aku asyik ikut orang pebetoi elektrik ja" <-- Haha!), I just dismissed the thought that something was going on. True enough, towards the end of our industrial training, Yokies let me in the secret that Toroque had fallen in love. Though I was happy for him, I was a bit hurt that he didn't tell me. I mean, we still called each other and emails were constantly going back and forth. They even showed up on my 21st birthday gathering organized by Mama and Abah but still, I didn't even know about this new developement.

After that I realized that I could no longer act silly with Yokies and Toroque since they already had their 'special someone' with them, though with Yokies, I was a bit 'normal' since kak Maria was someone I already knew. So after the industrial training, during my final year, I started trying to stray away from them bit by bit. Yes, I missed them but I didn't want people thinking ngative thoughts about me. However, one of those days, I received an sms asking me, why have I been so quiet lately and 'hang tak rindu kat kami ka?'. Maybe it was because of the strain in being a final year student, maybe it was because the stress Abah was putting on me, maybe I was feeling sorry for myself or maybe it was plainly because I really missed them, I broke down instantly! But what I remember the most is when Toroque called to calm me down, and didn't hang up. Even when I hung up, telling him I was ok, he still called and asked me not to put down the phone until I was ok. Mind you, it must have been nearly two hours of him hearing me sobbing, but being the loyal friend he was, he just stayed there! After I was tired of crying ONLY did he hang up and the next morning, the first thing I noticed was an early sms from him, asking how I was feeling.

I guess I must have made them feel guilty (sorry, didn't mean to) coz I felt (I FELT la, maybe it was only me!) that they were extra nice towards me after that. Toroque and Sob even came to pick me up in the Penang Island to go for our senior-junior interaction for KPKP, held in Pantai Bersih(?) that was in the main land. And yes, I still remember the 10-pizza bet.. still got 8 pizzas to go!

I also once used his home as my 'bicycle garage'. This was once upon a time ago when the hostel rooms weren't equipped with internet access yet. Me and kak Wahid used to cycle to the nearest cyber cafe in Taman Pekaka. On this particular day, we didn't realize that it had started pouring and by the time we were finished, it was already turning into a thunderstorm. We started to panic after an hours wait (it was way after maghrib then) when Jida came to the rescue, after she appeared at the shop we were taking shelter in. Still, we had our bikes to think of and Toroque's house was the first time that came to mind. Our bikes must've stayed there a week before we were 'rajin' enough to fetch them back!

Toroque once again became a shoulder to cry on during the period I was feeling so low after my fight with my invisible friend. I must have disturbed him so many times that I've lost count, and he must've been bored hearing me talk about this thing constantly, but he still listened. And everytime I broke down, he was always there, like he did in my final year, listening to me crying for hours till the wee hours of daylight though he had classes the next morning. I remember one three-hour call that consisted of me crying and trying to talk, at the same time, must have sounded sangat buruk, eh. See how selfish I was! At times I feel so ashamed of my behaviour then.. :(

Sometimes, we had our moments too. I remember an argument we had because I had tricked him in believing I was someone else on the Yahoo! Messenger. It was entirely my fault, really, but something he said had offended me and the next thing I knew, I was selfishly sulking with him. I was so ashamed when he sent me this e-card of a crying smiley asking for forgiveness and I vowed never to offend him again! Luckily, he was all smiles in no time.

He was also my auto 'guru'. When I first got my car, he and Yokies practically raced towards the campus. I was like, "Yea yeah, korang datang nak jumpa saya!" and his straight forward answer was, "Sapa kata kami nak jumpa hang, kami nak jumpa kete hang" *sheesh*. They 'forced' me to drive them around (it was the first time I drove OUTSIDE the campus haha..) and we stopped at Sob's house for a quick course on 'Caring for your Car' haha.. Toroque even searched the web to find me useful articles on car tips which I religiously followed!

We went together for Yokies engangement and wedding. Sadly, I didn't attend any of Toroque's. Be it his engagement or his kenduri on both sides. I was busy during his wedding, with my data collection that my supervisor and a technician had arranged so I couldn't just simply walk away from it. He sounded hurt when I told him I had work to do, he even highlighted that it would mean that I didn't 'participate' in any of his happy moments; engagement and both kenduris but luckily, he understood. Yang lawaknya, he called me during his drive to Azu's house for his akad nikah. Apparently, the bridegroom had to drive ALL ALONE to his own akad ceremony. "Ada ka aku kena drive sorang? Hang penah dengaq tak pengantin laki drive sendiri??"

Really, he was a great friend! The one who bombarded me with the most questions after he heard about me and his coursemate BUT also the on who backed off first when I started to NOT want to talk about it. He was quick to notice changes in me and though he might have not understood, he really tried to. But yes, he was also the one who made me stunned to find out that, "Kami ingat hang ni tak dak hati pasal benda² macam ni.." when I first confirmed his suspicions (I don't think I'm spelling it right) of my 'invisible bestfriend'. He was the type of friend who was always there, so now I realize why Yokies was in such a bad mood when Toroque was getting married. I might have felt as if I was losing a great 'cousin' but Toroque was Yokies bestest friend!

Its really hard to find a gem like him and I'm glad Allah gave me the chance to be his friend or 'cousin' in our case! And now, since I'm about to get yet another 'anak sedara', I'd better buck up and try to be mature as soon as possible, though I'd still be teaching the little ones to call me 'kak Ayu' and not Anuty or Mak Cik. AND I really hope those two guys won't teach their children to call me Bulat hehe..

To Big Teddy Bear.. thank you for being a great 'cousin'!

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