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Friday, January 13, 2006

Going home..

Eversince my family moved back to Sg Ara, I've never stayed there for the night. My reasons where mostly because of my still-unfinished-thesis but the real reason is that I'm afraid it won't feel the same anymore. So my simple solution was to avoid going there.

However, for AidilAdha, I didn't have much choice since my family decided to celebrate raya over in Penang so come Monday, I knew it was time for me to face my past..

I arrived in Penang a bit late as I was delayed by the unexpected 'meeting' with Abah, Umi and Annisa at Carrefour where I was shopping for the checkered cake Mama loved. Annisa is already 9 months old and she's not frightened of me anymore. I'd like to say that we bonded there and then but haha, whats to expect from an eager 25-year-old sister with her 9-month-old stepsister! I nearly forgot that its by this age that babies start to accept not-so-familiar faces, thus explaining her ba-ba-ba-ing with me, as if she wanted to tell me everything that captures her attention. Truth is, I've been thinking of her the past few days so meeting her was really a pleasant suprise for me.

Anyway, thats a totally different story..

I almost couldn't recognize the sight that greeted me when I arrived home. Gone was the 'tropical jungle' I've been accustomed to for the past two years but in its place, still, wasn't the typically-Abah type of garden I grew up with. Still, the sight was better than ever! I could even see the fish pond that had been lost from view before (macam kata Salimin, "Haaa, ade kolam ikan ke kat situ, kak Ayu?" when I took them there a couple of weeks ago, before the transformation)

The house was noisy with the voices of Mama, Adi, Ikram, Izati and Iskandar as well as the sound of the workmen doing their job to make the place 'livable'. The termite infested sink cabinet was gone while they replaced it with a simple sink and the crumbles-to-touch kitchen door was also replaced with a more solid one. Yup, the place doesn't really look as it should yet, but the feeling of coming home was just right!

Its not that when I entered the house, the so-called waves of memories came over me, in fact, I don't think that even a splash of it was there. But somehow, there was this strange feeling of hope.. Mama looked more happy than ever while my siblings looked as if we had never left the place.

We spent the rest of the day together, just like in the old days.. or maybe even better! Went to pick up Ikram's friend, Sofi before heading to Giant to buy the raya supplies. Then we went to have dinner before going back home and all the while, each and every one of us was smiling.

That night, I slept a peaceful sleep. Well, not really in my old bed since my room was still in a bad condition and has not been repaired yet.. but at least I was sleeping in the same house I grew up. The very house that protected me in my sleep for 11 years before I headed off to study and the same house I came back to whenever I wanted to! And yes, with the people I love with all my heart, though I never really tell them that..

The next couple of days saw us going back to all the places we had be so used to that we took them for granted. I guess now we appreciate these places even more, even marvelling at how much our small town had grown.

When I had to go back to Transkerian, I felt the familiar tug at my heart whenever I left the house. I smiled, knowing that nothing has really changed and that now, we're all finally back home.. right where we belong!

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