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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Bile tak boleh tido..


It was way past midnight.. the perfect time for their rendezvous. Though hundreds of miles were between them, a thin strip off the Straits of Malacca too, the virtual world was just within reach for this encounter. No promises were made prior to it, nor were appointments made. They just knew that they'd find each other during this witching hour at this exact location.

They asked the usual questions, knowing their answers won't be that much different from each other. Life as scholars on their break in their own hometowns don't vary much from one another. Usual jokes and teasing went back and forth before sleepiness started to engulf them.

Before the last bid of goodnight, he asked her about her plans for the next day before they returned to their varsity. She told him of her intention to go to Sunshine for her usual habit of scrutinizing each and every single Eid card they sold before choosing the ones she wanted to purchase.. knowing fully well he'd laugh at her, as always, for disliking the common practice of bulk buying in packs of multi-choices preferred by others.

He in turn lamented on the fact of classes on the the day after that prevented him staying a little bit longer at home to enjoy just another iftar with his family.. full of knowledge that she'd tease him of being mummy's boy which he is proud of and has never been ashamed to admit.

It was late when they finally retired, with only a few hours to sahur..

The new day was a fine one. A calm one.. a kind of day Muslims welcome during Ramadhan.

She had assumed he was on his way back as he traveled alone with his bike. She was luckier this time as her family had decided on a quick trip so she didn't have to travel by means of the public transport. The plan for a quick stop at Sunshine was fulfilled late morn. After other Eid preparation purchases were made, she could be found on the second level with her lil' sis and lil' brother, all in the spirit of Eid, choosing small tokens to be given to their close companions.

As her lil' sister and lil' brother ran around, trying to outdo each other on their choices, she took a few choices for further scrutinizing while picturing who would be the most suitable recipient of them. So engrossed was she in her task, she didn't realize a shadow come upon her.

It was not until another card was waved in front of her face that she took her glance off the one in her hand to the intruder in her space, not without an annoyed look on her face. Her frown turned into a suprised laugh when she realized who was the one who dared to invade her space.

It was him. He had somehow found the idea of crossing the bridge en route his way back, across that thin strip of the Straits Of Malacca, just to buy some Eid cards at her favourite store, was his brightest idea ever.

She laughed at him, knowing she now had another thing to use against him. Her smile turned into a big grin as she realized her best friend was right here beside her just as she was choosing something to give him. She scolded him for ruining the suprise and he just laughed. She was about to give another lashing to him when she realized who she was.. and who she was with.

She quickly felt her face burn as she realized her family were around her. She wasn't embarrassed with him, it was far from that. She was proud to be his closest friend, the one he said knew him more than anyone else in this world aside from his mum. It was just that she had somehow managed to not tell her family about him, even though they'd been good friends for years. It did confuse her on why she could never talk about him at home when all her other male friends knew her family and came to her house every year, especially the ones she knew after him even if they were not as close to her as she was to him.

She suddenly had this in-explainable feeling of shyness overcoming her so she just smiled at him and waved him away. She quickly went to the other aisle and made her choices quickly before turning to him and waving to him in a gesture to show that she was leaving. She was relieved when he returned her smile with an even bigger grin and a wave back to her.

All the way back, she was still filled with regret, worrying she had offended him or, worse, hurt him.

She didn't see him for days after as they weren't in the same circle and she became even more worried when his usual emails were late..

Then, one day, there was a card on her desk, with the familiar handwriting she'd been used to seeing for the past 3 years.

"Assalamualaikum..

Ooo.. awak.. Ingatkan haritu nak jugak berkenalan ngan mak awak, tapi awak tak introduce pun saya so macam mana nak kenalkan diri.. Apa lah awak!

Ok lah, lupakan hal tu. Sempena ngan hari raya nih saya nak mintak maaf bebanyak kat awak. Saya tau saya banyak kutuk awak, jadi skang saya nak mintak maaf la.. lain kali saya buat lagi.. he.. he.. Nanti bile makan kuih raya jgn lupe simpan unt saya tau..!

P/S Raya nanti jemput la datang rumah.. (gerenti awak tak datang punya)

Your best friend"

The smile on her face was apparent enough to earn questions from her roomates. It grew even wider with the arrival of the awaited email where he admitted, somehow, she was also the only friend he had that his parents didn't know about.. but she didn't share the secret that she was relieved enough to know that she was forgiven. What had happened was acknowledged, instead of avoided (which would mean it has turned into something taboo in their friendship). She made a promise to herself that next time, she would do what he wanted..
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..not knowing that that day would never come..

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