Friday, 26 October 2012

Broken Wings: 1

Chapter 1

It was her turn to take the books to the Teachers’ Room. She arranged those books neatly before carrying them. She loved carrying heavy things especially when helping teachers. She’s small in figure but she’s strong. She followed her teacher to the Teachers’ Room which was on the other side of the building. Her teacher asked her whether the books were too heavy for her but she just shook her head. For her, carrying books was like doing a charity.

She put the books on the teacher’s table and the teacher thanked her by offering her some money but she refused. She said that she did it in honesty. Her teacher thanked her once more before she left. She hurried to her classroom to take her bag. She glanced at the clock as she arrived there. It was nearly 1 o’clock. Her sister will come to fetch her soon.

She walked in a fast pace, went downstairs, and past the main hall before reaching the front gate. Something caught her sight as she past the main hall. Her feet suddenly stopped on their won. She gazed at the thing that stood on the stage. That thing wasn’t there before and by looking at the vibrant black of that thing from afar, she knew that she was in love with it. But she never knew what it was.

She realized that she was late so she ran as fast as she could to the front gate. Her sister, Nazatul, was waiting for her with her bicycle.

“Sorry,” she panted hard, trying to catch her breath. Her cheeks flushed as she ran nonstop from the main hall.

“You’re late, Som. I’ve been waiting for you for 10 minutes,” scolded Nazatul.

“I helped my teacher carrying some books to her table. It’s my turn today,” said Kalsom meekly.

“Hurry up, now! I’m hungry,” Nazatul grumbled and Kalsom hopped behind the bicycle.

The two of them always went to school together. Nazatul was three years older than Kalsom and her school was not far from Kalsom’s. Nazatul hated waiting for her sister under the sun as she worried her face will be tan. But she will wait for Kalsom until she arrived at the front gate. She never dared to leave her sister as she’ll be scolded by her mother.

Kalsom’s mind swirled as she rode on the bicycle. She was wondering about the black thing on the stage. She wished she could see that thing closer. She’d seen the picture of that thing in a book before and she wished that she could play it. That thing will produce a nice sound, just like she heard in a radio. And she wished she could learn how to play it and perform on the stage. Everyone will applause and cheer.

But all those wishes scattered like jigsaw puzzle pieces as Nazatul hit the break. Kalsom looked around and realized that she was home. She hopped down from the bicycle and went to the front door while Nazatul put her bicycle in the bicycle shed made by her father.

Both of them greeted salaam before entering the house and they could smell something delicious from the kitchen. Kalsom threw her bag on the chair in the living room and dashed to the kitchen. She was very hungry. Her stomach grumbled as she saw the food was served on the table.

“Come and eat, both of you,” said Mak Mah, the cook.

“Where’s Abang Lan?” asked Kalsom as she sat down.

“He’s eaten already. He said he wanted to go to his friend’s house this evening,” replied Mak Mah, putting the rice on Kalsom’s and Nazatul’s plates.

Kalsom ate the food heartily while thanking Mak Mah. After that, she took shower and checked her books in the bag if she had any homework to do. She only had two which are Bahasa Melayu and Mathematics. She decided to do Bahasa Melayu first because she didn’t like Mathematics.

14 August 1971: Wednesday

Dear Diary,

Guess what I saw in the main hall today? I can’t believe that it was there. But I didn’t have time to look at it closer because Kak Naz was waiting for me and she scolded me because I was late. Poor Kak Naz had to wait under the hot sun. She was afraid if she got sunburn.

Mak Mah cooked something delicious today which is fried chicken with curry. Mak Mah is the best cook of all! I think I should learn cooking with her. Then, I’ll show Mama and Papa and Kak Naz and Abang Lan that I can cook! They’ll be proud of me!

I have to finish my homework by today. But I don’t think I can finish Mathematics homework because it’s too hard and it got so many numbers. I better asked Kak Naz’s help. She’s the most brilliant in the family. I wish I could be like her. Then Mama will stop calling me Idiot like she used to call.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Broken Wings: Prologue


I watched her sleeping peacefully on the bed. Seeing her in this kind of state made my eyes watered. Every time I watched her calm, wrinkly face, I knew that she’s still fighting. She’s been here for almost a month and her progress was still the same. I’ve been taking turn with my brother and sister lately since I got work to do. But it didn’t mean that I totally left her here with no reason. As the eldest son, I’ll do anything for my mother, the most important person in my life.

I lost my father when I was 17 years old, two and a half months before sitting for the MCE examination. It was the most devastated year I ever had. But my mother instilled my will back again. I’ve been given a new hope. And now, it’s my turn to give the hope to her. I slowly touched her thin, wrinkled hand and slowly squeezed it. Deep inside my heart, I prayed for her health. I wanted to see her smiling face which was brighter than the sun.

I turned around as I heard someone opened the door. It was my sister, Humaira. She came with my aunt, Nazatul. They brought foods and drinks and put them on the table near the sofa.

“Where’s Aswad?’ I asked Humaira.

“He said he’ll be here after his class end,” she replied. “You look tired, Abang. You should eat and rest.”

“Humaira cooked Chinese fried rice for you, Abyadh. Come and have some,” said Aunt Nazatul and served the rice for me.

I smiled and sat beside her on the sofa. Humaira sat on a chair near mother’s bed. I ate the rice and it was delicious. It was my favourite, and mother’s too. I asked Aunt Nazatul to eat together but she said she’s eaten with Humaira at home.

“How’s mother today?” asked Humaira.

“The doctor said that she got strong will and she’ll recover soon,” I replied.

“That’s a good news,” Humaira sighed in relief. “I’ll accompany her tonight. You can go back home and have a good rest,” she told me.

“But today it’s my turn,” I said, wiping my mouth with a tissue as I finished the rice.

“It’s no big deal, Abyadh,” Aunt Nazatul patted on my shoulder. “I’ll be staying here with Humaira. You need to rest too or you’ll fall ill.”

I sighed and nodded. I’ve been taking care of my mother here for three days and I didn’t have enough sleep lately. I went back home after Maghrib and took a shower. I watched news for a while before I hit the sack.

As I was on my way to my room, I stopped at my mother’s room. Since she was hospitalized, this room was kind of abandoned. I slowly approached the door and turned the knob carefully. I switched on the light and looked around. The smell in this room didn’t change. I looked at the king-sized bed. I used to sleep there with mother and father whenever I felt scared.

I sat down on the bed and ran down my fingers on the comforter covering the bed. I pondered for a while before my eyes caught the small drawer near the bed. Mother always forbade me for opening the drawer when I was a kid. I wonder what she hid inside there. I hesitated for a moment but I need to know what’s inside. I opened the drawer and saw some books were neatly put inside.

I took out those books and looked at them one by one. They were covered in light blue leather. Light blue was mother’s favourite colour. She said that the colour symbolized peacefulness. I took the first book and flipped on the first page. It was a diary. I flipped randomly through the pages and saw her neat handwritings on each page. I never knew that Mother wrote a diary before. I flipped back to the first page. This one had been written in year 1971, which was 41 years ago.