Kalsom sat beside Subhi when they boarded the bus while Nazatul was sitting behind them. Kalsom didn’t utter a word as they go along the journey. Nazatul was hoping that Kalsom will forgive her. And she was hoping that Kalsom will meet Tok Wan again. She was glad that Kalsom was having a good life. She has grown up to a beautiful lady even though she kept her hair short. Nazatul was grateful to the Almighty seeing Kalsom was happy living with her maternal aunt’s family.
But Kalsom didn’t feel that way. She was annoyed as Nazatul was glancing at her. She never wanted to see Nazatul again after what had happened 5 years ago. Although Nazatul’s presence angered her but deep inside her heart, she felt a little bit glad to meet her sister again.
Two hours passed. Kalsom fell asleep on Subhi’s shoulder. She had a dream where she met Tok Wan and Tok Wan told her something but she couldn’t hear it. She suddenly woke up as the bus accidentally hit the bumps on the road. She startled as she realized she was leaning to Subhi’s shoulder. Subhi was falling asleep too.
They arrived at Tok Wan’s house in the evening and Kalsom missed this place so much. It didn’t change much and she could see the old bicycle which she used to ride with her Tok Wan was still under the house. She also could hear many people talking up there and Nazatul gestured to her that she wanted her to go up in the house with her. Kalsom turned to Subhi and he nodded. He told Kalsom that he wanted to wait for her outside.
Kalsom followed Nazatul step by step as they climbed the small stairs. Her throat dried out seeing her Tok Wan lying on the mattress weakly. She slowly approached him and held his old, wrinkly hand. Her Tok Wan slowly opened his eyes and turned to her.
“Kalsom? Is that really you?” his voice croaked.
Kalsom nodded. “Yes, it’s me, Tok Wan.”
Tok Wan’s face lit up a little as he smiled. “Oh, Kalsom, my precious granddaughter! You’re alive!”
Kalsom took his hand and kissed it. She really missed her Tok Wan so much. And she knew that her Tok Wan missed her too. She was very closed to him and for her, he was her whole life.
“Where have you been all this time, sweetheart?” asked Tok Wan. “You father said that you ran away from home. But I never believed it. You didn’t run away, did you?”
Kalsom nodded and tried to hold back her tears. “Actually-,”
Before she could finish her words, she was aggressively pushed aside by someone. She looked up and scowl at the person who pushed her. Anger started to overwhelm her.
“How dare you come here, you little brat! I told you, you’re not part of the family anymore!” shouted Rohaya. Behind her stood her husband and her son, Azlan.
“Mama, please. I’m the one who bring her here. Tok Wan wanted to see her badly,” pleaded Nazatul.
“You brought her here! How many times do I have to tell you to forget about her? She brings bad luck to our family!”
The people around them was very shocked. Johari’s younger sister, Aida, helped Kalsom to get up. Kalsom took her hands and kissed them respectfully. Aida hugged her and gently stroking her back, telling her how much she missed her.
“Don’t think that you’ll get any of my father’s inheritance,” said Johari expressionless.
Both Aida and Kalsom turned to Johari.
“I don’t want the money,” Kalsom stared at her biological father. “I just want to see Tok Wan.”
“Don’t talk back to me!” Johari slapped her face and she nearly fell for the second time. “Get out of here!”
“Johari! How dare you!” Tok Wan was trying to get up but he’s too weak to do so.
Kalsom stood up again. She didn’t feel any pain but stared ferociously at Johari.
“You heard him, brat! Get out!” Azlan grabbed her hand and pulled her roughly to the main door.
“Let go off me, you big fat jerk!” Kalsom struggled to break free.
Nazatul tried to help but Azlan pushed her aside. Nazatul couldn’t fight Azlan for he was tall and fat. Azlan forced her to leave but Kalsom stubbornly refused. Azlan roughly grabbed her right arm and pushed her hard to the stairs. She nearly fell down from the stairs when suddenly someone punched Azlan in his face, hard. Azlan shouted in pain as he fell on the floor.
“Don’t you dare do that to my sister,” warned Subhi. Kalsom was shocked seeing Subhi appeared beside her.
“Hey! How dare you punch my son, you dirty street rat!” shouted Johari angrily. Rohaya went to her son and helped him to get up. Azlan groaned in pain.
Subhi ignored them and looked at Kalsom. She was rubbing her right arm as it was hurt.
“Let’s go back, Som,” he took her hand and left.
Today is the worst day ever!
But I’m still glad to be able to meet Tok Wan and Mak Su again, even though I didn’t get a chance to talk to them long. There are a lot of things that I wanted to tell them. They should know what had happened to me. Papa lied to them, telling them that I ran away from home! That old man! I hate them!
And I hate Mama too! She never changed. Always being angry at me. No wonder she’s not pretty as she used to be. I could see ugly wrinkles on her face. Abang Lan is getting fatter. That big fat jerk hurt my right arm! If he wasn’t fat, I could punch his stupid, stupid face!
Luckily Abang Subhi saved me. He never did that since I lived here. After we left Tok Wan’s house, he didn’t let go of my hand and asked me repeatedly whether I need to go to the doctor or not. I told him that I’ll be fine. I feel it’s kind of weird seeing him concern about me. But there’s one thing that makes me feel strange.
Why Kak Naz followed us back home? Mama and Papa was shouting at her not to follow me and yet here she is, in this wooden house, sharing her room with Kak Yah. She ruined our plan. Merdu and I are supposed to joined Kak Yah in her room, asking her about her new experience in the university as well as the ghost stories. Both of us love sharing ghost stories with Kak Yah.
But tonight is not the merry making mood night because Kak Naz is here. Merdu and I went to Kak Yah’s room but the atmosphere is slightly different. I hate it! I hate when someone ruined my plan. Everything will be fine if Kak Naz didn’t come here.
I know that she was sorry and she told me the truth. But I can’t forgive her just like that. I can’t.
It had been two days since Nazatul stayed with Karamah and Malik. Both of them were glad to have Nazatul staying with them. Nazatul said that she didn’t want to go back home. She wanted to spend her time with Kalsom.
Kalsom, on the other hand, still treated Nazatul coldly. Sometimes she avoid from meeting her except when they were having meals. Merdu tried to console her to forgive Nazatul but Kalsom didn’t give a good response. She knew that Nazatul still loved her like she used to be.
“You have to give her some times before she accepts your apology, Naz,” said Rugayah one evening as they were sitting at the veranda.
“I know, Yah,” she nodded. “But I’m not mad at her for ignoring and avoiding me. I betrayed her once. And I won’t betray on her again.”
“I can’t believe aunt Rohaya did that to her. I was shock myself when she dumped Som here and told her that Som wasn’t her child,” Rugayah looked at the mango trees in front of the house. “But there must be something that made her saying that. Do you know why, Naz?” she turned to Nazatul.
Nazatul sighed. Rugayah let her calm down before answering her question.
“Actually, I learn this painful truth 2 years ago,” Nazatul finally spoke after her long silence.