Saturday, 26 January 2013

Broken Wings: 8

Chapter 8

Someone rang the doorbell as I was preparing the breakfast. I knew who it was. Aswad. He told me that he wanted to have breakfast at home. Still wearing the apron, I greeted him at the front door. He shook and kissed my hand – the way the Malays respect the elders when shaking hands. I told him I was making fried rice.

We trotted to the kitchen. I served the food on the expensive-looking dining table. It was our mom’s and dad’s favourite table. We always have our meals here. Aswad sat on the chair and I put the rice on the plate and handed to him.

“It smells nice,” smiled Aswad.
“And taste nice too,” I added. “This is the special fried rice.”
Aswad tasted the fried rice and lifted his eyebrows at me. “You’re right.”
“Hey, don’t talk when your mouth is full,” I chuckled.

Aswad is the apple of my mother’s eyes because he’s the youngest. He looks exactly like me but his eyes are like mom. Mom used to say that I look exactly like my late dad. I even kept my hair long, just like dad.

“Are you going to see mom today, abang?” asked Aswad.
“Yeah. Aunt Naz and Humaira were staying there last night,” I replied. “How’s your class?”
Aswad shrugged. “Nothing much. The examination will start next month.”
“Do your best, Aswad. For mom,” I said, looking at him with hope.
Aswad nodded. “Oh, by the way, Hydir called me last night. He said he’s going to visit mom with Aunt Merdu today.”

Aunt Merdu. The name reminded me of what I’ve read in the second diary. Aunt Merdu is the one of the people who was closed with mom besides Aunt Nazatul. I really wanted to know what happened between mom and Aunt Nazatul.

“Abang,” called Aswad.
I snapped back into reality. “Yes?”
“Are you okay?” Aswad frowned in concern.
“Yeah,” I nodded. “I’m just worried about mom.”
“I know. We are all worry about her. I hope she’ll wake up soon,” said Aswad in a sad tone.

I glanced at the clock on the wall. It’s nearly 10.

“Finish your meal, Aswad. We’re going to see mom in ten minutes,” I stood up.
Aswad licked his fingers quickly and washed his plates in the sink.

We’re hovering at the hospital lobby while waiting for Hydir and Aunt Merdu. They arrived few minutes later. Hydir shook hand with me and Aswad. I shook and kissed Aunt Merdu’s hand. I ushered them to where mom has been ward. Humaira and Aunt Nazatul were happy to see Aunt Merdu. They hugged and kissed cheek. Aunt Merdu went to mom’s bed and kissed her forehead.

Aunt Nazatul told Aunt Merdu about mom’s condition. My heart cringed as I heard that mom’s getting weaker. Aswad sat closer to mom’s bed and held her hand tight. I knew that he’s crying silently. Hydir patted Aswad’s shoulder, trying to console him. Hydir is a year younger than Aswad and they’re very close since they were kids.

I sat on the sofa next to Humaira. I watched Aunt Nazatul and Aunt Merdu talking near the window. I really wanted to ask Aunt Nazatul about mom’s diary but I didn’t think that it’s the right time.


It wasn’t the heart-fluttering moment for Kalsom meeting with Nazatul as they haven’t seen each other for four years. Karamah invited Nazatul to come inside. Kalsom didn’t say a word but scowl angrily to Nazatul. Nazatul, on the other hand, was making a tremendous effort to appear calm. She knew that Kalsom was mad at her.

Merdu and Rugayah served drinks and some kuihs. Merdu offered Nazatul to drink. Nazatul nodded and thanked her. Kalsom didn’t even look at her. Anger was overwhelming her heart.

“What do you want?” Kalsom broke the silent but she still scowl at Nazatul.
“I want to see you, Som,” replied Nazatul, trying to stay calm.
“You’re wasting your time. I don’t want to see you anymore,” she muttered with anger.
“Please, Som. Listen to what I’m going to tell you,” Nazatul pleaded.

Kalsom turned away.

“Som, please don’t act like this, dear. She’s your sister. She came all the way searching for you,” said Karamah gently.

Kalsom sighed heavily.

“Mama doesn’t know I come here to see you, Som. Neither do Papa and Abang Lan. I came here on my own,” said Nazatul in sad voice.
“If you want to beg me to return to that house anymore, I’m not going,” Kalsom crossed her arms to her chest.
“I’m coming here not to ask you to go back, Som. I come here to take you to Tok Wan’s house. He’s dying, Som. He really wanted to see you badly,” Nazatul held back her tears.

Kalsom felt her throat was dry. Her anger subsided.

“Is this true?” asked Kalsom in a trembling voice.
Nazatul nodded.
Kalsom turned to Karamah and Malik. She wanted to go to her Tok Wan’s house at this moment. Karamah and Malik looked at each other.

“You should go and see him, Som. After all, he’s your grandfather,” said Malik calmly. Inside his heart, he felt like something bad will happen if Kalsom goes there. But he wanted to push that bad feeling away.

“I’ll go with her,” said Subhi suddenly.

Everyone was surprised, especially Kalsom. Subhi was the quietest among his siblings and he rarely spoke to Kalsom. Kalsom, on the other hand, was quite scared to Subhi because of his serious attitude.

“Okay, then,” Malik nodded, giving his permission to Subhi to escort Kalsom to her Tok Wan’s house and come back safely.

Kalsom agreed to follow her sister, Nazatul, although half-heartedly. But she must go and meet her beloved grandfather was sick. Merdu and Rugayah helped her to pack her clothes while Karamah prepared some foods for the three of them.

Kalsom was ready to go to her Tok Wan’s house. She waved goodbye to her family and walked to the bus stand. But she never knew what will happen when she arrived there.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Broken Wings: 7

Chapter 7

Kalsom tried to run away. But those hands grabbed her and pushed her hard until she fell on the floor. She was surrounded by three black figures. One of them grabbed her arm and slapped her face few times. She tried to fight back but she didn’t have enough energy to move. She begged for mercy but one of the black figures laughed evilly. She knew that voice, she knew that evil laughter.

One of them was a woman. She yelled at her and insulted her, saying that she was useless and wished that she wasn’t born in this world. Kalsom knew who they were. Those figures continued hurting her even she cried on top of her lungs. They ignored her excruciating cry. They kept on hitting her until someone shook her shoulder. She was getting scared. There’s another person who tried to hurt her. She didn’t know what to do. Then she heard a voice calling her name.

Kalsom woke up and looked around. She was drenched in sweat. She panted hard and saw Merdu was sitting next to her, holding her trembling shoulders. She sighed in relief. It was just a nightmare. But still, she’s so scared to get back to sleep.

“You screamed in your sleep, Som,” said Merdu.
“They beat me again, Merdu. It’s hurt,” cried Kalsom in silent. She could feel the pain.

Merdu hugged her and caressed her back gently. “It’s okay, Som. I’m here. You don’t have to be afraid.”

Kalsom hugged Merdu tight. She wished that the nightmare was over. She didn’t want to have that unpleasant dream. Then someone knocked on the door. Both Merdu and Kalsom nearly jumped.

“Who’s there?” asked Merdu, still hugging Kalsom who was crying.
“It’s me,” answered the voice.

It was Shah. He’d heard Kalsom’ scream just now. He slowly approached them.

“She’s having a nightmare again?” asked Shah, sitting next to Merdu.

Merdu slowly nodded. Shah sighed and patted on Kalsom’s head.

“Don’t worry, Som. We’re here to protect you. And as your eldest brother, I will protect you, Som. So, don’t cry anymore. Get back to sleep. You have school tomorrow,” said Shah consolingly.

“I...I don’t want to,” sobbed Kalsom. “They will be beat me again. It hurts abang. It hurts,” Kalsom sobbed harder.

“Then I’ll accompany you here, Som, with Merdu,” Shah looked at Merdu. Merdu nodded and later, Kalsom fell asleep in Merdu’s arm.

Merdu carefully laid Kalsom on the bed while Shah sat on the floor, leaning to the bed. He always slept like that every time Kalsom had a nightmare.

The next day, Kalsom was down with fever. Her head felt heavy and everything seemed to be spinning around as she tried to wake up. Merdu touched her forehead she felt Kalsom’s forehead was slightly hot. She told her parents about Kalsom’s condition. Shah volunteered to send Kalsom to the nearest clinic.

Even Kalsom was having fever; she forced herself to get up as she wanted to go to school. She didn’t want to miss the lessons. She weakly walked to the door and told Merdu to wait for her. Malik forbade Kalsom to go to school for that day because her body was too weak. Merdu promised to tell the teacher about her condition.

Shah told Kalsom to rest but Kalsom refused. She still wanted to convince them that she wanted to go to school. She nearly fell on the floor as her head hurt. Karamah helped her to go to her room and put the damp towel on her forehead. She felt pity to Kalsom as she knew why Kalsom was down with fever. She consoled Kalsom that everything will be fine and she’ll regain her health soon.

Shah went to Pak Awang’s house after taking breakfast. Pak Awang was an infamous pawang (Malay for traditional doctor) in this village. People in this village will go and see him if one of the family members got sick. Shah told Pak Awang about Kalsom’s condition. Pak Awang agreed to go to Shah’s house this afternoon.


“Congratulation, Kalsom!” Merdu and her other three friends cheered. Merdu showed the Maths test paper to Kalsom. She got 81/100 and this made Kalsom speechless.

Kalsom was back to school after having a fever for 3 days. She really missed her lessons and also her classmates. Some of Kalsom’s friends congratulated her and welcomed her back to the class warmly. Kalsom didn’t know what to say as she stared at her test paper again and again.

She never got A in Maths but this has proven that her hard work was paid. She repeatedly thanked her friends who always helped and supported her. But few of her classmates were jealous of her because of her marks and also some teachers’ appraisal towards her.

Most of the teachers in this school liked Kalsom’s attitude. They always praised her for her effort and kindness towards the teachers. She always volunteered to help the teachers in need. But sometimes she got rebellious when teachers mentioned about her real family. Everyone knew that she lived with her aunt and uncle. But she always told them that they were her parents and Merdu was her twin sister because they were in the same age.

But those teachers never knew the truth on what had happened to Kalsom 4 years ago.

It was another mundane weekend and this time Kalsom and Merdu were waiting for another member of the family who studied far away from their home. This person was the apple of everyone’s eyes. This person’s name is Rugayah or her family called her Kak Yah. She studied in the local university located in Kuala Lumpur. She’s the one and only in this family who managed to further her study.

Karamah, Merdu and Kalsom cooked a special meal for Rugayah as she’s having a semester break. At the same time, they will celebrate Kalsom’s performance as well. Karamah was proud of Kalsom, and so the rest of the family, especially Shah. He, as the eldest in the family, always reminded his other siblings to study hard and not to be like him. Even though Shah dropped out from school but his younger siblings respected him very much.

Dear Diary.

Kak Yah is coming back! Oh, I’m so,so, so happy!! We’re going to have a celebration for her although it’s very simple. Mak cooks Gulai Ikan Haruan for Kak Yah and also me because I got a good result in my test. I’m very grateful to Allah.

My brothers and Ayah went to the paddy-field early this morning. They will be back at noon. Kak Yah also will arrive at noon. She sent the letter 3 days ago. Everyone is very excited to meet her! And I can’t wait to listen to her stories of her life in the university. I hope Merdu and I will be successful just like her.

Kalsom and Merdu kept on peering outside of the window in case their big sister arrived. They were so excited to see Rugayah. Then Malik and the boys came back home. They washed themselves as they were sweating all over. Then they helped Karamah to prepare the meal.

Rugayah arrived and everyone cheered for her. Karamah hugged her tight, kissing her cheeks few times. It showed that how much she missed her so much. Malik kissed her daughter’s head as she bowed to kiss her father’s hand. It was a wonderful day for Malik and his family. They had lunch together and all of them asking about Rugayah’s health and her life there.

After lunch, Kalsom and Merdu washed the plates and glasses. They were so happy that the smiles never faded from their faces. As Kalsom rinsed the plates, Raheem called her. She put the plate on the rack near the sink and patted her wet hands on her shirt.

“What is it, Abang Heem?” she asked.
“Someone wants to see you,” replied Raheem hesitatingly.
“Who?” Kalsom frowned as she looked at how Raheem reacted.

Raheem told her that someone was waiting for her at the lawn. Kalsom followed Raheem from behind, thinking of the person who wanted to meet her. If her friends came, Raheem will tell the names of her friends. But this time, Raheem just told her ‘someone’ and he acted that he was hiding something from her.

Kalsom went to the door. She was utterly shocked as she saw that person in her lawn. The person that she hated the most; Nazatul.