December 27, 2007

getting closer, maybe.


his camera whirred. he twisted the lens, focusing, and fired off a few more snaps. when he finished the roll, he took the camera off his eyes, and carefully switched to a fresh roll.

wiseguy was taking pictures of flowers around his college campus. it wasn't really an assignment; he was just bored as class got canceled earlier in the day, and instead of going home he decided to get some rolls of film and take pictures around the campus. he thought of taking pictures of people, then decided against it. flowers and plants got the pick instead.

so far he's finished about 2 rolls of film. he had another 3, including the one he had just put it in the Canon Eos 3000V. he slung his bagpack around, looked at the flower plants in front of him, shook his head, and walked away to find other flower plants.

"oh shit", he exclaimed as he tripped over the drain he was stepping over and fell. his bag slung over in front of him, and it's contents were spilled: the extra 2 rolls of film, paperwork, stationery and a packet of skittles.

his knees slammed on the hard cement. it must have looked odd, because as his knees fell on the cement, he put his left hand in front to stop the fall, but his right hand was held high, holding the camera. he stayed that way for about 5 seconds, finding balance. he finally got up. some of the people around him laughed, some just stared for a few moments, lost interest and walked away.

as he stood back up straight and took a breathe, he looked at the things that fell out of his bag. he muttered something under his breath and squatted down to pick them up.

"are you so poor you pick things of the sidewalk now?", a voice called out. a familiar voice. a much loved voice.

wiseguy looked up to see sugar and tingles standing. tingles was hiding a laugh.

"ha ha. very funny. i tripped..", he said.

"tripped, stumbled and fell?", sugar said. she smiled and got down to help pick up the rest of the stuff.

"thanks", wiseguy said. he made jokes as they picked the stuff up and sugar laughed sweetly. then it happened that they reached for the same roll of film; their hands touched. there was a moment of sudden electricity that raced up through both of them. in that instant their eyes locked and the world seemed to slow down. wiseguy looked at sugar. sugar looked back at wiseguy.

do you know that i honestly love you? he thought.

do you know how i wish you'd tell me you love me? she thought.

sugar suddenly blushed furiously, and wiseguy tore his gaze away. and just as sudden as it came, the moment went away. they got up, smiled awkwardly and went their own ways.


"what in the world happened to you?", tingles asked sugar as they walked to sugar's car in the parking lot of the campus.

sugar acted indifferent. "what do you mean what happened? nothing happened."

"ehh babe. i nampak okay? your hands touched and you like, froze. and turned into a tomato, haha!", tingles teased.

"it was nothing lah. and don't call me tomato!", sugar pinched her best friend on the arm. tingles exlaimed in pain and rubbed her arm, but she was still smiling. they got into sugar's car and prepared to leave. but just before driving off, sugar turned to tingles.

"did you see the way he looked at me?"

tingles winked an eye at sugar. "yups. i saw. and i think you're right about him."

sugar nodded thoughtfully. the way wiseguy looked at her was.. different. it had depth. a controlled emotion. it wasn't fake, no. but it had meaning, no matter how weird that sounded.

"still", tingles said, "why do you think he hasn't really told you anything yet?"

sugar rolled her eyes. "duh kau ni. ARROWS. he obviously still thinks arrows and i are still going out. which is technically correct la kan.."

"so.. are you gonna break it off with arrows?"

"well..", sugar's shoulders slumped. "i guess i'm gonna have to. it's not like we're going anywhere.. and i don't love him.."

"hmm hmm... anything that makes you happy babe. and i gotta admit wiseguy's looking rather hot lately..", tingles said with a twinkle in her eye. sugar raised an eyebrow at her.

"oi. hands off. bukan ke you want redfoot? stay off wiseguy okayy?". the girls laughed as sugar finally gunned her engine and drove off. sugar sent tingles back home. as she got out, tingles asked sugar this:

"you're really serious aren't you? about wiseguy", she said.

sugar bit her lower lip and nodded. "yeah. i am."

tingles looked at sugar deeply, feeling a love for her best friend.

"okay then gadis gula-gula. i got your back okay?", tingles said, and sugar smiled warmly at those words. they bid their goodbyes and sugar went back home. she thought about her next step: she has to break the news to arrows. not about wiseguy, of course. at least not yet. but she knew she would have to tell arrows that she feels that they're going nowhere, and hope that it'll go down well. she thought about what to say, quietly as she drove back home.


wiseguy had also gone straight home after that encounter. he had intended to go to the college's darkroom to process his rolls of film, but had suddenly found out that he wasn't in the mood. so yes, he had went straight home. in an attempt to distract himself, he played games on the PS2, surfed the net, watched dvds, read magazines. but still he thought about the moment that his hands had touched sugar's, and how they had shared a look electric. finally, feeling restless, he called up cookie.

"heyy wiseguyyy. ape pulakk? miss me la tu, haha..", cookie said immediately upon answering the phone.

"yeahh..", he smiled in spite himself. "yeah i miss you. eh you free or not? got time to chat?"

"yeah i'm free. i'm at home. so whassup..?"

"the coolest thing happened today..", wiseguy said as he began telling cookie about what had transpired earlier in the day. when he finished, cookie laughed.

"oi what's funny?", he asked his best friend.

"you are! haha. no la. that was sweet. but you still haven't told her ye?", cookie said.

"uhm, no. i haven't had the time to. or i haven't had the chance. pick one excuse. haha."

"hee. you don't have to make excuses la dear. i guess i can understand. but you will tell her kan?"

"i.. yes. no. i don't know... she's still with that arrows guy. i don't wanna come across as a third wheel you know?"

"yeeeeaaa... but you gotta take the shot before it's too late tau? who knows; maybe the greatest thing will happen."

"you sound confident for someone without a boyfriend you know?", wiseguy teased.

"hoi! haha. fine. but i'm only saying that, if you don't take a shot, you don't wanna spend the rest of your days wondering what it would have been like, kann? so you have to, for better or for worse.."

wiseguy nodded and said "yeah..". they continued chatting on the phone, catching up with each other. wiseguy asked cookie about that jumpers guy; cookie said they went out, but then that was it. they didn't follow up. are you okay with it, wiseguy asked. yeah, turns out he's not really my type anyway, cookie had said. they talked some more and agreed to meet up for drinks and lunch again sometime in the coming week. finally wiseguy said thanks and bye bye and promised cookie that he'll tell sugar how he feels.

he hung up and tossed the phone on his bed. he sat at his desk and reclined his chair, putting his hands behind his head and stared up the ceiling. how can he tell sugar how he feels? just tell her! another voice inside his head said. he thought about it. isn't it as simple as saying 'sugar i love you'? it was... and yet it was also complicated. how, he couldn't explain. maybe it was simply the fear of rejection.. or the fear of a crushed dream?

he thought again of that dream he had had. he still remembered it clearly. in those dreams it was simple and beautiful to have been able to say 'i love you' to sugar. but wasn't that because it was an alternate her? wiseguy shook his head. adoi, he thought. words don't come so easily after all

in the end he fell asleep at his desk, not aware that somewhere else, sugar was thinking about him, and hoping for his words.


December 21, 2007

sugar & wiseguy, of one mind


it's about 1923hrs and outside the rain was falling down. the flash of lightning and the rumble of thunder streaked and echoed in the skies. i was in my room, cleaning my camera. then i flicked my camera to 'on', i pressed the review button and scanned through the images on my memory card until i found the one i was looking for. i've uploaded this one, i thought. i've uploaded a few pictures of her on flickR. i didn't know exactly why; from a photo student point of view, i guess to me they were just good pictures of an equally good looking (involuntary) model. i had taken those pictures without her knowing. it's not like i'm voyeuristic; it's just that, when the light strikes her eyes and face at just the right angle.. she turns from being pretty into simply beautiful..

.. but then again of course i'd say that, after all. i looked at the pictures on the camera again, smiled. i sighed and looked out the window, and not for the first time i found myself wondering


if he was thinking of me? if he really meant what he said on that 'prank', of he course he would be right? but maybe i'm doing a bit too much wishful thinking. i don't know for sure, do i? after all, he said it was a prank. and him being him.. it may well have could be. but still..

what about those pictures? the way they were taken, and the way he seems almost.. almost reverent in the way he never captioned them. but most of all it's those stolen glances he gives me whenever he thinks i'm not looking. oh god, this is so perplexing. i wish i could just ask him. but what would i say? and what would it look like if i did? he knows i'm with arrows.. but maybe that's gonna change. i don't want to make a fool out of myself if it turns out it was a prank after all.

i lay down on my bed and hugged my Hello Kitty plush toy tight. beside me was my diary and sketchbook; inside the diary were my jottings, which, of late, have often been about.. him. and in the sketchbook were drawings of.. him. oh i miss him..! i wish i could tell him that. maybe if i did he'd open up and tell me the truth. maybe he'd tell me how he really feels


about her. these feelings have been growing. i think ever since that prank i haven't been talking much to her. it's kinda sad in a way. but ever since i almost blew my cover i've been.. somewhat avoiding her to a certaint extent. we still talk and joke but it's lessened. the only explanation i can give is that i'm afraid that my words would slip. i do not want to interfere with her life, because, to me at least, her life is going on just as fine as butter.

everytime i pass her by, or talk to her, or see her, in college, i get these odd palpitations of the heart, and i feel a dull, aching throb within me. she takes my breathe away. everything about her. her looks, her wit, her personality. call me cliche, call me predictable, but in the end what else would so attract me to her?

still holding the camera, i flicked it off. i thought of maybe sending her a text message, or even a call, just to say hi. but i decided against it. i'd freeze; i just knew i would. i guess outside, in college, i have the protection and fallback of the other friends to depend on. but not when i'm alone. i would have nothing to say.. nothing except


i love you. i wish i could hear those words coming from him right now. i just want to know, and i just want to be sure. those words would make the happiest girl alive. i may not be fully there yet, but as surely as the tide rushes to shore, i know in my heart that i am falling in love with him. maybe it's been his rather uncharacteristic quietness lately that has ignited a fire within me. maybe it's the simple fact that i find myself missing him so much. whatever; i know i'm falling in love with him.

but i don't want to end up a broken hearted fool. that's why i have to know whether or not he really meant it. all the signs point to a big, reassuring YES but the only way i can know for sure is if i can hear it come out of his own mouth; in his own voice and from his own heart. i scribbled my name and his in my diary for probably the hundredth. i cupped my chin in my hands and thought how


i could have fallen in love in the first place? was it


his smile? the way he speaks to me? or maybe


it was in the way she always laughs at the things i joke about? whatever.. she is so beautiful to me. i wish i can tell__


him that i feel like i wanna hold his hands, and


maybe play around with her fingers before i could look into her eyes and say


i love you/i love you.


December 17, 2007

over chocolate cake, with tingles

sugar brought the chocolate marshmallow cake to the table with two forks, although she knew tingles wouldn't want a piece. still, common courtesy right? tingles eyed the cake with a mix of amazement and jealousy; it was a huge piece which looked absolutely delicious. sugar sat the cake down on the table and took a seat herself.

"i can't believe you can eat that without getting sick.. or fat!", tingles said.

sugar smiled at her best friend and took a big bite of the cake. tingles just shook her head.

"you want some?", sugar asked.

"no..! you're only asking me that because you know i'd say no!", tingles laughed. sugar smiled through a mouthful of cake. they were at a Secret Recipe cafe somewhere in KL. their class finished about an hour ago, and with plenty of time to spare and no work to do, the both of them decided to go window shopping.. and maybe gossip.

the girls talked about everything: shoes, celebrities, tv shows, food.. and of course boys. tingles had a crush on one of their classmates, a tall guy called redfoot because he wore red shoes everywhere he went although it clashed with everything else he had on. but, the girls supposed, guys don't really care about how their apparels match. tingles gabbed and yabbed about how cute redfoot is, and how cool it is that he simply didn't give a darn about what people say about his shoes. sugar listened with all the attentiveness and interest of a best friend who cared about her best friends. she didn't ignore her cake though.

"so are you gonna ask him out..?", sugar said as she finished her cake and wiped her mouth with a serviette.

tingles grimaced. "do you think i should?"

sugar shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyes. "why not?"

tingles bit her lower lip, as if deep in thought. then she leaned on the table and said, "what if that's like, being way to obvious that i like him?"

sugar looked at her friend, who had dark brown eyes and wavy locks of black hair.

"then", sugar said. "takpe lah. memang you like him, duh."

"i knowww.. but you know what i mean even if you're pretending that you don't know that you know what i mean..", tingles said.

"wha--?", sugar hung her mouth agape. then both of them broke into laughter. tingles looked behind sugar and tipped her chin in that direction.

"sugar, the counter-guy is eyeballing you.."

sugar squinted, her glasses falling down on her nose a bit. eeew, she motioned. the counter guy was an obvious mat rempit who looked... well, not to be mean, but he looked like he got the bad end of a beating with the ugly stick... probably after falling off the ugly tree. the rempit-ness of him made it worse. tingles smiled as sugar made a sick face.

"he can eye-ball me all he wants. i'm not interested..~", sugar said.

tingles was quiet for awhile and stared at sugar. the quiet suddenly seemed a bit too long.

"what?", sugar asked, smiling. "is the counter guy doing something?"

"i just realized", tingles said, "that we're here talking and maybe shopping later on.."


"where's arrows?"

the question hit sugar hard. she knew why tingles asked though. normally she'd be with arrows after classes ended. they'd go for coffee or a movie or something. but things were... how should she say it? a bit different lately.

this time sugar went silent. her lips tightened. she picked up her fork and began making weird patterns out of chocolate cream on her now empty plate.

"hello..?", tingles urged, but gently. sugar sighed, and put down her fork. she rested her back on the chair.

"i don't know..", sugar said. tingles looked puzzled.

"you don't know where arrows is, or 'you don't know'"?

"i mean, 'i don't know'.."

tingles raised her eyebrows. she shifted her seat closer to the table.

"babe, what's wrong?", she asked sugar.

"again, i don't know.. or maybe i do, but i just don't wanna admit it..", sugar answered. they were both quiet for awhile.

"you know.. come to think of it, i haven't seen you guys hanging around together that much, these past few weeks or months or so..", tingles finally said.

sugar rolled her eyes and made a shooting gesture with her hands. got that right, she thought. she hasn't been spending much time with arrows recently. they talk on the phone, and they IM each other on a somewhat regular basis. but something was missing. or maybe everything was? she thought.

"babe, you've guys been together for almost half a year now right? what's going on?", tingles said. "are you guys still steady or what..?"

"we're..." sugar said, but paused. we're what? she thought. she gathered her thoughts. finally she came up with this to say:

"you know.. when i first got together with arrows, everyone was saying 'whoaa there goes the couple of the year' blah blah, so it was kinda exciting. i mean, he really was the hottest guy in college, and i did kinda like have a small crush on him.. i mean, look at him: handsome, popular, smart, athletic.. the archetypical hottie, you know?"

tingles nodded.

"so it was flattering, and sweet, when he came to me and asked for my hand to be his girlfriend. me, Evie Nadia, who ate too much and always had something to say about something. he could have had any girl he wanted, but he chose me. so i was crazy excited and said yesss!

'it was almost fairy-tale like in the beginning. he treated me like a princess, and i guess i could say i was happy. yeaa, i was. i took pictures of him, i took pictures with him and put it on myspace and friendster and all that. i was almost bragging about how the college IT boy chose me.... but now.. now..."

sugar's voice faltered. it was tingles who finished for her.

"now you realize that you didn't be with him out of love, even if you were happy.. and realizing that made you realize that..", tingles let the sentence hang.

sugar nodded gently and pushed her glasses up her nose. she blew a strand of hair that fell on her face.

"i realized that i didn't love him..." sugar said. "and i don't love him.."


the girls ended up not going anywhere else that day. they just sat there and talked. sugar told tingles everything about her and arrows, and how they were kinda falling apart. maybe they really didn't suit each other after all, sugar said. tingles agreed. but tingles also suspected another truth. and she wanted to know before the day was over. sugar hasn't mentioned anything to her since that sudden question when she had come to pick her up to go jalan-jalan, but tingles knew it was on sugar's mind. so she thought she ought to ask about it.

"are you thinking about wiseguy?", tingles asked out of a sudden.

sugar went quiet. her cheeks flushed red. tingles eyes widened and she smiled excitedly.

"oh you are??"

sugar smiled meekly, picked up her fork and made stabbing gestures at tingles. but she suddenly felt relieved.

"tingles.. remember that day in the cafe? that 'prank'?", sugar said. "i think he meant it"

"maybe. i remember him asking me to buzz off for awhile, ehehe. but if it was a prank, only he could pull off something like that. you gave him the name 'wiseguy' for a reason..", tingles said.

sugar nodded. "there was something i saw in his eyes when all of us left that day that made me suspect.."

"are you sure?"

sugar sighed. "have you noticed.. ever since that day he's been rather quiet with me? we still joke around or verbally spar, but there's something.. missing.."

tingles nodded. "he hasn't been around much has he?"

"yeah..", sugar said. "and i miss him.."

tingles smiled at her best friend. so that was it. sugar misses wiseguy. tingles wondered, if wiseguy was indeed actually in love with sugar, if he was missing sugar as well. suddenly tingles' heart reached out to wiseguy. what sugar was saying was totally feasible. tingles thought of wiseguy; laid-back, funny.. he's cool. and now, thinking of it, tingles also realized how quieter than usual he's been around them.. and especially around sugar. before, they used to argue and take playful shots at each other constantly. but not recently.

"if it makes you feel any better..", tingles said, "i think.. yeah, i think he is in love with you.."

"thanks", sugar smiled. then she told tingles about how she had looked at wiseguy's flickR page and saw those potraits of her. that night, she had paced her room to and fro. she kept going back to his flickR page, and had kept attempting to call him only to end the calls before they got through. she had finally fallen asleep at her desk, her browser still on wiseguy's flickR page. by that time she had quit her pacing... but he had lingered in her mind.

"do you really miss him, babe?", tingles asked gently.

"i do." sugar answered, softly but with confidence. tingles felt proud all of a sudden. an odd feeling, but also oddly a right feeling. tingles knew what to ask next.

"are you falling in love with him..?"

sugar looked at tingles. but her mind was elsewhere; her mind was on wiseguy. scruffy wiseguy whose hair always looked as if he had just gotten up from a nap; wiseguy who carries some sort of photo-taking device with him wherever he went. she thought of how, despite their playful banter and sparring, he was always nice to her and sweet to her. how he has never said a bad thing about her, or to her. and recently, how he steals glances at her when he thinks she doesn't know.. and how, somehow, in the back of her own mind, she imagines that a pained sigh always accompanies those stolen glances. she thought of wiseguy. the way he smiled. talked. the way he had taken those portraits of her and made her look beautiful. why was that? but the answer came straight away: because she is beautiful to him.

"oi makcik... i asked you a question", tingles said, snapping her back to the present. "are you falling in love with wiseguy..?"

sugar took a deep breath. tingles raised her eyebrows, waiting for an answer.

"i won't say...", sugar said. tingles looked somewhat disappointed. but then sugar smiled and blushed and said:

" out loud to anyone other than you, yet. i think i am. i just can't stop thinking about wiseguy.."


December 13, 2007

sugar goes online

sugar sat at her study desk, absently surfing the net on her pink vaio. saturday evening and she had nothing to do. she sighed. well, at least it's not really a good day to go out anyway, she thought. tingles was home sick nursing the flu, and the other girlfriends had prior engagements anyways. she had just gotten off the phone with arrows. he had some of his guys at home, watching, what else, football. sugar didn't like the way the phone call had gone.

"hey dearie.. whats up?", she had said.

"hello.. hey, i'm kinda occupied. the guys are here, you know", arrows said.

"i know.. i just thought i'd say hi.. can't a girl to that anymore?"

"of course, i didn't mean it that way. but maybe i'll give you a call later yeah sugar?"

she had paused and bit her lip. she wasn't really hurt, but she felt annoyed. and annoying. but she had dismissed the thought.

"okay, alright. say hi to the guys for me", she had finally said.

"alright, bye sugar..", arrows said curtly.


"hm yeah?"

"... nothing.."

they then said their goodbyes. she had meant to say 'i love you' but had hesitated. that was a first. she wondered why.

isn't it obvious?, a voice at the back of her mind whispered.

sugar snapped her mind back to the present. she was looking at clothes at various online stores, wishing she had lots and lots of money to actually buy them instead of just looking. finally she quit that, and went downstairs for a snack. her mama was at the dining table, reading a Jane Austen novel.

"mama is there anything to eat?", sugar asked her mama, who worked as a HR manager at a 5-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

"eat eat eat. that's all you do. haih. lucky you never get fat. you're just like your papa, you know that?", her mama replied without taking her eyes off the novel. sugar's papa was a retired army major.

"heee.", sugar grinned and took a seat next to her mama. "you're reading Jane Austen again."

with her eyes still on the book, her mama smiled and replied, "i love Jane Austen. so let me be. go find yourself a snack. jangan kacau mama.."

sugar smiled and poked her mama at the sides, causing her to jump a little. sugar threw her head back and laughed. she went into the kitchen, and browsed the fridge. she made herself a crabstick sandwich, complete with salad and dressing, and also took out a pack of chocolate pudding. she made herself an iced tea and took all those upstairs to her room. mama shook her head, smiling , looking at the snack her one and only child had made.

"don't mess up your room..", mama called out as sugar reached the top of the stairs.

"no promises!", sugar playfully called back.

sugar brought her snacks to her study desk and ate it enthusiastically whilst watching an episode of 'Friends' she had on her laptop. after the crabstick sandwich she had the pudding; and finally she washed it all down with the iced tea and burped gently and softly against the back of her hand. she loved eating. she would probably have a big dinner tonight, even after an already sizeable sandwich. she didn't care.

she finished watching the show and quit her media player. she found herself bored again and opened her internet browser. she punched the keyboard and went straight to her social network site. she browsed through her friends' profiles, leaving messages and comments here and there. then she looked at her own profile, along with arrows' profile. it was somewhat depressing for her. she didn't really know why, although maybe she did but didn't want to admit it.

her primary picture was of her and arrows' side by side. it was taken a few months ago, when they had first started going out with each other. just a few months ago? she thought sadly. she switched her tab to arrows' profile. there wasn't a single picture of them together. it wasn't that important, she knew, but it somehow upset her. she sighed, not really caring anymore. she went back to her friends list. she clicked on wiseguy's profile.

it was minimalist, in plain black and white. wiseguy had put only one picture of himself; even then it was a profile view, with a camera held up to his face. sugar looked through the details. wiseguy didn't tell much; hobbies, favorite books and movies. that was all. she suddenly felt disappointed. perhaps she had expected more, knowing wiseguy to be quite talkative and funny(...although he has been quiet-ish recently).

she finally saw a link to a photography site and clicked on that. it was wiseguy's flickR page. he had some photosets; she browsed through the pictures. they were beautiful. one set was of plants and flowers; another showed various spots in KL taken at night. to her non-photographer's eyes, they all seemed incredibly professional. she clicked through the photo sets, and finally stumbled upon a few pictures that made her hold her breath.

the pictures were of her. it wasn't creepy or voyeuristic; on the contrary, they were lovely, and they were all portraits, taken at different times, all at college or that cafe they frequented. wiseguy had done well with the photos; they were exceptionally flattering to her. there was one in which she was holding her hand to her mouth to cover a laugh. another showed her looking down at a book. all of the pictures were nicely composed; the backgrounds blurred substantially so that only she stood out.

sugar put a hand to her mouth; there was something in the way the pictures were taken that touched her... and in a way, it confirmed her previous suspicions: wiseguy was, indeed, in love with her. the captions, or lack thereof, also seemed to reinforce the notion. while the other photos had detailed descriptions citing place, time and other anecdotes, the ones of her had only her name: 'sugar'. nothing else. no technical descriptions or notes or points to ponder. almost as if wiseguy didn't, or couldn't, bring himself to say anything about her.

she felt touched. she closed her browser and glanced at her phone. she thought of calling up wiseguy. she grabbed her phone, put it back down, and picked it up again. she scrolled through her contacts list and found his name. she pressed dial, and quickly pressed end before the call got through. she pushed dial again. and quickly ended it again. she felt odd. what was she going to say?

she finally put the phone back down and just sat there at her desk for a few minutes. taking a deep breathe, she decided to keep her peace.

suddenly she smiled; a shy smile that made her face simply beautiful; she didn't actually know this, but that smile would probably have caused wiseguy's heart to skip a beat. sugar smiled, and a faint blush rose to her cheeks.

she whispered a name, and felt very wonderful saying it. she whispered 'wiseguy'.


December 2, 2007


the young lady looked at herself in the mirror; almost scrutinizing herself. she glanced approvingly at her own slim waist and hips, and stuck her chest out for a few seconds. she liked what she saw. but then she felt incredibly embarrassed about her own vanity and turned away. she was dressed in a simple t-shirt and 3/4 jeans. the t-shirt was a plain white v-neck on which she had drawn her own designs on. likewise, the cuffs of her jeans had pretty floral motifs sewn on.

it was only about 1030 on a sunday. she had just finished showering and dressing when she had been looking at the mirror. now she threw herself back on the bed. she grabbed a book, started to read, got distracted and turned on her laptop to play games.

after awhile she got bored of that as well. she sighed and yawned. her mobile phone buzzed and she glanced at it. a text message saying "can't make it tonight; i got a football match". she rolled her eyes and tossed the phone beside her. feeling incredibly bored, she just lay there on the bed for awhile doing nothing.

soon enough, she called her best friend and told her to be ready in 25 minutes, i'm picking you up we're going out for some window shopping. okay fine, said her best friend. she got up, grabbed her denim jacket and bag.. and oops, not to forget, her phone. she went down the stairs of her home, asked permission to use the car from her parents, who were watching television in the living room, got approval and went out.

as she drove, she thought of him. not her current squeeze(if it was a squeeze.. it's been rather staid lately, she sighed) but of the other guy. but first the invasive question: should she be thinking of him at all? it doesn't matter, she thought and dismissed the question. she thought of the other guy; he wasn't the guy all the girls wanted and all the boys wanted to be. but he had something in the way he talked, in the way he looked at people. it wasn't a bad look; but at the same time that look he gave sort of sent out the message that "i am deeper than you think". at least, that's what she secretly thought, anyway.

then again, maybe it was only her who saw her that way. why, she didn't know. most times, especially amongst the friends, he was laid back, funny, sarcastic and above all, witty when interacting with people. she thought of that day again when he had pulled his so called 'prank' on her, and the others had laughed it off and relapsed into general conversation. even she had laughed it off; but she noticed the way he had stolen glances at her. the way he turned his head around or shifted his eyes away when she caught him looking. it was enough to convince her it wasn't a prank after all. but she didn't understand yet how she was sure. and she had let it be for awhile.

the past few weeks after that 'prank' had almost slipped by in a blur. she had gone on her dates with arrows, her classes, her shopping sprees. she had done her coursework, her assignments, her revision. and still at the back of her mind he lingered.

wiseguy, she thought. ever joking, ever wise-cracking wiseguy. she thought of how his hair always looked as if he had just got out of bed, and that smile he does when only his upper left lip moves; almost a smirk. she thought about how his eyes looked sharp yet dreamy at the same time, no matter how weird that sounds. they had gotten to know each other through their playful banter and arguments. and they had gotten to know each other really well.

she suddenly felt sad when she realized she hasn't seen him much these past weeks. that sadness turned into an odd (for her) longing. i miss him, she thought.

she sighed again and turned the corner to her best friend's house. she honked the car horn and her best friend appeared at the door, motioning for her to wait, wait, i'm getting ready. she nodded as her friend left the doorway, probably to get a bag or a jacket (or both). her phone buzzed. it was arrows, her actual boyfriend.

"babes, u didnt reply my message earlier? just to say again sorry cant make it tonite."

she blew a strand of hair that fell on her face, and pushed her glasses up her nose. she replied a brief, curt "okay, its okay. have fun" and dropped her phone in a dashboard compartment. she drummed her fingers on the steering well while she waited, and soon her best friend came out and got into the car.

"hellooo... so where do u wanna go girl..?", asked the best friend.

she was quiet for awhile, and said:

"tingles, do you think wiseguy actually really loves me..?"

tingles looked dumbstruck, and shrugged awkwardly.

sugar looked at her best friend, and shrugged it off herself.

"nevermind. let's go to OU. dah lama tak jalan-jalan there..", sugar said, and tingles just agreed and turned on the radio.

but still, as she drove on, sugar thought of him.

she thought of wiseguy.


November 4, 2007

A Prequel

i remember the day when all this became magical. i'm sure you still do.

we had known each other for almost a year then. you liked calling me 'wise guy' because i always came out with one-liners and other verbal zings. i called you 'sugar' because you were never without something sweet in your hands; candy, ice cream, whatever. and throughout that time i began to like you, and slowly i began falling for you. by then i'd been giving out hints about my ever growing feelings for you and i was so sure you were getting my signals, but you weren't saying anything about it. you just went on as per usual. then suddenly you began to cut me off. you wouldn't return my calls or even see me on campus. i was fighting a growing rebellion now. i had to tell you.

it was a balmy day, a day that would rain, when i saw you sitting at a cafe we frequented as i passed by in my car. you were with your friends; our friends, i should say. i knew this was my one chance to tell you. i parked my car and went directly to your table.

"we need to talk", i said as i pulled up a chair and sat facing you. you just look at me with a vacant expression. our friends, sensing an inevitable emotionally charged moment, backed off.

i looked at you directly in your eyes.

"sugar, i am in love with you." i said. "i am in love with you and i want you to know that. i am in love with you because ever since we met, i've found myself thinking about you almost endlessly. more than that, i am in love with you because i'm finding out that i care too much, so much about you. i know i am in love with you because it breaks my heart when i see you, and it breaks my heart even more when i think that i could never ever be with you, or when i worry that you may not feel the same way. i'm telling you this now because you've been avoiding me for reasons i can't quite fathom. i'm telling you this now because i know that even if it is a long shot, at least i told you how i feel. it hurts so badly when you're not talking to me anymore, or when you seem to refuse seeing me.

"maybe i can't explain this, and maybe there will never be true reasons as to why i'm feeling the way i am; but i am telling you this now, and i want you to know and believe this even if you don't love me: i love you, with every inch of my heart"

i finished that small unrehearsed speech, even if i thought then that it was probably incoherent gibberish to you. i look into your eyes; those eyes that i drown in it's shining beauty.

you stared back at me, and almost absently, you got up and left. you left.

i watched you walk away. our friends began to leave as well; some of them offered me a consoling pat on the back; some just smiled sadly as if to say it was, at least, a good try. by this time i was too stunned by your abrupt departure to say anything. i just clasped my hands together under my chin and sat there at the cafe. outside it was already raining.

after awhile i ordered a glass of kopi-o, just for a bit of warmth to my bones. in my mind i still had you lingering; i didn't know what i expected when i told you all that, but i sure as hell didn't expect you to just get up and leave. my heart at this point was, i guess, slowly breaking apart. i finished my kopi-o and walked back to my car. even in the now heavy rain, i took heavy and slow footsteps.

i unlocked the rustbucket of an automobile i had, and was about to climb in when i heard your voice behind me:

"hey wise-guy."

i spun around and there you were, standing in the rain in front of me. unconsciously, i shut the door of my car so the interior wouldn't get soaked.

"hey....hey you", i stuttered back. you take a step closer towards me.

"i'm sorry about...well, getting up and just rushing off like that..", you said.

"it''s alright. i'm sorry too..maybe i shouldn't have told you all that.. that crap..", i said.

"..crap? no... please don't call it that.."

" seemed like a good idea. maybe just somethings i had to say out loud..or not."

you were silent for about 10 seconds or so, but in the pounding rain and in the moment we were in, it felt like an hour. then you said:

"can i ask you something?"

"..yeah..yes. of course," i reply.

"aren't you afraid of making a mistake?"

"about what?"

"falling in love. with me. loving me."

i paused for a moment to gather my thoughts.

"no." i said.


"no. i'm not afraid of making a mistake."

"why..? what if it was?"

"if it was a mistake.. then i'd learn from it. but i'm not afraid of loving you. falling in love with you was, is, and will probably be the best thing in my life. i think that..i think that people create history when weaving love; and even if you won't love me back, i can look back at this moment in time and be thankful that i met someone like you; that i loved someone like no... i'm not afraid of mistakes.." i said.

again you pause for a moment. your eyes were red by now; i could tell you were crying, your tears mixing in with the rain. i guess people passing by must have thought we were loons to be talking to each other in the rain.

"i didn't mean to stay away from you.." you finally said. "i didn't mean to avoid you or not return your calls."

"then why did you..?" i asked, honestly curious.

"i was afraid of making a mistake. i've been hurt before. and i once said to myself that i never wanted to be hurt again... i admire you, wise guy, because you're not afraid of making a mistake..especially in something as big as falling in love.."

i stood silent at this. i didn't know what to respond to you. i was about to say something (probably gibberish), when you spoke again.

"you say that you love me. that you love me because you can't stop thinking about me, because you find yourself caring so much about me. i feel so honored; so touched when you told me all that; when you told me that you love me.." you said.

"i meant it.. for whatever its worth, i meant...i love you, sugar. i truly love you..", i said. amazingly i, too, was on the verge of breaking up. i looked down at my shoes so you wouldn't see that i was (maybe) about to cry.

"well..i have only one thing left to ask, wise guy.."

i looked up to you; your eyes were down, but in your cheeks was an obvious blush that was clear even in the rain.

i flung my arms around. "so ask me.."

"one last question.."

you stepped closer. we looked each other in the face, raindrops streaming down our cheeks. finally you asked your question:

"will you hold me close..hold me tight in your arms right now so i could tell you that i truly, deeply, love you too...?".



it's a beautiful night as we drive up the beach. the skies are clear and the stars are twinkling in the sky. a moon sits abreast the sky, three-quarters full and bright. you get out of the car first, and carry a blanket which you lay down on the sand. while you make yourself comfortable on the blanket, i take out a thermos of hot chocolate and a small packet of white marshmallows. i pour the chocolate into 2 mugs brought from home, and add the marshmallows in.

i bring the 2 mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows to where you are seated. as i sit down, you give me a nudge and almost make me spill most of the drinks. you laugh apologetically and pat the ground beside you, to which i obligingly take a seat. i hand you the mug of chocolate. you sip, and smile warmly.

"how is it?", i ask.

"delicious..although chocolate hardly seems the drink for a night sitting at the beach, don't you think?", you say.

i smile at her. "you had two options: but since we couldn't drink beer, it was only actually one choice."

"which doesn't make it a choice", you say with a seriousness underlying the mischief in your eyes. i stare at you at a moment. "fine" i finally say. "but you're enjoying it anyway."

the seriousness fades away in your voice; now the mischief in your eyes takes over. "yes i am. because it's good chocolate and it makes me feel warm. now hold me. we can make out."

i laugh at this. but you come near me, and you take my arm and put it across your shoulder. "so are we gonna make out?", you ask with that mischievous hint in your voice. your eyes sparkle as if reflecting the stars above.

i make as if pondering the question. then i say: "well, technically if we do, we're not breaking any rules since we got married just last week; but this being Malaysia, i think it's best if we keep the making out sessions to our home."

we laugh, the sound mixing in with crashing of the waves and the occasional chirps of whatever bird flies in these skies at night. for awhile we just sit there. we can't see the beach for sure, as it's almost pitch black towards the sea, but the gentle and rhythmic music of the waves coming to shore let us know that we really are on a beach at night. i think you almost lost yourself in the moment, because your eyes become dreamy at one point. not that i'm complaining. you look to me and smile. you kiss me softly on the cheek.

"do you think we'll get caught if we make out?", you say.

"you're still not over it?", i answer.

"no..! i want your opinion wise guy. do you think some sort of Pasukan Peronda Pencegah Maksiat will apprehend us if we start making out?"

"'s dark. there's no one else around. so maybe no. but what if that's what they want us to think? maybe there's a pak lebai hiding in the bushes somewhere, waiting for people like us to start making out."

"but we're married. we can show them our surat nikah."

"do you have it with you now?"

"no. but we could. right?"

"in theory, yeahhh. but i don't think being married entitles you to make out in public. do you want to make out here at the beach?"

" this is Malaysia, sayang. if we start making out, most probably we'll end up on the internet as a mobile phone video!!"

"or worst, on the front page of Harian Metro with the headlines "Pasangan Khalwat Bercium2 Di Tepi Pantai"!!"

"yes, exactly..!" you begin to giggle. i just smile.

"so why were you trying hard to make us make out then?"

"hee. just because. i like trying to get you all worked up."

"you do, don't you?"

you just smile back, and lean on me. again we sit there in silence. you pick up your mug of hot chocolate and drink every last drop. then you settle in again. i put my arms around you, and hold you close. softly, barely carried by a now steady and calm breeze, your voice calls out to me.


"hey.." i call back.

"i love you, you know..?"

i sit in silence for a couple of minutes. then i slowly reply, "i know..". i tilt your head gently so that we're face to face. "i love you too", i say and softly kiss you on the lips. you kiss me back, and with a newfound mischief in that beautiful smile of yours, you come out with:

"so i guess we're making out after all, huh?"




after beach

when the alarm clock rang i almost knocked it off the bedside table. i grabbed it and groggily gave a glance: 1030hrs. i wanted to go back to sleep when i smelled a subtle perfume: you. turning around, you were lying on your side in front of me, smiling. i twisted my body so i was facing you.

"what?" i said with my eyes closed.

"nothing. you. sleeping." you say.

"so what's with me sleeping?"

"cute." you say.

"i know i'm cute." i say in a smug but still sleepy voice.

"but only when you're sleeping", you hit back, "most other times, you're irritating"

i open my eyes and frown at this. "so i guess i should sleep all the time then?"

your brows furrow and you exclaim in mocking anger. "no..! who am i gonna talk to if you sleep all the time?". we laugh. in that late morning, with the sun already shining through our bedroom window, the sound of our mingled laughter seemed like the most natural thing in the world. i put an arm around you and pull you close.

"let's just go on sleeping sugar. it's not a working day. i want sleep.", i say.

"nuh-uh. you have something to do today", you say.

"i do? what?"

"you have to make me breakfast!"

i yawn and sit up. you sit up beside me and out your head on my shoulder. i love the way it feels. it reminds me of one of the reasons i love you, and one of the reasons i married you: tenderness.

"i have to make you breakfast? and why can't you do it on your own?", i ask.

"because, we've only been married one week; hence you have to make breakfast for the wife!" you answer.

"i didn't know that was a rule of marriage."

"then there's a lot of things you don't know, wise guy"

"and i suppose you do? have you been married before me?"

"noooo..but still. wouldn't it be sweet?" you say this while batting your eyelashes at me. it melts my heart.

"okay fine. what do you want sayang..?"

your eyes seem to sparkle at this question. triumphantly you almost shout: "nasi lemak!! i already bought the ingredients this morning while you were still sleeping!".

i stare at you amused. i let my body fall into your lap and mumbled: "you planned this didn't you? pandai ehh?"

you giggled. "can you make me nasi lemak?". as an answer i pinched you on the thigh and jumped off the bed. when i turned to look at you all i got was a pillow in the face and you shouting "oooowwww..sakitlah!!" and giggling at the same time.

after i showered and dressed, i went to the kitchen of our cozy apartment to find out you had, indeed, bought all the stuff for nasi lemak. i began preparing the stuff for the condiments. you walk in the kitchen smiling. you're wearing a t-shirt and a cute skirt, and you look just beautiful to me.

"you're lucky you know that," i say to you as i peel some cucumbers.

"yes, i know. but i wanna hear why. from you" you say, smiling.

"you married a cook who loves you and won't mind cooking for you" i say. you cover your mouth in a cute gesture i recognized since the days when we first started dating. when you do that it means you're flattered and blushing. you take a seat at the kitchen counter as i began busying myself. when you offer to help, i decline.

"how am i gonna be good at cooking when you're not gonna let me help?" you protest.

"okay, first of all, cutting cucumbers and boiling eggs isn't exactly science" i say. "besides, you wanted me to cook for you sayang. so you take a seat and let me do the work for today okay?" i kiss you on the cheek and shoo you off to the living room.

after about three-quarters of an hour i bring out the nasi lemak complete with condiments and invite you to the dining table.

"carry me there?" you say and hold out your arms.

i shook my head. "noooo..." instead i held out my hand, took yours in mine, and seated you myself. i spooned some of the fragrant rice (mama's recipe!) onto your plate with the condiments. i took a seat and motioned to the two pots i had put on the table. both had steam coming out of the spouts.

"tea or coffee?" i ask.

"no chocolate left from last night..?" you ask back.

"chocolate hardly seems the drink for a romantic breakfast don't you think?" i say with a raised eyebrow.

"nasi lemak isn't romantic"

"then why did you want nasi lemak then?"

"because i was hungry wise guy! hihi. but for you, nasi lemak can be a romantic dish"

"it is isn't it? creamy..spicy.."

"oily?" you say through a mouthful of nasi lemak and sambal ikan bilis.

"cholesterol-ly?" i remark. at this you laugh and almost spit out your mouthful. i pat your back. "eat properly dear."

after breakfast (or brunch, more like it) you and i just lazed around on the sofa, talking. you leaned on me. i steal glances at you from time to time, a habit from our earlier days together. you always noticed back then, and you notice it even now.

"you don't have to steal glances at me sayang.." you say softly.

"i can't help it.. it's habit" i answer.

"hee. well you don't have to. you can just look at me.." you say and tilt my head so we were face to face. you put a hand to my face and gave me a long, deep kiss on the lips, a kiss i gladly returned. time slowed down for that moment, it seemed.

you broke the kiss and smiled. your eyes were still closed. then you gave a little giggle, as if someone was tickling your feet. i smiled, amused.

"what is it?" i ask in a gentle voice. our noses were still touching. you opened your eyes and put your forehead to mine. still smiling, you say "you smell like nasi lemak..~" and giggled again. i gave a small laugh of my own.

"so do you sugar.." i said and i kissed you again, softly on the forehead this time. "so do you."

Different Seasons


she stared at him across the table. they were in a restaurant somewhere in KLCC. he was being quiet and evasive.

enough! she thought.

"jumpers, what is it? you're so quiet tonight," she said. she went on, trying to add some humor and bring a smile or words to the lips of her boyfriend. "talk to me, make a fart joke or make fun of that ugly waiter or something". she said this with a smile that, she thought, looked and felt so horribly false and desperate.

but still he didn't say anything, or even smile. instead he begin to fiddle the cutleries and napkin on the table. she rolled her eyes and grabbed his hands.

"jumpers, it's just so unlike you to be quiet like this. now you better tell me what you're hiding in that head of yours or i am leaving this table", she said through gritted teeth.

he let go her hands, and leaned forward at the table.

"we need to talk", he said.

uh-oh, she thought. what now?

"cookie, we need to talk", he repeated, saying her name now.

"ok..ok. so what do you wanna talk about?", she said quietly. her heart started beating faster; conversations that begin with 'we need to talk' are almost always bad ones. she looked at his face; a face she loved very much and wondered what was he going to say.

"cookie, i can't be with you anymore", he said.

those words hit her with such force, she thought she must have almost fallen of her chair.


"i heard you." she said, short and curt. "..are you moving to another place?"

"no, i--"

"are you gonna study overseas? we can still be together if you are.." she was panicking.

"cookie, i--"

"does your mom hate me? i thought we got along well?" she started talking faster now, babbling about how things can still be okay.

"cookie, listen to me, i--" he tried to interrupt, but she just went on talking. she was on the verge of full blown tears now. maybe because she was realizing something. he, on the other hand, snapped.

"COOKIE, I DON'T LOVE YOU ANYMORE!" he said, loud enough so some people at adjacent tables craned their necks to see what was going on. when they saw a young couple, they just turned away.

she had stopped talking. the words that jumpers just said hurt her in places she never knew existed; places so deep inside her heart, she imagined she couldn't even see the bleeding. she had never seen this day coming. she had never thought he would say those words to her. she had thought they'd love each other forever. now he was sitting across from her, his face oddly calm...triumphant even.

"do you have anything to say..?" he asked, much to her shock. she gathered herself, trying hard not to break down.

"why did you just say that..?", she asked. "why did you say you didn't love me anymore..?"

he took a breathe before answering. "because i don't." the bluntness of those words hurt her even more. "i don't think i ever really loved you at all, all these times.."

tears were starting to fall down her face. she felt so crushed. she didn't even care to see if people were looking. to make it all worse, he had said those words calmly, collectively, and while sitting leaning back on his chair.

"jumpers, i love you. i thought we were happy.." she said.

"not anymore.." he replied.

"but why? what did i do wrong..? what can i do better so we can make this work..? jumpers..."

"there's nothing you can do. and there's nothing i want you to do. just end this and let me go."

"why? you can't fall out of love for no reason!!" she belted out. she was looking down at her lap with a hand shielding her eyes. suddenly a mobile phone was thrust in front of her. on the screen was a picture of him and a beautiful girl with curly, raven hair. she looked up at him. he nodded.

"that is why." he said. "i've been seeing her for a few months now... and she just makes me good. she does things that you never did; she makes me feel alive. you? you just loved me."

she couldn't believe he was saying this. "you're lying" she said. "you're just showing me this."

he smiled. he
smiled. "nopes. remember those times i couldn't go out with you?". this question threw her off guard; since the past few months she hadn't seen him all that often. in fact, she thought, this is the first date we've had in weeks..and what a date it was turning out to be.

"face it cookie," he said, still in that calm and collective voice. "we're through. i don't love you anymore."

she wiped her eyes. for the moment the tears were in check.

"what did i do wrong to you..? i loved you with all my heart. even now as we're speaking, i love you... but you went behind my back and
cheated on me." she said, anger mixing in with the heart-break.

he smiled again. the fact that it was a smile she adored and dreamed about hurt her a thousand-fold more. incredibly he gave a small laugh.

"cookie cookie cookie. we've been together for what? 3 years? i got bored. there was nothing in it for me. love is so overrated these days", he said.

"but love means so much!", she said, frantically. she realized this was a mistake, talking to him. he laughed again, a sound which once was so sweet to her. now it just seemed cruel.

"see? that's why i got bored. you're weak cookie. all you care about is love. and that same love makes you weak. a pussy. love won't take you anywhere. face it: love is shit. all love does is make you blind and konon-nya selfless. screw that. i want to be selfish at times. "

she just stared at him as he said that. "then why are you with this curly haired bitch?" she asked, trying to make him feel guilty. she was wrong.

"well..", he smiled, " me what i love pre-requisite, no love required."

cookie sat there stunned. for a few moments she looked at him. finally she got up and left. her parting words:

go. to. hell."

jumpers just smiled, and gave her a mocking wave goodbye.


she was furious and hot-headed as she walked out of the restaurant and into the KLCC park. everywhere she could see children running around, tired parents trying to keep up...and she could see young couples, just like her and jumpers sometime ago, walking hand in hand, laughing and teasing and just cherishing their moments together. she felt deeply jealous inside. and for the first time she begin to feel cynical and pessimistic.

hah, she thought as she walked pass by a young couple holding hands. don't bet on hand-holding, that guy might just walk away just for a piece of ass, she thought.

such thoughts and musings went through her mind as she walked through the park; bitter thoughts, hateful thoughts, cynical thoughts. she felt as if she hated everything as a result of what jumpers said to her today. but as she walked and the people began to thin down, the heart-break begin taking over. she suddenly dropped to her knees, put her hands to her face, and cried her heart out. the few people who passed her by just left her alone, shaking their heads thinking about what a state the world is in when a pretty young woman just drops to her knees and cries in public.

after a few moments, she got up and sat down on a bench, eyes still watery and red. she was still sobbing, but managed to get out a hankie and wipe her tears even as they fell down and died on her cheeks. she knew she needed to talk to someone. someone who'll make her feel better, someone who'll comfort her. someone who'll know just what to do to take her mind off things. a best friend who she admires for his loyalty and belief and pure honesty in his own relationship. someone she's known since her school days.

she took out her mobile phone, grimacing when she saw the wallpaper was a picture of her and jumpers. she quickly deleted the picture from her screen and dialed a number.

please please please pickup the phone, she thought. after a few rings a voice answered.


she felt relieved to hear that voice and managed a small smile. taking a deep breathe (to hide the sobs more than anything), she replied:

wise guy? can we talk...?"


Cookie Crumbs

this takes place the day after 'different seasons', as told through the eyes, voice and thoughts of cookie


i got up out of bed very early, just as it started to rain this morning. still a bit drowsy, but not able to go back sleeping, i went to the bathroom to freshen up. as soon as that was done, i went down to the kitchen to see that mummy was also already up, and preparing breakfast. i surprised her by hugging her from behind as she was mixing in the batter for cucur udang.

"morning mummy..!", i said.

"hey!! ishh. don't surprise me like that. what if i had spat into the cucur?", she complained.

i giggled. "awww mummy. don't be mad at your favorite daughter..~". this was a joke; i was her only daughter. my two older brothers were already married.

mummy smiled. she was a kind hearted woman who used to be a doctor at GH until her retirement 2 years ago. "i'm not mad lah. now help me set up the table. your grumpy old man will be coming down soon. make some coffee too. and remember; he wants it not too sweet,"

"that's gonna be a problem," i giggled "because since i'm so sweet, everything i do will be sweet!"

mummy just shook her head amiably. i went to get small plates and set them at the table. i made a pot of coffee (kopi hang tuah, since you asked) and put that at the table too. then i went back to the kitchen. i sat myself on a stool and watched as mummy fried the cucur udang.

"i didn't see you much last night," she said suddenly. "you came home and went straight to your room..". she asked this warily; i guess mother's can tell when something is going on with their children. i was quiet for awhile. mummy looked at me.

"what's wrong sweetie? you can tell mummy.."

i bit my lower lip. i had tried hard to forget what happened yesterday when i woke up this morning, but now with my mummy's tender and loving gaze, tears begin to well up as i painfully thought of yesterday. with heavy, watery eyes i told mummy:

"jumpers left me."

a sad look passed through mummy's eyes, and she held out her arms. i went to her, as i always have all these years ever since i was a little girl, and cried on her shoulder. she hugged me and i comforted myself in the warmth of her love and embrace. she stroked my hair and whispered calming words to my ears. she knew how much i was in love with jumpers.

as my tears stifled down, i recanted to her what happened yesterday as she finished up frying the cucur udang. all while i talked she nodded her understanding, only asking questions here and there. finally she stood in front of me and put her hands on my shoulders.

"my lovely cookie; i know how sad you must feel right now. but mummy wants you to be strong and wise, okay? i want you not to let yourself fall because of this; remember, there is always hope, and there is always love." she said. "now wipe your tears and let's go eat. your daddy must be at the table already. this cucur udang won't taste as good cold!"

she smiled at me and i smiled back. i loved her so much. i wiped away my reddened eyes and took out the plate of piping hot cucur to the table. daddy was, indeed, already at the table, reading The NST with a cup of coffee in front of him. i set down the plate of cucur and went to kiss him on the cheek.

"morning daddy..", i said.

he looked at me and smiled. he was a lecturer at UM. now he runs his own distribution business. a quiet man, but loving, gentle and very funny when he wants to be. i remembered the times he would surprise me with gifts when i was smaller..up until i was 17 really. i guess even now i am still his little girl.

mummy had taken a seat opposite him, and i took the seat beside her. i plated some cucur for both my parents and had some myself. we talked...well, mummy and me mostly. daddy would say a few things but mostly listened even as he read the paper. mummy and i talked about everything, from how macaroon and clocks (my older brothers) were doing, to what was new at our favorite retail outlets. then mummy excused herself as she had some errands for the house to do. i checked the time and saw that i too, had to be ready for work ( i tought Form 1 and 2 students science at the nearby secondary school: the kids there call me 'cikgu sayuri', as, they said, i look like zhang ziyi in memoirs of a geisha).

i got up and cleared the table. daddy still sat there , finishing up his coffee and newspaper. i took the dirty plates to the kitchen, washed them and had a glass of cold milk. then i went to my room to get ready. as i was just about to climb the stairs, daddy called out to me.

"yes daddy?" i said.

"are you okay dear..?" he asked me. then he took his eyes off the newspaper and looked at me. a look of concern.

"yeah i'm okay. what do you mean daddy..?"

"i heard you and mummy talking in the kitchen..."

i was silent at this. suddenly he got up and walked towards me. he took my hands in his, and held them gently.

"i don't like seeing my little girl in pain.." he said, stroking my hand. "but, like your mummy said: be strong. we'll always be there for you. i'll always be there for you."

i looked at him in the eyes and saw all the love a father could ever have for a daughter in them. i hugged him.

"thank you daddy. i love you."

he smiled at me. "now go and educate our future generation.." he said.


i went up to my room and showered. i thought about yesterday. jumpers' words still rang in my ears. and the look of pure...nothingness on his face still lingered in my mind. i sighed, and fought back tears.

i had cried enough last night. and i had spent hours looking at our pictures together before placing them in a box and putting it on top of my dresser(i still couldn't bear to destroy them). i tore off the pictures of me and him that i stuck to my mirror: pictures since 3 years ago, from the moment when we met at a kenduri of a friend. my eyes were watery, but somehow i managed to restrain myself from crying when i did that. when i finally fell asleep, it must have been about 3am.

my heart still ached badly, but i felt a bit better, and am so glad i have parents that understood me and loved me and cared for me. as i was about to get ready to go, my mobile phone buzzed. a text message. i opened it.

it was from wise guy. the message read:

"dinner is at 8, my place. you know how to get there right? sugar is cooking tonite, so bring some pil chi kitt teck aun, just in case, haha. but be there; we'll talk, okay?"

i smiled. wise guy. a best friend. he always comes through for me.


A Sugary Dinner

(a narrative, from wise guy)

although the kitchen was quite in a mess, i had to admit that sugar did a pretty good job preparing dinner: warm mushroom salad, beef stew with crusty bread, and she even made chocolate pudding for dessert. the only fly in the ointment was the constant calls of "sayang! tolong..!" through-out her time in the kitchen. now all i had to do was clean up after her. i also made a mental note to myself: praise my wife for a job well done. she had spent hours at the supermarket the day before, meticulously looking for her ingredients.

of course there was another thing on my mind: cookie. more specifically, the recent event that had happened to her. when she called me up, she was almost blabbering. all i heard and i could make out was that jumpers had unceremoniously dumped her. so i had told her to calm down, get some time out, and we'll talk later. sugar had noticed my concerned look after cookie's phone call, and had asked me why... which led to an 'interrogation' of sorts, with sugar asking me so many things about cookie. it wasn't that she was jealous: no, it was just her nature to be curious. she ended up sympathizing with cookie, and had asked me to invite cookie to dinner at our house. they have met before, but only in passing. it was at our wedding.

as i was finishing up cleaning the kitchen and sugar was busy making herself look good, the bell rang. i glanced at the time. it was just about a quarter past eight. that had to be cookie. from outside the kitchen i heard sugar calling out that she'll get the door. i washed my hands, dried them on a towel and went to greet our guest.

sugar had already invited cookie in, and now they stood at the doorway, giving the customary girly hug and kiss. cookie had brought a small basket of fruits. buah tangan, i thought. when sugar and her had exchanged pleasantries, she turned to me with a smile. she extended her hand; amusingly, behind her, sugar was mouthing and miming to me: give her a hug. it's okay. i resisted the temptation to laugh, instead i held out my arms and gave cookie a brief hug.

"it's been awhile, hasn't it..?", i said. cookie looked very pretty. she had short hair, and was dressed comfortably in a cardigan and jeans. she smiled warmly, but there were hints of sorrow in her eyes.

"yes..yeah..", cookie said. her eyes were a bit watery.

"well..let's hope you're hungry. or at least you have a metal stomach for what's coming tonight." i said and winked at sugar. the women exchanged smiles, and all of us went to the dinner table. they seated themselves as i offered to get their drinks and set the table. as the ladies chatted away, i thought about cookie. we had first started being friends back when we were in primary school. she was the quiet girl with a heart of gold...but it turned out she wasn't really quiet at all. sensitive, sweet but a good talker, we had spent hours just blabbering about ourselves, our friends, our teachers. it was a friendship that lasted well into high school. i told her about my crushes, and i once helped her get her own high school sweetheart. she was my only best friend who wasn't into sports or girls or girls who play sports in tight clothing. instead she seemed to love science; and i guess she was the only girl in school back then who was a geek and a hottie. but cookie never really got into a serious relationship until she had met jumpers 3 years ago. i met the guy once, in Sungei Wang. trendy guy with an air of cockiness around him. but cookie loved him, and at least she was happy. was.

we didn't see each other much after, mostly because we went to different colleges. but we had always maintained contact, no matter how little. and when she called me up yesterday, clearly in need of someone to speak to, i was more than willing to oblige. thankfully sugar was in the mood to be all sisterly too. i had told her to avoid the topic during dinner though.

i finished these thoughts and brought the ladies their drinks and set the table for dinner. being the only guy there, i plated the food for them, and topped up their drinks. sugar was being her graceful self, and cookie too, cheered up a bit. they talked like old friends, much to my pleasure. i wanted to join in, but instead let them get to know each other more. i did insert a one liner or two (i am called wise guy for a reason), which sugar would rebuff and cookie would laugh at.

"so," i said when there was a gap in their conversation. "how do you like my wife's cooking? did you bring the chi kitt teck auns?"

sugar made a face and cookie laughed.

"come on wise guy. you're not the only cook in the house okay? sugar did a great job. i love your beef stew!" cookie said to both of us.

"thank you! i was so worried it won't turn out nice. and all the time i was cooking i had someone watching over my shoulder and nagging." sugar said and looked at me.

"hey, who was the one who kept calling out 'tolong'?" i shot back. we all laughed. the food was good, and i was proud of my wife.

small talk went on until sugar brought out dessert (too sweet for me; but, as with me, sugar is known as sugar for a reason as well). cookie dutifully played her role as the smitten guest by cleaning every bit of pudding from her small bowl, although my 'cook sense' told me that she too, must have thought the pudding was a bit too sugary, pun intended. but she enjoyed her dinner; that i was sure of. sugar insisted on doing the dishes, so off she went. there was a moment of comfortable silence between cookie and me. it felt like a needed silence, to set the tone. she didn't come here just for dinner.

"so.." i said.

"so.." cookie said.

"you look pretty?" i said.

"haha. why is that a question wise guy?" she laughed.

"because i don't know how to start talking? ehehe. are you alright dear..?"

cookie smiled. "i guess i am. but i wanna talk about sugar first. i feel so bad that i don't know her as well as i should!"

"haha. nah its okay. we went to different colleges, you and i. so of course you haven't gotten the chance to know her."

"i remember you were always talking about the girl in glasses who likes sweets over the phone whenever i called. so you finally got the girl huh?"

"yes.." i smiled. "i took the chance and reaped the reward.."

"alhamdulillah." cookie said. "at your wedding both of you looked glowing. i was jealous, haha."

i just smiled again, nodding.

"4 years ago at that cafe near our campus; that was where i told her i loved her. and in the pouring rain a bit later on she told me she loved me too. i guess we never looked back ever since.and when i asked her to marry me.." i said. cookie smiled and nodded her understanding.

"the rest they say is history?" cookie said softly.

"well, yeah..haha.." i said. " was as if she was made for me, you know. i am so glad i took that chance. i am so glad we stood there in the rain.."

"you're a lucky bastard, wise guy" cookie said amiably and sighed. "i'm so happy for you.."

"thanks sweetheart.." i said, with sincere gratitude. just then sugar came back, carrying a tray with 3 mugs of, what else, hot chocolate and marshmallows and a small plate of oreos. i took the tray from her and motioned for the 3 of us to head to the living room to lounge around. i sensed that cookie was getting anxious; it was about time for her to pour her heart out. she didn't really get the chance when she called me.

we took our seats on the floor, where sugar and i had 4 of those big bean cushions laid out. sugar made herself comfortable beside me, and cookie sat cross-legged just in front. she made a comment on how she loved our little apartment. normally i would dismiss these remarks as 'general comments' but coming from cookie, i knew she meant it. the three of us went silent for awhile as we sipped and savored the chocolate. through our open balcony door, a cool breeze came into the living room. i decided to break the silence.

"cookie...what happened the other day?" i said.

she greeted this with silence, gathering her thoughts.

"cookie.." i coaxed. her lower lip started to quiver and she shifted her gaze to her hands; as if on cue, sugar reached out and took cookie's left hand in her own.

"you can tell us, cookie..", sugar said while holding cookie's hand. she broke down, crying. sugar instinctively went to sit beside her and put an arm over her shoulder. cookie rested her head on sugar's shoulder. i sat there in front of them, looking at how they were interacting. it struck me then that ladies seem to have a natural talent for comforting one another; a native sense, i guess. looking at cookie crying and my wife comforting her, two ladies whom i loved albeit in different ways, i could not help but feel touched. sugar and cookie seemed like they were long lost best friends.

cookie then managed to stifle her tears, and slowly told us what happened yesterday. she told us how jumpers had dismissed her as if she was some sort of rubbish. how jumpers had ended a seemingly happy 3 year relationship with all the complexity of flushing down the toilet. when she finished, i had half a mind to drive out, find jumpers and give him a straight right hand to the face. we let her dry her tears before she continued. sugar was still holding her hand.

"i never thought it would end.." cookie said. sugar and i exchanged a look that meant: let her talk. cookie went on.

"i mean, since the day we met at that kenduri and exchanged phone numbers, we never had any major disagreements or sorts.. he was understanding, he was compassionate to me. he was in love with me..! he did so much for me..he gave me everything i ever when i heard him say the things he said.." cookie choked a little here. "..when i heard him say those things, i was..i was so shocked, so scared. and he said it all with a poker he had been anticipating that moment all this time.."

cookie wiped her eyes, which were leaking tears again. a look of realization crossed her face. she went on.

"...and he was after all, i guess. for the last few weeks we haven't been seeing each other much..i'm teaching part time at the school, and him being a travelling sort of person, i just assumed he was off..somewhere doing something..but not cheating on me! god..!!!"

cookie was almost losing it; but sugar held her close, and i guess it calmed cookie down.

"the thing that hurt me the most was that even as he was saying those mean things yesterday i was still so damned in love with him. part of me still wanted to beg and plead so that he wouldn't leave me just like that.. then he showed me a picture of him and that..that.."

cookie broke down and cried again, sobbing hoarsely. i gathered my thoughts.

"cookie.." i called to her. i shifted myself closer to her, and i took her free hand in mine. cookie looked up at me, her eyes red and glazed.

"cookie.. i want you to forget that damned jackass; he does not deserve you." i said to cookie. she looked surprised, but did not say anything. sugar, with all the tenderness of a sister, wiped away cookie's tears.

"you're a wonderful and beautiful person..since he had the guts to treat you like that, it's clear that he doesn't have the heart to truly love you", i said. "so i want you to forget him. you deserve much better."

cookie rubbed her eyes. "thanks..thanks. i needed someone to tell me that. to tell me that all isn't lost for me.. wise guy, you know how i can be...i'm a softie.." she said with a sweet but sad smile. i smiled back at her.

"you always were. remember back in high school when you found out that guy you had a crush on already had a girlfriend..?" i said.

she suddenly burst into laughter. sugar looked puzzled, but also relieved that cookie wasn't sobbing anymore.

"that guy! god i almost forgot... i know when i found out i actually didn't come to school the next day because i had been crying the night before and my eyes were puffy and swollen..!" cookie said. we all broke into much needed laughter. sugar made cookie drink her chocolate and eat some oreos. that was typical of sugar; sometimes she seems like so simple a person, who thinks that any problem can be solved with sweets. but i know for a fact she has a beautiful mind... she just doesn't advertise at as much as she should, maybe.

we were quiet again. cookie seemed lost in her thoughts. i was thinking about what to say when sugar asked cookie what was she going to do next.

"well.." cookie said. "i guess nothing... it's not like i'll go on a man-hunt looking for the next mr. right straight away you know.."

sugar did not say anything but smiled at cookie.

"it's better that way for you.." i said to cookie. "and trust me, jumpers will soon realize what a mistake he made, dumping you."

cookie nodded. "it's funny how fast things change, kan..?" she said.

"maybe for the better.." this time sugar spoke. "maybe, insyaallah, this is a fortunate misfortune. i mean, maybe God has a better path laid out for you. a better way.. so fate intervened and made jumpers leave you so that you'd find someone who would truly love you for all time". although the words were spoken to cookie, sugar was looking at me as she said them. cookie noticed this, and looked down at her mug of chocolate as if she had suddenly interrupted a private moment.

"i don't get why some guys do this.." i said. this time both cookie and sugar looked at me.

"i mean, if you didn't love the girl, why be with her in the first place? it can't be just about trying to get some right?"

it was cookie who answered me. "it's because they want to be 'made'. they want to have a reputation.."

"and they think that by being with and dumping girls, they'd be known as a stud or something", sugar finished for cookie. they exchanged an understanding look.

"i've never even thought about doing it before.." i said.

"that's because you're not like other guys, wise guy.."

it was cookie who said that. she went on.

"wise guy, i guess i've never really told you this before... but i think you're probably the most honest guy when it comes to love i know. you're so true." cookie said. she turned to sugar. "you know what? back when he had a crush on you, he wouldn't stop talking about you to me whenever we chat on the phone. it was like 24/7 sugar sugar sugar. but when i told him to go for it, he would say 'i have a crush on her; i don't love her yet'".

sugar gave me a look of surprise. i raised my eyebrows at her.

"so when did you fall in love with me?" sugar asked.

" was when i fell in love with you, of course" i answered with a smile. sugar punched me on the thigh. "did he tell you when..?" she asked cookie.

"yes. i think it was a month before you guys actually started dating. he called me up and said 'cookie, i think i love sugar'. i was like "yay! then go for it!'", cookie said.

sugar put her head on my shoulder. i looked at cookie and she looked at me warmly.

"how much," cookie asked. "do you think is up to Fate when it comes to love..? i believe that fate and God has a plan for us, but don't people say that you can choose the path your love is going to take?"

"i believe it too", i said. "and that's why love, i think, is ultimately about choices and sacrifices. you'll always be sacrificing something when it comes to love; that's the part when you choose which path you wanna take your heart through..then only Fate and God will decide if the path you chose was a happy one..or just another path that would lead you to the path".

"and it's funny that you never actually really choose who you love.." sugar said. "i mean, i did not choose to love this monkey beside me, it just happened, and my choice was that i tell him that i loved him too when he told me he loved me..and it wasn't your choice, cookie, to fall in love with jumpers; you just did, and it's not your fault he hurt you.."

"thanks sugar.." cookie said. she was silent for a moment before she said: "was jumpers right...when he said that love is overrated..? he told me that i was weak because i loved too much.."

"no!" sugar answered quickly, almost in defiance. "love is not overrated."

"commercialized, maybe.." i interrupted.

"wise guy! not the time for jokes..!" sugar scolded me. "cookie, love is not overrated. that was just jumpers' excuse to make you feel bad. love is beautiful. love is what makes everything all right. it may not buy you your dream house or car, but what it does is make you feel that you belong. that your place on earth has meaning...your love will make someone happy, and it's love that makes people happy.."

i smiled, the way i usually do when sugar reveals her more philosophical side. cookie nodded slowly.

"and love," sugar continued, "does not make you weak. what is strength anyway? strength is the force and power within you; that love actually makes you stronger"

cookie seemed to get sugar's point. "because when you love, and when you believe in love, it means that you believe in a better hope, and it means that love will give you strength to protect and cherish your loved ones.." cookie said. sugar squeezed cookie's hand.

"there'll always be sadness and heart-break.." sugar said. she looked at me; she wanted me to finish the sentence. so i did.

"..but if you believe in love, there'll always be promise for a better tomorrow", i said.i could finish that line because sugar once wrote it to me on a RM10 bill, after we had a fight once, about a year ago. it has been her 'mantra' ever since.

"you know what's ironic..?" i asked the ladies. "i always used to think about this back then; why are there so many girls who say 'i'm looking for someone sincere' but when they meet these sincere guys, they won't fall for them. instead they'll always end up with jackasses; no offence to you cookie.."

"none taken, haha!" cookie said. "maybe it's because the jerks far outnumber the sweethearts, so they, eclipse them, you know?"

"it's like a paradox.." i said.

"it's unfair but that's the way it is..~" sugar said to me. i took her hand and kissed it.

the three of us talked late until the night. we talked about what sugar and i were planning for the future, what cookie would be planning now; mostly though cookie and i exchanged stories from our school days, reminiscing. we talked about the time i broke my leg playing basketball and how my ankle was bent at a 90 degree angle outwards; we talked about how cookie would score near perfect scores in Science and Maths and how i used to call her 'nerdina'; we talked about our high school crushes and we told sugar all sorts of stories involving our friends and teachers and our 'adventures' back then. sugar listened with great interests, and laughed hard when cookie told her that i once stumbled clumsily on stage while accepting an award for, of all things, most books read during that year. sugar listened in to these stories, and i thanked cookie sarcastically for revealing past embarrassments. in turn i told sugar that cookie once had a boy 3 years our junior proclaim his love for her because "kak cookie telah menawan cinta hati saya".

when it was almost midnight cookie said she should go. sugar offered that i should walk cookie to her car, and i obliged. cookie thanked sugar and once again they exchanged the customary girly kiss and hug. they made promises to go out shopping or lunch together, to which i joked that now i would have 2 ladies talking about me behind my back. finally they said their goodbyes and i walked cookie to the parking lot of our apartment complex.

we were silent for a while, walking slowly.

"you're such a lucky bastard, wise guy.." cookie said.

"i know; you told me that" i said.

"well i meant it. she's an amazing girl.. you two were made for each other.. fate?"

"i guess.. maybe i had a hand in that too.."

cookie smiled at me. "thanks..for tonight.." she said.

"it was nothing.." i shrugged.

" meant so much to me. i needed you to come through for me. no one else would have told me to forget about one else would have made me laugh tonight.."

"you're welcome you're gonna be okay..?" we had arrived at her car now. she unlocked it and opened the door; she stood there for a moment.

"i will be. you may not have noticed, but i was looking at sugar and you the whole night.." she said.

"i know. why..?"

"you two are beautiful together." she said with such utter confidence, i believed it. "take good care of her wise guy; angels don't always appear on earth you know.." i stood there nodding.

"hey wise guy.." she called out to me.


"i'll get through this right?", she asked.

"sure you will.. it'll take patience and maybe it'll be hard.. but you'll find the strength. you'll get through this." i answered. she stepped away from her car towards me and gave me a hug. "i'll see you around" she said. she went back to her car, got in the seat and fired the engine up. as she backed out of the parking space and was about ready to go, i tapped her window. she rolled it down.



"there'll always be sadness and heart-break, you know..?" i said.

she looked at me and smiled. it was her who finished the line this time.

"but if you believe in love there'll always be a promise of a better tomorrow.."

cookie rolled up her window, waved goodbye, and drove off into the night.


a few weeks after 'a sugary dinner'

i have this habit of waking up in the wee hours of the morning. it's something i've been doing ever since i was a teenager. and i find myself doing so right now. glancing at the bedside clock, it reads 0325hrs.

shit, i say in my mind. i sat up slowly so i wouldn't rouse you. then i turn my head to look at you sleeping; adorably, you had on my favorite worn t-shirt(which said 'master of dudes' in the front) and a pair of beach shorts. the ones with 'aloha' written on the sleeves. i smile looking at your peaceful face. it never fails to hit me that you while you look smart, sassy and pretty with your glasses on, it is when you have them off that you transform into a beautiful and graceful angel. ironically your eyesight is as keen as a blind watermelon when you're not wearing them.

i get off the bed and head to the kitchen. i fix myself a cup of hot coffee and head for the balcony of our cozy 3 room apartment. we had put out a nice rattan psychiatrist' couch there, and it is here that i take a seat and stare out into the night. KL seems like a sea of crystalline lights from this vantage point; i take it in.


i shifted in the couch to see you standing in the balcony doorway, your hair all messed up and your eyes half closed.

"can't sleep sayang..?" you say drowsily. this isn't the first time i've waken in the middle of the night. sometimes you just keep on sleeping and i'd join you later; sometimes you wake up as well and join me. go figure.

"no. sorry i woke you up. come here." i say.

you walk, almost stumbling and crash yourself(softly, of course) on the couch. you lay your head on my chest.

"can i have some coffee..?" you ask.

"you want me to make some for you?", i say.

"no. i want yours. boleh tak?"

"eheh. of course you can dear. here."

you take the cup of coffee from me and take a few sips. suddenly you grimace a bit.

"it's bitter!" you exclaim.

i smile. "not everyone has a sweet-tooth like you do, sugar".

you grumble and mumble in annoyance. you rest your head on my chest again. i kiss the top of your head, taking a breathe of your fragrant hair. the scent of a lovely summer garden.

"are you okay..? i always worry when you wake up like this.." you say.

"i'm fine. it's just... habit.." i answer.

"well it isn't healthy. it makes me worry that you have troubles on your mind. am i troubling you wise guy?"

"no sayang, you're not. and i don't have troubles on my mind."

"honest to goodness?"

"yes. if i did, i would tell you right..?"

"i know. i love you wise guy."

"i love you too, sugar."

we sit there in silence. occasionally the faint sound of cars passing by would echo around us. i look out towards KL again. ever shining, never sleeping KL. just as i thought you had fallen asleep, i hear your voice calling me softly.

"hey wise guy.."

"yes, sweetness?" i say.

"i can hear your heartbeat" you say.

"you can?"


"then what of it..?" i ask this honestly, not out of annoyance.

"it reminds me of the night you held me in the rain". you look up at me. you squint your eyes because you don't have your glasses on.

"that night when i told you i loved you too" you say.

"i remember that night. why does my heartbeat remind you of it..?" i ask.

"because when you held me in the rain that night, i felt your heartbeat. and your heartbeat told me something."

"what did it tell you..?"

you pause for a moment and edge closer to my face.

"that we'll always be together", you say. i touch your face softly and we kiss. then you lay your head below mine, nuzzling my neck as you did so. then gently you take my hand in yours and put it between your bosom.

"can you feel my heartbeat, wise guy?" you ask.

"yes i can sayang..". indeed, i could feel the steady rhythmic beats of your heart.

"what does it say to you..?"

i pause for a moment, gathering my thoughts.

"it doesn't say anything", i say. you look surprised, but before you could say anything, i went on.

"your heartbeat doesn't say anything.. but it sings. it sings to me that you are the only one i will love 'til the end of my days..." i say. "and i'll give my everything to make sure it'll always sing.."

i bring your hand to my lips and kiss your fingers. your eyes begin to shimmer as if they were reflecting the starlight. you smile, and silently whisper 'i love you' before you lay your head back on my chest.

moments pass by. after quite a long silence, i called out to you but you don't reply. then i felt you take a deep, deep breathe, and only then i realize you have fallen back to sleep. i carry you back to the bedroom, and lay you gently on the bed. i climb back between the sheets. i gaze at your face, and, not for the first time, find myself wondering what beautiful dreams were you having, softly as you lay beside me.