November 4, 2007


a narrative, from wiseguy.


i admit i slept badly last night; ironically i was also looking forward to meeting rosebud. for the first time in my life i just felt like shit. i felt i like i was turning traitor to my beautiful Sugar (which i was... in a way). i woke up this morning, glanced at sugar, who was still sleeping soundly, and choked back a tear.

just what in the world are you doing? you can still cancel that damned lunch, right?, i thought to myself. and yet i didn't. i never texted rosebud saying 'i couldn't make it'. hell, rosebud doesn't even know i'm married... because i did not tell her. god what am i doing?

i showered, and quietly got ready to go out. i didn't have anywhere to go really, but i did not want to stay home either; i didn't want to face sugar. lying once is bad enough. if i stayed in this morning, i just knew i had to lie some more just to cover up the previous lie. i wasn't feeling good about this.. but, dammit, i wanted to see rosebud all the same.

so i kissed sugar softly, and she mumbled quietly in her sleep. i caressed her cheek, feeling great oceans of love raging in a tempest in my heart. i love her, i know. but... i needed time out; i can't believe i'm saying this. i needed time out from her.


i spent most of the morning at the my brother's restaurant, where i worked as the 2nd-in-command cook there. we were closed for the day, but i had no where else to go. i didn't want to see family or friends, as they'd be asking about sugar. and (ya allah) i didn't want to be thinking about sugar right now. i hated doing this, but i was doing it. i felt so complicated and.. caught. but i whiled away the hours whilst waiting for the lunch date i had by going through the restaurant's sales records and other miscellany.

i thought of rosebud. she was a pretty girl i knew back in high school; cookie knows her. she was one of the 'it' girls in school. we flirted a lot back then, and started dating half-way when we were in Form 4. i dated her for 2 years, and we had plenty of good times before she told me nicely she was shifting places and thought it better if we broke up as a couple and stayed friends. i took it admirably enough, and so that was it. after her i never really saw anyone else seriously; i dated a lot of girls, but never more than once, and always with no romance attached. of course i met sugar later; but then that's a story already told.

at about 5 minutes to 1 o'clock i got a text from rosebud, telling me she was on her way. so i decided to lock up the cafe and drove myself to The Curve. as i was driving sugar rang me up.


"hello dear..", i said through the phone.

"are you on your way to lunch? say hi to the guys for me okay?"

my heart sank when she said that. but i somehow managed to maintain composure.

"sure thing sayang.. do you want me to bring back anything later?", i said.

"uhm, no. just you. boleh tak?"

"eheh.. can do.."

there was a moment of silence.

"are we still going out for ice cream later sayang..?", you asked.

"yeah, sure.. i'll phone you when i'm done okay?", i answered.

"okay. take care wiseguy. i love you. buhbye.."

"love you too", and i did. "bye..". i hung up, and continued my drive to The Curve. when i got there, i parked my car and went to the restaurant i was supposed to meet rosebud at. when i got there she was standing at the doorway, smiling widely and brightly at me.

"heyy handsome..", she said.

"heyy.. you..". i said.

"so.. hungry?", she smiled.


we talked a lot during lunch. picking up where we left off yesterday. there was a certain tension in the conversation... almost like a static, so heavy it would discharge a bolt of lightning straight at me. rosebud was being incredibly charming; then again she always was that way. throughout our lunch and chatter she gave me sharp glances straight to my eye. she would stroke the tips of my fingers occasionally, and i mentally kicked myself in the shin for letting her do that for maybe a few miliseconds too long before i pulled back my digits.

she also mentioned that she was single... news which i took almost indifferently. she said that she had broken up with her last boyfriend about 3 years ago (i wonder if it was at the exact same moment i said the akad nikah to sugar? what the hell?). but when she mentioned that she was looking into my eyes, and i could not help but feel...tugged that she was doing so.

we finished lunch. that was when rosebud, in a nonchalant way, asked me:

"do you wanna go for a movie wiseguy? or maybe you can teman me shopping?"

i paused a moment. should i? i was supposed to go out with sugar after my supposed lunch with the Photo Club boys. after a moments' thought which seemed to last forever, i managed to decline. albeit almost reluctantly... why am i feeling this?

"i'm sorry... but i have to be somewhere..", i said to rosebud.

"oh okay, nevermind then. it's been good seeing you again dear..", she said.

"yeah.. yeah, it's good..".

we stood facing each other in silence for awhile. god knows what she was thinking, but by the way she was looking at me, and her body language... i could tell she was wanting something. she was wanting me. it was her who broke the silence.

"i'll call you..", she mentioned with an inviting smile.

in normal circumstances, in which i would be thinking of sugar first and foremost, i would hesitate to answer. much to my maligned surprise, i said:

"sure. and i'll call you.."

we said our goodbyes, and i was thinking to myself: wiseguy you're on a slippery slope...

i got back home and sugar was already ready to go out. somehow my guilt doubled when i saw she was being so sweet and cheerful; she was genuinely happy that we were going out for ice cream. it was her nature, sugar. to be cheerful when we did things that reminded us of our sweetest memories. in this case, ice cream. every time we have ice cream, she'd take our consciousness way back to that first date. but today, it hurt me because i know i'd be hurting her if she ever found out i lied about today.

we went to the lake gardens afterwards, had ice cream and lazed around on the grassy plains. sugar was being quiet, but also at ease. her face was glowing. she leaned on my shoulder and held my hands. in a way she was apologizing for her recent tantrums by being all manja and sweet.

i, on the other hand, was thinking about today. about what i just did. in essence, i just betrayed the trust of my wife. i was trying to save my own skin and forget my own troubles. i felt like i was at the crossroads of something big. what would tomorrow bring..? at that moment i felt horrible: because having sugar here so close with me, my wife, i felt so lucky and i felt my deep love for her; and yet i was also worried as i knew she'd get moody and short-tempered again because of the whole having a baby thing... and i didn't want that.

but ultimately i felt horrible because i knew i was going to lie to sugar again; i wanted to see rosebud again.


God, if this is a test, grant me strength to get through this...


nurdini izni said...

haih.. wiseguy wiseguy... :l

jas said...