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.



wani ezryl * said...

haha.. tomato.. :P

calendar girl said...

now that you told me, the characters ada muka. and i cant help giggling again :D

nurdini izni said...

yeayy! go wiseguy! :D