April 9, 2008

interludes to the prelude to a goodbye: teka-teki


"i don't get it", you said.

"how can you not get it? it's a guy on a horse carrying a chicken. hence, 3 heads, a pair of wings and arms, four legs and two tails", i replied.

"okay, but that still doesn't justify the question. you asked me 'what has 3 heads blabla' and you asked it in a way that meant you were referring to single... creature", you said while wiping your glasses with a tissue. you put your glasses back on and looked at me gravely. "right?"

"how come it was fine that you answered 'magic horse' when you asked me that question about 'what has eight legs, flies, spits rosewater and neighs'?", i retaliated, and looked back at you in the same grave way.

"it was okay because", you tilted your head sideways, "i was still referring to only ONE creature. you, wiseguy, were talking about 3 separate sentient lifeforms.."

"fine you win..", i said. we were silent a moment. then you burst into a sweet muffled laughter, holding your hands to your face.

"ooo suka?", i said. we were at the cafe in front of the college campus, having a late lunch and telling silly riddles. i just finished my plate of maggi goreng(kosong, no vegetables but lots of cili padi) whilst you, much to my amusement, had had a plate of nasi goreng ikan masin with a piece of fried chicken, 2 slices of roti bakar with butter(in reality, margerine), and had finished that off with a cornetto and a glass of iced lemon tea.

"mesti la suka..", you said. "i like to win at arguments. they make me sound smart"

"excuse me sayang, but arguing a riddle about a horse rider with a chicken isn't really smart okay?"

"no, it's not. but it's the waaaayy you argue it that makes you sound smart. and i think i did an excellent job"

i cocked one eyebrow at you. "so you're the leading authority on chicken riddles now i suppose?", i said.

"i'm the authority on all riddles!", you said, smiling widely. then you took my hand in yours, and gently caressed my fingers. you were smiling, but not at me. the smile looked like it was directed inside; like you just thought of something funny, or maybe you shared some inside joke with yourself or something. a faint rose blush tinged your cheeks.

"what? senyum rahsia", i said as i let you caress my fingers.

"haha. what's a senyum rahsia?", you said, looking sharply at me now.

"that one la. the one you just smiled. you know", i made a parody of her smile on my face. "that smile as if you were thinking about something amusing.. or maybe you just broke gas or something.."

"oit! haha. i won't break gas in front of you okay?"

"ehehe.. yeah, but you get what i mean kann?"

"of course i do. you forget that i'm much more wiser than you, wiseguy", you said in mock arrogance.

"fine", i said. "so what's with the senyum rahsia?"

you suddenly got up from your seat in front and sat yourself down beside me. you held my hand in yours and leaned slightly on my shoulder.

"senyum rahsia because you just called me sayang", you said in a half-whisper.

"can't i call you that?", i said in half-whisper as well.

"yesss you can. saya suka. makes me feel loved..", you said, again in a half-whisper.

".... why are we whispering?", i said.

you held your head back and looked at me, puzzled. "was i?", you said. i shrugged my shoulders. then you said, "maybe i was. segan la. haha.."

you slumped in your seat. earlier you had been telling me what a hectic day it had been for you. as you sat there leaning back a little, my mind took a detour to how i was here in the first place with you. it was only 2 weeks back that i finally admitted how i truly felt to you, and much to my joy you said the very things i wanted to hear.

i still remember the 4 hour phone call and 2 hour IM session that followed the events of that day. we sort of re-discovered each other, getting to know about things we probably knew all about already. and in that process i think i had fallen in love with you all over again.

it's just crazy how things work, i thought.

"hey wiseguy, remember the movie 'The Exorcist'?", you asked suddenly.

"yeah, sure. 'MERRIN!!!'", i said.

"haha. yeah, that one. the demon in that movie was a Babylonian demi-god or something. pazuzu, it was called. weird huh?"

"yups. but i liked it. i like weird stuff. like you."

"haha very funny wiseguy. but thanks, haha... anyway, do you think monsters like that are real? i mean, we do believe in the devil and evil, right?"

i looked at you quietly for a moment. "where are you getting at dear?"

you shifted in your seat and put your elbows on the table.

"i mean, what if there's thing thing.. huge, hairy.. with like, long pointed horns, dark skinned. and yet we'll never be able to see it. what do you think a thing like that would be?", you asked, your eyes holding a mixture of excitement, awe and fear.

"a thing like that? but we can't see it?", i said and shrugged my shoulders. "i dunno. demon. hantu raya. hantu tahun baru. jembalang. ntah..mana nampak pun.. what would you call it dear?"

you narrowed your eyes at me and bit your lower lip. then with laughter you said:

"kerbau menyorok!!!"


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