August 6, 2008



i was reading a magazine when all of a sudden the skies went from sunny to a subdued gray; i glanced out the window to see the rainclouds had returned. i shook my head. we live in the tropics after all. i sat myself back on the sofa and continued reading the magazine.

the sofa has space for three. i remember buying it at Ikea with you. the color was a pleasant brownish tone i had called 'honey' and you had called 'caramel'. then you had said

'caramel and honey is close enough. sweet things'

i had laughed. seems like ages ago.

the sudden tip.. tap.. tip...tap..tiptaptiptap at the window made me look outside and sure enough the heavens had opened up again. heavily too, and almost without warning. thank god i did not have laundry out in the balcony. that would have made a humdrum day even worse.

lethargy took the better of me. it was about thirty minutes to four but outside, it looked like dusk. anyway, a rainy afternoon.

i put down the magazine and stretched my arms and legs. i cracked my knuckles. what now? no place to go today, and nothing to do. i tossed a cushion on one end of the sofa and laid myself down. i feel alone. i woke up earlier this morning while it was raining and thought of you. i was doing it again now. as ever the voices of ghosts echo in my mind.

what do you mean we can't be together? you're joking right?

no, i'm not. i'm sorry.

we've only been married a year or so; tell me now what is going on? aren't you happy?

i am happy. or was happy. i don't know. i just feel.. incomplete. incontent.

what? why? and how? have i not given you everything? have we not built a dream together?

to an extent.

to an extent? what are you talking about?

it's not your fault. i just feel this is wrong. that i should not be here.

a sudden crash of thunder startles me out of my thoughts. somewhere down in the parking lots below a car alarm was ringing, doubtless having been triggered by the loud thunder. the rain was getting heavier. Kuala Lumpur was like a prisoner being tortured with alternating bouts of heat and water. and yet, rain or shine, the city thrives. like the beating heart of the country that it is.

my heartbeat was slowing down. a sudden phantom pain pierces my heart as my mind drifts back to those words.

..i should not be here.

i had been stunned. i remember now; we were about to have dinner when that conversation happened. i had cooked your favorite dishes. i had planned on treating you to a movie.

i'm going out, you said then,.

is it another person? i had asked.

you had paused and just shook your head.

no, you had said. it's just me. i want to be alone.

then you had opened the door, put on your shoes, and you left the apartment. i had been stunned and was speechless. it felt back then as if the world i thought was so perfect was just a facade for a cruel, bitter underworld.

i sighed. i glanced at the door, wishing for it to open and for you to come walking back into the apartment and into my life... but knowing that that was unlikely the more these days go by. you had made your choice. you had given me a glimpse of paradise only to have pulled down the blinds so suddenly. the abruptness was like a slap to the face.

my eyelids felt heavy. thunder and lighting exchanged greetings outside.

i fell asleep.


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