October 11, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin


sugar was tired and she took a stroll in Pavilion.

it was a long day at the office; client after client came streaming in, and her boss had relentlessly asked her to come up with several different proposals within 6 hours. she felt worn out. she remembered Bilbo Baggins from The Lord Of The Rings: "like butter scraped over too much bread". only, she thought, exchange butter with planta and bread with roti canai.

and yet she thought it was only fair. Eid holidays were over, and work always tended to pile up during the holidays. sugar sighed. take today, for instance. she had come into the office and had almost fainted at the amount of work that had accumulated within a short seven days.

but enough of that, she thought. she glanced at her watch. 1733hrs. to drive outside now, in Kuala Lumpur, would be a nightmare. so she just walked along with no actual intent, casually window shopping, stepping into some shops when something caught her eye. she felt hungry but did not know what to eat.

she stopped by the surau to pray, and sat inside for a moment thinking about the past Ramadhan and Eid. it had certainly been a happy one. she managed to be with her closest friends and family during the holidays. now she wished they weren't over. but anyways there were still open houses to attend, greetings to be sent. Raya always lasts a month in Malaysia, after all.

after a few minutes she got up and got out of the surau. at the way out she paused by the Canon camera shop. she felt curiously odd standing there, looking at cameras. she knew why, of course. she must have stood there for a few minutes as the salesgirl was about to approach her. but upon seeing that, her trance broke, and sugar abruptly turned around to walk away...

.. and bumped into another person, who dropped a bagpack and a camera; the bagpack was carelessly unzipped as well, and some papers and photographs fell out.

"i'm sorry!" sugar said and immediately crouched down to help gather the persons' belongings. as she picked up the papers she glanced at the open bagpack and the dropped camera; a scruffy Eastpak, with worn zippers, and a Canon SLR. thank god the camera wasn't broken at least, sugar thought. but looking at the open bagpack reminded her of him. he had always been careless with his bag. in fact, he had even used the same Eastpak bag.

it's just me and my memories again, sugar thought as she got up and handed the person she bumped into his things. she sighed audibly.

"i'm sorry", she said, still looking at the items she had caused the person to drop. the bag, the camera.. they were reminding her of --

"wiseguy", she said as she finally looked at the person she bumped into.

"sugar", he said.

she paused; stunned. it was him; it was really him. she felt breathless. the man he she had loved so much and thought of so often was standing in front of her. it had been two years; he looked a little different, sugar thought as she mentally scanned the love of her life in front of her. his clothes hung looser, his hair longer. he had a five o'clock shadow, and wore plastic rimmed spectacles.

"i'm.. i.. i..", she stammered; her knees felt weak, her heart thumping between her breasts.

"it's fine..", wiseguy said. he took the stuff from sugar, and looked down at his shoes. "it's nothing, really". he smiled, that careless, casual smile sugar dreamt of every so often.

sugar nodded quickly and promptly walked away. her mind was racing. she felt like running back to his arms or slapping his face or saying "i love you" or just for once since two years ago, to hold him close and tight and feel his beating heart.

but she couldn't. she just walked, aching herself not to look back. but then he called out.


she stopped in her tracks; some of the people passing by glanced at her oddly. she ignored them. she just stood there, almost stiff. she just did not know what to say or do.

"sugar", wiseguy called again. this time she slowly turned around. inside her head, she was thinking: oh god, how do i look? she had on a blue cardigan top and a long skirt. as she turned she unconsciously eased out the creases in her skirt, the kinks in her hair. she saw him walking towards her and she felt like running into his arms. that was ridiculous of course, she reminded herself. we've moved on..

wiseguy stopped a few steps away from her. he had his bagpack slung on one shoulder, the camera on the other. he ran a hand through his messy hair, as he often did. then he extended a hand to her. she looked at him puzzledly.

wiseguy smiled softly. "Selamat Hari Raya Evie..", he said. she slowly took his hand. to her surprise, he came closer, bent forward and softly kissed her hand. the touch of his lips on her skin was electrically familiar, yet heart-breakingly distant. wiseguy looked up at her, his eyes deep obsidian pools.

"Sugar..", he said. "Maaf Zahir Batin.."

sugar didn't know what to say. she just looked at him and bit her lower lip. she was about to say something, but then just nodded. wiseguy smiled and began to turn away.

"you take care..", he said, and walked away. still stunned, she turned around herself, and slowly made her way to the escalator. as she descended, she looked upwards, half-hoping to see him coming for her, and yet half knowing how unlikely that was to happen. she sighed. at least she wasn't crying. maybe she was over it for good.. maybe it was just the shock of seeing him again after so long.

"selamat hari raya to you too wiseguy.. maaf zahir batin", she said quietly under her own breath. she decided to go home.

what she didn't know, however, as she sat in her car, listening to music in the heavy traffic out of Kuala Lumpur, was that wiseguy had gone home afterwards feeling stupid, wishing he had asked her out for a drink.


this is a special Raya themed one off episode.
this is not a season four prologue. i have no plans for it currently. many apologies.

selamat hari raya maaf zahir batin from TWaAY


1 comment:

nuraainaa said...

: D

cerita hebat, tetapi 'disclaimer' buat saya sedih.

: (