A mother’s last responsibility and her lifelong dream

It’s never easy to talk about this but my mother makes me face reality every single day anyway. There is no way for me to escape reality because she is always there to remind me. I don’t mind it all that much when it’s true. Most of the time, she’s got a point and her points are always sharp.

Let’s face it. Everyone who knows me knows that I am the only daughter of the family. I am also the youngest child. What do you think the parents’ last responsibility towards a daughter would be? It shouldn’t be that hard to guess, should it? Of course it would be to see that their daughter is happily married to a good man. The ceremony and the reception (or just the kenduri) is also the responsibility of the parents. Why do you think their names are listed as the host and hostess in the invitation card? Sheesh.

Now. My mother has a dream. A lifelong dream of seeing a properly planned wedding of her daughter. This, she told me ever since I was young – ever since I had no intention of marrying anyone (obviously before my fiance found the key to my heart, lol). She is the type of person who likes to plan early. She likes to plan meticulously, as do I. We aren’t perfectionists. We just like to see everything go as smoothly as it can. That’s not a bad trait, right?

She did not get to plan my brothers’ weddings, nope. That was not her responsibility, obviously (duh!). She planned the majlis bertandang or majlis sambut menantu or simply the groom’s reception, which by our norm here (at that time) is normal if it’s just held in a simpler manner. Just a doa selamat would suffice. Well, that was over five years ago, though. I suppose things have changed.

Back to the topic at hand. SO, my mom has a lifelong dream of seeing my wedding reception held at our house, obviously with her daughter and her son-in-law all dolled up beautifully, with pretty deco around us and good food that cost no greater than what we can afford. My parents remind me all the time that the reception is THEIR responsibility, so it will be THEIR money. What I can do is help out as much as I can and provide monetary support only when it’s appropriate. It sounds weird but that’s my parents for you. When it’s their job, it’s their job. I offer my help all the time, of course, because I like to plan too. Buying new furnitures, house improvements, you name it. Sometimes, they approve. Sometimes, they say “don’t, we’ll do that later. Keep your money”. Most of the time, they tell me:

Just let us carry out our last responsibility in peace.

It makes me smile a bitter smile all the time. Always. It makes me happy. It makes me sad. It’s a reminder that we’re all getting older. It’s a reminder that I am no longer a child. At the same time, it’s also a reminder that they acknowledge me as a full-fledge adult now. I thank her for that.

Dear Allah, please bless my parents with health, longevity and happiness. They’ve brought me up as a responsible human being who can now contribute to society. They built comfortable home for their children to grow up in. They provided me with all the necessities I need while growing up and more. Please let my mother carry out her last responsibility and realise her lifelong dream in peace too.

Amin ya rabbal alamin.

Everyone’s mother is different but I would like to believe that every mother loves her children. Every mother is willing to make sacrifices for her children without asking the children to make sacrifices for them first. My mother, I believe, is also like that and I hope I can become like that too one day if I’m blessed with children.

This Eid al-Adha, I also think of my parents’ sacrifices among all others. Happy Eid al-Adha everyone. May Allah’s blessings be with us always 🙂

p.s/ I’ve stopped counting my tears because with every count, my heart aches.

Sorting Memories & Walking on a puff of air

I thought the most flattering thing a girl could ever receive from a guy on his confession is a bouquet of red roses. Apparently, I was wrong. Being presented with a ring that carries so many of a person’s hope and feelings defeats all other thoughts I may have had. Maybe I was dumbstrucked by the words he said, or maybe it was the ring, which strangely fits my ring finger so well. I’m not so conceited as to think that maybe, this is fate that was waiting to happen, but I was hit by pleasant warm feelings that made me all calm, warm and fuzzy.

If you ask me where, when and how it started, I won’t be able to tell you because I myself don’t even know. I was pretty convinced that it wasn’t me he liked, considering his adamant repetition of “I don’t want a teacher” and the sudden “It definitely wouldn’t be me” when I joked with my friends about something like “Lol, who the heck is the poor husband who marries me XD”. What was I supposed to think when someone tells me something like that? I guess you can say that that was the first time I sort of thought that he thought I like him, and that he was giving reminders to me so I don’t continue liking him. Surely you wouldn’t be so serious telling other people the criteria of the partner you want in life, especially when the criteria goes against the other people, unless you want them to get away from you… right?

Or so I thought. So in an attempt to make him feel at ease with me, I summoned the picture of someone I used to have feelings for and used the feelings I once had for him to pretend I was still hung up on him. I felt bad for using people, but hey, I was trying to preserve a friendship here! If he thinks I like someone else, surely he won’t think I, um, like him…right?

Again, so I thought.

Now let’s fast forward a little bit. He started talking to me more. He started spending more time with me , and for some unknown reasons, I couldn’t find it in me to turn him down when he asks me out for dinner etc, even if he was asking me in his roundabout ways most of the time (until I had to ask him ‘Do you want me to accompany you?’. Seriously!). At this point, people who know me well started giving me hints, pointers and whatever else you’d call a wild rumour. Catcalls? That’s the least of my worry then. Of course I didn’t believe them. In my mind, he was still so adamant about wanting nothing to do with someone like me, so there’s no way he was spending time with me because he liked me more than just a friend.

Not much happened after that. So many beating around the bushes and so many hints that I regarded purely as false hints. A couple of days after the exam, we had dinner where he asked me to watch a movie with him at the cinema. I said yes because somehow, spending time with him has become something like a habit. We started YMing. For once, my YM behaved pretty nicely, so we ended up chatting for a whole night. In the middle of our conversation, he suddenly went into contemplative mode where he started a string of conversation I couldn’t understand (until much later). I know I’m slow when it concerns my own self, but I never thought I was that slow. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell me, so I cried. I always cry when my emotion is on the extremes – too frustrated, too angry, too sad… It’s just something I think I got from my Mom =)

I stared into the mirror for quite a while before I went to bed, thoughts swirling in my head. And then I thought about one person I thought I still have one-sided feelings for up until a certain point in time. Actually, I don’t quite feel anything for him anymore as I’ve learnt to let go over the years. I know I’ve stopped thinking about that person a couple of years back. I also know that at one point in time, I was mildly interested in him (him as in him, not that person) but I didn’t put much thought into it. That was foundation years, maybe? I couldn’t remember.

It took me a while to realise that I may possibly have stronger feelings for him after all, and that scared me into tears.

Moving on. The movie outing was nice but confusing as hell. I don’t know if he was simply teasing me, or if he’s trying to give more direct hints. Direct hints or not, I was not convinced. Time to pry a bit more? Yes, of course! I don’t really like prying, but my heart was at stake. If he really does feel something for me, maybe then I’d admit that I do feel something for him too. I’m too used to burying my feelings deep inside me, so I didn’t know how deep my feelings for him run. Even at that point in time, it’s probably deeper than I thought if he was affecting me so much in so many ways. Not amusing, okay? Hmph.

The next day, we went out with Hanin, watching the same movie. More hints and teasings. From ‘our house in the future’ to Love Letter to heart-shaped onigiris, right until before we went back. I was waiting for a time where he won’t suspect a question from me, so I asked him midway as we were walking to the taxi stand. I hate to recall our brief conversation because I totally interpreted what he said as something along the lines of ‘I’m actually just using you in order to rediscover my feelings‘. That was my interpretation. The hurt intensified. I was ready for a firm ‘No, I don’t feel anything for you’ or ‘No, I was just playing with you’ or ‘No, I don’t like you.’

I never cried so hard out of frustration and possibly anger in a long time. I cried so very hard for most part of the night until I fell asleep.  The last time I did something similar was probably in 2007 because of some issues… heh, not worth remembering. I was holding on to his phone and HDD at that time. Just one look and I got frustrated all over again. Heck, I even saw him in anything red and black, like my own Nintendo DS – and I got frustrated all over again and again and again. When I woke up in the middle of the night to find a few lines left by him on my IM, I let my fingers smash the keyboard keys. I let him know how hurt I was, and I gave him an ultimatum. That wasn’t very nice of me, but I was tired. So very tired of feeling weighted down by the unknowns. In my own twisted way, I want to hurt him as much as he hurt me, or at least just let him feel the hurt I felt. I don’t care anymore. If he doesn’t tell me soon, if he continues to be so indifferent in his roundabout ways, if he asks me to forget about everything that transpired for the past few days, I’m not sure I could talk to him like I always did.

I was edgy the next day. I went into the lecture hall without looking up. I simply grabbed an empty seat and sat down. Hanin actually texted me to tell me that he was pestering her about wanting to talk to me. I actually smiled then. At least he still wanted to talk to me. I was actually scared that he’s just going to be the average guy who’d shrug everything off at his convenience. I’m not used to staying angry at someone for long, but this time, I’m not going to give in. I tell myself that I’m not at fault this time, so I’d wait for him to apologise. I thought I was going to have to wait for a few days.

Scratch a few days. Our conversation happened not a couple of hours after Mdm. Ooi’s lengthy speech about the INTEL course. It was a somewhat solemn conversation. I didn’t let him go the roundabout this time. What I wanted at that moment was blatant honesty – honesty that drips from his heart.

And honesty was what I got. I was expecting an apology when he gave me the three words a girl always wishes for deep down, even more so when those words were accompanied by a ring. I was so touched that again, tears came to my eyes. I didn’t realise I was such a crybaby. Did I wait for this? Did I wish for this to happen? Not really, as I was expecting an apology and a ‘let’s just be friends like always’ sort of speech. Was I happy? Yes, I was, and I am. He was shaking, and that just moved me to another extent.

How cute. And touching.

I was happy. So, so happy.

I accepted the ring. I accepted his feelings. I accepted his heart as I open my heart for him and him alone. I’ve never opened my heart to anyone else, even when they insisted that they really do like me. It felt as though a heavy burden had just be lifted off of my shoulders. And then I realised that all of this time, maybe, maybe I do feel for him longer than I thought.

How come I never realised he was the one I was waiting for in my life?

Somehow in the end, I’m just a girl who is always fearful of so many untold possibilities. Sometimes when I look at him, I think about how long he’s going to feel this way for me. I think about the possibility of him getting bored of me after a while, or of him realising that he’s chosen the wrong person after all. After all, I’m not that much of an interesting person to hang out with, I’m quite possessive, I get jealous quite easily (though I don’t show it), I’m not pretty, and the list goes on and on and on….

But well…

Dear Zaki,

When you’re in doubt, come back to this lengthy entry I wrote for you. Come back and read every word because I meant every word with all my heart. When you think I’m being annoying, come back to this entry and consider it my apology for being such a girly girl at times. When you think I’m being pushy and you can’t stand it, come back to this entry and see that I am just a scared person who might be thinking about you more than you’re thinking about me.

It’s okay if you don’t think about me so often. It’s okay if you don’t spend time with me so often. It’s okay if you don’t want to walk with me or stay next to me so often. It’s okay if you think I probably am not the one you imagine spending the rest of your life with. As long as your feelings for me are sincere, you’ll make me very happy, and I’ll try to make you happy too. I can’t promise much, but I can at least promise that I will try my hardest to not break your heart; so please try not to break mine. Please, please, please try. Maybe we’ll argue here and there, now and then, but that’s parts and parcel of life. As long as you stay loyal to me, I promise that my eyes won’t ever divert to another. We’ve both been through so much in this life. We’ve both been through (what you call) emotional blockades of sorts. We’ve both been heartbroken and used before. We both have deep scars that run deeper than anyone thinks.

I may not know what love really means, but I don’t mind learning the meanings with you.

Pinky promise?

Sealed with a flying kiss,

W. I. Adlina ~2010~
Written originally on May 12. Final revision written on June 8.
Approximately 2050 words.

Capriciousness Wins~

Theme Change: Which is why I’ve changed my WP theme yet again in such a short timeframe. My eldest brother is home with his family for the holidays. He has some premium WP themes he bought on a whim, and didn’t use it anymore, so he gave some to me. I’ve spent all day being all giddy trying out new themes and humming at how easy it is to customise each theme (except for some, but well). I settled for this one because I decided to make this blog look simple. Yup, simplicity can win big time. I like how clean it looks now. Sorry old theme. Looks like I can only stand you for so long.

Capriciousness: Speaking of capriciousness, I really need to do something about it. It’s not a nice trait to have. My mother’s complaining about how I get bored so easily at almost everything that’s not related to computer and games. That’s one of her excuses to get me into the topic of boyfriends or life partners. It’s funny how my mom is the one hung up over my ex. I guess she really was looking forward to having him as a family, but hey, things just didn’t work that way. I kind of feel a small pang in my heart when he cried (I was the one who initiated the break-up, so what?), but that’s that.

…ok, not really. I cried for around 15 to 30 minutes after my break-up speech, which was cheesy if Irecall it now. But that’s it, I swear. Anyone I have a crush on (I’m pretty sure these bunch of people knew I had crushes on them, LOL), I got bored with (except for one who I think I still have a small feeling for). It’s like waking up one day feeling nothing at all about that person. How cool or cold is that?

I guess this habbit is something I should get rid off because it can also be VERY dangerous to my wallets. Right now, I’m trying to fight the desire the put my EEE PC on sale just for the heck of it. I used to love it so much, but now. Hm.

Of students, teachers, etc etc…

Students are very much like pressure cookers – they open the lid and let people put stuff into them. And then, they apply pressure (or rather, ‘they’ are pressured) in order to cook the stuff in a relatively short timeframe. On the other hand,there are students who are similar to slow cookers; they take longer time to cook, but the end result is worth the wait. The effort. The energy and time taken. It makes patience a beautiful thing.

The above paragraph is an abstract from my private journal entry dated June 25, 2007.

I was feeling low and decided to browse through my handwritten journal entries. I almost forgot writing about it. Now that I recall, I was in the middle of a lecture when the idea came to mind. There are many types of learners in this world; they adopt styles that fit them best. Unfortunately, society where I love in does not think this way. Their view of a good, A-class student is a person who is hardworking, consistent, bookworm-ish, and polite and who rigidly plays by the rules: the no-nonsense kind of person.

There was a student who was thought as the type who poked fun at everything and was not serious in his studies. In the teachers’ opinion, he played and joked around all the time. They thought he never revised his lessons as he seemed to appear distracted most of the time in the classroom. Yes, he appeared disinterested but he never disturbed other students during lessons. When he aced in exam, they accused him of cheating.

Now, isn’t that scenario a bit too revolting? Whatever happened to individuality? Whatever happened to the famous statement ‘different person, different styles’? Having a flair for ‘having fun’ does not mean a student is not serious with his or her studies. Teachers (and other students) should not jump straight to conclusions. They should have at least talked to the aforementioned carefree student for information regarding his studies. Sometimes, one learns best on one’s own. In the case of the boy mentioned in above paragraph, he was actually the type of person who study diligently at home from 8pm until 1am every single day. It is only unfortunate that when his effort paid off, no one believed him, not even his teachers who were supposed to be his pillars of support.

In my opinion, a ‘good’ student does not refer to a student who follows everything his teacher said, nor does it refer to a student who follows the rule like a machine and sits somewhere in the corner immersed in a book or other reading materials (if not practice exam questions). A good student is a student who knows his goals -the term refers to a student who knows why he needs education, why he goes to school everyday and how he wants to lead his life in the future. A good student acknowledges what his teachers had done for him when he succeeds. Nowadays, there are many cases where when students ace in exam, they boast about their learning styles and the support they get from their parents. Teachers almost never came first on the list. However when students fail, they immediately put the blame on their subject teachers, accusing the poor teachers of not knowing how to teach properly, etc, etc.

Sad, isn’t it?