Creative Content in English
Welcome Guest
Not a member yet? Join us.
Login if you already have registered.
Writings > Short Story > Love

Inveigh

Previous short story:
The Toothbrush From The Previous Night Stay
Next short story:
Why

Okay this is a new try. Different genre, a bit different style. Mix of Malay Language in it but I think this falls into Kapa>Eng.

Happy reading.


Inveigh


It was a warm day in the middle month of September, yet the young man was shivering in his coat as he stepped out of the airport, Gate H to be exact. The tag KUL-HTW was still on his bag as he unzipped it to take out his winter jacket. It was then that he realized why his sister insisted him to pack the jackets on top. As soon as he pulled his zip up to his neck, he looked up and saw his brother walking towards him. A familiar face in a foreign land. Upon greeting his brother, his face stretched into a smile which however froze halfway as his brother spoke.

 

“Apsal ko tunggu kt luar?Ko tak paham ke org suruh tunggu kt dalam?” Zulfazli said.

Typical of him to scold me, thought the young man. He puckered his lips and didn’t answer, before pulling out his luggage handle.

Zulfazli sighed. He then said, “Ni je ke beg ko, Ariff?”

“A‘ah,” Ariff answered.

“Jom.Kreta kt sane. Tingkat dua, bawah.”

“Beli kete ke? Mak tak tahu pon.”

“Tak. Ni krete kawan aku. Cepat sikit weh. Petang ni aku ade lecture.”

Ariff obediently shouldered his laptop bag, pulled his luggage bag in his right hand and carried another smaller bag in his left hand. Zulfazli walked ahead and carried nothing. Ariff‘s voice could be heard before the lift’s door close, “Kerete ape weh? Mers?”

 

****

 

The hostel was whitewashed and after passing rows of old buildings, it would catch Ariff’s attention even if they were not to stop there. Unknown to him, the seemingly new building was just ‘recently’ built compared to other building in Birming Road. It was built in the 70’s and the window reflected the design at that time. However for now, the two siblings walked into the building and turned left down the hallway, following the sign written ’ADMINISTRATION’.  They came out five minutes later with a key in Ariff’s hand.

“Ko nak aku tolong angkat barang gi bilik ke?” asked Zulfazli.

“Bilik kat mane?” Ariff asked back.

“Tingkat 3, ikut sini. Lif kat hujung rasanye.”

“Ade lif, ok la camtu.Tak payah kot tolong.”

“Kalau camtu aku tinggal ko, aku nak gi amik kawan aku. Aku tak reti jalan kat Manchester ni. Jom gi ambik beg ko,” Zulfazli beckoned his brother.

 

“Nanti aku datang balik.Ko jangan tunggu kat luar lagi pulak,” Zulfazli said before he drove away.

Quietly Ariff said, “Biarlah,” before picking up his luggage and walked back into the building.

Upstairs, he heard a voice as he arrived in front his room. Bibik cuci bilik kot, thought Ariff as he turned the key to his room. He entered the room and saw a man stacking a pile of paper on a bed, with his back towards Ariff. The room was about 5 by 5 meters large. Near the door was a small kitchen on the left, with stove, microwave, and a cooler while on the right was another door, probably the lavatory. The rest of the room was sparsely furnished, only spruced with a small desk stacked one inch high with books, two cupboards at the corners of the room and two beds bolted to the floor, forming an L shape. Ariff walked to the unoccupied bed, passing the cleaning man who still didn’t notice him, absorbed in arranging the stack of paper.

Kemas bilik smbil dengar mp3? Ariff said silently to himself as he saw the man humming alone. It occurred to him as a bit of unlikely, but maybe the people here work that way, Ariff added. Ignoring the man, he dropped his laptop bag and began to unpack the rest of the luggage. He opened one of the lockers, only to find one of them full with clothes.

Laa..Die tinggal sini agaknye, Ariff thought as he remembered about the ‘cleaning man’. Ariff was smiling by himself over the false assumption, when he opened the second cupboard and found it was also filled to the same extent as the other, if not less. Ariff therefore turned to speak to the ‘cleaning man’ when he saw the man was staring back with an incredulous look on his face. Ariff paused for a while to manage his sentences.

Then he asked,” Excuse me, is this all yours in the two cupboards?”

And the man replied, “Excuse meee, but why are you in my room? I didn’t remember ordering anything, or letting you in.”

Sudah. Mamat ni tanya banyak lak.English aku dah la terabur, thought Ariff. He looked at his keys and looked back at the man while trying to make up his mind about what to say. Finally he managed to open his mouth, though incoherent words fell out.

“This is my..erm..administration give me key,” Ariff spluttered.

“Your what?” the man asked back.

“The administrations give me the keys,” Ariff answered.

“The guy at the administrative downstairs, is that what you mean?” he asked.

Ariff just nodded.

The man sighed, and started to walk out of the room. “Follow me,” he looked back expectantly as he spoke to Ariff. Ariff followed obediently and silently, all along the way trying to remember what mistakes he did while filling all the forms for the room. Another 10 minutes passed in the administration office and to Ariff’s relief, it was not his mistake.

“These morons always make mistake,” said the man to Ariff. Apparently he was not pleased with the prospect of someone living in the same room with him. Ariff also found out later that most of the other rooms are for single occupants but his current room is an exception and was added an extra bed since the room was ‘bigger’ than the other rooms.

Besar lah sangat. Tambah 1 meter lebih je kot panjang die.

The man (who introduced himself as Mar) had been living alone in that room and only after Ariff’s arrival did he have to share, since other room was full and Ariff had arrived late, one week after the semester had started. Mar was still fuming over the mistake and saying how they should have found Ariff a new room somewhere, while Ariff was unpacking the content of his bag.

Mintak-mintak lah seminggu je macam brader tu kate. Mamat ni macam asyik beng je.

Then Ariff’s phone rang and at the same time Mar addressed a question to him, “To what extent will you being staying here?”

Between the ringing of the phone and the weird question that he can barely understand, Ariff stuttered before he decided to answer his phone. Immediately he regretted his actions as he heard his brother’s voice.

“Apsal ko angkat? Ko kan roaming. Aduuhhh. Kan aku cakap kalau aku miscall, turun bawah...Tak pe lah. Ko turun bawah cepat,” said Zulfazli in quick succession and ended his call before Ariff could even reply.

“Bodoh punya abang,” Ariff said, loud. Ariff noticed Mar was still staring at him, reminding him of Mar’s question regarding his stay. He racked his brains before in the end saying, “I don’t know.” Ariff then added, “I have to go now, my brother is downstairs.”

Quickly Ariff took his jacket and started towards the door.

“You better take your laptop with you,” said Mar.

“Ok,” said Ariff as he reached for his laptop bag.

“And your keys,” reminded Mar.

“Thanks,” said Ariff as he smiled appreciatively at Mar.

He was at the door when Mar asked, “Are you going to town?”

Ariff stopped and replied, “Yes, maybe. Up to my brother. Why?”

“If you go, belikan padlock,” Mar said.

“Padlock?”

“Yes, padlock. For the cupboards,” Mar said as he pointed to them at the corners of the room. “Buy one for yourself too, if you want.”

“Ok,” Ariff said as he left the room. Only when he closed the door did he realize the reason he asked back was not because of the padlocks, but because Mar said ‘belikan’. He however quickly had forgotten about it when his phone rang again, once.

Habis la aku kene marah dengan Faz, he thought as he quickly walked away from his room.

 

*******

The first week is always the coldest, Ariff remembered her sister saying that. It does seem a little less cold as the days proceed, literally and figuratively speaking.  Ariff was not shivering much compared to Wednesday, the day he arrived, and being in the same room with Mar was not that bad. Mar woke Ariff up on Thursday morning and they went to the University of Manchester where Mar showed him the way around, before leaving Ariff for his lectures. After settling all the formal processes and forms, Ariff managed to follow all the classes and by the end of the week he was quite happy of the new surrounding, with his apprehensions mostly gone. In addition to that, Mar took him to the O2 outlet to apply for a hand phone number. Ariff was thankful to Mar for that, that he even thought it was great to have him as a roommate. Ariff didn’t say it out loud to Mar though. (Only one year later did Ariff discover that you get free airtime and SMS if you introduce a new customer to o2).

 And today was finally the weekend. Waiting in front of the Barclay’s auto teller machine was Ariff, a happy look on his cold face. He read her SMS again for the umpteenth time, telling him to wait at the spot he was standing at that moment, at exactly fifteen minutes ago. He was considering calling her, when he saw her face between the thin crowds. An Asian girl with a ‘tudung’ can easily be spotted in the mass of Caucasian. Pretty obvious.

However to him, she is more than pretty. He called out to her. Ariff‘s voice caught her searching eyes, and she quickly came to him.

“Hi! Baru je pikir nak call u tadi,” Ariff said cheerfully.

“Hi!” she replied, “Call? I ingat tak boleh gune prepaid kat sini. Owh, u pakai line maxis kan?”

“Eh tak. Senior I bawak I gi buat line O2,” said Ariff.

“Baik nye die... Rambut baru!” said the girl.

“Haha. Takde lah. Dah lame I gunting. Lepas u fly. Dah 3 bulan kot,” Ariff said.

They chattered as they walked pass the barren trees which were planted in a row along the pedestrian zone and as they turned into Abbey Street, the girl pointed to a shop. The sign said ‘Hokkien Dining’ in bright, golden letters. They entered and seated themselves at a table for two near the window. Silently they watched passerby walking through the street, bracing the breeze of early winter, before their attention was caught by the waiter asking for their order. Without looking at the menu, she ordered a Cordon Bléu. Ariff followed suit.

“Dua?” asked the waiter. They laughed at the waiter for trying to speak Malay. He then walked away with the orders after a few more words.

“Selalu ke makan sini?” asked Ariff.

“Erm..Boleh lah.Sini sedap jugak,” she said.

“Halal ke? Mesti la halal kan?” Ariff said rhetorically.

The girl didn’t reply and was staring at the round, short candle burning on the table. Ariff looked at the candle but noticed nothing so he fixed his eyes back on her. He called the girl’s name but only when he snapped his finger, did her view focused back on him.

“What were you saying?” the girl asked.

“Takde ape. U ok tak ni?” asked Ariff.

“I’m okay, I’m okay,” she said though her voice convinced Ariff otherwise.

“Kalau u penat, kita balik la dlu,” he persuaded her.

“Eh takpe. Takde ape...” she said, leaving her words trailing in the air, as if the wisp of the smoke from the candle carried the rest of it away. After a bit of pause, she finally said, “Ariff...”

“Yes?” Ariff replied.

“I have something to say to you,” she said. Just at that moment, the food came, so she said softly, “After the meal, then.”

Ariff just agreed and ate his meal in silent, satisfying his hunger. However, when his stomach began to feel comfortable, his curiosity began to grow.  Thus he tried to break the silence.

“Waiter tu ingatkan I kat roommate I. You know, yang bawak I gi buat line handset ni,” Ariff said.

“Uhum,” she said absent-mindedly.

“I ingat mule2 die orang putih, rupe-rupenye orang Malaysia jugak. Dah la name macam orang putih,” Ariff said before adding, “Name Mar.”

The girl sat upright upon hearing that.

“What is his full name again?” she asked.

“Erm, Akmar rasenye. Kenape?” replied Ariff.

The girl fair face was white by then and her mouth was clamped shut, dry at the lips. She refused to answer, even after the many times Ariff continued to ask. She refused to speak and he was angry at her for that, so they continued eating in silence. After they paid the bill, which the girl insisted to be paid separately, they stepped out of the restaurant. The girl then turned toward Ariff.

“I wanted to say something to you. I don’t know how to say this, Ariff,” she glimpsed at him for a second before she looked down, eyes wandered over the pavement, the ground, the rubbles on the street, elsewhere but not on him. This made Ariff’s cooling anger heat up again, that he spoke curtly in reply.

“Amende?”

The girl took another quick look at Ariff.

“This is the last time I will be seeing you.”

“Ape?”

“Maybe we will see each other afterwards, but only as friend,” she said. Ariff was silent, so she continued, “I am in love with another person.”

She paused. “His name is Akmar.”

If Ariff had ever experienced a more shocking news, he couldn’t remember. He just stared at the figure in front of him, the figure of the girl with her head bowed to the ground. Slowly his view of the flowers on the back of her tudung seemed to grow larger, larger and larger until he could only see the yellow petals in his eyes.

Ariff finally said, “Okay. Goodbye.”He turned and started to walk away, back home. The girl looked up and quietly apologized to the departing sorrowful boy, almost in whispers.

“I’m sorry.”

 

Continued here

Note: Have no idea if anyone would want to read more.

Continuation is upon reader's enthusiasm.

Previous short story:
The Toothbrush From The Previous Night Stay
Next short story:
Why
Share!

(+) Create your entry!

Permalink | Top
HTML:
Rekomen!!rekomen!
Review rekomen!
Rate this post
Rate this post
Only registered members are allowed to rate.
4.5
2 Voters

about the writer
Potential=Possibility
haradanam | Add haradanam as friend | Send message to haradanam

About this entry
print PRINT
copyright
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Malaysia
Explanation
email EMAIL
karya curang REPORT
rekomen! REKOMEN!!
rekomen! REVIEW

Other post from haradanam
Porcelain | 4877 views
Of leaf and teas | 5276 views
Why | 5313 views
See all

Comments
Only registered members are allowed to give comments. Please login

advertise@karyamedia.net
advertise@karyamedia.net

Follow kapasitor


Kapasitor Bookstore

Live Bait

Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are bored - ever since they solved the ...
Price: RM 8.00


Related short stories

From Kapasitor.net Archive

Archive
Best 100 stories