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A Man Who is Allergic to Himself

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My husband, Fizz, is a pessimist. He never thinks that he is smart, brilliant, or genius. He always thinks that he is in the lowest rank among the society members. He believes that he is not a normal person like other people and cannot lead a normal life. Well, I feel quite offensive when he said “cannot lead a normal life”. Does that mean marrying me is not normal? But when he said that we married in our late age, and then I understand what he means. Yes, we had our marriage when my husband was 40 years old and I was 38 years old. I need to admit that is not really normal compared to the advisable age for marriage.

            I met my husband for the first time when we were in secondary school. He was my senior. When he was in Form 5, I was in Form 3. Both of us started to know each other since we were involved in special program for PMR and SPM students. And since that program, we started to give support for each other. I remember one of our talks, when I felt very down in my study at that time.

            “You know what; I am not a brilliant student. I am not sure if I can do my best for my PMR.” I said.

            “Excuse me? You want to say that you are stupid? Oh no. Please don’t say that. What makes you say that?”

            “I am a student from the last class. On what hope I may have for PMR? Grade A? B? C is the best, I guess.”

            “It’s a no, Almy. I mean, never say you are stupid. I believe you are a brilliant girl. Just think that there are people who are stupider than you. At least, I am one of them.”

            “What? You are? I guess you are joking. In what sense you are talking? You are my senior who had done your PMR. You got 7A’s for your PMR, right? In addition, you are now in the second class. It’s better than me, who comes from the last class.”

            “There is no difference between the second class and the last class. The first class is the only one which is different. I am in the second class and you are in the last class, right? So, we are same here. And if you said that I’m good because I got 7A’s for my PMR, there are more people who got 8A’s and 9A’s in this school. So, why I’m good? And I believe that other people are more brilliant than me regardless of age, like you, my junior and like my senior too.”

            I did not really understand his thought at that time. I just could see how he underestimated his strengths but watched high others. Later when we received our examination result, my husband got 7As for his SPM and I got 8As for my PMR. He really felt happy for me as I got such a good result. I appreciated it and I was very happy too. I congratulated him too but then I met again with his usual remarks. He said that I was better than him and I deserved it. I just can wish him good luck.

            Two years later, I met my husband again in university. And again, he was my senior. But we just had a few time to meet each other rather than our time in secondary school, because we were so busy with university’s life. One day, there was an unexpected event of my husband that I never met before. I saw he punched his friend in front of the public. I was so shock to see that because I never saw he punched anyone before. I kept asking in myself why he did that but I did not have the courage to ask him. As what I heard from my other seniors, he punched his friend because that friend wanted to confess the girl that he likes through SMS. Oh my God! Just because of that? I could not believe it! And then I was the one who felt angry towards that situation.

After few days, I had the courage to ask him for the reason behind that punch. He said, “There was a time when I liked a girl and I wanted to tell my feelings to her. I was such a coward, so I decided to tell her through a simple SMS. And then I received the consequences. I was rejected by her. Guess I need to expect that. But then I was so heartbroken. I felt stupid for doing such stupid things – confessing love through simple SMS. No wonder I was rejected. If I confess my feelings with a proper way, I bet things will be different. I will not feel so much heartbroken even though I was rejected, I guess. I punched my friend because he wanted to do the same stupid thing that I had done before. He was so stubborn and still wanted to do it. How could I bear to see that? I saw myself in him! I did not want him to be like me. I could not resist the anger when I saw stupid me in other people, really. Sorry for that.”

I discover something about my husband then. He has a kind of disorder in himself. It is like an allergy. Based on a scientific definition, allergy is a hypersensitive disorder of the immune system. But for my husband, he has a hypersensitive disorder of his self-evaluation. He is allergic to himself. He does not like to see his negative traits in other people. It is like he feels annoyed or angry once he sees it. I do not know if other people see such characteristic in my husband. But if it is only me who see and understand it, I guess maybe that is the reason why I marry him.

Previous short story:
Euphoria
Next short story:
Yureka? (perhaps...)
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about the writer

Anwar Junichi

Pencari makna kehidupan yang sedang berusaha menelusuri pahit manis hidup di dunia berdasarkan pemerhatian, pembacaan, pengalaman dan penulisan.
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