Episode 10: Lies..

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 by Red_ips in Labels:

Dear Angah,

This is weird. Totally insane!! This question... this question had been bothering me since the meeting with Hakimi's research team. I know it's impossible, I know I'm getting paranoid here, I know I just shouldn't even think about this, but.... .....

...but sorry, Angah, I can't help but I have to ask you this:

Did you have anything to do with Hakimi's research? I'm sorry... I mean of course you did not...

...did you?

I think I'm getting emotional here. Raja just died. In front of my eye, inside the aquarium of their lab, his body rested besides Melur. I did not cry I did not yield. Melur was sad, but me, rather than feeling miserable, I felt relieved.

It's better for Raja to die than suffer from his 'blindness'. Yeah, they made Raja 'blind'; they made Raja lost his sense of directions; Raja was struggling to try to locate himself and find his sense of orientation, he threw himself at every direction, he kept on hitting the wall of aquarium, he crashed on Melur, he forced his own body to squeeze at the corner of the aquarium.... Raja went crazy, for almost a week already --

-- you did not know all these, right? I mean, of course you did not know these, you are not here anymore... you left, four years ago you left us, you sank into the deep blue sea after your last surf, and you never came out.. how would you know what happened to Raja and Melur? Right?

..but .. they said you did not expect these would happen when you and Pak Zainol gave Raja and Melur to Hakimi. They lied, right? Only Pak Zainol sold the manta rays to them, right?

Tell me, tell me Angah. Tell me that you had nothing to do with all these, please...
Tell me that the conversation between Hakimi and his team leader was totally wrong -- they said they are lucky still to have Melur alive, as the key of 'all' is Melur, because the code-words say so...

... and I heard the so-called 'code-words' from Hakimi's mouth.....

"Mari ikut akak, mencari ulam melur; mari lawan ombak, mencari bintang timur.."

Angah, tell me, for God's sake, give any sign that you can, please tell me this is only the pantun that was over exaggerated by them, the pantun is not any 'code-words' for their research...


You had nothing to do with Hakimi, you hated him so much, remember? You said he's the cockiest fool in this world, how would you have anything to do with a stupid like Hakimi? Of course you wouldn't....


....... right, Angah?

...................... right............ Angah?

I'm sorry I think I need to rest.


Episode 9: Beeps

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by -f-l-o- in Labels:

Upon arriving at KLIA, I turned my mobile on and received three text messages. The first one was from my colleague, Linda who was doing the presentation on my behalf in London.

Hi Maya, the presentation went well. U got a lot of interests from independent researchers around. Told them as u asked me to, to contact u after ur back from ur ‘emergency leave’. Hope things go well with u, don’t stressed urself out too much, girl. I’m honored to have done this for u so pls regard it as a friend’s gesture. Till then, take care. XxX Linda

The second message was from Amy.

Kamal n I r picking u up. Call me once u got this.

The third message read: WHAT?! You’re kidding right? Send me a text once you’ve landed. I’ll give you a ring.

I replied a short 'thank you' to Linda before calling Amy up. She told me that she was waiting with Kamal at the arrival hall. We would be driving straight to Terengganu from KLIA.

I replied to the third text: ‘Landed’ while waiting for my luggage at the baggage hall. Five minutes later my mobile rang. I picked it up and said, ‘That's right, I've landed. How are things in London, Hakimi?’

Episode 8: F*ck!!!!

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2008 by Red_ips in Labels:

Dear Angah,

I'm sending this mail from InterContinental Hotel, London, U.K.

Yes. No kidding. I attended the conference. I followed the bastard after all. You wouldn't know how strong my reluctance and hatred is since the day he met me in pulau until today.

..but Angah, I had no choice. I just had to come with him -- not because of his research topics, not because he came and begged me -- it's because of our pets Melur and Raja, and because of Pak Zainol.

Pak Zainol couldn't attend the conference with Hakimi at the very last minute of time, that's why Hakimi desperately came to me -- because Pak Zainol 'nominated' me as his replacement.

I know. I know. I should put all these in a proper sequence. I know you're confused, same to me when all these were revealed. Angah, as you may have already managed to see this, Pak Zainol is so much involved in Hakimi's research program!

The day Hakimi came to our pulau, obviously he went to Pak Zainol before they came to me, three of them, Hakimi that bastard, Pak Zainol on his wheel chair, and abah.

They explained what's the research program about, thoroughly; when Pak Zainol apologized to me for not telling me the truth all these while, I looked to abah. Abah was quiet. I saw the flash of frustrated and disappointed in his eyes. I know he only knew it few days, or maybe few weeks earlier than me, that Pak Zainol, or more 'glamorously' known as Prof Z in Hakimi's research team, had sold Raja and Melur for their research program.

.... I understand how you feel at this moment. I mean if you were there, you would have already broken Hakimi's neck! .. but are you sure is Hakimi the one to be blamed on? I'm not. I hate to think that our beloved Pak Zainol had done something so much painful to us. But at the moment of time I was so much confused.

Pak Zainol regretted, he apologized, and he begged me for doing this for him -- go to the conference, join Hakimi, and help him to help Raja and Melur --

........ .......

Angah, that's why I'm here. Waiting for Subuh. Today I'll attend Hakimi's bullshit presentation, and then meeting some experts of his team. I don't give a damn about what kind of event to attend or what kind of expert to meet.

My whole heart and mind is all on Raja and Melur, and also the last sentence that came out from Pak Zainol's mouth before I struck him on his head with my chair and bumped Hakimi with my furious body...

Everything was totally out of control on the night. Abah needed to pull me out of the little hut. I couldn't remember what really happened but I still can recall the blood on Pak Zainol's face, and also the last sentence he said:

".... I can't bear the guilt anymore for putting Raja and Melur under that suffering condition, they are dying..."



Episode 7 : Mencari bintang

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008 by -f-l-o- in Labels:

‘Do you remember this?’ She opened her palm and revealed a bunch of seashells glued together forming a familiar shape.
‘Yes, I remember’
‘Do you remember what the shape is called in Malay?’
‘Yes I do. It’s bintang.’
‘Well done, my darling. Do you remember who taught you Malay?’
I nodded, pointed at her and she smiled. And then she threw the bintang to the sea and turned to look at me.
‘Why did you do that?’ I asked.
‘Did you like the bintang?’ She asked back. I nodded.
‘Let me tell you something… ' She held my hand.
'In life, you will meet people that you like from time to time. There will be times when you lose them, like the bintang. It’s always hard to get hold of something you like but if you believe in it, it will come back to you. How and when, it’s up to you to decide. You may make a new bintang and make it your own... You may also wait for the same bintang to come back, swept to the shore by the wave… but you may not get it back the same form when it went away. And also, you may want to look for it yourself, back to where you threw it but remember to do it only when the waves are gentle and water is clear, you will only want to fight the wave when it's a bit calmer otherwise…’
‘Otherwise?’ I asked but she was gone.

I woke up to the sound of the trolley along the seat corridor. The air stewardess was serving breakfast. I thought a while about the dream. It’s been a while since I dreamt of Mom. I remember walking with her along the beach when I was little but I don’t remember talking to her about any seashells or stars. Maybe she is trying to tell me something about what I am doing right now.

My head is slightly in a mess for the time being. I wonder if she is telling that I should not have been doing this in my current unsettled condition.

Here I am, thousands of feet above the sky, on my way to Malaysia after finding out that James has been cheating on me. Screw the conference, I’m looking for a new star in the east.

Episode 6: Storm

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2008 by Red_ips in Labels:

Dear Angah,

This storm never stopped since last night, it carries all the shocking news. Strong wind howls as bad and sad one dropped in; and thunder growls at the frustrating ones. The loose zinc roof is being slapped by the storm since just now-- gosh I thought I nailed it yesterday.

Abah was spending his night over Pak Zainol's. Pak Zainol's condition is getting worse, and abah had to take care of him the whole last night. I din know what happened but I was asked to leave by abah when Pak Zainol passed out suddenly.

.... hope he'll be fine.

I'm alone in this little hut, and it's already 1pm but I'm still awake, since last night, after I came back from Pak Zainol's, and after I checked my mailbox and I found the email from Hakimi.


Remember this picture?

Manta ray 'Melur' & Hakimi.

It's the underwater photo I took for Hakimi (see him at the right corner?), together with Melur, the manta ray we met during our dive 2 years ago.

Cunning him -- he made the confession in his email, and I think you're going to get pissed off like me if you know this --

-- that snake, during that dive, sneakingly, without telling me anything before the dive (and even right after the dive!), put a GPS Tracker onto the manta rays I brought him to meet!

.. and now, with the email, he sent me the picture, his confession, and an invitation. An invitation to be his research assistant, to attend a conference in UK.

Yes, UK. London to be specific.

That snake said the GPS Trackers he put onto Melur and Raja were for research purposes, on a long list of topics he listed in the email and it's all about the behavior of Manta Rays, and one of the topic is about how we -- he means you, along, abah and I -- managed to 'call' the manta rays out whenever we dive, yada yada yada.

I'm not sure whether I should just delete the email. For an invitation to hold a *VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN HIS RESEARCH TEAM* in a *VERY IMPORTANT CONFERENCE* that will commence in *TWO* days, he sounds more than desperate compared to the *DEEP* sincerity he tried to possess.

Few minutes ago Hakimi's 2nd mail dropped in saying he's on his way to come over here with my flight tix, plus mentioning I don't have to be worried about my visa yada yada yada. I just deleted the mail.

I think it's better for me to go and fix the loose zinc roof rather than getting annoyed like this, even though the storm is still roaring outside.


Your brother,

Episode 5: Two days to go

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2008 by -f-l-o- in Labels:

I was preparing for a power point presentation on the laptop when a new email arrived. It was from Amy. The subject was 'Penang pic!'

Hey Maya,

Check me out. Bad shot with eyes closed but still looking hot.

You remember cousins Nina and Kamal on my sides, yes… Kamal has grown that big since the last time you saw him. He has been our bodyguard in Batu Ferringhi. That’s Nina’s boyfriend, Mike on her left. The four of us will be going to Terengganu tomorrow for Nina and Mike’s research. Something to do with their marine biology study… thingy. No idea. You should’ve been doing your tutoring here instead.

Kamal and I are the tag-alongs. Not sure of their exact plan in Terengganu just yet but we’ll be meeting up with Uncle Zainol. You remember Dad’s friend, Uncle Zainol? Apparently he no longer lives in Penang.

Anyway, gtg now. Will see if I can call you in these couple of days for more updates. Till then… lots of love!

Your sis,

Oh how I wished to be joining them right now. I looked at my half-packed luggage on the bed. The conference is two days away. It is an environmental sciences conference that is going to focused on the future of aquatic sciences in Europe. It is a very important conference for my career because I will be one of the presenters. Career… me as a current tutor and future professor. Professor Maya Harris sounds good… Like how it was for Dad, Proffesor Ken Harris. Or like Uncle Zainol.

I remember calling him Prof Z instead of Uncle Zainol. I wonder if he still remember that.

Episode 4: Sign

Posted: by Red_ips in Labels:

Dear Angah,

Gotcha! Haha! I received your sign! I received your sign!! Haha!

Look at the picture attached.. this is one of the pictures I took during my trip to KL last time. You see my name? I don't know what happened but my name was written almost EVERYWHERE, together with all the graffiti in Central Market, KL's heart of the artistry cultural.

It was so fascinating to see your name painted everywhere like you're celebrated for a very very grand reason, and you bet, I snapped lots of pictures and -- hey, how careless I could be -- I did not notice the BIG SIGN you sent to me until last night!!!

Now, looook clooooosely to the picture. What lies beside my name?

"Mencari bintang timur."

I got it, I even can see you're smiling BIG at me! Yeah!! I know, that's from you, it's you who put it there, my man!

"Mari ikut akak, mencari ulam melur; mari lawan ombak, mencari bintang timur.."

-- Hey, don't you be surprised that I still remember well your self-made pantun which you even made to become our official surfing anthem in the old days. Nobody understood what you're trying to say in that pantun, and, well, who cares? *grin* You always have this weird poetic 'sense' that spitted a mouthful of senseless paragraph but strangely they were simply deadly to girls..

.. my point here is, first you pulled my attention with all my names painted around, then you sent your ultimate sign to me! Mencari bintang timur -- gosh, you're haunting, bro! *grin*

My big name and your BIG SIGN. Snapped in Central Market, KL.

..but then, what's the sign for? You play no joke by painting my names everywhere in Central Market, right? No, please don't ask me to interpret your famous pantun, no please, I'm not as poetic as you are.

I need to run now. Abah is calling me to spring clean the dive store. It's a big sunny day outside now after 3 days of big pour. I just miss the sun! Chow!


Episode 3 : Saturday night cruise

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2008 by -f-l-o- in Labels:

Coincidentally, I have a conference to attend in London the following week. It would be nice to catch up with an old friend or rather, a high school sweet heart. I am not really sure on how James would suit the idea. It may not appear as a big deal but I would love it if he knows now than finding out later and thinks that, perhaps, I have reasons for not telling him.

James has been staying at my place since Amy left for the holiday. He asked me to move in with him a week back but I told him I need to think about it because my place is much closer to my work place. But I didn't tell him that I am not ready to let Amy paying rents for the whole flat. She is still looking for a job and until then, I want to be there so that she won't feel a bit too burdened by the living cost in Edinburgh.

Sometimes James thinks that I am doing too much for Amy. He thinks I need to let Amy live on her own at times. I always do but never for long. Amy and I always find some way to be near each other every time. She is never a spoilt sister so I believe in giving her everything that I could because that is what an older sister does.

I was done with the dishes and headed to Amy's room after dinner. James was in the shower, he would be out in a while to meet up with his mates for their Saturday 'boys night out'. Her room smelled like mild vanilla because she loves burning the scented stick in the morning. The bed was still in a mess, you could almost tell that she was in a hurry before leaving the room. There were pictures of her and her friends in costumes on the dressing mirror and next to it in a frame was our family photo. Not the one with Mom but with Jane. Maybe because we never had any family photo taken with Mom. Plus, I think because Amy has very little memory of Mom, she regards Jane as our mother.

Jane is a very lovely mother, but she is not mine. I am still holding on strongly to the fact that she is only our step mother. I don't think it's has anything to do with her being the reason on why we had to leave Malaysia. That is James' theory, by the way. I think it's due to the fact that I remember almost everything about Mom. Her dark hair, her tanned skin, her slim figure, her accent... She had a very thick Malaysian accent.

I sat on Amy's bed and reached for the book by its side. From the metal marker, it showed that she has read half of the book. I opened the page and the marker fell. I picked it up and it was engraved with the words: Mari lawan ombak! Cheeky, I thought and smiled.

The metal marker does look like a mini surfing board.

Episode 2: Angah

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2008 by Red_ips in Labels:

Dear Angah,

Yello... Nobody can forget the way you say 'Yello' in your very own fancy way, nobody can.

Abah missed you last night. I knew he cried. This is my first time to see him crying since the day you left us. Our old man is getting older and older.

Things are gloomy here. The sky, the weather, the sea, and the mood. It's monsoon season, nobody cares to come over our little island as there's no sunlight but rough wave. ..but the thing about weather is, when it calms down, it leaves no trace at all about her roughness and rudeness.. and sometime Along will just grab his fishing rod and try his luck.. but seeing him standing alone without you by his side, the calm weather only shows a lonely scene..

That's why I hate monsoon.

Along fishing alone under the 'once in a blue moon' good weather.

Abah officially retired from diving and surfing yesterday and we had a farewell party last night but it was raining outside. Along, Gemuk and the rest of our friends tried to cheer the gloomy atmosphere up. Having everybody around was fun, and I had a good time, until I found Abah hid in his gudang, sniveling in front of your surf board.

... yeah.., having everybody around was fun.. but it also reminded us those good days we had together in the past...having everybody around might be not a good idea though...

The resort had been closed due to the monsoon, and I took the chance to go to KL the big city. Nothing much to be told... oh yeah I met Hakimi. Remember him? The tall fella who always visits our resort for surfing? OK put it in this way, the tall *cocky* fella who always visits our resort for doing something he thought is called surfing -- now you remember? I know you kinda dislike him, everybody dislikes him for God's sake. But things always work in this way: we'll always bump into someone we don't really wish to meet, we'll never have enough time for someone whom we care and we love, and we'll always misses chances to meet the one we'll eventually fall in love with...

... like meeting Hakimi, like losing you, like I'm still waiting for the one...


So what are you up with recently? Well you know I don't really expect a reply from you, but at least give me a sign, if any. Sounds creepy, huh? Hahah!!
We miss you.

Your brother,

Episode 1 : Yellow

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2008 by -f-l-o- in Labels:

I love autumn.

It is the only time when the sun appears without being too harsh and yet still play along with the yellowish colours of the ground and the leaves. Perhaps because it’s chilly enough to get cuddly inside. Perhaps because we still get the hint of both summer and winter. And perhaps because yellow is my favourite colour too. I took this photo outside the house yesterday.

I wonder how Amy is doing in Malaysia. It’s been only a week now but I missed her already. She has not been online to update me on her trip to see Nenek in Penang. I received a text on the day she reached KL but that’s about it. I bet she’s having too much fun to even bother texting me about her three weeks holiday now. I’m so jealous…

Nenek is Mom’s mother. She took care of Amy and I since our Mom passed away when I was six and Amy was three. Then for ten years, Amy and I grew up in between the care of Nenek and Dad in Penang. Dad went back and forth to Canterbury in England of where he’s originally from, after Mom passed away. When there were school holidays, Amy and I would tag along with him to England and we would be staying at Grandma’s, our ‘very English’ grandmother. Grandma was different from Nenek but they were equally warm that Amy and I ‘decided’ to like her right away. After a few visits, Dad must have thought that we were comfortable in England, he finally told us one day that we were moving to England for good. Plus, he found someone who was good enough to be our new mother, Jane.

It had been eleven years since then and I have been back to visit Nenek only twice: once after my high school and the second one was during the second year in university summer break, both were less than ten days trip each.

When Amy and I planned to go together this year, I was excited because it was going to be a longer trip: three weeks. But two days before leaving, I had to bail out. James, my boyfriend was involved in an accident and had his legs badly injured, I didn’t have the heart to leave him. Amy had to go alone.

I have moved to live on my own up north in Scotland after getting a job in Edinburgh since a couple of years back. That was when I met James. We have been going out for a year now. Amy moved to stay with me after graduating last year. Dad and Jane are still in England, staying not far from Grandma. We still visit them both from time to time.

I was holding my phone, thinking of texting Amy again when it suddenly rang.

Yellooo? Maya! Sorry hasn’t been returning your text and calls, you know how it is…” She giggled. Of course it’s Amy. Nobody else said ‘yello’ instead of ‘hello’.
“Hey Amy, how has it been? How’s Nenek? How’s Penang?”
“Nenek is great. She’s making me fat with all the food, gosh! She sends her love to you.” I smiled thinking of Nenek and all her foods.
“How are you? How’s James, he’s okay now?” Amy asked.
“I’m fine, James is fine too, thanks, recovering well. Glad you managed to call finally…”
“Yea, I can’t talk long though. It’s past midnight here already, long day today. One quick question though, do you know someone named Kimi? Akimi or something?”
“Kimi? No, I don’t think so. Who is she?”
“He. Tall, dark… very cute. We sat next to each other on the flight from London and we started talking… turns out that he knows you.”
“Very cute? I’m surprise I have no idea who he is. Where is he from?” I asked before we both giggled.
“Originally a Malaysian but has been staying in London for a few years now. He told me he went to the same school with you in Penang…Small world eh?”

Oh wait. Don’t tell me that’s him. I still remember his handsome boyish look even after twelve years.

Yelloooo, you there?”
“Here! I think I know a Kimi. Did you get his phone number by the way?” I asked her again.
“Yea I got it, will text it to you later. I gotta go now. Say hi James. See if I can go online one of these days, although I doubt it. Take care now, alright? Bye!” Then she hung up.

I put the phone down and turned to look at James who was already fast asleep on the sofa. I like watching him sleeping. I moved closer towards him when the phone beeps, signaling an incoming text message.

She’s fast, I thought.

I took the phone and the message read: ‘Hey Maya, not sure if you remember me. It’s Kimi from Uplands, Penang, more than 10 years flashback helps perhaps? Got the number from your sis Amy. I’m in Malaysia currently but heading back to the UK in a week time. How are you doing? Fancy a catch up if you remember me still? X’

If I remember you? You’re my first high school boyfriend and your favourite colour was yellow too!