Monday, March 5, 2012


Perhaps many might have noticed him, but I’m confident most have not. He has camouflaged his hiding place well; even though it was so near a place where joggers frequent, he was all but invisible to them.

Four years ago, he was a successful businessman at the peak of his career. Then the financial crisis. Then the fall from grace to a pauper. Incompetent management of his finances brought him here, he says. Things he 
had once taken for granted now he pray to be given.

I wouldn’t have found him had I not gone for a nighttime stroll by the lake. Two burly guy decided to mug me since I looked vulnerable. Indeed, I had to fight tooth and nail to get out of the mess, and yet that wasn’t enough. Until he came to my rescue.

Mr. Alan, his name was. A shame to his ancestors, he says, not revealing his family name.

Paradoxical, it was. To live in an elite residential compound with a poor, homeless man a mere 100 metres away.

I looked at my diary and found this entry:
It was a night when the full moon was beginning to take shape. The birthday of an up-and-rising doctor; how fitting. All friends from each part of the country converged to celebrate the day of his birth.

Excellently done so. Pails were filled with eggs and detergent and all kinds of syrup. Just the kind of stuff you’d pick up in the mart and wouldn’t even bother about the price, you see. Definitely fun pouring it on a person.
Night came. The moon rose to its highest. The bash began. In a residential compound populated by hundreds, twenty gathered and made a din equivalent to a rock concert (emphasis put on din).
Residents woke and were expected to join in the fun, but then why such serious scowls and restless shouting? They should join us in the celebration! Come on, the one and only! He’s here to save, and affect, thousands of lives! All hail him!!!
Nah bother them. We are the kings of the world. Twenty and still counting. Oldie mindset, shoo!
Smear the contents of the pail everywhere! Give the cars an extra coat of protein! The ants shall have a party as well! Honey!! Syrup!! Syrup!! Syrup!!!!!
Immature kids, says Mr. Alan. Rather be a maverick and not conform to the general society if you feel it’s wrong. What happened to the calibration of the moral compass by parents? There seemed to be no place for the future in the past.
All in the name of fun?
Take the money spent into this wastage of materials and send it to Africa. A family would have gotten a meal for a day. Take the time spent into this madness and call your parents. How long has it been since you last heard your mother’s voice?
Mr. Alan and I became good friends, and would occasionally gaze at the moonlit lake whilst having supper together. So many things Malaysians can do, but they choose to take the road much travelled.
Malaysians are rich, yet they don’t realize it.
Does our future still hold hope?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Angel On Bus

It is easier to go downtown nowadays as compared to the past.

Definitely. DUH.

With the completion of the Taman Perling – Danga Bay stretch of road, the journey downtown would be less time-wasting. At least the compelling, offensive traffic congestion at Jalan Skudai would be avoided.

However, many could not deny the charm of the good ol’ public transport system of public bus.

Even though the prospect of speeding down the road with an exhilarating speed would have made Alvin Peh salivate, he nevertheless appreciates a journey downtown on a bus once in a while. You might not understand the lure of taking a public bus but, Alvin is certainly fascinated by it.

Imagine sitting in a metal box with strangers all around you. You either stare out of the window hoping to see something special, or you chat with the person next to you.

Alvin does both.

Thus far, he has seen the beauty and ugly of Malaysians while on the bus. Road bullies, inconsiderate drivers and Rempit individuals make up the ugly side of the citizens, while touching tales of schoolchildren helping a blind man cross the road was something that has made Alvin see hope in the future for Malaysia.

At least the Moral Studies classes in school were a success after forcing students to remember the countless moral values.

Besides that, Alvin chats all the time to kill boredom. Other than chatting to the mak ciks asking them about their day, he too spends time talking to teenagers his age talking about random issues such as the Malaysian football team, government policies and almost everything that happened around the world.

These chatting sessions actually helped build Alvin’s communications skills, thus forming the present Dr. Alvin who was always praised for his ability to communicate efficiently with his patients.

However, whenever he’s having a holiday at his hometown of Johor Bahru, he would always find time to go downtown for a cup of tea with his classmates of yore.

Today was one of those days.

Alvin’s mother fetched him to the nearest bus stop (awww just like the good old days) and in his hand he held the already prepared fare of exactly RM2.50 in coins.

It was quite a joy standing at the bus stop reminiscing about the past. About the time a bird excreted on Ivan’s bag; about the time the old gang had ice creams as they waited for the bus.

Now you understand the lure public bus taking held over Alvin. There were memories he and his friends would remember till the end of time in it.

An elderly man was waiting for the bus as well and Alvin wasted no time in engaging him in a talk. The weather, the new developments in Johor Bahru, the Raya holidays. It was a pleasant chat.

The bus arrived in no time at all. Once on the bus, Alvin selected a window seat and proceeded to look out of the window. He had left his home so long; he almost couldn’t recognize the place the bus was passing through!

The bus filled up gradually as it drove along its usual route. People were going downtown to celebrate the upcoming Raya holidays. There was quite a joyous atmosphere on the bus, with the radio playing lighthearted Raya songs and people chatting happily.

As the bus stopped by a shopping mall, an old lady climbed up the stairs, her hands laden with heavy plastic bags. Being impregnated with the thirty six Moral values since his primary school days, Alvin leapt out immediately and flashed a friendly smile towards the old lady.

He beckoned at her cheerily but realized she was having difficulties moving her groceries. So, he walked towards her to help.

He had barely taken a step towards her when a man, in his mid-twenties, took his seat.

So furious he was, he wanted to roar and fight with that insolent man. 
So incensed he was, he wanted to confront that atrocious man.
So enraged he was, he wanted to let the monster inside him run amuck on that impertinent beast of a man.

A woman sitting next to him grabbed his hand and flashed a warning look at him. She jumped up from her seat and called out to the old woman, ‘Auntie, have my seat please!’

What a heartwarming scene.

If only all Malaysians would ditch the Third World mindset for the more prudent First World attitude.

The old lady smiled gratefully at her and took up the offer.

At that instantaneous moment, a dazzling light illuminated the woman who gave up her seat to the old lady.
She is one of the most beautiful women Alvin has ever seen and, it wasn’t from the physical aspect.

It was her heart. Her heart of exquisite gold. One so rare that many people fail even to see one in their entire lifetime.

Alvin left the bus before he reached his station. The invaluable kindness shown by the woman was so beautiful he was sure she was an angel.

This is why Alvin likes to take the public bus, even though it is a hassle. On one trip he managed to be awestruck by the beauty, and stunned by the ugly of Malaysians. However, when there is a sparkle of light in darkness, hope will always be present.

The inconsiderate man will reap what he had sowed; and the thoughtful woman has definitely planted the seed of kindness in the hearts of the other passengers.

All is not lost yet.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Unheard Whisper

The empty road stretched on forever in front of me. Alone on it, I felt good. No obstacles, no hindrances – a perfect antidote to the poison building up in me. I had to vent it all out; I had to release myself from the prison of guilt I felt.

I like the feeling of my foot on the accelerator. Hard and firm; the corners of my mouth twitched upwards as the needle on the speedometer zoomed towards 200kmph.

My mind, however, was still in a mess. Contrition was never absent in my everyday life. Regret washed over me. Ashamed of myself, I was.

I should not have gotten myself into this mess; never should I have hitched her along in my trip on the highway to hell.

I was driving all around with no specific destination in mind. The images in my mind showed only of the girl whose life I had destructed in a moment of folly. The high speed escapade was soothing; unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for me to get further than the range of my conscience’s nagging.

Funnily I had the sudden urge to revisit the place it all happened the very first time. The very first time I saw the symmetry of the universe. I never knew if the universe revolved around the earth or around the sun. But finally it’s plain.

It was the girl with a dazzling smile that held me then. She was the center of my universe.

Racing uphill, the avalanche of memories continued its cascade. I shook my head, hard, and asked myself that simple question, do I love her?’ Indeed, we were happy together. We could make the sun shine and the rain fall.

I would want to spend the rest of my life with her.

It has been a mere three months since I last saw her; Ireland has definitely separated us. Though did I even take a look of lust at any other? Nope, never came across my mind. I missed her dearly.

Slowly, I parked at the tip where the whole of Kuala Lumpur was at the tip of my feet. This was my comfort zone, where she and I once called home. I stepped down from the car with reasonable deliberation, unsure of what I was going to see.

Had the commencement of the developing projects made this place unrecognizable? No, it stayed the same, as if waiting for my return. Even the girl sitting on the bench looked familiar.

Hold on, that was the shirt she loved the most. The Liverpool jersey with my name etched on it was a part of our first month anniversary as a couple. I looked down and realized I was wearing the jersey with her name on it.

My eyes widened in shock and my heart skipped a beat. Could it be? I have been looking for her since my return, and here she was, right in front of me.

I walked towards her, moving each leg with considerable difficulty. It took every single ounce of concentration for me not to fall to the temptation of running forward and hug her; for the fear of mistaking a look-alike girl for her.

A few feet away from her, I was absolutely sure. My dear XXXX. Her left hand reached for the right arm, just like every other time when she couldn’t believe what she saw.

Her eyes, the soft chocolate brown, never for once even left mine. Hungrily, they bore into mine without blinking, just like every other time. My breath staggered; they reminded me of every touch, every kiss.

My lungs felt like they were going to burst. I opened my mouth, wanting to tell her about everything I missed about her but, sanity left me before I could do anything else. My lips parted, but it wasn’t a crooning that left them.

‘What are you doing here?’ I whispered.

She froze. Her expression hardened. For so long I had been dreaming, missing, thinking of this sweet face, but now etched onto her features was pure hatred.

So little time had passed but so much had changed. This time, her favourite perfume and this intense gaze made me tremble. Before I could unlock my petrified muscles to hug her, to bring her closer to me, she answered indifferently, ‘making a decision.’

I bit my lip in confusion. I had never understood the complex mystery of a woman’s brain. What could it be that was bothering her? Was I still in her heart, the way she never left mine? I could not decide; I could never know.

Our gazes were locked firmly together. A deep breath I took and I left my mind to the control of insanity. I had long given parts of myself up to commands of insanity, yet it was now that I finally saw fit to embrace its might.

‘Let me decide for you.’

I took hold of the railings and put my hand on your back. ‘I love you,’ said I.

As the good old times stirred at the back of my mind, I was glad finally we would be doing something together. A final push, that was it, and you fell off the cliff with the grace of a ballerina.

Right before my eyes, you fell off the cliff and my hands were the cause of it. I did not cry, I did not howl. Finally fate brought us together again, and this is the only way to make sure we take the next step together.

‘Babe, I’m coming with you. You wouldn’t be alone any longer.’

As my last words left my lips, I took two quick steps backward, and launched myself forward, hard. My eyes were closed tight and the wind stung my face viciously. My heart beat loyally as it galloped towards the last beat; determining to fulfill a lifetime’s beat before the end.

I felt not fear, but joy.


That was the last thing I heard.

This story is produced through a collaboration with a friend. Written from the boy's perspective, maybe it would be inadequate to fully understand how complicated their relationship was. To know more about their sad story, please click here <---

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The BTN Nightwalk

The sky put on its veil of darkness, bringing an end to the day with a hint of mystery. The full moon was displayed with dazzling illumination; the opera of the crickets gave the ambience a touch of melancholy.

Stars decorated the veil of the sky like diamonds on black satin; the sound of water splashing on the waterfall in the distance gave the woods a peaceful impression.

Suddenly, a whistle shrilled, breaking the serenity of the place.

‘Next!’ Boomed the voice of a man and two girls moved forward, holding on to each other as though giving support to the other.

‘Follow the blinking red lights and don’t stray off course,’ said the man, not unkindly.

The two young ones stared at the path cloaked with darkness in front of them and gulped involuntarily. It was the seventh month in the lunar calendar and to Malaysians, it is the Hungry Ghost Festival.

Daunting and uninviting, this night walk in the jungle of Rembau, Negeri Sembilan is a part of the activities organized by the National Civics Bureau (BTN). April and Catherine had valiantly protested against the walk but to no avail; the organizers replied with, ‘the camp is a platform for you to face and control your fears.’

However, the organizers relented a little by allowing the participants to go in pairs. Having heard the screams of countless people before them, the two girls were in no haste to begin their walk.

‘Hurry!’ A voice behind them screeched, making them jump.

Gripping each other’s hand tightly, they proceeded cautiously. It was difficult to spot the tiny blinking light and mosquitoes were feeding happily on the exposed flesh of the two girls.

Very soon, they rounded a bend. The light emitted by the flashlights of the facilitators could now not be seen and they were engulfed totally by darkness.

Catherine whined. “April, my throat hurts…”

April cursed silently under her breath. Catherine’s tonsillitis has been worsening since they arrived at the camp. She rummaged in her backpack for a bottle of water. As April took it out, her peripheral vision detected something moving.

Something white moving, no, gliding in the trees behind them.

April’s blood ran cold. Beside her, Catherine’s mouth was opened in a silent scream. Her eyes were bulging and she was shivering uncontrollably.

It was Catherine’s fear and panic that brought the adrenaline surging to April’s muscles. In a swift moment she grabbed Catherine’s hand and they ran as fast as their stiff legs would carry them. Both girls were sobbing uncontrollably but did not stop even when they heard shouting from afar.

Finally, coughing nonstop, Catherine sat down at last. They had run relentlessly for more than five minutes, as if being chased by an axe-wielding madman, with the objective of getting as far away as possible from the creature.

April slumped beside her, panting loudly.

‘What was that?’

‘No idea. Let’s walk though. Gotta find the rest, fast.’

They continued their walk down the path with renewed spirit. However, much to their dismay, the red blinking lights seemed to have disappeared. The trees seemed to grow thicker there, and the sound of animals was ominously absent. Every sound they made was magnified ten times; the imposing darkness made chills go down their spines.

Out of a sudden, a terrifying howl brought their hearts to their mouths. The girls shrieked at the same time and, in unison, sprinted back up the path.

Unexpectedly, April slipped on a slimy object and took a tumble. Her knee landed on the sharp side of a jagged stone and a metallic smell made her dizzy. A sudden, sharp pain pierced her right calf, and April looked in time to see a black slimy snake, giving out a sibilant hiss, slithering away.

April’s scream drained the blood off Catherine’s face. She never would have believed that April, strong, tough April, would be capable of producing such a sound of mingling terror, fear and pain.

Writhing with agony, April could not do anything but whimper. A feeling of paralysis was spreading up her right leg and she was in terrible shock. All she could do was to moan for the help that would never come.

Catherine was lost in panic. She could not leave April alone in this state, no she would get lost trying to find help; yet staying with April would not bring help to them. The snake venom was rather poisonous, judging on the rapidly deteriorating consciousness of April.

She was losing much blood. The fangs must have punctured a vein, as dark red blood was oozing out copiously. Catherine knew she had to react quickly. It was a matter of life and death.

Pulling her hairpin out, she proceeded by making small cuts at the side of April’s snake bite. Next, she did the thing that felt right at that moment – she pressed her lips to the bite, and sucked the contaminated blood.

It tasted horrible. Like the smell of rotting flesh. Catherine spit the first mouthful out and returned for a second mouthful. The repetition was continued until April’s blood tasted normal without the repelling stench.

Taking a spare shirt from April’s backpack, a partial tourniquet was tied to reduce the blood flow at April’s leg. The result was instantaneous – the blood loss reduced dramatically.

However, Catherine began to feel dizzy. Perhaps it was due to the sheer exhaustion, maybe it was due to the intoxicated blood she accidentally swallowed in her haste to help her friend, her mind blanked out suddenly.

The branches swayed gently in the wind to the tempo of a cradle being swayed as the nightlife in the jungle remained in its active mode. Owls flew about finding prey for their chicks and rats ran about, dodging the flying birds that were looking for a meal for their nest.

It was a scene of peace and harmony - the way nature should be.

When the search party arrived half an hour later, they found a girl with snakebite from the vicious cobra breathing with quick, shallow breaths; weak but not quite ready to meet the Creator yet, and the body of a brave girl with blue, swollen lips, who gave her life to save that of her friend.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Mortar Board

A cup of freshly brewed home roasted coffee in the middle of a mountain of books emitted fragrance equivalent to that of the kopitiam coffee her dad loves.

The aroma was so tempting that Susan had to put her book down and take a sip. She felt her drowsiness disappear in a fleeting second.

She rubbed her weary eyes and they lingered momentarily at the mirror on the wall. Her reflection scared even herself. Was it possible the woman with bloodshot eyes and a pallid face Susan? Gosh, she looked like a zombie!

She took in a deep breath to pull herself together. It is not the time to lose her focus.

She threw a nervous glance at the round clock on the wall. It was nearly two in the morning. She heaved a sigh and carried on with her revision.

“The next book…one more after this…there’s still time for this…”

These were the words Susan kept repeating to herself as she went through her notes. Her mind, already saturated with information, went into an overdrive, absorbing information like sponge absorbing water.

She had come too far, further than what her critics have thought her possible of. They have been hostile towards the first ever girl taking an engineering course in the university. Told her she would never make it. Picked on her since the first day as she arrived on a wheelchair.

Ahh, her legs, a casualty of the fatal accident that occurred years and years ago.

It was a perfectly normal day for any family.

Tuan Sheng had taken a day off from work to spend time with his family. Being a people’s leader in the state of Kelantan, the title ‘Tuan’ did not come easily for Sheng. However, he had been doing well over the past decade, and the fruit of labour ripened fast for him.

A challenging job, a perfect family, and respect from the people were everything he ever wanted. Happiness was a possession for the Sheng family.

Alas, fate intervened. He was driving home from the beach in Bachok when a blue Honda rammed into his car from the passenger’s side. The screams of his wife and daughter made the blood drain from his face.

He was powerless to prevent the car from turning turtle.

The massive jam that resulted from that crash delayed the arrival of the ambulance. Had the traffic been more relenting, Sheng’s wife would not have passed away on the way to the hospital. As she was rushed to the Operating Theater, Susan was in a critical condition, fighting for her life.

Sheng blamed himself for the tragedy. Had he approved the construction of a wider road in that area earlier, his wife would not have died. Had he drove with more vigilance, Susan would not be in mortal peril. Why, of the three of them, did he receive the least injury?

Susan woke up from comatose a few weeks later, by which Sheng had taken to alcohol to ease the pain of losing his wife. And another blow hit the Sheng family.

Susan was paralyzed from waist down.

It was a setback that would deter many from moving on in life, but not Susan. She knew it was her mother’s wishes for her to excel in her studies, and she vowed to fulfill her piety to her mother by doing just that. The positive energy radiating from her managed even to rouse her father from his drunken stupor.

It was a long, long journey before she made it into University Malaya (UM). She had survived jeers from her parents, biased teachers and even the cruel hands of fate far too long to give up now.

No, she will be undertaking her ultimate paper in her fourth and final year and there is no room for quitters. She will soldier on no matter what!

Tuan Sheng, who had requested to be transferred to the Klang Valley upon his daughter’s admission into UM, was sitting at the kitchen table when Susan emerged from her room.

“Are you ready for it?”

Susan nodded confidently.

“That’s my girl.”

A fire rose in her chest. The wrinkles around his eyes showed how much Sheng had aged, and Susan was determined not to let him down.

At nine o’clock sharp, the examiner gave the go-ahead and the scribbling began. Susan’s hand flew across the paper at breakneck speed. Her peers around her looked at her in awe as she filled the blank papers with formulae and calculations.

Finally, exhausted, she put her pen down and closed her eyes.

Susan woke to the sounds of machines beeping. She was in a white room filled with weird devices and tubes. The sense of déjà vu filled her eyes with tears. She adjusted her right hand and it brushed against something soft.

Tuan Sheng woke to a start, and couldn’t believe his eyes as he saw his daughter smiling at him. For two weeks he had slept beside the unconscious body of his daughter and finally she has woken!

The result for the finals was announced a fortnight later. Susan gave the honour of opening the envelope to her father.

With trembling hands he slit the envelope open and gave an enormous gasp.

Susan had obtained first class honours despite fainting in the middle of the last paper!

On the day of her convocation, Tuan Sheng, the proudest man in the universe that day, put on his best suit and went to the ceremony with his daughter at his side. When Susan Sheng was called, the crowd gave her a standing ovation, to the girl who had proven that nothing is impossible.

As she received her honours from the chancellor, Susah held her father’s hand tightly and touched her mortar board. Tears welled up in her eyes.

“Mum, I’ve done it!”

Monday, May 9, 2011

The GameCube Adventure

"This story is purely fictional
all likeliness are totally coincidental"

The day began in the same fashion as it had for the past few years.

The alarm clock disrupted her sleep at a quarter past six. Yawning, she would get downstairs and get ready for school. She would then be at the kitchen for breakfast, and her dad would fetch her to school.

It was a pattern that repeated five days a week, and sometimes even six. But she was already used to it. There was only a year more before she graduated from high school, and she was already impatient to leave that place.

Cheng came from a family filled with love. Her parents gave her what she wanted. An iPhone. An iPad. Approved her relationship with Ivan. You get it.

She was a sweet girl, full of life and enthusiasm. However, as age crept in, she began to enjoy solitude.

Rebellion was ever present in her as she grew older. Call it the side-effects of a growing teenager, she became vulnerable to the influences of her peers. Succumbed to the desires of people her age. Materialism stepped in and immaturity took control.

She wanted fun. She yearned for the merriment she could not find in her home. Thirsted for the thrill Ivan wouldn't give.

It started with the weekly movie trips, and the hanging out with friends. Cheng and her friends preferred the GameCube, which was the attention hub for teenagers or young adults her age without the sense that education was the key to future success.

But it doesn't matter, because it's all about staying cool and trendy when you're young.

The craze of teenagers seemed to have frozen over loud music and the hip hop genre. Everywhere she turned, she saw teenagers with tight jeans and flamboyant hairstyles.

A pulchritudinous girl to start with, she attracted gazes from the boys. Some of them wolf-whistled at the mini-skirt she wore but she didn't pay much attention to them. Those jerks aren't comparable to Ivan anyway. She was just there to chill with her friends.

"Pretty girl, new here? How come I've never seen you before?" A voice said, and a hand caressed her chin.

She stepped back in shock; her hand slapped the stranger's hand away automatically.

The man who assaulted her laughed wickedly. "Ooh you have character. I like that."
Behind him, his two followers snickered evilly.

The thug that was obviously the leader had a handsome face, with a scar running across his cheek. His hair was dyed blond, and he wore a silver earring on his right ear.

"So, any intention of hanging out with me? A drink, perhaps?" He leered at her.

Cheng's self defense mechanism set in. "Er, nope. Sorry but I think we have entered the wrong place," she rejected politely and tried to leave.

The thug waved his hand. A group of muscular men surrounded Cheng and her friends.

"Cheng, it's just a drink. Why don't you go with him?" Ling, her best friend said.

Cheng looked at Ling in horror. "I never thought you would do this to me." Hurt was quickly coursing through her veins, filling her with the feeling of betrayal.

She knew doom was impending. There was no way out for her. If only she hadn't left the safety of her house for an hour of fun. She glared at Ling.

Ling averted her eyes. The blond waved a hand and his men formed a pathway for Ling and her group of friends to leave the building.

"So," said the blond after the girls left the building. "Now let's have some 'alone' time in my room upstairs."

She was powerless in preventing herself from being shepherded along various corridors.

"Hey Shuit, so that's how selfish you can be."

The blond stopped and turned around.

So that's his name, Cheng thought miserably. At least she would be able to give the police something later.

"Saarvinraj, my old classmate, long time no see. What's this nonsense about me being selfish? Since when was I selfish? Hahahahaha."

Saarvinraj wore a white jeepa' which complemented his dark skin perfectly. The shades he wore made him look like Shah Rukh Khan, and his perfect Indian slang made him look like he just came out from Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Cham, a famous Indian movie.

"Aiyooo, Shuit taking a girl for yourself and not sharing is being selfish. You haven't changed since our Matrix days."

Shuit looked taken aback. "So how do you think we should settle this?"

Saarvinraj smiled, showing his perfect, shining teeth. "The usual rules. Two laps."

"Game on."

Cheng was brought to an abandoned house. She was tied to a chair at the porch and tears streaked down her cheeks as she watched the two baddies rev up their motorcycles. The process, as told to her by a follower of Shuit by the name of Kentmun, was simple. The first person who completes the two laps first wins the prize.
Cheng had struggled with all her might but to no avail. By the end of this race, she would be of the possession of a malicious crook, and there is no way out for her.

The race begun and the night sky was decorated by cheers from the gangs belonging to the two thugs. Shuit led the race at the first lap until he reached the final turn, where Saarvinraj capitalized on a lack of concentration to overtake him.

They were neck in neck going into the second lap when something strange happened. Two of the gang members suddenly jumped onto their motorcycles and joined the race.

And that was the cue for the action to happen.

Police sirens filled the neighborhood. The night sky was lit ablaze with the red and blue emitted by the lights on the police cars. The gang members cheering their boss scrambled to escape.

On the racetrack, the two leaders of triad realized what was happening a fraction of second too slow. As they reached the finishing line, Shuit shouted triumphantly, "Haha, I've won!'.

Saarvinraj was too enraged to speak. He threw his helmet to the ground and attempted to leave the scene when two policemen handcuffed him and took him by surprise.

Shuit, knowing that things have gone wrong, made a desperate attempt to make a bolt for it. He turned, just to see a policeman pointing a pistol at him. There was no escape. He raised both his hands as a sign of surrender.

"Shuit, the leader of Siew Kit Triad, you have been placed under arrest of abducting a minor and for your part in an illegal motor racing activity.

"Saarvinraj, the popular Bollywood actor, I never thought you would get caught. However, you are detained for your participation in an illegal motor racing activity. by the way," he lowered his voice. "Can you give me your autograph?"

Saarvinraj laughed humorlessly as he allowed himself to be led away.

The officer who addressed the two thugs walked over to Cheng. "Miss, how are you? I am Inspector O.B. and my friend over there is Sergeant Ahmad Fauzi. A report was made by a group of teenagers a few hours ago, and we kept a lookout in the area.

"Come, the worst is over. Let's get you home."

Cheng was escorted back home by the police force to the relief of her parents. Ling and the group of friends were there too. Upon seeing her parents, Cheng hugged them and sobbed unashamedly. Ivan, who arrived not long after, spoke to her words of comfort.

As the saying goes, all's well that end's well. Cheng learned to appreciate what her parents gave her, and realized her friends did not betray her. She forgave them and apologized for jumping to conclusions too early.

And she finally understood that she was the luckiest girl in the world. Loving parents, rational friends, and a kind boyfriend. She has finally grown up.

Here's a tribute to Miss Ang Sung Cheng for her 19th birthday, and a happy 1 year Matrix anniversary for the class of 2010/2011. ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Matrix Love Story

Two things I hate most in this world. Homework. And boys who compete against me.

Life, was always tough on me. First, I've been sent to this "college" in the rustic town of Kuala Pilah. The homework load was terrible. Then when I thought nothing could go any worse, he was assigned to my class. Now I have lots of homework, and a boy who competes AGAINST me to complete our homework!

Life is extremely kind to me. I hope you heard the sarcasm hidden in the sentence.

This kid, is seriously a pain in the neck. He wouldn't stop talking to me! Not in the talk-about-polite-stuff sense. He just wouldn't shut up about Arsenal FC and stuff that only people with a Y chromosome would like. Don't get too impressed. I only remembered the Arsenal thing because he wouldn't stop showing off his jersey.

Like I would be interested anyway. I AM A GIRL, DUH!

My friends keep telling me he likes me. OH MY GOD that had better not be true because you know what? I never felt anything towards him. Just two ordinary classmates, that's all. End of story.

Still, I've been feeling quite well the past week. It was the Chinese New Year holidays! Five days of glee in the shopping heaven of Kuala Lumpur. Yes. Yes. Yes yes YES!! Most importantly, I wouldn't have to see his face for five whole days.

Now that's music, to my ears. *Winks*

Usually he would pester me with his incessant text messages but I wasn't that bothered with the absence of his messages this holidays. Probably fooling around with some other girls.

But time flies. I'm now back in the college, heading to class on this devastatingly cold Monday morning. See, even Life is making it extra tough for me.

I walked into the class, late as usual. Weird, he's not here. It doesn't matter; it's better for me. :)

Suddenly, there was a frantic knock on the door, and he rushed in.

"Sorry I'm late sir."

Gosh. My personal nightmare returns. I stole a glance at him; he was looking at me intently, the cheeky smile back on his face.

The rest of the day passed by as usual. I left the classroom first, and he caught up with me. We walked all the way to our classes, went to look for the teachers and even ate together. Along the way, he couldn't seem to stop talking.

It's like being tortured in Hell. Everyday for the next eight weeks. Thank God it's not for eternity.

We were walking to our Chemistry lecture when it happened. Being extremely late for the class, I finally opted for a shortcut that required me to run across the field. I was halfway across the field when I realised he wasn't with me.


"Hey slowcoach Caroline, what's taking you so long?" He was standing in front of the lecture hall.

I was stunned. There was no way he could get there so fast. I mean, I was the one taking the shortcut and, he was still next to me twenty seconds ago. I wasn't possible; I didn't see him running or...even fly.

I frowned, but threw it to the back of my mind. He was fond of coming up with new tricks to surprise me. Bother him.

That was the start of many events.

You see, Alvin is an extreme-outdoor person. He loves soccer more than his life (I mean, he did get so many injuries and accidents while playing the sport that I flinched every time I imagined him playing) and he's the most auntie-like boy I've ever seen - once a rumour reaches his ears, you would bet it'll reach the ears of everybody in the college.

The thing is, nobody seemed to want to talk to him anymore. I was with him all the time, and nobody even gave him a glance. None of my classmates teased me about him; nor did any of my friends mention him when we were chatting. They acted like he never existed.

And nobody seemed to want to talk about him anymore. Whenever I mentioned his name, the topic would change instantly.

He started to shun company; he started to skip meals. The only thing he intensified his effort in was...his care to me.

Every night, he would have his dinner with me in the cafe in front of my dorm. He would always get a carton of milk and watch me eat. Then, as I prepared to leave, he would force me to finish that carton of milk. I pretended to be annoyed by his antics, but truly, I was touched to the core.

His hoodie, always the same one, was always in his bag. Whenever I felt cold Alvin would help me put it on. My friends were like, "It's his hoodie!!" with surprised expressions on their faces but I didn't care. Alvin...was starting to melt my heart.

As we all know, time flies. Soon, February was ending. We both received our results for our middle-of-semester-test. I got a pointer of 4.00 and he was a little behind with 3.87. It wasn't too bad, but we were having a study group consisting of the two of us nightly. All the time his gaze would not leave my face, and to tell you the truth, I was totally basking in happiness.

He gave me my first ever Valentine chocolates, and they were the sweetest chocolates I have ever tasted.

As March came creeping along, he was getting more and more protective. We were spending all our time together. Eating, studying, looking for name it. Except for the time when I was in my room, we were never separated.

As April approached, he was always with a grimace on his face, which immediately turned into a sparkling smile whenever I look at him. It was all very mysterious, but with the final examinations looming, I didn't care much.

I was very, very, very touched with the attention he gave me, and I myself was basking in happiness each and every time we were together. When two people are in love, even silence is sweet when being together.

I never thought I would fall for him in this hell of a place. But...the attention he gave me, the adoration he has for me, they were...indescribable.

Finally, the day reached. The final paper was taken, and we were now going home. He pulled me to a side, and gave me a letter. His face was shining with tears and, without saying a word, he sprinted off.

I tried to follow but, he seemed to vanish into thin air. I stopped, and opened the letter.

There was a stack of photographs; pictures of us. Ah those happy times, wonderful to reminisce. Behind every picture, there were words of love.

"Caroline, don't forget to take more vegetables k!?"

"Carol dear, next time, please snug closer to me if you're cold..."

I couldn't stop myself from tearing up a little. There was a newspaper cutting at the bottom. I picked it up, and gasped.

Boy Killed On Journey Home.

There was a picture of him lying sprawled lifeless on the tar road, with a wrecked car next to him.

He died on the journey home from the college during the Chinese New Year holidays.

So that's why my friends ignored him. They couldn't see him at all. Only I could.

So that's why my friends refused to talk about him anymore. They were grieving.

So that's why he wouldn't walk under the sun anymore. He couldn't.

"Carol, I know you would be crying when you read this. I'm sorry I can't wipe your tears from you this time. Happiness doesn’t come easily for those who seek it; as it possesses wings and tends to fly out of our reach.

I rue the day I met with the accident, as it cost me the chance to walk down the aisle with you. I regret not listening to your advice, for if I did not speed, I wouldn’t have met with the mishap. Now I couldn’t be with you for the rest of your life, and it was all because of a moment of folly.

The play has yet to reach its end, but the lights have dimmed on our story.

Rub your tears off, dear! Be strong. Take care of yourself properly in honour of my memory. Don’t forget the milk; and get an optimistic outlook on life. If you do believe in reincarnation, then I would never want to separate with you just like this.

If there is a next lifetime for us, I hope for me to be your Guardian Angel once again. I want you to know I would be waiting for you for all eternity. Forever and ever.

I just came back to spend the last eight weeks with you. It was seriously the most genuine eight weeks of my life, and I hope it was a part of your best memories too."

All I could do was to hug my knees and sob.