Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mona Lisa Smile

After so long, I breathed.

Today I am elected President of the Library Board of SMK Maxwell. Azman is my assistant. Yoong Sin is my secretary, See Bee her assistant. Yoong Ling is my treasurer, Suat Teng her assistant. Together us six, will establish a better identity for the library.

I am extremely happy because I finally had the opportunity to present my leadership skills. Together with my fellow librarians, we will improve the library, and make us well respected for our ability. I am also proud to say that the seniors had that trust and faith in me, in such that they elected me as a president above all.

I had sacrificed a lot to come so far. As Julius Caesar said, I came, I saw, I conquered. Yes, I indeed conquered above all. And it was indeed Mona Lisa's Smile. So mysterious, not charming, yet complicated and meaningful.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Black Ocean

I am lost in a whirlpool of darkness, slowly digested by black currents and silent waves. As I speak, my voice came out as large bubbles, gargling in the heavy waters. I looked in front of me, rubbing my eyes furiously. My vision sharpened, as I saw a mass of people in front of me, about 20 of them, pointing, smirking, glaring, at me. They were swimming in the black water, skilled admist the dark viscous liquid, manouvering their hands with eerie, slow gestures, extending their pale and long arms towards my face. They circled me, chanting words I do not understand, their gazes cold and cunning, cutting into every inch of my flesh. I shruddered in the chilling water, ignoring their cruel glares. I swam towards the front, my arms worn and tired in the strong movements, the continous wave of a complete breaststroke. I gasped in the water. The bitter liquid entered my lungs, suffocating my throat. I coughed and massaged my neck, as the mass of people came by. They pushed me down, their powerfull palms on my shoulders, sinking their sharp fingernails into my skin. I screamed in agony, my voice helpless in the darkened waves. They were chanting: "Lose, lose, lose........" The others watched and laughed as I struggled helplessly, wishing everything will be put to a stop. Then they left me beaten and battled, alone and abandoned at the base of the wide black ocean, the base covered with skeletons and skulls, charred and in pieces. I winced and fought my journey to the surface. I saw the king and the prime minister, extending their damp sleeves towards my wounds. They explained about the condition I had endured in the black waters. Resting on the shores and nursing my wounds, I looked back at the black waves, crushing with power on the shores. A dozen pairs of sinister eyes looked at me, narrowed, and vanished. " No hard feelings" they said. I coughed and kept walking, the old slashes of my body were gone, but now, thousands of cuts emerged, fresh and tricking with new blood. When I saw my blood, red and flowing, damping my arms, soaking my chest, drenching my legs, I colappsed on the sandy shore. Beside me, a curl of wave of black waters clapped on my injured body, where I felt a great surge of agony, followed by the cry of horror, which I realised it was coming out from my own mouth. Vomiting something black and slimy, I closed my eyes and relaxed, ignoring the wounds which covered almost all my body, as I heard angels singing, before my whole world went black.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

We Can Eat!!

Zi Qin, Shin Peih, Mei Li, Yoong Sin, me, Yoong Ling poking chopsticks at the pot.

To farewell Mei Li, the twins, Zi Qin, Shin Peih and I treated her with a steamboat buffet course in Fortune Steamboat at Metro Prima. The following are the ‘eating pattern’ of everyone.

The twins- they loved the honeydew ice-cream (which I think it was horrible), the reason: there are sago bits in the ice cream. LOL. They kept fantasizing about the watermelons. On the journey back, they actually regretted that they should have more watermelon. Hint: buy them 2 watermelons for their birthday.

Zi Qin- this girl was a recycling plant. She just kept on stuffing in everything within reach, despite her petite frame. Proverb learned: do not judge a book by its cover. And she kept on laughing about some crap joke which she made it herself, which was not funny at all. We were like: “okay……………………………………….” Chill.

Mei Li- she developed a style of opening clams, which is by stuffing the clam into the stove of the steamboat. She did not want to call the waiter ‘leng chai’. According to her, they do not deserve the title. So just call everyone ‘hello’ to avoid people being too ss.

Shin Peih- came back from prom and straight away to the buffet. She was the primary photographer, who took every photograph from ice cream to bones. She did not fancy seafood anyway, so she just ate some fishballs and stuff. Relatively, she ate the least. What to do? People want to diet.

Behind the scenes- We applied some chemistry topics on the course. Triple point. Where solid, liquid and gas coexist in equilibrium. Everyone achieved triple point in our alimentary lane where fart gas, liquid soup+ice cream+mineral water and all solid fishball+seafood coexist in equilibrium. Walau… Yoong Sin said she achieved critical point where she already had the maximum. Everyone definitely ate more than RM18.80. We ate from 9pm to 11.45pm. Non-stop. The person in charge must been thinking: “this few insane dudes can really swallow!!” In the end, everyone was overfull. Oh yeah, we also knew that the twins’ brother was nominated as prom king and could do great pumping. We also knew that Mei Li wanted to go clubbing. Reached home feeling great, contented and wow…… cannot breathe!!

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Yoong Sin and Zi Qin were waving at me at the corridor of the science labs. I rushed out of the classroom, frantically, returning their wave, desperate to talk to them. I never reach my destination. During my rushed sprint, I did not pay attention on the path. Beneath the step, lay a deathly crack, isolated and dangerous. My right feet sank into the crack, as I felt the turquoise sky spin, as I heard hurried footsteps from Yoong Sin and Zi Qin, as I heard Yoong Ling’s loud enquries. Luckily I did not fell as dramatic as you imagined, despite the dramatic intro. No eagle sprawl, no four limbs facing the heavens. It’s just a simple fall, I landed left foot on the ground, right leg bended to a kneel, right foot stuck on the damn crack, my arms already around the shoulders of my three friends, who apparently came to the rescue.

As they helped me into the classroom, I felt a sharp throbbing pain on my ankle. Thinking about simple bruises, I did not pay attention on it. But my three friends were more worried than I was. They kept shooting me questions like: ‘Are you okay?” “Are you really really really okay?” “Does it hurt?” “Want to rest?” on an interval of 30 seconds or less, and showing me the I-don’t-believe-you look after I repeated: “I’m fine” for at least a hundred times. It was the feeling I had until I removed my shoe to scrutinize the sore. When I saw my ‘swollen twice the normal size’ ankle, I sincerely felt that everything was not that fine. Plus when I was requested to walk, I half managed to do so, and with great agony on the ankle and calf. My three friends made sure I remained seated in their classroom, despite me having Mr. Ng’s mathematics class. They even fetched some cloth soaked in warm water to ease the swell. Great friends, really. Then, sensing that I am officially “physically challenged”, Zi Qin ran to my class to request Mr. Ng’s help. He recommended me to treat my sore by traditional Chinese medication and massage. He also forbid me to stay back to presume my duties in the library, and told me to shut up when I insisted and tried to explain. He also offered to fetch me halfway but I reclined his offer. But Mr. Ng was really a great teacher.

After hobbling and staggering all the way, I reached the library. My three friends went to report the case to Pn. Ang, Senior Assistant in charge of students’ affairs. During my wait with Zi Qin in the library, I was feeling nausea and I was about to take the day off. So I went behind the counter to inform my leader. It was just at the moment the wall fan chose to detach from the wall and fell on the table, shredding bits of plastic and glass everywhere. Luckily the extension wire was strong enough to remain the spluttering fan from reaching my back, which was just 10 cm away. Zi Qin’s reflexes and responses were fast enough to switch the power off, leaving me ashen faced and badly shaken, gasping behind the counter. It was exactly those Final Destination scenes minus the part where everything gets bloody. Still recovering from the fact that I survived from the incident that nearly got my head chopped, I sensed that I really had to get back home as fast as possible. Pn. Ang arrived seconds later, requesting loudly to see my swell, flanked by the twins and behind them, heads bobbling to catch a better view were Zi Qin, my leader and Pei Foong. After jotting down my personal particulars and interviewing my condition, she followed the three of them to the ‘crime scene’, where they complained about the poor facility of the school which were potential injury threats such as cracked cement, holes on the floor, unlit classrooms and more. By the way Pn. Ang wanted to have a talk with me when I get back to school and maybe I can claim my medical expenses from the PTA. Then, the twins and Zi Qin accompanied me to the bus stop and watched me hobbled on a Rapid KL (luckily not Selangor Buses with big steps, reckless drivers and rude conductors). The Rapid KL driver was a nice guy, though. He fetched me to “masuk dalam” (bus passenger-driver-conductor language regarding a particular destination) when I requested him to do so. He even drove the whole bus up the curb so that I do not have to descend so much and even stopped and waited patiently for me to get down. As usual, I walked back home, trying to ignore curious glances from the mamak stall workers who were apparently interested in my staggering style of walking. I reached home 20 minutes later, after dragging my right foot during the journey I usually take 5 minutes to complete. And I felt exhausted, worn, tired, frustrated, angry, and panicked.

After taking a nap, I woke up feeling pangs of pain on my whole right leg. Even my left leg was experiencing some slight muscle cramps. The swell was still there, despite my hopes that it will reduce after some rest. Realising that I will not be able to sit for my scheduled Piano Exam tomorrow (Oh yeah, I was supposed to sit for ABRSM Piano Exam Grade 8 on 6 July 2007), due to locomotion problems and the disability to press the sustaining pedal using my right foot, I panicked. I called my piano instructor but the damn woman told me that I have to go by hook or crook because it was impossible to postpone the exam. Sweating and slightly dizzy, I called my music centre and the person in charge told me to send a MC before 8.30pm. WTH, it was already 6pm when I made the call. Then, I called the general clerk to confirm the statement whether I was able to sit for a re exam but she replied me that she was not so sure because the procedure was very complicated as it involved The Ministry of Examinations, but she said she will try her best. After that, I called my mum and told her about my condition and to nobody’s surprise, received a series of naggings and scolds about irresponsibility and carelessness. After a whole afternoon of happenings, I broke down to fitful tears, wishing that today did not start.

The twins appeared on my doorstep almost immediatedly after I phoned them. They promised to bring me painkillers and offered to take me to see a Chinese doctor. Then my mum arrived and took me to the clinic nearby. The doctor is Dr. Goh who was our family doctor since I was 4. It was almost 10 years since I consulted him. But he still held my records. He just had a look at my swell and pressed here and there, and drew a diagram consisting 2 major calf bones, tibia and fibula, and explained that maybe a crack on my fibula was suspected. Then he wrote a letter explaining my condition to the hospital, plus a MC. No medicine, no bandages. Just 10 minutes consultation. RM15. WTH. Must be rich being a doctor, that is probably one of the reason I ambit to be one. Then my mum fetched me to Damansara Specialist Hospital for a X-ray scan. That was the first time I stepped into a hospital as a patient after 5 years. ( I went to Sg. Buloh Hospital when I received bites all over my limbs after a camp in Kuala Selangor when I was in Form 1) And that was my first encounter sitting on a wheelchair and being pushed around by a nurse. I was feeling like an authentic ‘orang cacat’ and very very embarrassed. After a moment’s waiting, I was wheeled into a room where a doctor asked me questions and tried to diagnose my swollen ankle. He asked me whether I heard something cracked during my fall. Like I noticed every sound and motion during my fall. I was too busy falling down to notice such sounds. Stupid question, indeed. Of course I was not aware of it. Then he said that I need a x-ray. So I waited and a radiologist wheeled me into the x-ray scan room. The room was isolated, chilly, and unoccupied, with rotating machines and faint humming sounds. The radiologist asked me to climb and sit on the table, which posed as a challenge for me. After yoga-ing my way to the table, she placed a slab of plumbum lead block and told me to place my foot on the thing, which also posed as a challenge for me. Then she adjusted the machine above my leg, so that the thing shone some kind of light on me, and she disappeared into a room behind. Next I heard something churning and wheeling, and she reappeared, asking me to bend my leg in another angle to take another shot. Cursing silently, I twisted my whole body from the abdomen part so that she can take her shot. Repeating the same procedure, she once again disappeared into the room to retrieve my scan and she took a long time. So I amused myself by wheeling myself in the wheelchair and examining those lead coats that the twins wore before when they went for orthodontic check-up. The radiologist emerged, declared the scan was complete, and wheeled me to the waiting area, leaving bored and tired.

Not long I was been called by the doctor. The x-ray scan showed my bones were okay and nothing was broken. I almost got down from that frigging wheelchair and thank God on bended knees. It was just an ankle sprain and some tendons and ligaments were injured. That’s all. He advised me not to move a lot to enable the injury to recover faster. The doctor also said that walking will be very painful, which I believed him. Then I got some painkillers and an ice pack from the pharmacy, which I will never swallow one tablet of it. The bill was RM118. What the hell. My mum paid with visa.

I did not went to school. Yipee. From this minor injury, I felt that I had troubled my friends and family a lot. Credits for those people who had helped me. Special thanks to the twins and Zi Qin. Thanks for being the best friends in the world. Without your help I will still be sitting on the crack. Thanks to Mei Li for SMSing your concern. Thanks to Shin Peih for concerning and spreading the news so that the whole SMK Kepong knew about it. Thanks to Yan Yan to inform CY Tuition Centre. Thanks to Pei Foong for understanding my condition. Thanks to Kang Jing for helping. Thanks to 6 Rendah Cekal for the hospitable condition in your classroom and the hand wrestling entertainment. Thanks to Si Jia for the concern via freindster. Thanks to Mr. Ng for the offers and concern. Thanks to Pn. Ang for the concern and the help. Thanks to mum for fetching me to the hospital and paying the bills. Thanks to sis and bro for helping with the household chores. Thanks to Mrs. Oon for offering help and recommendations for Chinese medications. Thanks to mum’s boss for recommending Damansara Specialist. Thanks to Ms. Lau for informing Sonata. Thanks to Sonata clerks and especially Ms. Koh for handling my case and undergoing all procedures. Thanks to Dr. Goh and Dr. Vinod and all medical staff in Damansara Specialist for helping. Thank God for keeping me alive. I will pray.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Masks, Traps, Laughter and Assumptions

Surprise! I am going to write my post in a 3rd point of view form, because I want to voice out something in an indirect way. No one gets hurt, ok?

Cursing under her breath, Hui Ting was fanning herself furiously with a transparent plastic file, complaining silently about the weather. 3 rickety fans hung from the classroom ceiling, on maximum speed, yet did no much change to the increasing temperature. The afternoon sun was blazing outside, sending rays of sunlight through the glass panels of the classroom, where it hosts 32 students, all teenagers and full of energy. The scenario was chaotic and noisy. Her classmates were shouting from a corner to another, laughing loudly, talking vigorously, and apparently having fun. Hui Ting cannot think of anything else. The stiffening room and the humid air were making her sub-conscious, and she began to feel a slight pain on her left temple, throbbing against her sweaty forehead. Turning her focus onto the pile of Chemistry notes stacked in front of her, she pressed her fingers on her head harder and tried to concentrate. Immediately her eyes began to water. Slamming her fists on the table, she cursed again, this time louder than before. Hui Ting knew that she had a hard day in school, yet she knew that she had to just be patient and wait for the bell to ring after 1 and a half hour more for the signal to dismiss. This morning, she got very angry because some guy from her class had underestimated her command of English language. Then she got frustrated about the debate which is just around the corner, because it involved working in a team with the guy that underestimated her. The debate was not even a fair one. The opposing team had a member which knew about the facts by his fingertips because he did the exact same thing last year. And the title was actually chosen by 1 of the judges who was the English instructor of the opposing team member. Hui Ting knew that she was no speaker, let alone debater, yet she volunteered to be a part of it to gain experience, not to get humiliated. But somehow her first experience was not an inviting one, and as a result, she felt greatly disappointed.

Hui Ting awoke from her daydream when the Chemistry teacher entered class. While copying notes, she looked around her classmates. They were so unfamiliar to her. She began to miss her friends terribly. Her mind drifted to those times when they were still studying in 5sc4, in St. Mary’s. Everyone in her class was so close knitted, so cooperative and the friendship bond was so significant. Hui Ting still can recall the scene in class. The twins sat in front, always the most attentive ones in class. Behind her, Zi Qin will always be the one who walks around, sticking her head in everybody’s business. And beside Zi Qin is Suet Lye, so quiet yet so funny, and ah yes, she was a DBSK loyal fan. Then it will be Mei Li sitting behind, always under the fan, talking loudly and laughing, flanked by Chu Shyen, assistant monitor, and also Hwee Fern. There will also be Jhen Pei in the group, also another joker, with Amirah by her side, making up the world’s best friends. She knew those days were gone forever, and will not come back ever again. The worst part of her life is to part with her best friends. She missed their support, their encouragement. On top all, she missed their presence in life. The twins, her best friends, were in the next class. But being in different classes divide the gap even more. They chose different paths in life. They got different subjects. They have different schedules. Therefore, they broke apart eventually. Sometimes, Hui Ting got really pissed by the whole situation, but she cannot complaint. Because these are the terrible truths of life. Parting is human nature. Besides, this is nobody’s fault. Being angry is not the solution to get back the attention she lost from her best friends. She finally learnt to be patient and polite, and to support her best friends behind their backs, just like they did to her. Silently.

Hui Ting gazed around her class. Her classmates were sitting in their own groups. She wanted to be friendly and mix around, but she got wind from Michelle that some of them were talking bad about her. Hui Ting knew that she had to be brave, but her confidence crippled. She became very self conscious and suspicious. She began to hate everyone around her, giving the reason that they were being political when it comes to position. She knew perfectly well that some of them were not like that, but she chose to have the awareness, so that she would not be the victim of the politic propaganda. She knew that when it comes to power seizing, everyone will show their real attitude behind their masked appearance. Hui Ting chose to be practical, and she chose to battle with them, to hurt and to get hurt. People said that Form 6 is where you get a chance to mature, very different to college. Hui Ting found it quite true. In form 6 is where she learnt time management and all other intrapersonal skills, and also survival skills for her in use during life in society after graduation.

At last, the bell rang. Hui Ting picked all her belongings and headed towards the door. She did not turn back to wave to her friends, or say goodbye. When she left class, nobody sensed a fellow classmate’s absence. When Hui Ting walked alone on the busy streets of KL, she knew that those who survived, will bear the most scars. Gasping slightly, she felt an invisible dagger slashed her heart, producing a bleeding wound, that will evolve to form a scar. She opened her eyes, and breathed again.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Smoothing Creases

Being in different schools with my closest friends, I suddenly felt that I missed them more than ever. I am now learning to adopt and to adapt the whole new environment in school, especially without the presence of my close friends that I am too used to be with. Even my best friends became distant with me. I became a recluse in this familiar land. Alone and somber. Swarming in the memories of the past and the horrible dread of the future.

Suddenly, I wanted to sing Chris Draughty’s “Home”.