The One With The Swimming Sea Of Stars

Come, walk hand in hand with me, down one of my memory lanes, on how I met My Baby of ten years…

I still remember vividly.

It was one of the rainy nights to which my dorm mates and I went out to have dinner. However, that night we were joined with our guy friends; who happened to be his dorm mates. He was sitting a gap from me. It was the first night I met him. It was the first night I saw him. It was the first night I talk to him. It was the first night I knew he smokes Marlboro red soft packed cigarettes. While we were waiting for our food and drinks, I ask, “Nama siapa?” to his reply, “Boss” and I was kerek siot mamat ni. As I was trying to be polite, lazily, I responded, “Nama aku Nani.”

After the dinner, we departed our ways. Whilst I was arranging books and getting ready for bed, my handphone rang once. There was this game that we played. We called it Tembak-tembak. During those times, most of us used prepaid handphones. Trust me, as a student, every cent counts, especially when you have a limited credit. Out of boredom, we created this game to annoy the other party. The objective was to miss call as many times as possible in a very short ring sound. If the other person was alert, the challenge was to make sure the credit stays put. Those were the mIRC days without Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Anyway, that night my handphone was being victimized a lot of times with Tembak-tembak. Since the number was not in my save, and I was pretty much annoyed plus I just reloaded the credit earlier, I called the number. “Siapa ni?!!” “Boss.” “Camne dapat nombor ni? Dah takde kerja lain, nak Tembak handphone orang aje!!!” “Bukan aku la. Ehsan.” His handphone changed hands. I talked to Ehsan for few minutes. It was the first instant we exchange telephone numbers, in directly.

The following night, Aswan, another dorm mate of his, rang me up. “Jom Wira Sejati?” “Boleh gak.” In the middle of our dinner, Boss yoked our table wearing a sweater carrying a bag of medicine plastic bag from a Clinic. As he was walking inside the restaurant, I asked Aswan, “Die sakit ke Wan?“. He replied, “Demam.” I nodded. I reached the medicine bag that he left on the table, “Ooo, nama die Ahrul Zulhijjah Zolkepley.” Few minutes later, he sat on the chair in front of me, sipping a bowl of hot soup, “Ko demam eh Boss?“. He smiled. It was the first time I saw his smile. It was the first time I knew his real name.

The following evening, my handphone rang, and I answered, “Yes Boss. Nak ape?“. “Jom Mamak?“. I further the conversation with, “Ko tak ade kelas ke Boss?“, and he answered “Tak ade. dah abis.” I replied, “Ok. Boleh gak.” That evening was the first bit we hang out together. That evening was the starting point of a friendship. That evening was the first bit we knew and learnt about each other more. That evening was the first bit of many many hang outs together. That evening was the first bit of many many bottomless conversations and Ring Ring Cards. That evening lasted until the curfew hour at 11p.m.

I was with my friend, K in Starbucks, Sunway Pyramid on one weekend afternoon, when my cell phone rang. “Kat mana?”, he asked, and I replied, “Kat Starbucks Sunway Piramid dengan K. Nak join? Jom la. Ko ade motor EX5 kan?”. I heard hesitation for a while then, “Boleh jugak. Nanti aku sampai.” Few minutes passed, my hand phone rang again. “Kat dalam ke kat luar?”. I responded, “Kat luar la. Kat dalam x leh isap lados.” As He was sitting next to me, “Nak makan? Nak minum?”. He answered back with, “Tak pe la. Aku dah kenyang. Baru aje lepas.” Ko bawak motor Honda Cub pakai full face helmet ke Boss?”. Laughter filled the air. As the day is getting darker, we window shopping for a while before heading to the taxi stand. K and I walked him towards his Honda Cub. “Wah, no plat MT 4. Ni betul-betul nombor 4 ke tipu punye?”, I chuckled. He showed me the Road Tax. “Ok ok…tak tipu.” It was the first point I saw your Nolan white colour with a blue colour snake design full faced helmet. It was the first point I saw your MT 4 Honda EX 5. After years had passed, only I knew the hesitation to join K and I at Starbucks was because he did not have sufficient money at that time in his wallet to eat. He told me that he was hungry at that time, but seeing me, makes the hunger gone into the thin air. He said because of a pride of a man, he did not say anything.

I still remember his ikat dengan rubber ban Motorola Star Tac.

I still remember his Cellophane tape spectacles.

I still remember the acknowledgement that he wrote in his final thesis.

I still remember what he wrote in his year book.

I still have his cards.

I can still feel the first touch of his hands.

I can still remember how he hoaxed me to brush my hands to his.

I can still remember that evening, under a huge tree.

Back then, I was in a relationship with Hisham.

Months passed, and I finished my TESL matriculation years at PPP, UiTM. As a Fresher in UKM, Bangi, two of my course mates and I rented an apartment in Kajang. He was still finishing his course in Shah Alam. During those days, he went back and forth, Kajang – Shah Alam. Some times, he went back and forth, Port Dickson – Kajang. That was the first moment, I rode your Honda EX5. That was the first moment you brought me a blue helmet. That was the first moment he spent the night at the living room. That was the first moment he told me something when I asked why was he termenung at the sliding door one morning. That was the first moment…

One night, I was crying of a heartache. He called and asked me why. It was the night I got dump. He insisted on coming over. I hesitated as it was very late at night. He kept on insisting. I said Okay. It was the first night I hugged him so tightly. It was the first night I cried my heart out in front of you. It was the first night I felt so safe. It was the first night I felt at home. It was the first night you were on bended knee profounding to heal my broken heart. It was the first night I felt his tenderness. The following day, I smiled and said YOU HAD ME AT HELLO…

One very late night, you rode your EX5 from Shah Alam just to bring me Roti Canai because I had not eaten dinner yet.

One very late night, you drove Volvo all the way from Port Dickson just to make sure I ate because I was sick.

One afternoon, you rode your EX5 just because I asked you to come. We had our first argument. We made-up.

It was our first…

I keep forever the memory of eating at McDonalds every day just because I want to collect the Sesame Street.

I keep forever the memory of him calling all his friends up till Kedah Darul Aman just because the Sesame Street pouch was sold out in Klang Valley area.

I keep forever the memory when he secretly arranged with to deliver The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare.

I keep forever the memory he surprised me with a bouquet of Blue Roses.

I keep forever the huge bouquet of Lillies. My favourite type of all flowers.

“You are my illuminating anchor,

How you swoon me like no other”

But there is a secret garden, she hides…

~Nani Mansor~





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