There was something about the second set of letters George send. Although I knew round 2, I won, I didn’t feel any thrill of defeating George. A part of me wanted to fight him and a part of me wanted to give up.
The purpose of living today is to make something better for tomorrow. My better tomorrows were questionable and whatever I did in the present wasn’t going to alter my future. I couldn’t change my life, but I could choose when I leave. I needed that control. I needed valium.
I convinced myself that I am not technically giving up on my life, I am just done with living and I would like to progress to the next stage of eternal rest and the thing with Valium is, I can take it when I want to! I promised myself that I will never take it unless it is absolutely necessary.
I started to steal prescription notes from the OBG clinic and I filled it in myself. I only prescribed 2 tablets of Valium because I knew, No pharmacist is going to be alarmed giving someone 2 tablets of valium, even a rat won’t die with that dose.
There were lots pharmacies around my hospital and campus and within a few days I had a stock of 20 tablets of valium, little blue pills each with 10 mg of Diazepam. I kept it inside my lab coat, so no one would ever find my treasures.
Every morning, when I wore my lab coat, I checked to make sure that my treasure is safe. I was able to live knowing that, whatever George did next, I was only hours away from further harm.
Each day I lived hoping that beautiful eyes would come back soon. There was so much I needed to tell him and the longer I waited, the frustrating it was becoming. I was so relieved to see his bike parked in the campus one afternoon when I came back from the hospital. I felt I was walking in the clouds. I was just so relieved to know that he was back.
As soon as the bus stopped, I rushed out and ran to the canteen. I knew he would wait for me in the canteen. I checked the canteen and he wasn’t there. May be he was tired after the long journey, may be he didn’t know that I was posted in the other hospital. But I knew as soon as he knew that I was back from the hospital, he would phone me or send a message through the canteen boy. I felt it was better that I skipped the afternoon class, What if he sends the message while I was at the class?
I sat on the steps leading to the 2nd floor, so that I won’t miss his phone call. I waited and waited. I couldn’t understand why it was taking so long for him to call me. I watched silently when all my classmates went to attend the theory class. The hostel was silent and time stood still. I walked to the phone room to check if the phone was working. I picked up the receiver and there was a dial tone. I placed the receiver quickly back on the cradle, what if he was trying to call me this instant and heard an engaged tone because I was stupid enough to check if the phone was working?
I waited and waited, I even pleaded the phone to ring. I could see the canteen from the phone room window. I stood leaning on the window and watched students coming and going to the canteen. Finally I saw.
I saw beautiful eyes walking in to the canteen. It wasn’t not a mirage. It was him. There was no mistake. I didn’t even wait for him to send the message through the canteen boy. I ran all the way to the canteen.
He was sitting with few other North Indian boys and he was facing the canteen door. He saw me walking in and I smiled. I was just so glad to see him. I felt my smile hitting an invisible barrier and bouncing back. He didn’t return the smile. There was a void between him and me. I refused to accept it. It can’t happen. He can’t believe what the letter said about me. Love never dies. I ordered a cup of tea and sat down. I knew he would at least look at me. But he didn’t. I was a stranger, not the girl he sung ‘I just called to say I love you’.
I wanted to peel all those lies that George wove around me and scream. I never had an abortion. I never slept with any of the professors. But I couldn’t. I watched Caroline walking in to the canteen and sitting next to him. He was laughing with her and at that moment, I wanted to kill George. What have I done to him for him to crucify me like this? He already had my mother and sister. Why did he want to torture me? Have I not suffered enough by being deaf and dumb and blind. Then I remembered my blue treasures. I had left my apron in my room. I ran back to the room. I will teach everyone a lesson
I opened my room door and entered my room. my apron was on my bed and I picked it up. There was a sense of calm the moment I held the little packet of blue pills. I sat on my bed. I had enough time. My room mates won’t be back for another 4 hours. I looked around my room. The room was too quiet. I wanted to listen to some music. I opened my cupboard to get the tapes. Appa and I shared the same interest in music. He brought or send most of the cassette tapes that I owned. He was the one who introduced me to Willie Nelson, John Denver and Tracy Huang.
He had even recorded songs for me. I looked at all the tapes. There were few i haven’t listened for such a long time. I picked up the one Appa had recorded for me few years ago. I switched on my tape recorder and started to listen to the songs. I closed my eyes and started to cry when I heard the first song.
Annie’s song.
My heart felt so heavy. I didn’t want to listen to the song and I picked up the cassette cover to see the next song. It was titled Anak and Anak in Malay means child. My father was never fond of malay songs and I was puzzled. Then I remembered Appa telling me that it was a Tagalog song and his Filipino colleauge used to listen to it all the time and finally when Appa asked him to translate the song and Appa liked the song so much that he got it recorded for me. He even got his colleague to write the english translation for me. I didn’t really fancy the song and never once bothered to read the lyrics. I opened the cover quickly, hoping I still have that piece of paper with the lyrics in English. It was still there, hand written in a soft blue airmail paper.
When you were born into this world
Your mom and dad saw a dream unfurled
A dream come true, the answer to their pray’s
You were to them a special child
You gave ’em joy every time you smiled
Each time you cried, they’re at your side to care
Child you don’t know, you’ll never know
How far they’d go to give you all their love can give
To see you through and this is true and die for you
if they must do to see you live
How many seasons came and went
So many years have now been spent
For time ran fast, and now at last you’re strong
Now what has gotten over you
Why do you hate what your parents do?
Speak out your mind why do you find them wrong
Child you don’t know, you’ll never know
How far they’d go to give you all their love can give
To see you through and this is true and die for you
if they must do to see you live
Now that your path has gone astray
Child you don’t know what to do or say
You’re so alone, no friends are on your side
Child as you now break down in tears
Let them drive away your fears
Where must you go, their arms stay open wide
Child you don’t know, you’ll never know
How far they’d go to give you all their love can give
To see you through and this is true and die for you
if they must do to see you live
Child you don’t know, you’ll never know
How far they’d go to give you all their love can give
To see you through and this is true and die for you
if they must do to see you live.

I couldn’t stifle the scream that was coming out of my throat. I picked up the pillow and closed my mouth with the pillow, so no one would hear me scream.

11 thoughts on “Anak

  1. sarah,

    i can’t imagine having to go through all this by myself, and am amazed that somehow you did – and that you are stronger for it. But you know what i’ve noticed? everytime some terrible thing drove you to the brink, something stopped you from going further and taking your life, and somehow you found strength and courage to go on – the fact that it happened everytime makes me believe that you had some divine intervention my friend – and perhaps God didn’t want to see you fail because he had other plans for you..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *