Radzi was the first out of the plane. He collected his
luggage from the carousel and quickly made his way to the
arrival lounge, hardly able to contain his excitement at
meeting his family after six years abroad.
He looked around expectantly, hoping to hear his voice
being called out but he heard no sweet voices. He turned
round and saw his parents, their dear faces shining with
pride and pleasure but of his teenage twin sisters - none.
There was no sign of them.
"They must be hiding somewhere - they love to play
hide and seek."
He greeted his parents, and raised an eyebrow. His
father smiled but said nothing. His mother was gushing
all over him, not allowing him to say anything but kept on
His father murmured, "Let's get home. They're waiting
for us at home."
Radzi smiled, relieved to know they were at home.
He kept on talking about his tour of Europe and he was
rather puzzled whenever his parents exchanged glances.
He dismissed them as his imagination.
They reached home quick enough as traffic was scarce
that early morning, it being a non-working day.
He spied a lone figure at the door. "Why one? There
should be two." The twins were inseparable but it could
be that six years had made all the difference.
He jumped out of the door and as that lone figure
rushed towards him, he thought it was Wani but she
said she was Wati. So it must be. He really could not differentiate between the two of them and they had fun
deceiving him all the time.
"In your bedroom."
"Wani, Bang's home."
He walked into his room and read the words `Welcome
Home, Dr Radzi!' Trust his twin sisters to be so dramatic!
After a late lunch, Wati invited him to go downstream
to their favourite hideout. "Bang, I wish to be alone with
you without Wani. Wani can wait her turn."
At the hideout, Wati became all businesslike. "Please,
whatever I say, don't interrupt. Just listen, please." There
was a quiet desperate plea in her tone.
Radzi nodded for it was quite unlike Wati to be so
serious, just the opposite of Wani.
In a quiet sombre tone she related what had happened
to Wani. A year ago, Wani fell seriously ill and was
diagnosed with cancer. Everyone wanted to tell Radzi but
Wani begged them not to as he was sitting for his finals
and she did not want him to lose all concentration and
be so upset. Everyone had to promise and even after his
finals, she wrote him to tour Europe before coming home.
She sent him photos of her with Wati, smiling, cheerful
Radzi was stunned and asked in agony, "How could she?
Why did you let her do it? Why? Why?"
Wati kept silent. All she could do was to hug her
brother, comforting him as he sobbed his heart out. When
the tears dried up, Wati held out a letter. Radzi recognised
He took it and walked to the graveyard. Wani went
with him, then left him to read the letter and to be alone
in spirit with his beloved sister.
"Bang, please don't grief. Remember me as the healthy,
cheerful, fun-loving sister. Treasure our past moments and
keep me always in your heart. Wati is with you. In her, you
see me. I want to be a doctor like you. I can't but you are
one now. Be the best doctor I know. I am proud of you."
As he read her letter, a strange peace fell on him. It
was as though she was beside him, comforting him and
holding his hand. She was the elder and he the younger.
He looked up and saw her smile. He looked around,
saw Wani and she smiled. In Wani, he saw Wati.
He walked up to Wani, took her hand. Together, the
brother and sister walked home in the silence of the quiet