I can still remember the day I left home for the university. I had packed and repacked
a hundred times the night before. Mother had bought me a new
flask and a bottle of Tiger
Balm. For headaches, she said. She really thought of everything.
My boyfriend came to send me off at the train station. A neighbor had kindly volunteered
to bring me to the station in her car. I felt like an adult for the first time in my life. I was
going to embark on a journey, both physical as well as mental. I was afraid but I kept telling
myself that this was the dream I'd had all my life and it was coming true. I could see the
sadness in my boyfriend's eyes but somehow, I did not feel affected. I was anxious to get over
the goodbyes that I had rehearsed for so many nights. When it finally came, I felt strangely
relieved. It was a year later that I discovered that the parting was also the beginning of the
end of our relationship.
On the train, I quickly settled down. Halfway through the journey, I made friends with
an elderly man who was also on his way to Kuala Lumpur. He asked about my destination
and he told me he was a teacher. Then the train was delayed for three hours. It felt like eternity.
I kept worrying about my brother who was waiting to pick me up. What if he gave up and
decided to go home? What was I to do? A thousand worries raced through my mind. My friend
in the train made me feel uncomfortable as I was unable to concentrate on his attempts to
engage in an intelligent conversation. I wanted to shout `hooray' when the train started off
and continued its journey. The night seemed so cool and exciting again.
When we reached Kuala Lumpur, my teacher friend helped me with my luggage. I was
really grateful to him as I would not have been able to manage it alone. The train was hurrying,
on its journey again. I felt so small and alone in the city. We parted and my heart leapt when
I spotted my brother. I could have run over and hugged him but we never did that. In fact,
I hardly know him. We managed to exchange a few words instead. I was so tired that I slept
like a baby on the way to his house. When I awoke, I found myself in the midst of a party.
I had forgotten that it was my brother's birthday. Poor thing, he must have cursed while waiting
I could not sleep that night. I was too excited and
apprehensive. I did not really know
what to expect. When I finally slept, it was already 5 a.m.