Shoppers choosing their goods must have thought that there was a bunch of silly kids in the changing room nearby. There were shrieks and screams and laughter. Well, the truth is, there were four of us mak and tok budaks trying on clothes. What brought on the squeals of laughter was what L had chosen from the racks. A pair of trousers that reminded us of our goo goo ga aga days – the flower power days with flares that could break a fall from the highest building.
L actually bought it for something to sleep in and I bet her dreams were full of psychedelic colours as well.
When we are together, L, M, A and I, it doesn’t need to take much to make us burst into laughter. And it has always been like that since we were in primary school. We go back a long way together. And we are now in what I choose to use, the autumn stage in our lives.
We met in primary one. I was the tearful one as Mak had left me at the classroom door. A came to hold my hand and sat with me. From that day onwards, A has been the strong one for us, for all of us. We were separated during most of the primary school years when Pak was posted to Yan, but we met up again, this time as rivals as I went to the St. Nicholas Covent – an arch rival of Sultanah Asma School. But we met up and renewed our friendships, a stronger one, until this day.
We eyed the same boys from SAHC, we danced at the same parties, but we married different men from different chapters of our lives. But we kept in touch, even when fate decided that I make
We meet up everytime I am home and spend days and nights with each other, being sixteen all over again. With news of my homecoming, A would start contacting others. Husbands dread my homecoming as they usually have to find their own dinners. But almost always, they’d indugle us and join us for dinner and certainly at the karaoke lounge till quite late. The last time we finished off our day with a roti bakar and coffee in One Utama. Even Mak understands that when I go out with them, it will be the next day before she sees me again.
I remember once, L had picked me up, called up M at work. She had to make some excuses to leave. A phoned in sick. We all met up at KLCC, giggling like naughty kids playing truant. We bought some new clothes for dinner, did our prayers at KLCC and proceeded to have tea and then dinner and then, yes...we had fun. We’d start a conversation at tea, continue the chat in the carpark, holler over songs from yesteryears as we drive along the highway to nowhere and even enjoy getting lost as it means having more time to be with each other.
Last year, after L bought that outrageous pair of trousers, we went to do some shopping for my umrah. The three of them bought me a pair of very comfortable sandles. I promised them that I would step into the sacred city of
Last week, I received an email from A. That was quite unusual because A doesn’t do emails. anything that has to be said, she sms’ed or she’d post them in our personal website. But the email brought grim news. M is to be operated tomorrow. She has the dreaded C that has taken two of our close friends already. Even when I phoned A, the strong one, the one who said, we have to be strong for each other, her voice cracked under the strain. I had to compose myself before I could phone M. But it was no good. We just sobbed.
Alhamdulillah, they have caught it at a very early stage. And Insyaallah, M will be ok. She must be, because, we have to do that steps again, together. Even in the autumn of our lives.
12th Dec. 2006 01.am London
couldn't sleep. so - went online and found A - another lost soul. We chatted abt this and that and about M, who was then already on the operating table. It was a three hr op. Then A got ready to go to the hospital.
10am - Fadz - another childhood friend and one of the 'Special Angels' sms'ed to say M already out. A couldnt sms cos she forgot her glasses. Fadz was on the way there with several other childhood friends.
10.30 am- M sms'ed from hospital bed to say she is well. Alhamdulillah.
1500 - L sent picture message of the whole gang surrounding M in her hospital bed. I just burst into tears. These are some of my dearest friends from primary school. Love you all.