We reached Malacca at around 11am. We met Kak Bibah, the daughter of my mum's elder sister. Despite decades since their last meeting, Kak Bibah was surprisingly very warm and friendly.
We made our way to her house first as hospital visiting hours was at 1pm. There, I met 2 lovely kids who made my day - an 8 year old girl and a 4 year old boy.
"Hi! Nama adek apa?"
He didnt reply and ran into his room. When he came back out, I smiled and asked for his name again. He didnt reply. He went to another room and came back with 2 toy cars. I reached out to him and asked if I could have one. He placed a car in my hand and went away. He then came back with more toys but whenever I asked for his name, he didnt reply.
"Do you want a sweet?" I asked as I remembered the Mentos in my pocket. Kids love candies. He nodded his head and reached his hand out. "But first, you got to tell me your name." He didnt answer. I held him close and looked him. I knew he wasnt going to tell me and I didnt want to let the kid wait for his candy. He smiled. I surrendered. He went away. I loved his smile.
He then came back and sat on my lap. And soon he was lying in my arms. I missed the feeling of caring and loving for someone ever since my brothers grew up and had decided that grown ups shouldnt be loved like as though they're small kids.
As the boy laid in my arms, I asked him for his name again. He just smiled. Something doesnt seem right. He went off to clear his toys and moments later, he was standing right next to me - looking and pointing to my sweets. He pointed at the colour green but it would mean that I have to eat 2 purple ones. So, I did. Mentos should've arranged their sweets randomly and not by colors. He was happy and walked over to his mum to have breakfast.
I looked around and saw the little girl combing her hair in front of the mirror. It's been a long long long while since I saw anyone combed their hair. I remember spending a long time in front of the mirror - just like her - combing my hair. But that was many many years ago.
When she was done, I asked for her name. It was a mouthful. She had to spell it a couple of times - it was a tricky name.
"Aishah *jarak* Firiyyal. Tapi panggil saya Sara je. Nama adik saya Muammar Muhammad. Dia pelat sikit. Panggil dia Mai je." She seemed nice kid. Polite. She then went to the kitchen to have her breakfast.
She was having a conversation with my mum and I heard the word "kucing" which means cat in Malay.
"Pakcik tu takut dengan kucing," my mum told her and pointed at me.
"Siapa?" She asked as she stretched her head out. I looked at her. She saw me and giggled. My mum shouldn't have told her I was afraid of cats.
"There're cats?" I wondered as I looked around the house. I couldn't see or hear any so I resumed watching tv.
Later, I heard the kids playing in the other room so I went over to join them. To my surprise, each were holding a cat.
For some reason (that I think I can explain), I didnt panic. I sat down on the sofa in front of two kids who knew I was afraid of cats. Muammar looked at me and smiled. Oh no... He walked towards me and wanted to place the cat on my lap. I smiled and gave him the "dont u dare... pleeease I beg you" look. I was too late. He placed it just beside beside my lap.
For some reason (that I think I can explain), I didn't move away. I was comforted knowing that Sara was sitting beside me, a white little cat in her arms. There was something in her eyes and smile that made my fear go away.
"Kucing yang ini baik. Tapi dia suka cekau. Yang ni pulak suka gigit." She said and giggled through her teeth.
For the first time ever, I ran my fingers through the cat's fur. "He (it looks like a male cat) definitely needs to use Dove Hair Conditioner." I said to myself. I never thought I'll see this day coming.
The kids left for their Grandma's. I wished they hadn't left so soon. It's only been a couple of hours. I waved goodbye as they left.
I'm glad I've finally learnt what it means by seizing opportunities as they come. I've made full use of the time I had with them to get to know them, and for them to get to know me. I rediscovered my loving and caring side. Ive gotten rid of my fear of cats. And for a brief moment, I was sweetly distracted - the eyes, the specs, the smile, the hair, the cat.
It was only later that I found out that the boy has difficulty speaking. If I'm not mistaken, they have brought him to see a speech therapist. I hope they grow up to be as lovely as they are now. I've only seen them for a couple of hours. I wonder if they'll remember me the next time I see them.
To the kids, if one day you decide to google up your name curious to know if any guy or girl is secretly blogging about you, please do leave me a comment. I'm the not-so-old-pakcik who used to be afraid of cats, but not anymore after seeing how brave and lovely you guys were.