Throughout the 6 years that we have known each other, Hairul and I seem to take everything slow. Somehow everything just falls into place at the correct time and circumstance.
Vesak Day 2003. Amazing day. It was simple. Yet so sweet. I remember Esplanade dates being important to me, even till now. The rooftop, the park, him and me.
I’m not sure why but it was as though my heart recognized him. Every moment that we had together I cherished. When the day of parting came, I cried like never before. Even then I knew I would have loved him till the end.
I remember coming back to the beloved campus, to meet with a teacher. He was all sweaty from takraw. We sat at the piano. I was simply memorising the way his fingers moved across the keys and the sounds that soothed me. Who knew when I would ever get that chance again?
Glitter on his face. A kiss on the cheek. A promise I kept even till now.
My heart breaking like mad when I saw him coming towards me. Thank God for Naddie. I couldn’t look at him, not after what I discovered then. I kept quiet, unable to meet his eyes because I knew he would be able to see the disappointment mirrored in mine.
I resigned myself to go back to my old ways. What better way to protect my heart?
2004. My heart seemed to leap everytime my phone beeped and his name appeared. Didn’t matter who I was with, I still met him.
He was on mc then. Dunno why he wanted to meet but we ended up at a place we frequented in our dating days. Brought back painful memories. I didn’t know what he was upset about but all he wanted to do was prove he had changed for the worse. I refused to believe it.
In my heart, he was still my Hairul. My Syafrein. Still mine. He had dreamt of me. Each kiss punctuated with the words “I’m bad now.”
I kept shaking my head. I knew I had to and eventually pulled away. It was too painful. He was there, within reach but his heart wasn’t.
As much as I would have fought to be with him then, I didn’t. I couldn’t, reminders of my scattered heart aching painfully.
2005. August till September. Never wanted to get my hopes up. So I was stiff and unresponsive when he tried to tickle, pinch or make me laugh. He helped me to buy my phone. Really walking all around JEC with me just so that I could get a good deal.
When he left, it was with heavy heart that I made him promise to take care of my possession. I really hoped that everything will turn out good, for his sake. I looked as he left, thinking it was the last. I wanted my heart to heal but knew it was forever scarred.
2006. I had gotten back into my old lifestyle. I was having fun, with friends and loved ones alike. Imagine my surprise when somehow, someway, we were back in contact with each other. There were talks, sweet and silly msgs. He kept telling me he had changed. He gave me a link to his blog. Asking me to read. I did it. I read through everything. I read with tears in my eyes and sorrow in my heart for everything he had to go through. I definitely did not expect him to have suffered that much. He was supposed to be happy and content! He was supposed to be in love. He was not supposed to come looking me up. Back then, all I could think of was that I should have fought for him. Maybe the situation could have been better.
We spent hours on the phone, talking and catching up. I sacrificed my sleep to listen to his heart. But I just could not find the courage to meet him. Maybe it was the purity of Ramadhan. We met in the hustle and bustle of Geylang’s bazaar. It was as though we had never been apart. The meetups, the dates, the initial meet-the-parents, everything was a breeze. The healing took longer. He was cynical, he was hurting. And I. I was afraid. The past few years, every encounter that I had with him, left a mark on my heart. I didn’t want to risk getting my heart broken again.