Tuesday, August 07, 2007

110 km/h

"All good things
I wish you"

Mandy Moore, All Good Things (2007)

I was nervous because it was my first time, but you said we would do it together.

There were only two parts to our world that night; a diorama of melding, moving inky shapes outside, and the private, air-conditioned cubicle of the car we shared inside. It was that simple. Just the two of us apart from everybody else. Us. Them.


You were exhausted from the very long day we spent together but you would not sleep no matter how many times I told you to. I told you I could handle it - I told you to trust me. I told you that the last thing I would want is to put you in any danger at all.

"I know," you said with a sleepy smile on your face. You yawned but still you would not rest.

It was our first trip ever to the capital city, to KL, we took in my father's Vitara - and it was our first trip back from there. There was a time once, I remember, when we talked about having a date out of town - back when we were in the Fifth Form when I have yet to even earn my driver's license. Do you remember? We wanted to be in a place where we would meet no one we know, where no one could recognise us. We wanted to be strangers to everyone else.

Quietly, you bent over my hand which I laid on the knob of the gearstick. I felt your soft, straight hair graze the bare skin there. Your hair smelled clean - just like the rest of you. You always smelled clean and lovely no matter where you were or what you did. I was glad you weren't into scents. I like shampoo more.

Then, I felt your warm breath wash over the back of my hand. With the merest touch of your lips, you left a kiss there I could hardly feel. Transient, ethereal, feather-light - but it stayed there long after your lips have left.

"I want to accompany you," you said to me.

And you did. All the way home.

"All good things
Come to an end"

Mandy Moore, All Good Things (2007)

The last road trip I made to KL was the hardest I had to make in my life, even though it was no longer my first. Gone were the nerves, the excitement - the thrill of doing something entirely new and possibly risky. This time, the drive felt as cheerful as a funeral and my Vitara was the hearse. The funereal procession was the North-South Highway between Malacca and KL. The dear departed, of course, was the three years of love we had to hold and cherish.

At least, I still hold them. I still cherish.

It was still me behind the wheel, and it was still you in the passenger seat beside me. But everything else have changed. This time, we weren't going to spend the day together shopping, catching a movie, having dinner just the two of us - not like we did the last time. This time, you were dating someone else.

By the time we were close to where I was suppose to drive you to, we weren't talking at all. I was in a ghastly mood. My heart was beating so hard that I thought I was going to get a heart attack. I half expected it. I half welcomed it. Damn, I wish I did die of one.

In the parking basement, I counted the seconds it took for you to walk out of my car and disappear into the entryway
of the mall where you agreed to meet him. It was 34 seconds. That's how long it took for you to walk right out of my life. If I have have to consider any moment of my life to be the definitive moment I lost you for good, it would be that gut-wrenching 34 seconds. I sat there and waited for a heart attack that didn't happen.

"Thank you," was the last thing you said to me.

I felt strange as I drove out of the parking basement back onto the road again. Everything felt like a dream. I thought I would cry or scream or both, but I didn't. The smell of your hair lingered still, a mocking reminder of a time when my car was our little world apart, our little bubble keeping the rest of the world outside. Now, you are part of that outside world I cannot reach.

I spent the rest of the day in another mall, in Midvalley. I paid a call to the bookstore and watched two movies alone. Every minute I spent that day felt like thumb screw in my chest. Each and every single accursed minute I spent alone, you were someplace else with some other boy that wasn't me. In the evening, I had a short reunion with a few of my college buddies. A couple of them asked me about our break up, which they somehow heard from someone else. What could I do but smile and shrug? What would you have me to do?

I learnt that day that God only listens to me half the time. That day I prayed many times for a heart attack to take me, to end my pain right then. He did not to give me what I asked for.

But I also prayed that you would be happy.

And He gave me that.

"All good things
I wish you well"

Mandy Moore, All Good Things (2007)

I picked you up that later that night from your date with him at about 11 pm. By 11.30 pm, we were out on the freeway again using the same toll plaza we used the last time because I missed a turning. I missed that same turning this time too.

You told me about your day and how nice he was, and you showed me the clothes he chose for you. I tried not to listen but I couldn't. I wanted to know everything you did that day, like how I always wanted to know everything you did everyday back when we were still together. There wasn't a single night we didn't end by listening to each other's day. It was our little ritual.

I listened that night in the car even though it could kill me.

"I'm glad you had fun," I said to you, meaning every single word.

I told you to sleep when I caught you yawning. I told you I would wake you up once we reach home. You had a long day - as long as the one we had together more than a year ago. I knew you were very tired. I was just as tired too.

"You sure you are okay doing this alone?" you asked, yawning again as you did.

"Sure, it's not like I haven't done this before. Go to sleep," I said.

You disinclined the seat, closed your eyes, and in almost no time, fell into a restful slumber leaving the last of your day's care outside your mind. Leaving me. Me, alone in the company of depressing and ugly thoughts. If nothing else, those thoughts kept me awake through the entire journey in the dark.

I did not keep religiously at 110 km/h on the left lane like I did the first time, deliberating on every overtake venture like it was a bet at the roulette table. I was a better driver this time around. I sped when I had to but I took no stupid risks. I would not, for any reason, endanger your life - especially since you have such a happy life ahead of you. My eyes were trained ardently on the short twenty feet of headlight-illuminated asphalt visible to me, stealing only a few seconds every minute to look at you. You did not know this because you were asleep.

You also did not hear me when I whispered 'I Love You' in your ear. You looked so peaceful, breathing evenly under the low, regular hum of the car's engine. I wanted to wake you, and tell you that you looked beautiful. I wanted to hold your hand, to ask you to come back to me. To forgive me. To rebuild this world of ours we have demolished in our folly. But I didn't do any of that.

I understand Limerence. I understand Obsession. I understand that those words meant that I would be happy if I have you by my side.

And I understand Love.

Love means I would sacrifice my happiness for yours.

Left in that world you no longer live in,
k0k s3n w4i


Zzzyun said...

omg!! why ur love posts can make ppl weepy 1... sigh.

anyway, so coincidental tat the front happy part of the post happened to me b4 - altho it wasn't sucha long trip as urs.

well, u know what i want to say. the past is the past, right?

but maybe what they say is true. only if a writer has real pain then can he produce such beautiful literature.

this post is beautiful. i can feel ur pain.

Rabbit said...

I cant say much because I am a rabbit with very powderful vocabulary. And I am a rabbit who doesnt know how to express well.

*big big hugs for you*


Crux said...

Am I the only one who isn't moved by this story? Love to the extend of sending an ex to her new boyfriend, and bringing her back?

I don't know, dude. I can't imagine that happening. Or maybe it's just me.

pinksterz said...

is this the story on the same sue?