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Malaysian Alien


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Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Friendship With D
The music wa

s loud and the crowd was wild. And yet there I stood, feeling as lonely as ever. There might be a few hundred people squeezed within the tight spot. Some singing birthday songs while others are undressing each other in frenzied drunkenness. Camera flashed every few minutes. Girls walked to the ladies in groups of two or three. Boys snaked their ways closer to girls that they fancied that weekend night.

“Why do you always look so sad?”

He swept pieces of hair off my face and looked intensely into my eyes. He gave my hand a squeeze. Some nights he pat my head, like I was a little child. He kissed my cheeks and the top of my head. He fed me when I was hungry at 6 a.m. and filled me with so much liquor, I would not be thirsty for a long, long time to come.

Others figured him to be a womaniser but to me, he was kind and generous. Other girls painted him with tainted brush strokes but my few private moments with D, I found him to be considerate and helpful.

I think it was part of his job hazard, being the person in charge of Lola. He had some stakes in the business and he was its frontman. Surrounded by an endless stream of pretty girls, it was not surprising that he would fall for one or more. I am very practical in this sense and I see no wrong for a young, eligible bachelor to wine and dine several women in his prime.

Our friendship might have been an odd one but odd or not, I treasured nonetheless. Maybe I dreamt him up, like the way I dreamt every other person up. Strangely for someone who is has trust issues, I am also a born optimist. I hopelessly think only the best of everyone around me and stubbornly reject the cracks I see in each person.

I remember the first time I met him. His club had recently opened and I was there, like the rest of the cityfolks, in search of a new weekend playground. In all the years I had been out on weekends, I never had a trip like the night I first met D. My drinks had extra “vitamins” added into them (by some unknown person) and I literally felt sick in the pit of my stomach. Not wanting to puke all over the dance floor, I requested a friend to fetch me home.

A head popped from the crowd. I saw the first instant when he looked at me. I do not know how I managed to wave good-bye to him with my blood shot eyes, bright red face and a heart beat rate of 120 per minute but somehow I must have managed it well because he recounted our first meeting during one of our more private conversations.

“You wore a black backless top on the first night I met you,” he said.

His actions were different from everyone else. He had a distinct look that separated him from the three hundred people around him. I did not know who he was and yet I could very well guess. It was convenient being his friends and so I imagined many would be his friend anytime of the day. Especially so during the Christmas and New Year season.

I, on the other hand, avoided him like a plague in the first two months or so. D happened to be one of those few friends I had, that I did not want to befriend initially but his sincerity stood the test of time. He invited me for various drinking sessions for a period of time before I actually took up on his offer. And for the next two years, he was good company whenever we were found together on a table.

One evening he came to me when we were out drinking.

“Why do you always look so sad?” he asked.

I smiled. It was 3 a.m. and the music was ethereal. It felt so calm and surreal, almost like rapture. The whole bar was dark and hands were slithering around us. I was analysing my life when he caught me thinking.

“Just mention my name,” he said. “If you get yourself into anything, mention my name and give me a call. I’ll come for you.”

I laughed. Drinking more than 5 glasses of vodka magnifies any sensation you experience and that night, my lot of trouble felt like a huge cross on my back. I rejected his offer of help and laughed a little more. It was the classic example of why people were gossiping and why I felt my life was a misery. I could no longer differentiate reality from fiction and truths from lies.

“You know, people tell me that the only reason why you are helping me is because you want to get into my pants,” I said to him. I was sat on the table, swinging my crossed legs when I said that. Everyone was already talking about it, telling me that he was only hanging around because he wanted some poontang. I lost nothing telling him what everyone else thought about our friendship. I do not remember how he reacted to my honest remark.

The last time when we truly talked was on New Year’s Eve. How strange how our friendship ended. I was shouting vulgarities into the phone, with D on the other end of the line. I was battered and bruised emotionally. I did not know what else to do.

“You should have mentioned this to me earlier,” he said quietly.

“Why the fuck should I tell you? I am not a little girl. I do not need protection from any man,” I sobbed. Angry tears drowned my bedroom at 5 a.m.

“She pushed me every fucking time she saw me. I fucking had it with everyone pushing me around. And she had the nerve to complain to you that I harrassed her?" I paused for a second. I caught my breathe. "All my friends knew she was pushing me around and I just swallowed everything silently. Now she dare complain to you? Fuck all of you!"

“You should come to me, if you are ever in trouble, Otto. You know I will help you. Now stop crying. Please stop crying,” he said gently.

“Just leave me alone. Can you just leave me alone and give me peace?”

I felt the rawness of my emotions pouring out that 5 a.m. He said he would save me when I needed saving and yet he failed me when it mattered. He knew I was very tired of everything around me at that time. He knew because I told him some of the stories. I could not take the pressure I felt from people constantly talking, analysing and stabbing me behind my back. I could not handle the unwanted attention I received.

He gave me what my heart desired. I did not encounter any incidences with the girl who pushed me since talking to D. She walks away each time she sees me. But that conversation was also the last true conversation I had with D. It was mutual, I guess. Our once warm hello hugs are now reduced to cold handshakes. Our conversations are polite and no longer open.

He often sent me sms and emails whenever I was in the UK. He was very happy to see me the last I went home. So happy to see me that he gave me a squeeze and squealed how he panicked at the thought that he had lost me forever. How different everything is now. There are days when I regret all that I said to him and then there are days when I had so much to tell him.

Like how I really thought he was a good friend and that I appreciated him for it. But then I rationalised that he would not have understood. Perhaps he would not even appreciate what I said. Life is strange, you know. Sometimes the people you appreciate the most are the very same people who never appreciate you.

There is no ending to this story. I do not know where it will end. Perhaps it has ended. Perhaps this is it. Some people just move on with their lives. Maybe we will never be friends again. Maybe we will never talk like we used to. But whatever it is, however life changes things around us, I wanted D to know that I remember his acts of kindness.

After saying this, I would move on with my life in peace.

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Is life always that sad.? The people you appreciate most and thought to be someone you can count on to always turns out to be they're not.? Worse, they disappoint you big time in return.? Hmmmmm....

4:56 am  

Life is how you want it to be. It can be colourful, if you choose to remember it as such. It can be sad, if that's all you want to concentrate on.

At the end of the day, one will realise that there was always a choice.

9:42 am  

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