I have a better relationship with my mother only when we both are not in the same house. Well, when I am far away in college and she will call me every weekend just to make sure that her son is okay. My mother will call me for hours and then our fights will end in just a call. Unlike the condition at home, I will keep on sulking and not talking to her for days until she makes the truce. If we both were in the same house, we will argue about so many things. She still think that a dress is sexy; when I consider that it is better that the girl still put on something to cover their body.
I hate it when I go back to my hometown, and rather stay back in my hostel for my holidays. I am actually sick of the unnecessary fights I had with my family members because we are not like our neighbor's family. They seem happy together while I am struggling to fit in with my family. Sometimes I just wish that I can do a part time job in the city and call them from afar about my condition; then only I can feel their love and care for me.
It is a norm that we will be okay on my first and second day at home, but things will turn sour after almost a week. However, I am a very egoistic son of hers because I think that I should not apologize for the things that I did not start. I learnt it from the best actually, my mum and dad. When I was a kid, they will fight in front of my siblings and I but we cannot do anything because “they are adults, they should know what to do blah...blah..blah...”.
My father and I are like strangers; I rarely call him or even send him text messages but I know that he loves me. I gave him a t-shirt that I bought in Kuala Lumpur and he smiled at it.
When I asked him, “So Abah, can you wear the t-shirt?”, he looked the other way and said “I haven’t tried it, I will do it later”.
It breaks my heart and I nearly cried because it seems like he picks on me. I will always be the one left out; he gives more attention to my younger sister and brother. Maybe he thought that I am the eldest, so I can take care of myself. He thought it wrong because I am actually the most fragile among all. Until today, I am still waiting for him to wear the t-shirt I bought him. Maybe he will just keep it in the wardrobe and take it out only when I am away in college or give it to my little brother who is basically the same size as him? I know he loves us equally, and he loves me too but he did not want to show it. I will always console myself and say,
“Well, that is how a father should behave, like in the movies right?”, and then I will cry until I fall asleep.
My sister and I, we don’t really talk, just on some important things or maybe when she needs my help. It seems like her birth was the cause of my lack of love and attention. My little brother and I used to be so close, until I left home for college. Maybe he felt a huge distance and I cannot fit in as a brother anymore. Maybe he is traumatized with too many dramas in our family? Maybe his friends can give him all the love he needs? That will remain as a question for him next time.
At home, life is so lonely when my parents go out to work, my sister will leave house for her tuition classes and my brother will be picked up by his friends. The TV and my hand phone will be my best friends. Sometimes, I will ride the motorcycle and go to places that I have never been in my hometown. I used to have a place to go, but that was until my grandmother passed away a few months ago.
My grandmother, she is another influential woman in my life. I love her like a best friend, until I can sense my mother’s jealousy. My grandmother had all her time for me, and will cook my favourite dishes each time I go back to her house. Her house used to be my hiding place when my mother wanted to hit me. My grandmother came out of the house and I hid behind her. She said to my mother that she should hit her first, and then only she could hit me. That was a very touching moment, and my mother stopped. Maybe she thought that she was being irrational, I do not know as I have never asked her about that incident anymore.
Now, my grandmother had passed away, leaving me all alone here. No one can ever replace her “paceri terung”, or “cendol” and “cucur udang”. Nothing tastes better now, even when my mother tried to imitate my late grandmother’s cooking. She regretted that she did not manage to learn how to make “ketupat” because we have to ask other people to make “ketupat” for us during Eid this year.
This is my very own family portrait, the stories about my family. This is not me regretting everything about my family, but just a remindful writing to all of you about the bitter sweet memories of having a group of people we call family. I love my family even when I said bad things about them because they are still my mother, father, brother and sister. I love them deep inside my sensitive heart and may God bless my family members with wealth and health. Al-Fatihah to my late grandmother.
My mother, my daddy and ... but where are my other siblings? They are too busy for a family portrait I guess?
P/S: This is just a short story.