Sometimes, I dial my abah’s old number just so I could see this pic pops up on my phone screen. The person I miss the most. The first selfie I took with him, and the last too. My late abah hated taking pictures. He rarely smiled. He was actually grumpy when I wanted to take this, but I told him ‘you must smile’ and he did. And who would have thought, it has now become a very precious photo. I didn’t have a copy of this pic, I couldn’t find it anywhere except for when I dial his number.
My smiling, grumpy abah. My world. It pains me so much. So much. More than I can ever put in words. My chest hurts because I miss extremely miss him. His voice. His laughter. Even his scoldings become a painfully wonderful memory now.
These days, I don’t really expect much out of myself. I’m just trying to survive.
Boh, when you were still alive, I didn’t even buy you anything. Not a pair of shoes, not a single clothing. When I paid for your lunch, you questioned from where did I get the money because I was still studying. Up to the very last month you were still breathing, you were still very worried of me–of whether I had enough money for food, my study, my health. Boh, you wore an old pair of slippers and a very simple tee most of the time. You lived your life always worrying about us. You never allow us to starve. You provided us very well, boh. You worked hard for your family. I am, forever, indebted to you. You boasted about you job, and I really hate it when you did. But you told me, it was to remind you to feel strong. You came from a humble beginning, boh. You went through so much since you were little to get to where you were. And one thing I would always remember is when you said you worked very hard your entire life so your kids won’t have to suffer. You worked very hard so your kids won’t have to starve the way you did. You cried under a tree watching your friends ate their food when you were in primary. You were hungry but you didn’t have money for food. You didn’t have ,money for school books so you stayed up the whole night copying your friend’s. You suffered so much, boh, but you made it. And I am proud of you. And I truly miss you and your wisdom, boh. You were my best friend, and we were so close. And I hope we will see each other again in a better place.