Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Buttonbadges(part 1)

The wind blew softly against her skin as she sat next to his grave. The tears never stopped slipping. "Abang. You told me you were okay. You said you'd never leave me. Why are you not here now?" she whispered through barely parted lips. She gripped the Yaasin tight in her hand, encouraging herself to believe that this was all Allah's plan and that there had to be a hikmah to it.

He was the best twin brother anybody could ever have and Audi was so lucky to have had him. He completed her. How could he not? They have been together since they were in their mother's womb. Hizami was only 2 minutes and 47 seconds older than Audi. They were identical in almost every single way, despite the gender. But Hizami had one extra thing. Something that kept him different from Audi.
He had cancer.

"NGAH DI!!!"
Audi groaned. "Go away, Abang. Let me sleep." She pulled the comforters up to her head.
Hizami wasn't about to give up. "Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!" He banged a pillow on the comforter where Audi's butt was under.
"Abang, I need my beauty sleep..." Half awake.
This creature needs a different approach. "Fine then, I'll go eat that Baskin Robbins ice-cream cake all by myself since my own twin sister doesn't want to celebrate our birthday with me."
Audi shot up from under the sheets. "BR? Mama got us BR?"
"Naw, I just had to make you think she did so you'd get up!" Hizami pulled Audi off her bed and watched as she rolled to the floor. "I'll be downstairs if you need me."
Audi rolled her eyes. "As if I'd ever need you." She wished she could take it back.

"Happy Birthday to you!" The twins blew the candles of their blueberry cheesecake and hugged.
Audi felt like laughing her lungs out. "We're seventeen and we're still celebrating our birthday like little kids."
"Hey! That's the point! To not feel old." Hizami paused and looked longingly at his sister. " I might not be able to have this for long."
The words cut through her like a knife. She shook her head as tears started to fall. "No. You're going to stay. We're going to have a party like this 'till we're 40." Audi hugged Hizami again. "I'll always have my twin brother."
Hizami took a deep breath as he wrapped his arms lovingly around his sister. "I'll always be with you, Ngah Di."
The rest of the party went as planned. Smooth sailing. Audi caught Hizami holding his head in pain once or twice. She was terribly worried. But Hizami acted as if nothing was wrong. All smiles all the time. Although he knew. He could never hide anything from Audi.
"Presents time!"
Hizami first opened Audi's present. His eyes widened. "Whoa! Ngah Di! An iPod? Seriously? Or is this just a toy?" He went to give Audi a half-hug. Wow. She must've used all her savings for this.
Audi chuckled. "Of course it's real DOINK!" She started unwrapping Hizami's gift. It was in a huge box. Quite heavy. She gave Hizami an 'I have an idea of what this is' look. Her jaw dropped at the sight of a picture of an acoutic guitar on the box. "Is this real or is it just the box?"
Hizami laughed at the question. "Of course it's real. I know you've been playing air guitar in your room for quite some time so I think you deserve this."
Audi's cheeks turned pink. Thanks for busting that fact to everyone, dude.
"Oh. And one more." Hizami got on his knees and took something out of his pocket. Round, flat and shiny. He pinned it to Audi's hijab.
"A buttonbadge?" It wrote: I love my Abang. Audi laughed like crazy." Nice one!" She exclaimed as she gave him a half-hug.
He dipped into another pocket and took out another. This one wrote: I love my Ngah Di.
I am the luckiest twin sister on Earth. Alhamdulillah.

"Mama. I don't know if I can do this. I don't want to go back."
"No. You have to. He wouldn't want you to stop reaching for your dreams. Especially not because of him."
"It isn't because of him. I just don't have the strength."
Puan Hamidah took out something from the drawer in the living room and handed it to Audi. "Here."
I love Ngah Di. The tears poured out again.
Audi nodded. "Okay. I'll go."

I desperately need a walk.
Audi was back in Liverpool. Back to finish what she had started. Her degree in engineering.
Slowly, she stepped off the stairs and onto the pavement. It was in the middle of fall and the air was freezing. Audi kept her hands in her coat pockets and walked on. Destination: wherever her legs wanted to take her.
Soon, she realised that she had no idea where she was. She looked to her left and saw a beautiful scenery.
It was the lakeside. The sun glimmering on the calm water was mesmerizing to watch. Audi swung her legs towards the huge rocks that sat on the sand and climbed on one of them.
This is my chance. "ABANG! I MISS YOU!!!" she screamed.
"Can't a guy get some peace over here?" A voice yelled back.
That's definitely not Abang. Audi looked to her right and dropped her jaw at what she found. No englishman has a face like that.
The stranger's expression was no different than hers.
"You're not from around here, you?" The stranger asked.
Audi shook her head. "And I'm guessing neither are you."
The stranger climbed onto his own rock to get a better look. "I'm Hizam. And you are?"
She smiled. It felt darn good to smile. She just realised how much she missed it. "Unnecessary question."
Hizam nodded. "Understood." Something caught his eye. "Can I call you Di?"
Audi looked up at him, her eyes questioning. "How do you-"
"Buttonbadge." He pointed to the circular object on her hijab. I love Ngah Di. Abang...
Realising Audi was quiet, Hizam went on asking. "What're you doing here? I thought I was the only one who had enough problems in life to come here and scream."
"I lost my brother." The words flowed softly through her lips.
Hizam kept his eyes on her. "To what?"
"Brain cancer."
"I'm so sorry." Hizam threw his gaze to the lake. That's all I need to know.
He grabbed his bag and hopped off the rock, heading off.
Audi caught this quick. "Wait. Where are you going?" What'd I do wrong?
Hizam stopped in his tracks and turned to face Audi. Here goes...
"Don't come here again. I'm serious. Not if you don't want to get hurt." With that, he left, leaving a very puzzled Audi behind.

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