Thursday, 26 April 2012

Intertwined Minds

Assalamualaikum, peeps!!

After a few days of racking my brain to find ideas, I think I might have found it.  Though, I doubt that it's good or believable.  Hopefully, this won't disappoint you guys >___<"

Here's my latest story, 'Intertwined Minds'.  Enjoy! ;-)

~*~

I was walking along a beach.  The sand under my feet, the sound of waves lapping at the shore.  The breeze blowing my hair in my face, making me push it back behind my ear.  It was blissful.  I turned to a view that really only the Almighty can create.


Subhan Allah.  Beautiful.  Truly beautiful.  And then a girl came up to me and held my hand.  The girl said, "Amazing what Allah can do kan?"  In shock, I turned and looked at the girl.

"Excuse me?" I said.
"You couldn't have picked a better place for a honeymoon, dear.  Tau2 je you I nak pergi Karambunai," the girl explained.

I looked at my hand and saw a silver ring.  All I can I think in my head was "OMD! (Oh Mak Datok!) Aku dah kahwin ke?"  I didn't even recognise the girl.  But I just ran with it.  I squeezed the girl's hand gently.

"Yup.  And what better way to see the sunset than having your wife with you kan?"  I suddenly grew fond of the girl.
The girl looked up into my eyes and hypnotised me.  "And what better way to seal it than with this."  She leaned in, eyes still locked on mine.  I leaned in and our lips were mere centimeters away.  Suddenly.....

"Syauqi.  Eh, Syauqi bangun solat SubuhPukul berap dah ni ha," the girl said with a deep voice.
"Say WHAT now?  Apesal suara mcm laki?"  And that's when everything went black.  And then my eyes saw the ceiling when I opened them.
"Syauqi, dah nk syuruk dah ni.  Bangun, solat," my dad said.

It was the first time in my life that I woke up from my sleep with wide eyes.  "Aku mimpi keAku dah kawin?"  I looked at my hands.  No ring.  Just a dream.  A good dream.  But JUST a dream.  Then I looked at my dad.  I was thinking how on earth did he get into my dreams.

"Kenapa tengok Ayah macam tu?" he asked.
"Huh? Hehe.  Tak ada pape," It was either the sweetest dream or my strangest nightmare.  I did my Subuh prayers and switched on my laptop.

~*~

It was quite cold in London.  Canary Wharf is quiet compared to Central London.  But I guess with the DLR and Underground Tubes, I wouldn't mind staying a bit further from Central cos the trains are quite easy and fast.  Ariq was already awake judging by his cries earlier.  So if he's awake, Angah and Kak Sha were awake too.  They're working here in London.  Ariq's a UK baby but I'm sure he'll learn to love Malaysia.  "Ariq".  "Baik budi" or "gracious".  A good name  for a boy.  Not only that, it also fits Angah's fanaticism for Man United and their legend, Eric Cantona.  Our family being huge Man United fans, we loved the name.

It's Sunday at 9.00 a.m and I was still surfing the web.  It was when I pulled my eyes away from the screen that I noticed everybody was awake and watching the T.V.  Even Ariq's eyes were fixed on the moving images that fascinated him.  I was the first uncle for Ariq to meet.  2-month holiday in the UK.  What cuckoo head would say 'no' to that right?  Saying 'no' to that is like saying 'no' to a can of 100+ after a marathon.

11 a.m and I just had my shower.  I really need to shower earlier, I thought.  Angah and Kak Sha were at the door, getting ready to go out.  "Ibu, ayah.  Kimi dengan Sha nak pergi amik Ariq punya passport kejap tau.  Weekend takut they close early," my brother said.
"Ha'ah.  Hari tu kawan Sha pergi lambat orang ramaiBila dah nak turn diorg, they closed.  Nanti tak boleh la Ariq pergi jalan-jalan kan Ariq kan?" she playfully nibbled Ariq's ear.  Ariq laughed and his eyes lit up like fireworks on new year.


Kak Sha picked him up and Ariq cuddled like the little cub he was.
"Hehe.  Tu laNanti macam mana nak pergi tengok tulips and windmills dekat Holland nanti kan?" After that, they went out and left my parents and I the house.

Sundays were usually a F.R.I.E.N.D.S marathon on Comedy Central.  8 a.m to 2 p.m.  The series is over but I still laugh at the jokes from them.  It's like the best medicine after a bad day...A bad argument...A break up.  Chandler and Joey are always the the tag team in making the jokes.  Never gets old.  After shutting down the laptop, I did my Zuhur prayers.  It's a strange feeling being late by 7 hours.  Like during Fridays, when Malaysia's about to do their Isya' prayers, in London my family's just about to do our Friday prayers.  By the time London wakes up at 5 a.m, Malaysia's having their lunch at 12 p.m.  Jet lag.  First time experiencing it.  I didn't really like it.  I actually slept at 3 p.m and woke up at I-don't-actually-remember-what-time-but-it-was-late.  Good thing it was just for a couple of days.

~*~

I walked out of the room and my mom said, "Syauqi dah cari your tennis shoes ke belum?"
"Belum lagi, bu.  Alaa, kalau cari awal-awal pun, nanti I have no point to get out of the house.  Plus, Syauqi nak cari some other stuff also," I said.
"Well, hari tu pergi Lillywhites ada ke tak?"
"Ada tu ada but dang expensive la, bu.  The racquet yang Syauqi nak tu pun sama.  169 pounds kot.  Convert to Ringgit dalam...8 hundred something."

Tennis has been in my family for years now.  Started playing again in college and my friends all had these gear.  Shoes, racquets and all that.  But hey, judging by how I was playing, I guess I didn't need those.  I did need shoes though cos the ones I had looked like some rats chewed on them.  I did win some games playing with my friends.  All I had were futsal shoes and a racquet that was nearly MY age.  It worked so far but it wouldn't hurt to step it up a notch right?

At the living room, my dad was watching 'Nothing To Declare'.  It's a show about airport customs and all that.  My mom sometimes freaked out and kept worrying about when we go back to Malaysia, saying, "Kalau jadi dekat kita macam mana laKita buat2 we can't speak English nak?"

"Show pagi tadi ke, yah?" I asked him, his eyes glued to the screen.
"Maybe laPagi tadi Ayah tak tengok," he replied.  This time, eye contact for 2 seconds.  Better than nothing.
"Oh.  Uhmmm.  Ayah, I think nak pergi Stratford la masa weekday nantiNak buy the shoes dekat Sports Direct tu.  Lillywhites hari tu mahal sangat.  So, ingat nak beli sana.  At least masa weekday tak ada la ramai sangat kan?" We went to the mall at Stratford last week.

Westfield Stratford City, said to be the biggest mall in Europe.  It was big and they actually had lots of eye-googling stores.  Gadget stores, book stores and sports stores among others.  I saw some Nike tennis shoes that were on sale and thought twice cos I wanted to check out the stuff at Lillywhites, a 6-storey sports store in Central London.  Turned out that that place was way more expensive.  So, I planned to go by myself during mid-week.

"Oh, ok.  When you'll go nanti Ayah bagi duitJangan beli yang mahal-mahal sangat la," he said.
"Ok, yah.  Hari tu rasanya dalam 30 pounds kot," It's not that expensive if you compare it to the shoes in Malaysia.  Trust me.  I know.

~*~

"Ibu, ayah, Syauqi gi kluar jap eh?  Going for the walk.  Macam biasa la," I told my parents.
"Ok.  Take care of your wallet semua, dik," Ibu asked.
"Duit cukup, Syauqi?" Ayah's turn to question.
"The 20 pounds Ayah bagi ada and tak pakai lagi, yah.  And ok, Ibu.  Assalamualaikum!" the reply I got was drowned as I shut the door.

It's been a few days and by then I thought I should be use to the cold weather.  But there I was getting a brain freeze without drinking even a sip of any cold drink.  The black jacket did the trick and all I needed to wear underneath that was just a T-shirt.  A pair of jeans, black Nike gloves and sneakers rounded up my attire for my usual walk around Angah's house.

It was a good day unlike the days before.  3.30 p.m and the sun was up but the surrounding and cool air were just the stuff to balance with the sun.  From Lanark Square I went to Alexia Square to the Tesco Express and bought myself a small bottle of orange juice.  Of course it was just a fruit juice but I just checked the ingredients to make sure it's halal.

"Sugar, some protein, energy, fresh orange.  Seems legit to me,"  I monologued as I checked the label.  I payed for the O.J and continued my walk.  Even if it was a bit chilly, I loved catching the wind in my hair.  I feel like I'm in one of those movies where the hero walks in looking all cool.  My friends back at college kept telling me to take a haircut.  It was always, "Syauqi, pergi la potong rambut kau tu Dh mcm group member The Beatles dah aku tengok.".  There were also comments like, "Syauqi, you look like a girl la."  Then I was like, "Ok, I know I have my mom's face, tapi tak kan tak ada masculinity langsung kot.  Come on la."  My friends always laugh at that.  I'm too lazy to get a haircut.  It's my nature.  End of story.

~*~

Actually, I have a new reason for my walks in the afternoon here.  It wasn't just to get the wind in my hair anymore.  More than just to get my muscles to work.  Not just to get to know the surroundings.  But to go see a little someone.  Ok, it might sound like I was stalking.  But believe me, you might find my reason to be...Well..Reasonable.

Mudchute Park's just about 5 or 6 minutes away from the flat.  It's not just a park, it also has a farm with some animals.  Goats, cows and llamas among others.  And the branches of some plants that were actually starting to bloom, people walking around and enjoying the beauty of the park.



But what interested me were the stables.  It was weird because the stables were just like my head.It has a brain but no ideas.  I don't like the analogy but sometimes the truth had to be faced head-on you know?

For the past week or so, I've always seen her riding a brown horse with black mane.  She had an instructor, who was a local with a very significant cockney accent.  She was like the Kelantanese of London with that accent.  The interesting thing is, the girl riding the horse looked Malay.  One of the proofs is when she says 'alamak' when something bad happened.  Besides her Malay-ish looks, she also wore a tudung, which to me was always appealing.

I was walking along the walkway and thought I should just see her from afar.  It was too darn cold even when I have the gloves on.  So I just had to put my hands in my jacket pockets.  It seemed like I was snooping around cos I was looking through the high bushes.  You can't blame me for being a bit short can you?  Plus, it's what makes me..How do u say....Sophisticated?  Yeah that's the word.

My senses doubled.  I haven't even went eye-to-eye with this girl and I already have butterflies in my stomach and that small tug in my gut.  Despite the cold weather, I was sweating.  As my senses heightened into overdrive, I smelled the grass from the large compound of Mudchute Park.  I feel my palms get a bit sweaty from the anxiety of just seeing this girl from a distance.  At this point, I wanted to take the gloves off but I guess I thought better of it.  My mouth was dry and it felt like sand was stuffed in my mouth.

But my eyes and ears sensed that there was no horse galloping, nor there was she who ridden the horse.  I frantically looked around but the stable and equestrian area weren't that big of a compound.  My heart fell and I was so rattled that I didn't notice someone was creeping behind me.

"It's not nice to snoop around you know?" the voice said playfully.

In shock, I spun and stepped on a little rock that made me fell on my stomach.  Luckily, the grass and my hand broke the fall.

"Ya Allah!  Eh, sorry! I didn't mean to startle you!" the girl said.
"Nope.  It's ok.  Perfectly fine," between groans I turn and sat on the ground, brushing the dirt off my jacket.  I didn't wanna look at her yet cos I was too embarrassed.
"You're not from around here, are you?" she asked.  Judging by her tone, she might have seen my face when I spun.
"Not really.  Malaysia to be precise," still on the ground, I finally mustered every ounce of guts I had and locked eyes with her.

Breath taking.  I must've had a bit of a comedic tumble cos she was smiling and trying not to laugh.  Simply breath taking.  Her smile made my cheeks flush.  I bet that smile could melt even the sturdiest of irons.  Her gaze was as soft as the colour of her hazel eyes.  Her beauty, mesmerizing.

"Assalamualaikum.  Hi.  Nama I Hannah Dahlia," she said with an extended hand, smiling.

~*~

Usually I won't take the hand cos she wasn't a muhrim but since I was wearing gloves I didn't think it was wrong.  Plus, I didn't want her to be embarrassed if I didn't take her hand.  So, I took her offered hand and pushed myself up from the ground

"Wa'alaikum Salam.  Thanks. Nama I Syauqi Kusyairi.  Sorry for...You know.  Snooping around tadi.  I'm not usually like that.  I'm just taking my usual walk," I explained and released her hand, brushing some leftover dirt.
"Yeah, right.  Uh-huh.  If you're wondering, hari ni tak ada riding lessons.  Weekends and bank holidays memang tak ada," she said.  I'm sure the first part was a bit sarcastic.
"Oh, ok.  Uhmm.  Since I'm doing my usual walk, nak join?" my stomach churned like swallowing hot lead.
"Hmmm.  Boleh jugakJom la," she said.
"Ladies first," I motioned my hands towards the path.
"Ada gentleman in my presence.  I tak come across that usually here.  Very rare," I assumed she stayed here for a long time.  Otherwise she might not have known that.
"My parents said the same thing.  Some of the local being a bit stuck up and all.  Muka ketat je semua.  Hey, you said something about bank holiday.  What's that?" I was intrigued so I asked.
"Bank holidays tu macam public holidays.  In Malaysia kan it's called public holiday.  Kat sini they call it bank holiday.  Bank tu sebab the banks are all closed.  Hence the name, bank holiday," it was weird but I guess that sounds realistic enough.

~*~

We walked around Mudchute Park and talked about stuff.  I told her that my parents and I were visiting my brother and his family.  The whole nine yards.  She just told me that his dad works there and that she studied at the London Metropolitan University.  She's doing her degree in architecture.  Some fancy programme that allowed her to do her degree a bit quicker.

I was feeling a bit hungry.  I forgot that I left the flat without having lunch.  So I asked Hannah,"Hey, I actually tak makan lagi.  You wanna get something to eat?"
"I've eaten actually.  But sure.  Ok.  What do you have in mind?" we were actually at the gate of Mudchute Park already.
"Well, I think there's a Subway at South Quay.  Ada halal punya sign dekat pintu diorgKe you wanna go some place else?" I asked.
"Oh ada ke Subway halal there?  Hmmm.  Jom la.  It's been a while since I had Subway anyway," that said, we headed off to South Quay.

It was actually still a long way to South Quay.  So we just talked to kill the time.

"So what do you like to do when you're free?" I asked.
"Not much really.  I play the guitar tapi I tak ada la bagus sangat.  And I like listening to music," she said.
"No kidding.  I've been playing guitar dah dalam 10 years kot.  I had my fair share of performances.  I ada some pictures if you nak tengok."
"Ada ke? Nak."




"Cool.  Mesti seronok perform depan orang kan?"
"It's awesome.  People cheering, guitar solos.  The only thing yang tak jadi lagi stage dives je la kot."
"I doubt that'll happen la," she laughed at the thought but it could happen.
"Well, who knows, right?  The sun's up tapi sejuk semacam kan?" I mentioned.
"Tu la.  My hands sejuk sikit ni sebenarnya," her hands were strangely pale and a bit reddish.
"Oh.  Here, you can take these," I gave her the gloves.
"Eh, tak apa laNanti your hands pulak yang sejuk."
"Nah.  It's ok la.  My hands ok lagi, yours tu.  Plus, kita dah nak sampai dah pun," she puts on the gloves and it was either the cold that made her blush or I did.

~*~

We were talking so much that we were already at the pedestrian crossing.  The South Quay Subway was just across the road from the South Quay DLR station.  And it was the first halal Subway I've seen at the time.  Hannah and I went in to the counter and picked our sandwiches.  By the time we were at our tables, we had tea, hot chocolate, an Italian BLT on parmesan oregano with lettuce and extra tomatoes and mustard, and a Subway Melt on honey oat with tomatoes, cucumber and chilli sauce.  It's been a while since I had a BLT.  I took one big bite that put half of my BLT in my stomach already.  I was so hungry that I didn't talk the whole time I was eating.  Even though she ate before we went to Subway, she finished her sandwich almost as fast as I did.  But then I saw some chilli sauce on her chin.

"Hannah, ada chilli sauce sikit dekat your chin," I said.
"Huh?  Oh, I tak sampai la," she tried to lick it with her tongue but failed.
"Hehe.  Tak apa.  Let me get that.  I dah habis makan dah ni," I took a tissue and wiped it off her chin.

Somehow, it was like at the park all over again.  I stopped wiping cos the stain on her chin was gone but my hand was still on her face.  We stared at each other for a few seconds that felt like an eternity.  Again, I was spell-bounded by those hazel eyes.  My mind was racing at a thousand miles per hour.  My hands suddenly felt like the Earth's magma and my heart literally skipped a beat.  All I know was that our minds intertwined on one thing, and I thought - Is it her?

I coughed a bit louder then intended and took my hand away from her chin.  "Ok.  Dah tak ada dah," I said, trying to not feel awkward.
"Yup.  Err.  Thanks for...Wiping it off."
"Don't mention it.  It's getting a bit late and I belum Solat 'Asar lagi ni.  It's almost 6."
"Oh, ok," the red blush ran from her face.  It's like what I said amazed her or something.
"So, rumah you dekat mana? Maybe I'll walk you home," I offered.
"My house dekat Manchester Road.  Yang dekat dengan kedai Nisa Local tu."
"Oh, it's not that far la from rumah I.  Come on.  Let me walk you home."

~*~

We walked in silence for quite a long time.  I guess what happened when we ate just then actually shook us a bit.  It's been a while since I had THAT kind of encounter.  We walked to the doorstep at her house.

"Thanks for today, Syauqi.  Kalau you tak ajak, I don't think I'd eat Subway tadi," she told me.
"Well, maybe I should snoop around more often la kan?" I couldn't help it but I winked at her.
"Pandai la you.  Hey, your gloves ni.  Thanks for these too," she handed me the gloves.
"Anytime.  Maybe we should hang out again sometime.  And you could tell me more about yourself?"
"Hmmm.  I'd like that.  Like I said, I don't come across gentlemen that often."
"Well, hopefully I might be the only gentleman you find around here, lovely," I said with a British accent, bowing my head slightly like the gentleman I said I was.
"Hopefully.  Hehe.  See you around Syauqi."
"See you around, my lady," I said with another dose of British accent.

From Manchester Road, it wasn't that far to Angah's flat.  The whole time I was walking back, I was smiling.  It was either the cold froze my mouth like that or it was something else.  At the time, I think it was obvious.  I opened the door to the flat and my mom greeted me.

"Assalamualaikum.  Hi, bu," I walked in and took off my shoes.
"Wa'alaikum SalamLambatnya balik, dikPergi mana tadi?" she asked.
"I went to Subway.  Kan Syauqi tak makan lunch tadi.  I forgot," I explained.
"Subway?  By yourself?"
"Uhmmm.  Not exactly," I told her, grinning.

~*~

There you go.  I hope you guys like this new series that I'm trying to make.  The stories before this didn't have any pictures.  So a brother of mine, Bo the nerd/Along, told me to put some pictures so that readers won't get bored and they can see London the way I see it.  By the way, you can read 2 chapters from an earlier series that I made from the label 'My Own Self-Made Stories'.

It's actually midnight in Canary Wharf right now and I'm finally finished with this one.  I'll start another chapter for this series A.S.A.P Insya-Allah, aites?

See you guys on the flip side!!

P.S : Thanks, Along!!  XD