1st June 2011
Whenever it rained outside the house, no matter how heavy it was, the other children whom I had befriended in the house stayed indoors and had no intentions of going out. It was me that had always sat nearest to the window- the best I could do to compensate the disapproval of my guardian to play in the rain, listening to the rhythmic drops of the rain as it landed onto the zinc roof, and I watched attentively as the droplets kissed the window panels, forming an artwork on the fragile glasses. I enjoyed the music it created and when the wind blew, the droplets raced among themselves, converging and diverging paths of each other. It provided me with a sense of comfort, a sense of assurance; a moment of amusement and a moment of utter joy. I did not know where these feelings originated from but I knew for sure, I liked it. And it struck me, time and time again, why the other children didn’t like it, or enjoyed it, as much as I did. I was five, but that did not deter me to imagine the joy of dancing in the rain. When I asked them to join me by the window, they declined. When I ask for a reason, they simply answered that the rain spoils their fun. If it wasn’t for the rain, they would be out in the field or at least outside the house playing ‘Police and Thief’.
I wondered then, why was there rain. Why the thick, dark clouds hovering above us will at some point pour over our heads and make us wet. Why these clouds create a sound so loud that people may spring up from their sleep. Or why did these clouds bear flashes of light that comes on and goes off within seconds, slicing through the sky. Some even said that God was sad and those droplets falling from the sky were tears of the Heaven above. Why was it created when no one likes it? Was it made to accompany me through my time here? When I ponder upon these thoughts by the window, it came to me that being the rain was lonesome. There was no one it could play with and no one it could ever be with.
Over the years, as I reflected on the life I led, I understood why I liked the rain or why I enjoyed its company. It was because when I saw the rain, I saw myself.
Today had been one of the best days of my life. It felt awkward at first sight- or may be a drizzle of anger, but when I let myself to take it all in, overcame it and tried to understand, I realized it was easier than I had imagined it to be. It even felt weird to even think about it initially, what more plan for it, but whenever I felt a breakdown in the courage to accomplish it, I look for the strength in her, someone that had shed so much light in my life, to propel my mission.
I parked my car and came out, grinning since I had started driving from the café where we met to where my car was parked. I reached for the key in my pocket and opened the door. Just before I stepped into the house, a thunder was heard and I immediately glanced to the sky. The clouds were dark and pregnant and I sensed an imminent rain. I dusted my shoes as I removed them and arranged them on the rack, pulled out my socks and rolled them before putting them in the shoes. I went to my work desk, folded my sleeves up until the elbows were noticeable and stared through the window. I could smell the rain. The birds in the distance flew away from the clouds that, from where I stood, I could see it had already began to rain. I wondered when it was my turn for it to rain here. I was anticipating the rain. The birds were flying in my direction, escaping as far as it could from getting wet- the similar reaction of a human being.
As I sat on the chair, with a pen held in my right hand and a paper lying on the table, I noticed the first raindrop smashed onto my window in front of me, directing all my attention away the paper and onto the little but surely significant raindrop. And seconds later, the rain became heavier and the raindrop became more frequent. I halted my hands and for a while, I smiled brightly to myself.
When I came to know why people didn’t like the rain and why I enjoyed it more than the others do, I found another answer to my puzzling thought. Something greater than seeing myself as the rain and something far superior to what I had thought. It was that I had learned that the rain wasn’t lonely, or that I wasn’t alone. I was never alone. It depends on how we look at the world, from our own eyes or from the eyes of others that we learn to live by each other. Sometimes, we need a little ‘something’ to grasp the true meaning of it and through my experience of this discovery or the rollercoaster of my journey to be precise, I finally understood.
We tend to think that we come into this world alone; we continue to live in it all by ourselves, and when we leave the world, we will be alone in the afterlife. But from my experience, it showed, or rather proved to me, otherwise. We are never alone in this world. Never. And even if at any moment we think we are, we aren’t. We have family and friends that enrich us throughout our lifetime. And the reason why we don’t see this is because we take them for granted. They stand right before us, and only if we choose to accept and receive do we discard these false thoughts. This, I have learned through someone who have changed me around, that kindly allowed me into her life and shared with me what she had always believed in.
I can never change what was written. And even with a second chance, it is beyond my power and capability to bring back life from the dead. But one thing for certain that I can change is the future. By realizing that at the soonest of time, and as much as I wished I had realized it at the time I laid my eyes on, I try to mend the wrong. At the very least, I tried.
I shifted my attention from the raindrop to the photo frame at the left corner of this table. The picture immortalized the fond memories between us and the friendship we shared. It was taken in front of the Petronas Twin Towers, standing tall and majestically as the backdrop that belittled both him and I posing before it. It was the first photograph of us here in Kuala Lumpur when we left our hometown and we looked terribly excited in it. I released the pen from my grip and reached out to retrieve it, bringing it closer to me and pulled the photograph out from the frame. The edges of the photograph had frail but the quality of it did not deteriorate a bit. It looked as good as new, and as young as we were. When I flipped to the back of it, I recognized my handwriting and it writes ‘Friends Forever’ in capital above our names. My eyes became teary.
People call me the Black Eye because I have a mole slightly above my right eye. Rong Ming, the man next to me in the picture and the first friend I knew in the house among other children and had grown closer each day, said it was because the mole has a special sense to see the right in things and subsequently do the right actions that he gave me that nickname. Rong Ming became much like a brother. He was protective over me and accompanied me wherever I went. It was his behaviour, an attribute that he owned exclusively and it distinguished him from the other people I met. My real name is Lucas. Just Lucas because I didn’t know who my family was or what my family name was. Despite what he said about me making the right choices, he was not right; because for what it may be right to him or me, the damage was eventually being inflicted onto the victim. This, a secret I had kept solely between him and me, had made me become the rain. I slipped the photograph back into the frame, and at the same time brought myself back to the present, and replaced the frame in its original position.
I looked to the rain again and saw a faint image of my parents forming onto the window glass. It was not an imaginary figure of how my parents should look like because I met with them about an hour ago at the cafe, because I had searched for them. But I wouldn’t jump straight into that part of story. Not just yet, not so soon.
There are many things in life that a man wants and of the long list of desire is to actually love someone and be loved. I wondered if I will be able to experience love, having that the secret will haunt me forever. When I thought the past had receded, slowly into the distance, it resurfaced. The history, and the pain of it, was like a resilient intangible monster. This was supposed to be a story of me. But now, I realized that it is not all about me as we are not alone in this world. It is a story of two souls, falling in love with one another that will hurt more people than the both of them could fathom.
And so, I pulled the paper back in front of me and snatched the pen I held earlier to begin to craft my letter- with all the right words in my mind pouring out. It opened with,
To my forever love, …
And I inhaled deeply.