The one that you always keep, the one that bothers you…

Source: Private collection

I have never realized the way of life goes on and on, is it written in your forehead or planted there in your soul. I thought we all know what it is, I just don’t understand why do I have to do it in the first place. I was pretending to master my own mind, control it, the way I like it.

This is the time when I finally reach adult life, I don’t understand, I really don’t. I was hoping someone write a book about “do’s or don’ts”. It could be better if I understand life before even started.

I was different, I don’t fit with anybody around, I thought I was. My life began with misunderstanding, I literally don’t have a father figure who could help me to answer every question. I am not blaming him for not being able to present and guide his children. My mom told me the situation since I was a kid, I and my brothers understand what he was doing, so we never questioned him why, or even giving him pressure about a life. He is like a missionary, we were able to meet him 3 months every 3 years, He actually allowed to take annual leave, 30 days per year, but he doesn’t one to spend 30 days only, so he decided to keep it for 3 years and go back home. Mom always receive a letter from him every month, it is very hard to understand, but that is the real-life long-distance relationship by country.

Nobody will understand our feelings, my feeling, cause we all have different paths and different ways of thinking. The way I lived is not even close to the one I plan.

CHAPTER 1- DAYDREAM

21st November 2003, beautiful morning along with heavy rain, it’s the day when you finally have the freedom to decide. Living in a tropical country, you can only expect 2 seasons, dry season or wet rainy season. I always thought school sucks, having a good reason to not go is a big deal, heavy rain is one of them. One of my happiness is when mom agrees with my decision and usually, she is the one who tells me to not go because of the weather, Oh yeah, I didn’t go to school and I could spend my day the way I like it. I don’t really play with my brothers, I have 3 brothers, and I just spent some of my time playing with them. I have a 1970’s old radio that mom and her sister bought when she was a kid, I kept it in my room so that I could switch it on, and starred at my window while enjoying the fresh air. As a kid, I have no interest in video games, I did play with Nintendo or PlayStation, but it doesn’t bother me at all. Unlike others, I listen to random songs played on the radio and read a magazine, I am pretty sure that I am not into music as well, but I enjoy it. I have never know the singer or the musician, nor understand the genre of music. When I play randomly, I switched it and I actually searching the songs that relax me. It was mostly jazz, blues, and some instrumental, and I heard french classic songs even though I don’t understand them, in fact, I don’t care if I have to know the songs themselves.

The first day at school is scarier than a nightmare, I have school orientation for a week and I am afraid that no one’s going to talk to me or make friend with me. It’s a new school, and barely people know me from the previous school. I acted like other kids, trying to be friendly and looks stronger than before, the reason? it’s because I got bullied by some of the kids. I wasn’t a freak nor a weirdo, I was just feeling better to be alone and quiet.

I have expected what I expect on the first day at school, zero conversation, none of them want to talk to me, not even the senior wants to bully me. So I just observing the situation and just participate in the activity without socializing. I was wrong, I thought that I don’t have to speak or ask, my worst nightmare approaching me slowly, I have to introduce myself in front of everybody in the classroom! Oh, Allah, am I sleeping, please wake me up, I don’t want to do it. I remember when I was in elementary, I cried when we have to read our own essay in front of everybody, and everyone in the class laughed at me, it hits me so bad, and I didn’t go to school the next day.

As I acted to be different, I encourage myself to do it, I was nervous, but I did it, and luckily no one cares.

When people go to the cafeteria at lunchtime, I go to the place that nobody will ever come, I brought my own lunchbox so that I am saved from the crowd, I had lunch by myself wondering if I ever survive for 3 more years at school without compromising how will I survive.

The next day I started to realize that maybe this is it, this is going to be last forever.

And the bells rang “ding-a-ling”

Everybody leaves the classroom and towards the basketball court, I was wondering but I really don’t want to leave.

The teacher calls me out, “Hey Liam, you should go, you know just join with the others”. “Alright!” I said forcefully.

“WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” people yelled.

“Gosh!, what they are up to in there! I said.

So I join them, in the crowded people are cheering, I have no idea what happened, I started to go further, and suddenly I am thrilled! that is the Cheerleaders team practicing in front of all students. And they’re all so gorgeous, I honestly love seeing girls dancing, or cheering, it’s entertaining.

After sometimes, I realized there is someone I knew, one of the senior, and she was my neighbor, sister of the only friend I have when I was in kindergarten, they moved away, by the way, their parents divorced and I have never seen them ever since.

As usual, it doesn’t matter if I’m in class or outside, no one wants to talk to me or has any interest until when I walk through the corridor, someone from behind calling my name,

“Liam! Hey!” She said, and I look back, and says “Oh dear..Hi!”

“I didn’t know that you are in this school,” I said.

“Well, it’s been a while, our family moved back to this city three years ago, but my brother is not coming, he stays with grandma there.” She says.

We were talking till we’re back in the class, everybody started seeing me when I have talked with her, at first I don’t really care at all, but somehow it affects my daily social life.

Since I have been talking with the most popular girl in school, people come to me and keep asking about her, how do I know her especially those who are just regular kids and the unpopular group to get to know her better. I have always told them that I know nothing about her, somehow it annoys me a lot, but I kinda feel happy to have people around and willing to talk to me.

I personally struggled with meeting new people, It just feels so awkward being with them, there’s an unnatural act of trying to be fit when deep down my heart doesn’t want it.

Middle school social wasn’t that bad, I met my best friend when I got interested to join the basketball team, ever since I met Lucy my childhood best friend’s sister I got little confidence to try harder to be around the cool kids. I wish that Lucy is a freshman like me so that I don’t have to do this, unfortunately, she is a senior, and just graduated recently.

Riki is one of the kids whom I thought he’ll be got bullied a lot, he’s shorter and skinnier than everyone, but he is a brave kid, and he wanted to be better. The first day at the court for practicing, I felt a lack of confidence, the reason is because of the other kids, they are magnificent, all know how to play perfectly, they do like a basketball pro player, me? I have no idea! the only sports I play it’s just soccer and badminton, but I choose basketball because of all the cool kids there.

It was Riki who coming towards me first, in my mind I kept saying because it’s so clear that he is the only one who just fit my personality, anti-social, and definitely zero friends!

We became a best friend and somehow I don’t realize that we actually in the same class for quite some time, but I don’t even notice him earlier.

I write poetry and food-related articles | R&D Chef | Chef Consultant | Food culture enthusiast |