Balik Kampong!!! ( The Meeting )

What’s Abd?!!
28 October 2008
This was the day before I would fly back home. Nothing much to do in the morning actually. I was just sitting at the porch playing with my neighbour’s son and feeding the fishes, as usual.
I was only waiting for time to pass because I had a massage session scheduled later that evening after the evening prayers. Nonetheless, time had to pass, so thankfully, I had something to do later.
I accompanied my dad to check on prices of building materials to build the rental properties that my dad was planning to build in the coming year. I also decided to help with the accounts since I had nothing better to do.
That wasn’t for long though as my dad left me on my own later when he had to take a friend of his somewhere for a business deal. So, bored again until evening came. To keep my time passing, I decided to go bring down more Avocado fruits to bring back home to give some colleagues and for our family’s own consumption. I wasn’t an expert at this so I had to rely on the ever-reliable neighbour who climbed up the tree to help me pick my fruits.
The masseuse arrived and he smoked a cigarette while I set the bed where I was going to be tortured. Soon after, I stripped to my sarong and laid face-down while he began to massage my left foot. From then on, I realized that I was going to end up with more pain than pleasure. His hands were strong and though he used very little effort to massage me, I felt pain all over my body.
I was grimacing in pain each time he took my veins and straightened them. My mom and dad told him to use more force on me when they thought that I was such a weakling.
So, the masseuse talked while he massaged me to distract me from the pain though it did very little. THE MOST painful part was when he massage my chests. Let me tell you this with all honesty, I had never felt such pain before to my chest. And all these while, my dad was standing there, laughing at me. Thanks ehh!
I was so relieved when it was finally over! Still clad in my sarong and topless, I hobbled to the porch to get some fresh air and that was when I saw her!
For those of you who have watched Ayat-Ayat Cinta, try to recall the moment when Fakhri went through the meeting session with his wife-to-be. Romantic? Lovely? Well, now try to imagine that scene differently. Fakri is now balding, topless, wearing a sarong and hobbling in pain when he meets the girl. Still romantic? No right? Well, that’s what happened!!!!
She was seated beside Uncle Hassim, directly in front of my door. She had long black hair and had a fairly oval-shaped face. She was of fair skin and was outrightly THE MOST beautiful girl that I’ve seen since the first day I arrived in Jambi.
I didn’t know who she was then until Uncle Hassim saw me,
“Ahhhh… Ini dia cowoknya. Kayaknya macam anak orang Cina ia? Ini la cowok yang bapak cakap!” (Ahhh.. this is the guy, he looks like chinese doesn’t he? This is the guy I was telling you about!).
That was when I realized who she was, she was HIS DAUGHTER, the girl whom my dad had been talking about, the girl whom my dad wanted to match make me with.
I had never for once in my whole life thought that I’d be meeting the girl whom I was potentially to be married to whilst clad in a sarong, topless and hobbling. I was absolutely embarassed. As I took my seat diagonally facing her, our eyes crossed paths for a moment and turned away from one another. She grabbed her mobile phone and started fiddling with it. I figured that she must have texted her friends of how embarassing this must have been. I was just as embarassed, so I decided to pour myself a drink and helped myself to the spread of food in front of me. As I took glimpses at her, I saw that she never raised her head and had kept her head low and glued to her mobile. But all that changed when her dad sent her back, as she sat on the pillion seat, she gave me a smile before she left.
Definitely beautiful!!
But of course, with that, I was then the focus of everyone. My neighbour asked me if I found her to be beautiful and whether or not I liked her. My neighbour also disturbed me by telling me that she was so shy after seeing me and couldn’t face me. This experience certainly goes down into my history books as one of my most embarassing moments in life!
I never spoke about her after that, no one did. I didn’t dare to just in case they’d jump to the idea of a marriage within a year or so. I know very well how arrange marriages work. See, like, get married fast fast and then start a family. Wooo… Although I love adventures and a roller-coaster ride, I’m not taking chances with marriage. It’s too big of a commitment for me to be jumping into unknown territory! I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of it though!!
So with her out of sight, I went to check on my dad who had by now, gone under the hands of the masseuse. Well guess what, my dad was teary-eyed when I saw him!!! Finally!!! Now he understands how much pain I was going through!!! But with that, I also knew that something wasn’t right.
My dad had never teared from a massage. He had one of the most strongest body and could endure pain easily. This was different. When the masseuse left, my dad commented on how the guy could have possessed internal energy as he never felt sore or tired after massaging two people. It was also abnormal because he never used much force but we felt so much pain. My dad then suggested that perhaps, he was a paid killer or had worked killing people.
The masseuse was about 50 years old, my size and height but had hands which was bigger and thicker than mine. He also had no traces of white hair at all! He must be extraordinary. That’s for sure. And another thing for sure, next time, I’m not getting my massage from him anymore.

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