Promises

In a typical Malay living room where the mother was busy arranging the magazines on the table while the son was resting on the sofa and reading the newspaper. The radio was playing an old Malay song from the 60’s. She seemed to be enjoying the melody as a young woman entered the room with a luggage a few seconds later. The woman turned off the radio.

AISYA
Mom, I’m gonna have to go to Sarawak for a week. Got a few things to settle there. Can you feed Jesse in the meantime? I left him in my house.

MOTHER
Sure.

AISYA
Thanks! Give him his food three times; morning, afternoon and evening, and please make sure that he’s out of the house early in the morning after he has eaten, and then put him back inside by noon for his lunch, and then he’s out again until evening. Make sure he’s inside the house at night, okay?

MOTHER
Okay.

AISYA
And please don’t ask Agus to do this. He’s too lazy. I don’t think he will do it exactly the way I want. He’ll just throw the food, and forget everything else.

AGUS
I can hear you, sis. (his eyes were still on the newspaper)

MOTHER
Okay.

AISYA
Thanks, mom! Bye.

Aisya left the house instantly. The mother turned on the radio again and then continued dealing with the magazines. Agus yawned, and then he put the newspaper on the table. He looked at his mother for a while, and immediately went into his room afterwards. At the same time, a man entered the house.

AMRI
Why do I always have to give him money?? Ask him to find a job, lah! He has finished his studies, right? (he sat down)

MOTHER
Yes.

AMRI
Then what is he waiting for? He should be working already! (checking his wallet) Here, 50 ringgit. This should at least last for a week. But I don’t know what he has been eating, it always lasted for only two or three days! Is he pregnant or what? Ask him to control himself! And get a job!

MOTHER
....... (taking the money)

AMRI
I just don’t know for how long he’s gonna waste his time and our money! What good in studying at university but then doing nothing?

MOTHER
Let him rest for a while...

AMRI
It has been more than one month already! How long is he gonna rest? A year? Such a waste of time! At least he can do something in the meantime! Part-time job or something. Make his own pocket money.

MOTHER
Hmm...

Amri stood up and was about to go out when Agus came out of his room. They exchanged some agitated expressions and then ignored each other.

AGUS
Why did he look so angry? Did he give you the money? Is it because of that?

MOTHER
Here.

AGUS
He gave 56 ringgit?

MOTHER
No. I add 6 ringgit. Try to save some.

AGUS
You tell me how.

Agus went out and left his mother alone. A minute later, another man walked into the house.

ADAM
What’s wrong with Agus, mom? I mean, what’s he gonna be? (he sat down and reached for the newspaper)

MOTHER
Give him time, lah...

ADAM
Until when?

MOTHER
Maybe he has something else to finish...

ADAM
What’s there to finish? He’s always in his room, sitting in front of his computer. What else could he be doing? Watching movies, listening to songs, and sleeping. Then when he wakes up, he asks for food, and money, and goes out.

MOTHER
He’s not always out...only once in a while.

ADAM
Yeah, but when he does, he will ask for money and act like he’s from a rich family! Just look at what he’s wearing, all those branded clothes! Don’t make me start talking about his food. KFC and McDonalds!

MOTHER
You too...

ADAM
Well I have a job. I make my own money. Last night I ate at Pizza Hut’s, and the day before I went to a buffet. I didn’t ask money from anyone else. I used my own money.

MOTHER
......

ADAM
Anyway, when he’s back, tell him to find a job!

Adam went out. The mother sat on the sofa and sighed. She looked up to the wall and wandered into the blank space. She finally fell asleep. About half an hour later, Agus came home and woke her up.

AGUS
Mom, here’s your food. Nasi briyani with some lauk. (putting it on the table)

MOTHER
Why do you always have to buy this? You should save the money or else your brother’s gonna get you.

AGUS
Have you eaten? (he sat down)

MOTHER
No.

AGUS
Did you make anything for you to eat?

MOTHER
Don’t have anything to cook.

AGUS
What, I should save the money and let you starve? I ate rojak just now, (burped) and you don’t eat anything? No, no, no...you get to eat, and I don’t care about what my brother’s gonna say.

MOTHER
Amri will get angry.

AGUS
I don’t care lah.

The phone rang. The mother went and picked it up. It was Aisya.

AISYA
Hello mom. Just reminding, don’t forget to give Jesse his lunch, okay?

MOTHER
Okay.

AISYA
Great! Thanks, mom! Bye.

AGUS
So...she always calls you three times a day every time she goes out of town, kan?

MOTHER
Yes.

AGUS
And she only asks about her cat, whether he has eaten or not, right?

MOTHER
Yes...

AGUS
(paused) Mom, can you wait for a while? I’m waiting for my term paper’s result, just to make sure everything’s fine. I promise I’ll start looking for a job right after that. I know I’ve been such a pain. I always trouble you. I always ask for this and that. But all those are gonna stop. I’ll give you money. I won’t count it. I’ll buy you food. And if I’m away for work, I’ll call you, and ask whether or not you have eaten. Just wait a little longer. Just wait. Please.

MOTHER
........

AGUS
........

MOTHER
How much did you pay for your rojak? (she opened up her nasi briyani)

AGUS
3 ringgit je.

MOTHER
This? With so many lauk?

AGUS
8 ringgit.

MOTHER
(she paused and smiled) Next time just buy me a rojak.

THE END

13 comments:

anisizatyA.J April 14, 2010 at 11:48 PM  

oh man, dah lama i x makan rojak :P

anak pak man April 15, 2010 at 1:55 AM  

thoughtful..
u have style, sir igniz, and i like it..
:)

Igniz April 15, 2010 at 6:17 AM  

anisizaty: pergi makan sekarang! :D

anak pak man: thank you very much. :)

Fakhrul 'Ayour' Anour April 15, 2010 at 11:11 AM  

U should see my tears just now. Beautiful... i just can explain it with tears. May Allah bless u always with beautiful words, Igniz.

"love the bag, love the shoes.. love too!" ^_^

Igniz April 15, 2010 at 11:36 AM  

ayour: inspired by true stories. but of course i put some dramatic sequences and lines to improve the overall impact. hahaha. XD

Anonymous April 15, 2010 at 10:32 PM  

mak ni sangat berlembut hatilah wif her kids.. if i were their mother... aish! siap lah!!! hahahahahhaa... ngeee~~

Igniz April 16, 2010 at 12:03 AM  

anonymous yang i tau sape: maybe mak ni penyabar orangnya~~ :D

Anonymous April 17, 2010 at 4:50 PM  

Hmm, r u writing abt urself dear?

phyto hystrix April 17, 2010 at 4:50 PM  

Slm,

That is very deep indeed, a simple storyline with yet plenty of issues to ponder about. A mother could take care of all her children, but there's no guarantee that everyone will treat her the same. It's sad somehow to see how people could get easily carried away with life and complaint without realizing of how much chances they had missed to make a change.

Igniz April 17, 2010 at 11:07 PM  

phyto hystrix: so let us all ponder together... :)

anonymous: nope. it's inspired by true stories, not based on them. just a little observation. :)

Lina Khairunisa April 19, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

simple yet meaningful. :)

Igniz April 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

lina: thank you. :)

aiMo0o December 12, 2010 at 6:55 PM  

Yoda, nnt da jadi comic, let me know ok. Me loikey!

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