Chapter 3: Meeting My Family



I woke up an hour later with with my eyes still closed and a faint smile on my face. I had a wonderful dream. In the dream, my dad told the family that we were not going to move back to Malaysia after all, that we will be able to live here in Australia permanently because he had accepted a job offer. My siblings and I were so excited to unpack the boxes of things we had packed over the past two weeks. I could unsay the goodbyes to my friends, and maybe i'll even get to attend my Year 6 Graduation Day and dinner.

The joy did not last long. I heard the doctor's voice explaining to somebody about something. I could not understand everything, mostly because she used scientific terms like 'retrograde amnesia' and she was also speaking in Bahasa Melayu at times. My heart sank and I felt empty again when i realised she was explaining about my condition.

Suddenly, i heard a familiar voice asking the doctor how long it would take for me to recover my memories. It took me a second until i realised that the voice belongs to Mama. Mama!
"Ma!"
I didn't mean to yell, or to sit up quickly and freak anyone out. A few people who stood a few metres away jumped back. I had nearly forgotten that everyone except the doctor and Nurse Marina had not seen me awake for nearly two weeks, so it must be a little creepy to have me scare them like that. They all thought i was sleeping, after all. I tried to make out their faces, but i could not see. Literally, my vision was a little blurry, so i could not tell who was who.

My mum walked to my bed. As she sat next to me, I held my arms out, to ask for a hug while i tightened my throat and held back the tears that started to form. She did not say anything, only forced a sad smile and put her arms around me. I hugged her tight, and did not want to let go.

 It was rare for me to hug my mum before this, but i did not care if it was awkward or unusual. She was my mother, and no matter how many years of memory i lost, i would always feel at home in her arms. I started to cry quietly while holding on to her. I felt someone patting my head very gently, and i knew without looking at him that it was my dad. Only Abah would pat my head like that, it was how he showed his love to his kids.
My dad turned to the doctor. "This is not permanent, right? She will be able to remember soon?" he asked, his voice a little shaky. I knew my dad was trying to be strong and sound positive.

"It's hard to say. Some patients can recover after a month or so, while some never remember at all."

Hearing me sob a little louder after hearing her say that, she continued, " I guess the best thing to do is help her regain her memories. Bring her to meet her friends, or go to memorable places."

I was not sure if i was ready to jump into a whole new life so soon, even though technically i have been living it for the past five years. It felt terrible enough that i felt like i had only recently said goodbye to my life in Australia. After five years, a lot of things must have changed. Who was i still in contact with? Is Miss Meier still teaching at Palmerston Primary? Which school did i go to for high school?

More questions started to buzz around my mind, but i was too scared to know the answers to most of it. "When can i go home?" I asked the doctor through those crying hiccups you get for crying uncontrollably, even though i did not exactly have a tantrum or anything.

"I'm going to let a specialist check up on you, to know more about your condition and find out what you do and don't know. After that, your family can take you home. InsyaAllah, everything will be okay," she said, with a reassuring tone that made me feel a little better.

After the doctor and nurse left the room to leave me with my family, the two people who were standing near the wall in front of me, the faces whom i could not see clearly before started to walk towards my bed.

"Hey Kakak," said the boy in a deep voice.

He was so tall from the last time i remembered him, and his skin was a few tones darker too. He wore black-framed spectacles, which makes him look a little geeky. What happened to my cute, baby-faced, 8-year-old brother?

"Why are you so tall...and dark?" I asked, surveying him from top to bottom with narrow eyes. Everyone just laughed, especially the girl in the headscarf who was standing right next to Hariz. I laughed too, then turned to my sister.

No way. My sister looks all grown up too! She also wears glasses, but unlike my brother, Shahirah was still fair like she always was. Even after laughing at my brother, I think she was trying her best to not cry after my emotional episode, so she just smiled. She looks so...mature. That was a bit weird, not in a bad way.

 Being the eldest,I was always the mature one out of the three of us. It felt awkward that my sister is probably more mature now, at least mentally.

It was a funny thing to notice, but everyone wore spectacles. "Do i wear specs too?" I chuckled while wiping away the nearly-dried tears.

"Yep," my siblings said simultaneously.

I have always wanted to wear glasses. "Awesomeeee," i said. I felt much better with my family around, even though it was strange that they looked so much older than what seemed like yesterday. I guess I had to get used to it soon.

"Siapa nak makannn?" asked my dad in a sudden, familiar and cheerful tone.

I smiled and believed in that particular moment that everything was going to be okay, as long as i still had my family with me.

I was going to be okay.


If you haven't read the first two chapters, click here

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if a house is made from a thousand bricks, then let me be one of those bricks, to help keep the house together, to make a significant difference.

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Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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