chapter 6: Home

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The journey home was extraordinary. First, I was really impressed with my mum’s car, which was a major upgrade from our small, second handed blue car in Australia. Not only was it a seven-seater, but it has those DVD installations as well. My jaw dropped because I’ve always thought that only super rich people could afford those things.

“Are we rich now?!” I asked excitedly.

“Biasa-biasa je, takda lah kaya mana,” my mum replied, saying that we were not that rich but we can still afford some nice luxuries. After four years of always living off a tight budget, that’s quite a relief for my family.

I was quite exhilarated when they agreed to put on a movie, even though the ride home was only for fifteen minutes. Since I was the only one who has not seen the movies we kept in the car(well, technically I probably have, but just can’t remember), they let me pick which DVD I would like to watch. I went with Diary of a Wimpy Kid, because the title seemed familiar.

I was so absorbed into the movie that I did not realise that my dad did not drive us to our old house, the small terrace we lived in before he furthered his studies overseas. Instead, he stopped at a bigger, newer and more sophisticated housing area, one with a club house and security guards and security dogs. Whoah.

“WE LIVE HERE?” I whispered loudly with excitement, not believing my eyes. My jaw dropped as my dad drove to our house, and I must have looked pretty ridiculous until my brother had to tell me to close my mouth. He told me that we moved out of our old house two years ago, which to me meant nothing since I couldn’t remember any of it.

My mum clicked on a button on a small remote to open the automatic gates, and I was already getting used to being impressed with everything that my siblings were getting tired(although amused) by my “Oh My God”s. Shahirah explained that these things were quite normal now, and that you didn’t have to be filthy rich to have them. Whatever, I was still impressed.

As I got out of the car, simultaneously excited and nervous all at once, I heard the hungry meows of cats approaching from the front door. Turning to the source of the sound, I saw two cats stretching and sleepily walking towards their empty food bowls. One was dark brown and creamy, most probably a Siamese breed. The other one was fluffy and white with some dark grey patches. They were both really fat.

“Are those ours??” I asked in a high-pitched voice. I’m not sure why, but my voice tends to go a little higher when I’m talking about cute things. It was quite surprising that we finally had cats, because my mum wasn’t a big fan of furry pets.

“Yep, the Siamese one is Bubba, and the white one is Uddin,” my sister replied in Malay. Huh, Uddin. Such a Malay name for a cat.

“Bubbaya!” she called to Bubba, who just yawned in response.

“Why do you call it Bubbaya?” I asked as I approached the cat to scratch its head. I’ve always liked cats.

“I don’t know, it sounds Korean. I like K-pop and Korean dramas now”

“What’s K-pop?”

“I’ll show you later,” she said, realising it was going to be hard to explain that one.

My family, including my parents, gave me a tour around the “new” house. I stopped being so impressed at everything because I was getting used to everything being so unexpected. They showed me my room last, and that was the scariest part of the house.

I felt like I was walking into a stranger’s room without their permission. My room was exceptionally big, or at least bigger than my old room. There was a large, portable whiteboard placed on one side, which seemed a bit out of place. Apparently, I had used the whiteboard frequently to study for my SPM exams “last year”. There was a long table on the other side, with a lot of books and novels arranged neatly leaning against the wall.

I instinctively went to the books as soon as I realised that they were all mine, and was enlivened to start reading them all. My eyes darted across the titles and one particular book caught my attention. It was Oblivion by Anthony Horowitz, the final book in the Power of Five series!

“YES!” I shrieked, taking the book out excitedly.

“I think that was your exact reaction when you found that book at the booksale,” my sister laughed.

“When did this come out?!”

“How should I know? I don’t read like you do.”

I opened the book to the page that showed the year it was published, and felt guiltily relieved. It was published in 2012, and I had read the previous book in 2008, which feels very recent. If there was one thing good from this goddamn amnesia, it would have to be that I didn’t have to suffer through four years to wait for Anthony Horowitz to publish his last book in the series.

I clutched the book to my chest, smiling to myself as I explored the rest of my room. I finally got my own laptop and my own bathroom. My closet seemed pretty nice too. There were a lot of trophies and medals arranged on the headboard of my bed, which made me raise an eyebrow. Not bad, Kamalia. I'll have to take a closer look at those later because wow. What the heck did i do to get so many trophies? I hope they were related to sports.

I was suddenly feeling exhausted from so many new rediscoveries and started to get a headache. Mama told me I should rest, and so my family left as I went to sit on my bed. Setting the book aside, I closed my eyes and breathed slowly, trying to sink it all in.

As cool as it all seems, I still don’t feel like I’m at home yet. I’m thinking of her, of how she used to live in this house and sleep on this very bed, having no idea her life was going to change this drastically. In an odd way, I hate her. I hate that I don’t know who she was, that i don't know who I was. It seems like she’s an entirely different person who lived a completely new life.

I opened my eyes, telling myself to not think about it too much. Looking ahead, I saw that there was a series of photographs arranged on the wall behind my opened door. Being a little short-sighted, I couldn’t make out the faces very well so I got up and walked towards the wall of captured moments and closed my door so that I could see the pictures properly. My heart sank.

I was in almost all of the photos. I looked genuinely happy in all of them, smiling a lot with my teeth showing. That isn’t the reason why my heart felt like bursting, the reason was mostly because there were all these strangers with me in the pictures. People I don’t remember knowing. People whose names don’t ring a single bell in my damaged head, whose relationship with me is left unknown to me. People I don’t know if I even want to remember.

No. I was not ready to think about these new faces, these new individuals who somehow played a role in my life during the last five years.

I started tearing up again, confusion and anxiety and terrible longing for my old friends gripping my fragile heart. I went back to my bed as i clumsily pulled off my headscarf, lay down and grabbed a pillow as the sobbing came. I buried my face into the pillow, hugging it tight as i felt sorry for myself for being a stranger in this new life. I was wrong, this all seemed to be too much for me to handle.

There was a gentle knock on the door.

“Are you okay?” asked Shahirah with obvious sympathy in her voice as she peeked into my room.

“Just leave me alone,” I said harshly, not caring about sounding mean. I was angry at her too, for knowing everything and making me feel like I was the little sister. She left without saying another word.

I continued sobbing, feeling guilty and worse. I replayed the memories of my childhood in my head again many times, until I was sleepy from the tears and fell into a dreamless sleep.



 To be continued...

2 comments:

  1. finally you updated, i was waiting for like forever. nice one kamalia :) cant wait for the next one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. wehh haha sumpah macam real. feels like it did happened and i can literally imagine you like not remembering and all. hmm i wonder whether i'll pop out for a short while in the story lol.

    ReplyDelete

 

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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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