Monday, May 22, 2017


My eldest brother perished before I was born. I did not feel any attachments to him. I only saw his picture lying in his coffin, while my mom and dad were sitting beside the coffin. I noticed the sadness was deeply carved on their faces.  The next image of my brother was his grave. My mom took us to the grave a couple of  times. I remember the marble on which there were my brother’s picture and name. My grandfather’s name was also carved on the marble. Apparently they shared the same graves. I also remember the granite gravel on both sides of the cemetery. The beautiful glittery tiny stones shone as the ray of the morning sun reached the cemetry.

Time goes by,  the memory of my brother was forgotten. My mom had a rough time after my dad left her. The pain  of being neglected by someone whom you wanted to share your life with was deep. I did not know which one was deeper but they definitely kept my mom occupied. The story of my brother was hardly mentioned. His existence has turned into to his body. We have never  heard anyword about him anymore.

On a fine day, early in the morning, my mom passed away.  She had been lying in bed for more than a year, trapped in a box called silence. We were all sad, but deep down in my heart I was happy for her. She had recorded a long-standing  life. She was almost 95. After her burial I went through her cupboard and found a pile of documents. It was hidden at  the very bottom of her cupboard. I said hidden  because they were covered with multi layers of old newspaper and plastic bags. I had no comperehension whether  the documents were a treasure or torture  to my mom.

I opened the documents carefully for they were dull, discoloured and full of stains. I was affraid I might damage the papers.  At the very top there was a tainted envelope. I did not need to open it for the glue that kept the sides together had lost its power. A pile of cards fell out. They were condolences cards, sent for my brother in 1948. One card was from my parents, they wished him to have a safe journey. One card was from my sister and brother who called my brother Boeng, which means brother. Then one card was from my father. It was the shortest condolences card ever. “My King.” The cards were beautifully hand written. My mom also kept his  medical record, including  the handwritten graph of his health. A feeling of agony thrust my chest and my heart turned sore.

My mother must have tried very hard to burry her sorrows. Underneath the envelope I saw other documents. Those were the court documents. I opened the filthy documents with the tips of my finger and the smell of mold and mildew stroke my nose. The horror struck and I was repelled.  the content inside the documents were a real nightmare. They  ripped apart my heart. I cried silently for my mother, for all the pains that she had to go through. My father called her names and accused her of things  that even the devil would have abandoned them.   I needed fresh air... I needed to get out of this dreadful, traumatic, horrendous incubus.

As night fell my eyes were widely open. As the curfew fell I decided to talk to my mother and prayed. I wanted her to know how much I adore, worshipp, and love her.

Nb. My mother had always claimed that she had a beaitufl life with her children.

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