Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Sabine Chronicles 1: Lonely, broken heart...


"It's happening again...!"...the young man muttered.
He was referring to that pain in his chest. Somewhere over the heart region, to be precise.
"Guess it's true what they say about heartbreak, eh? Heartbreaks do exist"... he mused again.
What was the trigger to that pain now worming through his chest?.....
He just saw a loving couple holding hands. & this is not, by all means, the only possible trigger, no, heavens no!
Whenever he sees a family, especially parents with young kids; or any couple who looks happy with each other, or watch (or read) any love stories, heck..any signs of affection...
he will feel that pain...it's like someone stabbing a knife, lightly, to his chest...just above the stomach...& that dull, aching pain runs it course to his heart...ending with a thud..

Don't judge him wrong. He's not anti-social. Far from it. He likes humans. Has many friends.
He's happy for all the loving couples, loving families of this world.
He cheered when Sally Albright finally made it up with Harry Burns, cried tears of joy when Joe Fox kisses Kathleen Kelly at the Riverside Park, and clapped when Lucy Moderatz married Jack Callaghan on the Chicago train.
He's happy seeing his friends, with their wives or husbands, or their couple, & also his friends' childrens, happy in just seeing them happy, sharing the happiness & making them his own happiness.

It's just that, seeing all these things reminded him, time & again, "Where is my own happiness?"

Because for him, there's no one to go home to.
Every time he gets back from the hospital, drives back home, opens the door, ...he repeated Michelle Pfeiffer's line from Batman Returns.."Honey, I'm home....owh, I forgot, I'm not married"...over & over, every single day...
Thank God for Sabine, who shares his apartment.
Now before you get all worked up ("there, you said he has nobody? Who's Sabine?") , bear in mind that Sabine's scientific name is Felis domesticus. "Well, it's you & me again for tonite, Sabine."....he will say, absent-mindedly patting Sabine on the head, or scratching her chin...watching re-runs of The Simpsons on cable tv.
He knows, of course, that Sabine can never truly replace human companionship. But, Sabine's all that he got on a daily basis.
He does have his family, his parents, & his sisters. But he doesnt want to trouble them too much.
His parents live within 30 minutes' drive from his place. He's a filial son. He loves his parents so much, & tried to visit them every weekend, or at least once a fortnight.
His parents also love him dearly, but whenever his back is turned, his mother would gaze sadly at his back, sensing that her only son is really lonely & unhappy, deep down, but she choose not to say anything, so as not to hurt his pride.
& his sisters already have their own families. He adores his brother-in-laws too.Approved of them. Angah now have 3 doting angels now, Adik is expecting her 2nd child.
His nephew & nieces always greet him happily, on his occasional visit once or twice a month, asking "Uncle, Uncle! What do you bring us this time?"...and for a moment he forgot all his worries, & treat them like his own children..but then the time comes for the visit to end, & with a peck to his sisters' cheeks & "see u later Sis" & bidding goodbye to their husbands..the pain resides again in his chest, like it was meant to be there all along. & his sisters' gazes are similar to his mother's.

Time is running out for him. Did I mention that he's not the youngest of his siblings? No, in fact he's the eldest of the three.
Yes, in a Malay society, he's the Pak Long (eldest uncle), albeit a weird Pak Long, because you would expect that as a Pak Long, he would have the most kids. Not in this story, no.

His gaze is distant, as a man who is resigned to his fate.
If you see into his dark eyes, they will feel bottomless.
As if his eyes has the power to suck you into a vortex. A black hole.
The eyes of a man who is weary, who has weathered a lot of heartbreaks.
The eyes of a man with a lonely, broken heart...
How does he become like this?...a story for another time...perhaps...

continued in Not taking his own medicine

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