|Jason Isaacs as Captain Cook in Peter Pan|
"You cakap nama you Allen?" I asked with a weird face. Of course it was weird; I was controlling this heavy thing in my chest. It was growing bigger and bigger.
Okay. What were you thinking? I mentioned in my chest. Not on my chest :)
"You have your name with your customers. I have mine," he said calmly.
"But mine was...what? Sasha and Sha were this gap," I showed him the space between my thumb and my forefinger.
"You ingat semua mat salleh ni reti sebut nama I ke, Cik Adik? Hello, open your mind. Get real. Nama Melayu ni susah nak sebut," his tone was cynical, I knew that.
"I like your real name better," I raised my eyebrows and stared at him.
"Apa yang you tahu pasal nama I?" he asked.
"Sangat best. Sangat Melayu dan sangat you."
He chuckled and drawled, "Oh...come on..."
His cynicism stopped there. He looked at me with a sharp stare.
"You are underestimating me, love," I smiled and challenged his stare.
He frowned. I saw him rubbing the skin above his left wrist. Well, I knew that was the right time to ask. He was in a casual mood, he talked nicely, he was sober. Great timing.
"Ceritalah. I love art work," I smiled softly. I was wishing very hard that he grew soft on that.
"Nothing. This...was history. Just stuck here. On my body," he gave a bitter smile.
I laughed. He frowned deeper.
"Gelak..." he sighed.
"Your story was boring! I was expecting some ghetto stories or brawls in the middle," I grinned.
"Taklah gangster mana pon. This was something I got when I was...away...you know," he gritted his teeth and forced a smile.
"Something the other boys were getting too?"
"The whole team?"
"Nope. Not the whole team. Some refused, of course," he was opening up a bit.
"Banyak sangat tengok movie la you nie, " he said.
"I love Jason Isaacs. He is like my dream guy. I know I sound stupid, but he is...a 'wooww' guy. Cuba you tengok mata dia bila pandang straight. Mata Yahudi. Fuuuhhh..." I made a dreamy face.
He laughed, "Jason Isaacs jahatlah. Mana pernah jadi baik. Yahudi pulak tu."
"Ada. Jason Isaacs ada jadi baik. Kan dia Clark Devlin dalam The Tuxedo tu? Dalam Armageddon dia jadi saintis yang hot walaupun pakai glasses. Tapi paling best masa dia jadi Colonel William Tavington. Dia sembelih orang pon ada kelas! Masa dia berlakon jadi Lucius Malfoy pon smart. " I grinned.
"As usual. That was why you loved me so much, remember?" I raised my eyebrows again.
He frowned. Then he sighed.
"You have something in your mind. Okay. I'll stop talking, " I said. I knew it.
This was it. This was it. This was it.
This was it. This was it. This was it.
"I dah lama tak balik...you know...and we just started to see each other...and this damn thing needs to be discussed."
That. Was. A. Good. Start.
"Why do you have to discuss it with me?"
"You wanted to know, didn't you? It would be discussed, sooner or later."
"Should it be discussed in the first place, love? That was you past and I was not part of it."
"But it would stuck here and people would notice and we need to give a damn answer. Bila sampai masa, apa I nak jawab, Sha? Apa you nak jawab?"
"You're underestimating me again, love," I was irritated. Aye, I was. But I had to keep calm. I knew that.
He let go of one deep breath.
"So, konon bila duduk dekat Scotland tak ada orang judgemental. Kat Malaysia ni adalah? Come on...those bloody Scottish were fucking racist too, aye? What a bloody shambles it was for me then."
Then he chuckled.
"You sound like me."
"Okay. This is our problem, then. This is what we need to discuss."
"Oi...you want me to stop cursing, aye?" I grinned.
I raised a gesture of surrender, "This will be stopped. Fine."
"I was a bloody mess. I don't need you to be damn understanding until you have to change the way you are thinking. This thing here...was...I don't know. Was it a mistake? Maybe. Is it a mess now? Aye, it is."
Death Eaters have snakes on their wrists. He got his shirt number there. Like navy in the movie. It was small, yet, it was apparent. Yet, to the culture, to the religion - it was a sin.
I was lying. It was not as if I felt neutral about it. He might be half Chinese with British education system running in his veins but I was still this typical Malay who had deep grass roots on Malaysian history. Nevertheless, should I be judgemental? Should I be like others who could not accept that this man in front of me went through the growing process which might be slightly different than a normal Malay boy in this whole damn continent?
"Malu?" I asked when he bent his head. He nodded.
"Ke takut sebenarnya?" Now...the tone of the voice was very important. He hated nagging females.
"Kenapa pulak? You were being very persistent before this, love."
"I've been thinking. I'm worried about you," he looked at me. I recognised the feeling when I looked back into his eyes.
"About me or for me?"
"If you're worried about me, then go to hell," I said simply.
"You started this and you set the expectation, and you were still worrying about my perception towards you. Wow. Excellent!"
"I'm serious. I don't want an acceptance and then a rejection."
"In which manner should I tell you, that I care?"
"You never say it out loud!"
"Ini...kat lengan ni. Terima ke? You have been in silence for weeks." He sighed.
I knew it. I knew he would ask. It was not as if I ignored the fact. I knew he would need the time. I was serving it in a gold platter. We were both too different. We were both the eldest in the family. We were both temperamental. But our culture, despite the title "Melayu" on our identity cards, were like KLCC and Kampung Kerinchi.
"You...bukan Johny Depp. You Jason Isaacs," I stared him while I said that.
"Jangan mengarut," his voice was rough.
|Johny Depp and Wynona Ryder|
"Tapi sampai sekarang I cuba fahamkan. Kenapa orang gila sangat dengan Johny Depp. Sebab dia handsome? Atau sebab dia pandai berlakon? Tak ada siapa pedulikan tatu big crime dia ke? Kalau I jadi bini, sah-sahlah tak best nak mengusap tatu bernama perempuan lain. Kan?"
"Melainkan you cakap, you buat ni sebab perempuan?"
"Tak!" the respond was immediate.
"Then, you're Jason Isaacs."
"Apa ni...cuba jangan cakap macam dalam wayang. Cik Adik, realiti ni Cik Adik."
"Recap balik apa I cakap pasal Jason Isaacs tadi, love."
"Yelah. I tau you suka dia. So?"
I raised the eyebrows.
"Then...you're Jason Isaacs. Find one common thing about you and him, love. Cepat," I urged.
"Jason Isaacs sembelih orang masa dia berlakon jadi Colonel William Tavington...was your dream guy..." then he stopped.
"Your dream guy," he breathed softly and lit his Dunhill.
"Tension ke?" I asked when he started to puff.
"God. You were awfully difficult to please!" he exclaimed.
"So there was God somewhere wasn't it?" I teased. That was the only way.
"Love, this thing here on your wrist is between you and Him. Ask Him, whether He is angry with you. Ask Him whether you should keep it. I'm just a human," I tried to make my voice as soothing as possible. I checked the temperature before I talked further. At the age of 23, I knew it was difficult to change the mind of of a guy who was 7 years elder than me.
He puffed. How could I deny that he was the one? I even felt comfortable with him and the smoke and the smell of his Dunhill Desire. I felt safe. I felt...loved. The word was strange but...hell, I felt it. He was capable. I knew it.
"There comes a point when you just love someone; not because they're good, bad, or anything really. You just love them the way they are."
He smiled then he nudged his elbow, "Are we an item now?"
"You said you were scared because you have tattoo and you were about to meet my parents. You said you were scared that I would not going to be able to accept you, our culture was different...yada...yada...yada...right?"
"I'm not asking you to take it off. I mean, it would be a very difficult situation and painful process. Aye?"
He was silent.
"I won't meddle in that. You asked me, frankly, I had no idea what to say. My name's Malay, the favourite food is petai and here, I am wearing a headgear."
"I don't care lah! Kan dah cakap? " Okay, now I sparked the anger.
"Hidup sekarang bukan macam dulu. Orang ni judge orang ni. Orang ni ada tattoo, yang pakai serban kutuk. Hah, yang awek pakai tudung bawal orang kutuk juga, tau? Jangan lupa," I had to say it. I had to say it. I had to!
"I tak tahu Burberry. I tak pergi shopping Harrods. The family's speaking in English but aye, they speak in Malay most of the time. I love Liverpool FC, but I'm a middle class villager who goes to Paroi Stadium. I don't go to Old Trafford like you lot," I raised my eyebrows and gave a challenging look.
"Tod's," he pointed at my handbag.
"Just making my point," he said as a matter of fact.
"Some people think that wearing tudung is a sin of the culture, love. Careful. We knew those people, okay. They might not say it directly, tapi budak pakai tudung kan stok-stok IPTA, stok-stok kampungan, bodek lecturer, tak reti converse in English, tak sporting atau sporty. Kan?"
"You je rasa?"
"Nay. Sama macam apa you rasa bila you ada tatu. You went against the religion. I went with it. Still kita sama-sama kena kutuk oleh golongan bertentangan kan?"
"Ini yang akan jadi kat kita. Both are coming from totally different direction. Siapa ubah siapa?" I was sad. Sad. Sad. Sad.
"Kita kisah pasal orang ke pasal kita?" his voice. That voice. Shit. Hated it but loved it at the same time.
"Mana ada mamat macho ada tatu dengan awek tudung bawal?"
I asked stubbornly.
I asked stubbornly.
"We'll be embarass together then. That will be more painful than removing this tattoo. Trust me," he said.
Before I managed to open my mouth...
"Dah beli tudung matching dengan Sommerset Bay baru you?"
"Belum lagi. The Understanding One."
"I beli kali ni," he said.
I wanted to object when he said, "Stop being too liberal and feminist. You're dating a Hitler."
I smirked and looked at the signboard. Borders. Without having to inform, he showed the way. My dream guy? In that sense, aye. In other ways? Well, love was strange. He was an antagonist in a movie.
"They will love you," he said with assurance.
"Someone is loving their son."
"Saya cinta anak Cikgu Kiah."
I smiled. Speechless.
(Anak Cikgu Kiah cinta awak juga!)
That was how it started.
Judgemental people until The Judgement Day :)