I was tidying my extremely messy bookshelf when I came across an old 2008 diary ( the type that companies usually hand out to business customers). Curiousity piqued, i flipped through the pages and came up with a few pages of rough draft that I had TOTALLY forgotten it existed. As with most of my stories.. it “mati separuh jalan”, which means that I never got down to finishing it XD
Anyway, here it is:
It was nearly midnight.
The rusty old green and white bus finally pulled to astop at the Pudu Bus Terminal after almost 5 hours. The journey from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur through the North-South Expressway would’vr taken 2 and a half hours at most, but ill luck and poor maintenance had caused the vehicle to break down halfway. Frustrated passengers grumbled and waited impatiently, while the bus driver made calls to highway patrol, the mechanic and headquarters to try and get the bus up and running as soon as possible. An hour later, help finally arrived to get the bus fixed.
And so it was that the passengers aboard Suria Express 35 Ipoh-KL arrived at their destinatin 3 hours later than scheduled: hungry, angry and exhausted. They got down from the vehicle in silence, too tired to say anything. The luggage compartment at the side of the bus was popped open and everyone lunged for their bags, eager to get out of the place as soon as possible.
Among those onboard that ride was a tall, handsome youth of around eighteen. He had pale skin, small Asian eyes that slanted upwards at the corners of each, and sharp elfin ears with huge garrish earrings studded on them. His hair was spiked and raven black; he wore baggy cargo pants and an oversized T-shirt. He was one of the last to get down from the bus because he had fallen asleep and had to be shaken awake by the driver. After taking his things, he looked around for a place to sit and spotted an empty bench. He walked over quickly and plopped himself down onto the seat before anyone else could cut him to it.
The young boy’s name was Lee Weng Shen, better known as Shen among his friends. Shen now sat and rested, wiping the sweat off his face with the back of his hand. The bus station was busy, crowded and smelly, even at this time. There were many people travelling by late night bus. Shen looked down at the luggage he had dumped on the floor. 2 sports bags and 3 plastic bags bulging with his stuff. That about summed up his worldly possessions. Shen sighed, pondering what to do next. He had not expected to arrive so late at night. Where would he sleep tonight? He did’nt really have much money. He rummaged in his bags for a moment and whipped out……
A crummy piece of paper.
Written on it in somebody’s scrawly handwriting was an address. The writings were faded, the paper already yellow from time and wear, but the words were still visible.
Shen’s thoughts strayed back to the time he was at his Ah Ba’s deathbed at the hospital. His dad had always been a little sick, but he refused to visit the doctor. No time, no money were his excuses. It came as a rude shock to both father and son when the former was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer. There was nothing doctors could do about it. Ah Ba had clasped Shen’s hands, telling him to be a good and useful person. And he had given Shen that yellowed piece of paper.
“If you need help, go find Ah Ba’s old friend. His name’s Ray Tang,” his father rasped in a slow and effortful voice. “Good luck, my son.”
And the old man gave up the ghost. Shen had no chance of asking further about this mysterious Uncle Ray.
For the next few weeks, Shen hid in his house, refusing meals and avoiding contact with the outside world. His mum had passed away in a car crash many years ago and it was his dad that had single-handedly raised him, so Shen was very attached to his “old man”, as he liked to refer to him. Shen’s friends grew worried about him and they visited him as often as they could, giving him encouragement and support. Amomg them, Swee Ching was the one that laboured the most. She accompanied Shen most of the time, making meals for him and cleaning up his increasingly cluttered home. Her care and patience slowly brought him out of his depression state. It was’nt long before he was himself again.
It was then that he decided to seek out the friend that his dad had mentioned before he died. There was no phone number, no way of contacting this person except for an address on a piece of paper that looked a couple of decades old. That meant that he would have to go there himself and find this Uncle Ray. He was reluctant to leave because he had fallen in love with the kind and pretty Swee Ching, his childhood friend in the village. Nevertheless, he made up his mind.
Shen had lived in the village all his life with his dad, so he had never assumed his dad had any friends far away in big cities, simply because his dad seldom ventured out of the village. A sense of curiousity filled him, along with a sense of regret that he had not asked to know about his dad’s past before, thinking that he would always be around. He was only fifty at the time of his death.
How fragile human life can be.
So Shen quit his job at the restaurant where he was working as a kitchen helper and made all the necessary arrangements, getting ready for his big trip. Being somewhat uneducated and not so well off, Mr Lee had not bought insurance, so Shen was virtually left with nothing. The landlord was kind enough to waive the rent Shen owed him in light of the recent events…….
Ok. That was all I wrote. I’ve been cracking my head as to what my intended story line was about, but I simply couldnt recall anything.Will probably continue the story when I’ve found back the general idea.