Seems that I have been held in some dreaming state. A tourist in the waking world, never quite awake. And no peace, no gentle word, can wake me from this slumber. Until I realize that it was you who held me under.
At first, there was total silence. Not just auditory silence, but visual as well. If one could imagine a void that is, well, void of any substance, that place is it. But one cannot imagine such void, as their imaginations will fill that void with concept. Whilst a true void does not contain any. It is just a nothingness that is even devoid of the concept of nothingness. A black hole devoid of darkness, as light is a concept unknown to it. A blizzard of illogical. Like the pages of Murakami’s Strange Library. Or the comprehension of suicide by sane men.
Then, there was a spark. Not a big bang. Just a little spark, almost shy of its own existence. Then the place went from a void to a white space. There is a noise that is almost unbearable, yet almost unnoticeable, engulfing the whole space. That, is the sound of silence. In that silence that encroaches the whole of the space’s existence, the sound of lapping water came into motion.
Also almost unrecognizable at first, but grew more prominent with the passing of time.
And at that exact moment, time flowed into existence too. It wasn’t clear which was first, the sound of lapping water or the flow of time. But it is clear that with both growing more in concept, the bubbles rocked back and forth at the vague end of the water and at the vaguer start of sand. Then, when realizing what is what, water, bubble, and sand, the space’s lower part has been born into an image of a beach.
And gravity took hold of me.
And here I stand, on a dusty beach.
And the world started to revolve.
Then, in that half-filled world, the sound of boiling water came to my ears. The smell of coffee stroked the lining of my nose. And the warmth of a home embraces me from behind, enveloping me in a familiar feeling I’ve never felt before. In that building of sorts, as only part of it is visible to my senses, I could see the floor made of wood, and a number of tables and chairs in the interior of the yet complete building. As I was looking on, the walls started to sprout out like plants bathed in sun and rain. A few books lined the wall where built-in shelves are placed. And then the sound of slow music entered the world when an old radio came into view. The radio was atop of a small rack, and beneath it are lines of cassettes in their clear plastic casings.
Then, the walls started to shape up the entirety of the room. The ceiling came after it. And now I am encased in a room that looks like a cafe filled with books and music and little pots made of cut-out and plaka-coloured bottles. In them, a few types of plants, a cactus in the one at the end of the counter, and plastic bouquet in the one near the entrance. And with that last detail, the room felt complete. The transition from void to world ended, and time flowed like the negative on a rolling pin on a projector whilst the light of events splay out the images on the canvas that is this world.
Then you came in through the entrance. Face all oily, a streak of weariness on your forehead. You look tired nonetheless, yet in that tired face, a light of relief that you’ve made it home. I asked how was your night, and you replied it was terrible. You then came to me at the counter, and I laid a cup of coffee freshly prepared in front of you. You closed your eyes, letting the steam carry you to a faraway land for a fraction of a second, only to open it and look me into the eye. Clover? you asked. With cinnamon, I added. Then the line of your lips curved a little. And with that I say to you, welcome home.
What’s for breakfast, you asked. Your pick of either my special nasi lemak bolognese, the last pages of Dost’s Karamazov which I marked with Diana’s newest handmade bookmark, or a warm bath filled with lavender scenting. Your pick, I answered calmly. You shook your head. I want all of them, you demanded greedily. I’ll give you all, plus a back rub until you snore like the spoiled brat you are, I answered cheekily. Oh, at least I don’t snore as bad as you, you said in your defense with arms crossed. At least you slept better with a lullaby in the background, right, you added with a smirk. And to that naughty smile, I was defeated.
Where are the kids, you asked. Diana is reading The Cat in The Hat in the living just a while ago, and Harith is still trying to figure out why his windmill doesn’t work. Aliff is of course at school. Is he still sulking, you asked again. He’s still pouting, but he’ll get over it. Everyone knows mama is busy. Tell him you’re sorry and give him a hug once he’s back, and he’ll be okay, I said in a positive tone. But your eyes dimmed. Your fingers touch the edge of the porcelain mug like it was a fragile thing.
I don’t know, you said, your eyes towards the black of the coffee. He’s been quite mad at me lately. I couldn’t attend his story-telling competition. I overslept on sports day. And this time, I was called in for an emergency, when I should’ve gone to take his report card.
Seeing you in distraught, I held my hand on your shoulder. Your fragile frame, trembling by the thought that her son may hate her now. I wanted to take it all, all your despair, all your worries, so that you can live free and easy. I want you to always smile and be proud of yourself. I want you to live easy and without regret.
I want to love you.
But that, too, I cannot do. Because, as sudden as this world came to be, it ended abruptly.
And here I am, again, in the void.
14th February 2018