A wandering bee

Tomorrow is Friday and Fakhrul wanted to go out spending time alone again. He never thought of it as unusual though commonly people would want to go out in group. One day, he went out with his sister and he has to surrender to certain matters like choice of movie and where to go next etc etc. Also when he spent with his friends and ended up tailing the group anywhere which to him is uninteresting. Therefore, to make matters fair and square for everyone, he decided to spend his time alone happily.

~ 13 – 04 – 2007, Friday 12.24pm ~

Piety you may call it when the bees flying around guarding the house and alternating shifts never fail to serve the queen. Somewhere in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, it survived. Its trademark of buzzing sound fails attraction from people as they fear of getting stung. A bee is on the hunt for flowers, when it saw a figure passing nearby. Gigantic figure that it feels threatened. But the figure doesn’t portray harm, maybe it is just passing through.

The figure is Fakhrul. And he is not bothered of the bees although he is aware that their house is near to his home. But he has other things to think. As a Muslim, Fakhrul tries his best to practice the way of Islam. Although, at times he missed his prayers or not praying at other times, he tries not to miss them again with pledges after pledges. He realizes that as a person, one is imperfect. But that does not mean practice can be MISSED.

So, the plan is to KLCC to watch a movie yet to be decided and, Fakhrul is at the bus stop now.

The actual plan is to stop at Masjid Jamek to perform the precious Juma’at prayer which is compulsory for the Muslim males. It is special because preach is heard before the prayer which is conducted by the Imam (leader). Fakhrul remembered during a session after Maghrib prayer, the imam preached about the Juma’at prayer.

“Why are only the males perform Friday prayer and not the females? Maybe it is due to that the female’s role is only in the KITCHEN. There is no time for them to perform the Jumaat prayer and whats more; it would leave little space for majority of people to pray. Agree or disagree?”

Fakhrul laughed at the intentionally provoking statement and his interest grew when he heard this :

“It has been as such since the era of the Prophet of Muhammad p.b.u.h. that adult males are responsible to carry out the Juma’at prayer. In contrast, the females can join the prayer but it is not heavily tasked on them. I have my own opinion on this matter. In the Quran there are proofs of sayings that the male is lifted as the leader because on certain characteristics which are absent in the females. Of course, we, the males do not have some characteristics in females which make both of us in need of each other to come into completion especially in the family institution where wife teams up with husband to take care of the family matters. Therefore, the leader must ACKOWLEDGE himself with the current state of the world which may affect his family especially in the aspect of social. That is why, in my opinion, the males are COMPULSORY to attend the Friday prayer to obey the Almighty and learn the latest issues that will HELP him to lead his family at the right path.”

And from that moment, he never felt so pressured to carry himself as a male. And having a family is now a terrifying thought for him. However, he laughed to himself as marriage matter stays a long way ahead as he is still unemployed and yet to be called a graduate. From afar, he sees the Metrobus bus coming. He boarded and found a seat for himself. Fakhrul canceled his intention to pray at Masjid Jamek as he performs in a nearer mosque at Titiwangsa and he can straight shoot off to KLCC using the LRT commuter after prayer. The bus stopped at Chow Kit and he walked until to the mosque.

~12 – 04 – 2007, Thursday 9.00am~

“Take it or leave!” Timah protested.

“Please, can we argue somewhere else?” Teja pleads.

It is early in the morning and a couple is arguing at the side of the road in a housing area. The birds humming generate serenity in the cold morning. But Timah’s scream destroys the expected feeling of serene.

“Why did not you listen to me? I told you to bring it along, didn’t I??!” Timah shouted.

“Yes I remember it now. You don’t have to shout for such a small matter as this. Besides, many of them here are still sleeping. For God sake, its only a bloody hand phone case.” Teja is not satisfied and rationalized the situation.

“ooo now you call me a maniac for making noise? It’s the case I love the most!! That why!” Timah explained rather foolishly

“I can’t believe this. First of all, I did not call you a MANIAC. Secondly, the hand phone’s case is not a big issue. And I can always bring it for you in the next class. Whats the fuss?” Teja is again unsatisfied.

“No!! its either you take it or leave now!” Timah gives Teja no choice.

Some windows are opened now. The heads plucked out from the window like a blossoming flower, enjoying the scene usually caught on tv series. And the birds humming have changed. Maybe the screaming has disturbed their focus to sing like in an orchestra, when a soprano goes out of tune, the immersion in a song is shaken that the percussionist can play wrongly.

“Come on, Timah oi. Stop this, lets go somewhere to settle it” Teja pleads again.

“Take It or leave!!” Timah stands in her decision.

“I beg you. Please” Teja did the unthinkable act, he begged.

-SILENCE-

The couple is right outside Teja’s renting place and all of the house members witnessed the drama from inside. Fakhrul is inside too. The scene horrifies and shocked them. Teja is not a person who easily begs. It shows the level of desperation when he had to. Deep inside Fakhrul’s mind, a lot of thoughts are bothering him especially the way his close friend is being treated by a mere female.

“Teja deserves someone better” Fakhrul thought.

“I think the relationship won’t last. Or am I hoping the relationship won’t?” Fakhrul assumed.

~ 13 – 04 – 2007, Friday 3.24pm ~

The LRT train ride was not bad as it is not the peak hour yet. And finally, the journey reached KLCC which is right at the ground floor adjacent to the train station. Fakhrul makes his way the floor flooded with people, mostly are not talking and have their focus ahead in comparison to fly with the silent swarm of bees without even the buzzing noise.

“But this is a wonderful day for myself” Fakhrul told himself

“Lets ignore the silence and enjoy the surrounding” He said to himself

Opposite the Everything Store, there stood a lady and a young man. But there is something peculiar about the man. He has a long face but with a funny low forehead and two large eyes that stares at people around daringly. Fakhrul knows right away that the young man is a Down Syndrom patient.

“Wow, it’s a miracle that he has managed to live to this day” Fakhrul analysed as Down Syndrom patients don’t survive long.

And the lady, obviously ashamed with the noise made by the man, and Fakhrul assume she is the mother. But the lady never sigh, she maintains the conversation with the man.

“What do you see?” the lady asked

“People!! Look at them! Its People!!!!” the man exclaimed.

“Do you like them?” the lady encouraged

“People!! Its People!!!!” the man exclaimed again.

The young man keeps screaming but the lady never tries to shut him up. He wonders why?

Maybe it’s the love of a mother to her son which is shown here or the positive-minded lady who has confidence in her son? But in fact, it must have been hard to accept at first. A great patience and incredible belief, she must have.

There is a TV screen in a shop which plays the trailer of the animation movie called Bee. And he saw a swarm of bees buzzing around looking for food while chatting to each other. It looks very much alive like us human being as they also come with sizes and different but similar body shape. Somehow, it is funny to see the relation of us with the rest living beings. Is it sinful to kill a cockroach? What about deforestation, killings of tones of plants? Fakhrul remembered the mother, if she is greedy or too ambitious, the down-syndrome man would be a symbol of failure in her life. Heart-wrenching it would be, if the sick man is left abandoned.

“Ahh the swarm of bees, I am buzzing through….”Fakhrul said to himself and he continues to loiter around in a mist of people in KLCC.

~ 13 – 04 – 2007, Friday 3.40pm ~

“Well, what do you think of this colour?” Timah asked

“Hmm  as a person who thinks extraordinarily, the dark green would appeal unsuitable on you” Teja commented  foolishly

“Yeah rite!” Timah lay a weak punch on Teja’s right hand

A sweet looking Chinese lady is patiently attending Timah with her demands. It is essential to be in need of the customer as to convey their appreciativeness although it is a bit irritating. At the end of the day, at the paying section, the bill will become a sudden nightmare. Whats more in a lavish Voir design?

“Honey, I wish to have a pair of those!” Timah exclaimed

“You can only wish…..” Teja said

“I REALLY wish I can…” Timah said softly as if persuading Teja to purchase it

Teja moved away to another section, avoiding Timahs cries of needless necessities.

“Now I understand when man complains whenever woman goes shopping” Teja thought whiningly

After the morning incident yesterday, he is too embarrassed to face his housemates. When he swayed to his back in frustration, he saw the curtain moved. His reputation is sullied by his own love. But he is not giving up. Every second, he lays a hope that the relationship will last till the birth of grandchildren.  Giving up now is not the time yet. What can be said of a 3 years relationship? How can it ended just like that?

“Maybe we should go for a date somewhere else so that, we could spend the time together and not shopping” Teja cried in his heart

“Timah, can we go?” Teja asked

“No!! Wait for a moment…” Timah protested

Teja puts an arm around Timah

“Can’t you stop the adrenaline flow of shopholism in you for a second? And let your heart focus on the TWO of us?! ” Teja strictly whisper in Timah’s ears

-SILENCE-

Looking deep in Teja’s pleading eyes, Timah melted. She realized how Teja needs her badly. A rush warm pair of fingers slid into hers and she is being led outside in the middle of people walking in the uncontrolled traffic. The chinese lady look confusedly at the pair of customers walking away in a moment while thinking maybe she needs to increase her decency. Teja and Timah are walking side by side slowly, with his arm around her and some pair of eyes laid on them, some are jealous on the so-called romantic scene, Teja smiled to Timah. A stunned Timah is taken into security of “tender” love.

Opposite Voir design boutique, Fakhrul sat on the bench and has witnessed the whole scene by the grace of the Almighty’s fate.

“Yesterday was hell, Today is heaven?” Fakhrul thought

It is going to be 4.00 pm. Fakhrul rush to the top floor to reach Kinokuniya as planned. The swarm of bees works faithfully for the queen as she in return, gives birth to the progenies of future armies and workers. At some point, he is grateful that Timah is not the queen bee for Teja or perhaps not yet. Something grumbles inside Fakhrul and he realizes his stomach is asking for some energy input. The bees depend on the production of honey for food. But Fakhrul couldn’t think that human can depend on one particular food. That’s impossible to FOLLOW. Maybe some pancakes with honey will make the day! And he wanders at the food court before heading Kinokuniya.

“Mommy! Mommy!! I want the Spongebob toy!” screamed a boy

“No! Its too big, there is no space in your room for that” said the mother rather straightforward

“I want it!” said the boy demanding

“I said no!” said the mom strictly

Fakhrul has entered Kinokuniya and he hears cries of a small boy pointing to the huge yellow sponge toy while stamping his leg vigorously. And there is a lady by his side, with an irritating look on her face. Controlling the kids is not easy. Fakhrul remembers his father used to beat him every now and then when he was small misbehaving.

He looks at his watch and it shows 5.01 p.m.

“I’m getting late, mom wouldn’t be happy if I get home before Maghrib” he thought

The people in the bookstore are different, a particular swarm of bees. Instead of walking around, they prefer to sit / stand with a book, reading, which is unpleasant for the Kinokuniyas as they want the money from the benefit of reading. Comparative in the bee’s world definition : more honey please! Thank God, bees don’t sell honey. And like a bee got unable to find a flower, Fakhrul couldn’t find the particular book he wants. He search from relevant section to section but ended up frustrated.

“Hey, looks who is here!” a voice came

“Oh, goodness! Its you Teja!” Fahrul said excitingly

“What a coincidence!” said Timah

“A coincident indeed!” replied Fakhrul, flashing back the memory at the Voir

“Looking for something?” asked Teja

“Uh-huh and I’ve not been successful” said Fakhrul

A familiar white book, red colored backbone with the title CHEMISTRY caught Fakhrul’s attention in the hands of Timah.

“Oh dear! That’s the book!” exclaimed Fakhrul

“This one?” asked Timah

“Yes! Where did you take it?” again Fakhrul asked

“There are still a plenty of them at the right corner of the Science section” replied Timah

“Hey, Rul, let me take you there” offered Teja

“Ok. Thanks a lot. I really thought I won’t find the book” said Fakhrul

“Nahh there is service counter for you to ask” said Timah

“Hmm the queue is long. Maybe you can settle the payment while I take Fakhrul to the section, and we’ll meet you at the counter?” suggested Teja

“Alright, don’t be late!” said Timah happily

Love is blind. That’s the right phrase for Timah and Teja’s situation. Neither Fakhrul nor anyone else can reverse the feelings. It is impossible to diminish the love. Deep inside, he realizes that Teja will have a hard time. Although at the moment, they look settled after yesterday’s incident. Isn’t it odd? One day, Timah is thought to be brought by satan and next, she can be angel. After a few words of pleadings, of course!

“Deep in thought?” asked Teja

“huh?” said Fakhrul, confused

“hey, I am really sorry about yesterday incident. Timah’s shouting must’ve disturbed your sleep” said Teja

“Well.. it is ok..” replied Fakhrul

“What is in your mind? You look lost in your own world” said Teja

“Am I? ha ha ha ha Its just that, I’ve been here for some time. Im a bit tired. Mom would be expecting me. I need to get back home fast.” explained Fakhrul

“hmm mamma’s boy!” exclaimed Teja

“well, what can I say….. ha ha ha ha”

And they laughed when they reach the Science section. Teja took the book for Fakhrul.

“This section is hidden. No wonder, I missed it!” said Fakhrul

Teja smiled.

“Well, it is a bit hidden. Timah has to request the location of the book to acquire it” said Teja

“Shall we?” asked Teja

“Lets go! Hey wait… I think I have not enough money. I’ll go and withdraw some money.” said Fakhrul and walked off hurriedly pass the entry gate

“Hey, Fakhrul come back!!” screamed Teja

An alarm rocked Kinokuniya for a minute. The guard has Fakhrul at the hand. He is confused as he looks at his feet touching the floor further outside Kinokuniyas entrance with the unpaid book in his right hand.

“Lord Allah! What have I done?” terrified Fakhrul

Policy. Policy. Policy. That’s what the employees have been saying over and over to him. But thank goodness, there is no police report. Home is a safe place, it should be. An unsafe home is a not a home. For the bees, their home are not only the storage of food but also the place to rest, for the queen to lay eggs, for the progenies to be trained etc Home is the world for the bees. When it is attacked, the armies will take charge. And for Kinokuniya, Fakhrul has violated the ‘home’. But, innocent as he is, the book must be paid by any cost. As the invaders to the bee’s home, the army recognizes them as enemy and will charge at them, without doubt.

~ 13 – 04 – 2007, Friday 7.10pm ~

“You are sooo not lucky today” said Timah

“Haih…” sigh Fakhrul

“Thank God, Im here for you. It’ll be difficult if you are alone.” said Teja

“Yes. I am so thankful for that. Thanks for making the payment. I’ll return the money when we meet again in Shah Alam” Fakhrul promised

“Sure. That’s not a problem” said Teja

As they walk pass by shops after shops, Fakhrul saw the Speedy Video shop which has two big televisions in front showing Bee movie again. The faithful swarm of bees is flying freely in the air in service of the queen. He then looks ahead of him and saw the people walking briskly everywhere. Teja and Timah are walking happily while holding hands. Flashback of yesterday’s quarrel is playing in his mind and confusion took over him that he understood people can change in a split second. What about the latest issues happening around the world? Did he happen to hear that more and more Muslims are betraying the religion itself?

“Look People!!!” a middle age guy exclaimed

“You are excited don’t you” said a lady

It is the Down Syndrom man and the lady. Looking at them, make Fakhrul feels less obliged to have a thought about his future.

“A marriage is like a building a company” he thought

You have plans or in other words, projects to carry out. Somehow, there are complications to accomplish them. Rectification is vital. In conclusion, at the very initial stage, proper planning is a must. A greedy heart will not reach happiness. And there is no exact formula. Some companies become bankrupt although the plan is wonderfully made. Some improper plans become successful. Its all in the hands of Almighty. We can plan but God decides. And everything happens for a reason.

He look in front and saw Teja point a finger on Timah’s nose. She chuckled.

“As a friend, I think both acquire the good qualities but as love couple, I am in doubt” he thought quietly

If yesterday was hell, today is heaven. What makes tomorrow?

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