Wednesday, January 26, 2011

By The Water #2

"My brush can't seem to start again from scratch," The Artist by Alesana.


"Assalamualaikum. What would you like to drink?" she asked a table in which sat 4 men in their late twenties. It was only on noisy mornings like these where she felt safe giving the salam, because her father couldn't hear her. If he did, she knew that she was in for another ear-full with a lecture about not scaring away customers with kampung-ness and what not. As much as she loved him, she didn't agree with her father on several things, salam-giving being just one.

It was another busy Saturday morning at the restaurant. Nur corrected her headscarf as she was waiting for the people at the table to make up their minds on what to drink. They were in some sort of discussion among them and Nur didn't feel like she had any right eavesdropping on whatever they were talking about.

She glanced over to her father at the counter just in time to catch a glimpse of him pocketing a RM50 note into his breast pocket. She heaved a disappointed sigh and looked down on her notepad-cum-order taking pad. Minnie Mouse smiled back at her as if without a trouble in the world. Lucky Minnie.

"4 teh tariks," the head of the table disrupted her staring contest with Mrs. Mouse herself. She quickly jot that down.

"Anything else?" she asked with a half-smile.

"That's all," and with that response, she walked away from the table, ripped that page and clipped it on the "order clothesline" at the back of the shop, where a square hole was the only channel in which drinks would go out of. She took the hot Milo and two teh tariks to the table that ordered them near the front of the shop, and noticed a new customer arriving at an uncleared table. "Where's Ara when you need her?" she said to herself while making her way down to the table.

"Assalamualaikum. What would you like to drink?" she asked with that half-smile of hers while proceeding to clear the table from all the used nasi lemak wrappers. These things sure are popular. And rightly so. There were really good, and the restaurant was lucky to have such a talented nasi lemak maker as their supplier.

She asked again, "Excuse me sir, what would you like to drink?" since no answer came after she had collected all the rubbish and put it in one spot on the opposite side of the table from where the customer was sitting.

He seemed to be snapping out of a daydream. "Err, umh, I'll have one glass of warm milk please," came the order finally.

She duly jot that down and asked "Is that all?"

He seemed to hesitate for a while, but finally answered, "That's all."

That's one awkward person, she thought as she took the rubbish in one hand and threw it into the nearby dustbin near the foot of the counter. She stole another glance at her father while managing a half-smile. Her father looked up from his newspaper and gave a look that can only be interpreted as "Why aren't you working?" and she went about her way to the back of the restaurant to place the order and find the 4 teh tariks waiting for her.


May peace be upon you.



Jo said...

hi anwar! its been a while..been reli bz i said, wait patiently & my comment wil appear 1 day =)
i got interested in " By the water " especially in d 2nd episode..haha, well, jo wil try her best 2 b a loyal reader of ur short story..keep up d nice work! :D

anak pak man said...

hehe, thanks! I'll try to keep you guys happy.. :D

anonauthor said...

No offence :) and I hope you take this as a constructive criticism. The storyline is interesting but honestly, your style of writing is quite plain. You should add.. more colours to it. Figuratively that is. I know you can do better than this.

Keep it going though :)

Aneesah said...


very nice writing so far, mashaAllah. (I'm marathon-ing all the parts tonight, short stories on blogs are my favourite. ^^)

Am I allowed to correct your spelling at all? :P "There were really good" <-- "They were really good", riiight?