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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Skin That Didn't Break

Zahra opens her eyes reluctantly to the yells of her mother.

“Zahra!! Bangun!! Dah pukoi brapa dah ni!? Takmaw pi sekolah ka!?”

With a frown, she props herself on the side of her bed and sits for a bit before her mother’s voice again invades her room.

“Dok tunggu apa lagi!? Pi mandi cepat!! Dah pukoi brapa dah ni!?”

And with that she showers and put on her school uniform. After combing her hair, she stares at herself in the mirror without moving for almost a full minute before the expected

“Zahra! Hang dok termenung apa lagi tu!? Dah pukoi brapa dah ni pi makan breakfast tu!!”

She makes her way to the dinner table and eats the singular piece of bread spread with kaya served on the table.

She takes her pink school bag and puts her Warrior shoes on. She kisses her mother’s hand and her mother replies with the expected 

“Cepat lari pi sekolah pi! Dah lambat dah ni!”

She makes her way down the stairs of the flat building her family’s apartment is in, all six flights of it, and joins the horde of school uniform wearing primary school children walking to the school which was less than a kilometre away. She lets out a sigh. She walks head down following the flow of school children.

Halfway to the school, near a big pipe that has a metre sticking out of its middle, Zahra spots a dead rat. Her eyes widen as she crouches down to take a closer look. The rest of the school children walk past her.

The dead rat isn’t dead yet. It is still breathing. She could see that the rat’s body was still moving. Zahra takes a look around. People walk past her without as much as a glance.

She picks the rat up. She can feel the rat’s warmth on her hands. She can even feel its heartbeat. She is careful not to drop the rat.

She turns around and goes back in the direction of the apartment building. She is walking with urgency, almost jogging, but she is careful not to drop the rat.

Other school children glare at her. They seem bewildered by where this girl could be going and what she is holding in her hands. They turn back to look at her when she walks past for a few seconds before looking back in front of them and continue walking and talking to their friends.

Zahra walks back up the six flights of stairs and enters her family’s house, as the door was left open. She didn’t take off her shoes.

As soon as she enters the house, her mother who looks like she has just gotten out of the shower spots her. Her face immediately turns angry and she screams

“ZAHRA!! AWAT TAK DOK KAT SKOLAAAAAAAA!!! APA TUU!!”
Zahra’s mother points to the rat still in Zahra’s hands with a look of terror on her face. Zahra raises the rat so as to let her mother take a closer look.

“ZAHRA!! APA BENDA TU!! TIKUIH KAA!?” Zahra’s mother silently steps back towards the kitchen.

Zahra nods silently.

“PI BUANG KAT LUAQ KAIH!! PI BUANG PI!!” 

“Tapi..”

“TAPI TAPI APA!? PI BUANG KAT LUAQ!!” 

Zahra draws the rat back to her chest. She shakes her head left and right, left and right.

“Apa nak jadi la ngan hang ni! Orang kata pi buang, PI BUANG!” Zahra’s mother screams while reaching for the only broom in the house.

Tears start flowing down Zahra’s face.

“HANG DOK GHIYAU APA!? PI BUANG TIKUIH MAMPUIH TU LEKAIH!!”

With that, Zahra thrusts her hands with the rat in front of her again, and screams, “DIA TAK MATI LAGI!! TENGOK NI!!”

Zahra’s mother holds the broom with both her hands and swings it from below towards the rat. She hits the rat. The rat flies out of Zahra’s hands. Zahra screams in pain. The rat hits the moving ceiling fan. It hurtles towards the wall, hits it and falls on the floor. 

The rat’s head is almost decapitated. Only the skin on the back of its head is keeping it attached to the body. Blood is spilling from the rat and spreads around the rat.

Both Zahra and her mother stare at the rat, neither moving at all.


2 comments:

Cahaya said...

Kesiannyaaaaaa T.T
Ratatouille

Joy Lipao said...

The mom must be a former hockey player.