Strolling down the paved pathway with my fingers tightly clasped around my little sister’s wrist. I breathed in the fresh air and allowed the soothing wind to determine my route. The serene park was quiet as the sun was just rising, its ray of light peeping through the clouds. The plants in the garden glistened with dewdrops and seemed as if they were bathing in the early morning sun. My sister and I decided to stop for a little while and sat on one of the beautifully painted purple benches.
It was indeed a beautiful park. The park was a kaleidoscope of colours as pink, yellow and orange flowers dance gracefully in the breeze. I let my mind rested when suddenly a figure of a homo sapien caught my attention. It was an old man. A very old man. He was wearing a shabby grey coat with patched-up black pants. His unkempt black hair was hidden under his brown cap. What a fashion. The old man looked as fragile as glass. He looked as if he could break any moment from now. I could feel tears started to form at the back of my eye. That old man reminded me of my childhood days, the days that I learned that it did hurt when the person you love with all your heart vanished from your sight, in a blink of eye.
Being the one and only grandchild that my grandparents had, I had been pampered with love and attention for i was the only grandchild that my grandparents had. We were bestfriends and we enjoyed each others’ company. He was the one that always lent his shoulder for me to cry on when I was sad. He was always there to tickle me with his endless joke. To put in simple, I was the apple of his eye. I just love him so much and only Allah knows how I can’t live without him by my side.
Life is inded unpredictable. At first, the sun looked like a huge ball of fire. Then, suddenly, there were alternate bands of black, grey and white on the sky. I was alone at home one day when suddenly the phone rang. It must be mum. I ran downstairs and grabbed the phone.
“Hello mum!”, I said.
My mum’s wavering tone alarmed me slightly. Granda had been rushed to hospital. I was shocked. This just couldn’t be happening.
“I’ll be home late, dear” said mum succinctly.
I put the phone down and whispered my prayer to Allah. I hoped granda would be alright. I knew he would. I hoped.
I went early to the hospital the next morning accompanied by my dad. The doctor said that granda’s condition was not improving. The frail man laid lifelessly on the inclined bed with tubes and breathing aids all over his body. Mum and her siblings were losing hope. They were far to distraught to show their pent-up emotion. I tried my best to remain calm and not to show my sadness. Slowly I walked away leaving the room. Before I left, i whispered to granda
“Granda, don’t leave me. I love you so much”
I left him with hope but as the saying goes”If you hope, get ready for disappointment”
I couldn’t sleep that night especially when the most important person in my life was battling for his life. The multitude chirping birds woke me up the next morning. The beautiful song sang by them didn’t manage to shower my heart with happiness. I was just about to leave the house when suddenly the phone rang, “Luqman, granda was no longer with us”, mum said sadly. Her voice shook as she spoke. I went weak at the knees. I had lost my bestfriend, my heartbeat, my grandfather.
As a family, we performed the final ritual for granda who had embarked his journey to meet his creator. Death will ultimately pounce on all of us, sooner or later, unannounced. Who were we to dictate the cycle of life? no one! I had let granda to go albeit with a laden heart. Before we left granda’s house, I went up to his room to ensure that it was in a good condition. I opened the door and scanned the whole room when suddenly a neatly wrapped package caught my attention. The package was addressed to me. Luqman. I opened it and was overwhelmed to see a framed-photo of my grandfather and me. I read the note.
Happy birthday, baby. You have grown up to become a very smart boy. Luqman, the only armour that we had been given to survive in this life is our heart. When the heart stops hoping, our mind stop believing and we stop believing. So, believe in your heart. I may not always be there forever to guide you in the roads of life. I love you so much.
Streams of tears rolled down my cheek. I felt lost and helpless. Suddenly, I felt a hand lied on my shoulder. I lifted up my gaze and was shocked to see my granda by my side.
“Do not cry, Luqman. I am sorry. I may have gone but I’ll always be in your heart. Put your hand on your heart, feel the heartbeating, there is where I’m staying. Goodbye Luqman”.
My day-dream broke into pieces when that old man lied his hand on my shoulder. He asked me why I was crying and sympathized with him after he had explained everything. Then, we said our goodbye and went our separate ways.
PREPARED BY : LUQMAN HAKIM HARIS. 5ST1 2011 SMK TUMPAT.
EDITED : AINUL MARDHIAH ABD WAHAB, SMKT.