Around 8.45, I went to the Restu Cafe. I couldn't remember the last time I've been there. I noticed a reminder sticked to the notice board. It says students were prohibited from any "Scouting" activity. And all students must abide by this law to truly achieved the status of APEX University.
What "Scouting" ? The correct term is "Squatting". And still boasting about achieving APEX status, oh my...
I rarely took breakfast...usually I have "brunch", a cross between 'breakfast' and 'lunch'. I was due to meet someone today. I took nasi lemak with teh tarik. Actually I asked Ashikin for a breakfast together...maybe our last. She still didn't show herself up, so I waited for her at one of the tables.
Ashikin asked for a dinner together a week ago. But due to my packed schedule, the plan had to be shelved temporarily. With her due to depart home tomorrow morning, this breakfast was our last resort to meet for the last time.
A few yards in front, I saw a familiar girl. Eja...my fellow state-mate, whom I first met two years ago. That day, she narrowly escaped a fatal accident because of her negligence. I told her to be extra careful in the future...maybe she heeded my advice well then. She sat in the opposite direction, so she didn't notice me.
A fairly fine morning was fast turning into a sombre one. A mild rain showered the area. There was not many people around...an array of empty tables could be spotted easily. I hate farewell in whatever forms...but we must admit, for every beginning, there must be an ending.
Ashikin arrived moments later.
"Why bought breakfast before me? I'll pay for you..." She said while smiling.
"It's ok...I'm starving already..."
"Is it? Wait I'll order mine first..."
She picked her menu and sat next to me. Since I knew her three years ago, she never sat in front of me while we're out. Maybe she's too shy. This last time around, I asked her to sit in front of me."It's been a while...eh? Seems to me it was just last night we went to Mc'D together, remember?"
"What last night? More like this morning to me...hehe"
"Sad to leave USM?"
"A mixed feeling...but I won't be a student anymore...sad la..."
We had a light and cheerful chat before I swayed the topic of conversation towards Fuad. Fuad is her boyfriend. But I heard nasty rumours that they already broke up. I wanted to hear her confirmation on this difficult matter...but I can't be too direct.
She looked uneasy over the matter of Fuad. After a long silence (I was doing all the talking to cover my ineptitude...shouldn't have brought up the topic in the first place...my fault) she was ready to expose the truth.
"I think I should tell you something..." she says. "We broke up quite a while ago..."
"I don't know...maybe we're not meant for each other. There were some unresolved differences...we couldn't quite patch it up..."
"Since our last lunch together...remember?"
Our last lunch? That was a distant two months ago...
"During Chinese New Year, I think. He rarely messaged me...he was minding his own business. It sickened me to endure him behaving like that. I had this feeling that she still has feeling for her former lover. If only he could be frank with me..."
Be cruel to be kind?
"Something like that. No need to pamper my feeling if you're going to break it into pieces in the end. And why cry? That was uncalled-for..."
He cried? Fuad cried?
"Of course. He always did it. Maybe to gain my sympathy..."
I was left clueless by her sudden revelation...and had nothing to say to console her. She was clearly in a state of grief, and I have no idea how to soothe her feeling. After all, Fuad is my close friend as well. And it was me who matched them together in the first place.
Among girls, Ashikin will remain as my best friend ever for many years to come. She bought me "A Tale Of Two Cities", my favourite among classics, almost immediately after I told her about my preference. She organized a secret surprise party for my birthday. I heard somewhere that there was no such thing as " friendship between a boy a girl, without the interference of love". This was utter nonsense...our relationship is the ultimate proof of this fallacy.
She broke the silence moments later.
" I need to go...still have to meet somebody. Forgive me for all my misdeed or nasty behaviour...don't keep it to your heart..."
" It's ok...You've done nothing wrong...please forgive me also if I've done any wrong to you..."
"So...till we meet again...on your wedding day...ok?"
"That's a long shot away...you are before me..."
She left not long afterwards. 3 years...seems to me more like 3 days. Time really flies, isn't it?