Anyway people, yesterday is Tuesday and therefore a pasar malam day for residents living this side of Shah Alam. As usual on a pasar malam day, the protagonists of this story, a set of husband and wife would be calling each other to discuss if they are going to pasar malam together-gether or indeed if they are going at all.
Wife : Dah nak balik ke ?
Husband : No, still kat office.
Wife : Oh. Err… pasar malam hari ni. Nak pegi ke ? Should I wait for you ?
Husband : Well, I baru nak keluar.
Wife : So, I wait for you ?
Husband : Ha… you balik dululah, then tengoklah macamana nak pegi ke tak nak. I am having a bad day here….
Wife : Okay then. Tell me later lah….
Tapi this wife as soon as she switched off the phone, baru teringat the pot of beef broth burbling (supposedly) on the stove (as per her sms to her maid in the afternoon), to be turned into minestrone soup for dinner.
She also then remembered that she needs a few veg to complete the soup and so decided that since they are definitely not buying dinner at pasar malam, she might as well just swing by to get celery and tomatoes. To wait for hubby to come home first would delay her dinner preparations and furthermore, hubby’s voice and proclamation of a bad day could make him a bit malas to go out of the house again.
All options weighed, she decided to go ahead with the plan.
And that is when it happened.
She was cruising along the main road of Seksyen 6, passing balai polis, Petronas and nearing the pasar when her calm reverie was jolted by the sight of a man clad in a very familiar t-shirt. She recognized it as her husband’s own company t-shirt that he frequenly wears to work, black with grey sleeves.
Then she saw what promised to be a bald patch attached to the body, and she suddenly found her nerves jumping, her heart beating faster and accusations creeping in. "Kata tadi baru nak keluaq office. Awat dah sampai dulu dari kita ?" The figure now looked so much like that of her husband that her crazily beating heart almost stopped when she noticed her supposed husband was talking animatedly with a woman who walking beside him.
“Is that my bloody husband ?” She asked herself.
The bald patch, the t-shirt, and although only the couple’s backs were in her view, she could see that the guy was wearing glasses. And he certainly was thin enough. The bald patch was the tell-tale sign, really. And the t-shirt.
She slowed down, trying to get a good look, her heart now was threatening to jump out of her body from the start and stop and start again actions. Her hand was gripping the wheel so tightly, her knuckles went white. She knew because she saw them.
“Sapa lagi orang CC* yang duduk kat Shah Alam ? Botak pulak tu ?” She started accusing, convinced enough that she is seeing her husband. Her head could not compute anything else. As per her temperament, her head started playing one after another impossible and sad scenarios. One of it involving her husband lying on the dirty pavement, her leg on his chest while the blasted woman he is having an affair with was conveniently sprawled inside the very polluted longkang, while the bangaus pecked at her, the result of a very violent slappings and pushings.
A car honked from behind, taking her back to present day and the problem at hand. She was driving too slow and there was a trail of disgruntled drivers behind her. So she sped up a bit, trying to maneouver her vehicle from knocking the cars parked illegally at the side of the road while craning her neck to get a good look.
“Cilakak punya Kamil (name had been changed to protect indentity) suruh aku balik rumah dulu. Rupa-rupanya sebab nak pegi pasar malam dengan pompuan lain…”. Tears that was threatening to come, finally trickled out. Her face was flushed and she was going crazy by the minute. She imagined ramming the car onto the couple . Baru puas hati.
When she finally managed to get ahead of the couple and saw their faces, no words can describe her feelings. Bukan laki dia lah ! Hawau ! It was actually her husband’s colleague, walking with his wife. She met this guy and his kind wife when they visited her husband in the hospital when he was in to take his appendics, eh bukan… appendics tu laki aku, ini laki orang lain, to get his stones out…. And she had forgotten that this guy lives in Seksyen 6. He he…
She went from relieved to happy to down right mortified. She laughed out loud. She was flaming in anger not 2 minutes ago, but now she was flaming with embarrassement. Keh keh… She looked again to make sure, and there it really was, her husband’s colleague whose name had left her memory was walking with his own wife. Nobody was having an affair. Everything is actually right in the world. Pheww….
The wife went dizzy a bit, what with trying to calm her nerves and stemming the explosion of emotions inside her. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, trying to collect herself. She never felt so foolish. Especially when she thought about the scenes that played in her head. Sorry....
She called her husband to tell him of this story and really, just to hear his voice. Alone. In the car. With no one beside him. She just have to check. The husband predictably laughed out loud. “Karim tu lagi pendek dari I lah ! Dia pendek giler….” Again, name had been changed to protect the identity of the character.
Really ? She mused. Looks tall to me.
She went red in the face again when she turned around after paying for the celery and daun ketupat palas and saw En. Karim leaning against a tiang (damn it, I still cannot think what is tiang in English. Somebody actually furnished me with the right word last time, but it has slipped my mind again).
She can’t escape from talking to him as their eyes met and she smiled despite her vow to run away if she saw him. Tak sanggup cek.... Segan... “En Karim ye…” He looked at her with a puzzled look. Probably he didn’t remember me, being we met only once, she thought. “Perempuan Kamil (ai… why all the character’s name start with a K ?)..” she said, pointing to herself. He smiled in recognition, but his face still has that funny look. Why, ye ? Since it was Raya, she invited him and his wife over to the house and quickly left, seeing that she had started to go red with embarrassment again, and he for some reason, looked uncomfortable.
When her husband got home, he laughed at her face happily. “ I mana pakai t-shirt company weekdays. I only wear them weekends aje. I kan pakai tie ….” He he… sorry darling, jealousy overrode logic and experience. “ And besides, Karim tu pendeklah dari I. Pendek giler....” Husband said again.
Wife was very confused. He looked tall enough to her and told the husband so. “Ohh…. Itu Khairul lah…. Yang duduk kat Seksyen 6 tu ?”
And the wife flamed up again. “I called him Karim !!! Patut le muka dia semacam bila I panggil dia Karim !!! Waaaaa !!!! You kata nama dia Karim !!” Husband bantai gelak berdekah-dekah and berguling-guling. Damn !
“Dahlah nama aku dekat-dekat dengan merah…. Merah memanjang muka aku hari ni … !!” She wailed to her puzzled children (as by that time she cannot tahan kena gelak by the husband and ran to seek comfort elsewhere….).
“Please Ya Allah, don’t let En Khairul took up my invitation and actually come over for Raya. I cannot face him again !!!!” Was her fervent prayer that night.
Bini sapalah yang bangang tuh ? Ish, ish ish….