Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Five minutes

And so there I was, sitting on an old worn chair in the bank clutching my bag in one hand while fervently turning the pages of my book of the moment when suddenly someone clutches my right hand and commanded my attention. I figured she is in her sixties; with her wrinkled face, almost-white hair and freckles sprinkled all over her hand and face.

I plastered a smile on my face and answered her questions as accurately as I could in my broken cantonese and being the elderly that she is, she continued to ramble on and on to me about her husband who was scouring for an empty parking space outside and how the parking space there are always congested, I agreed with her and gave her an appropriate reply although it was my first time in that area

After giving her a few more appropriate responses to her monologue she fell quiet beside me, waiting for the husband of hers. Albeit already being given the permission to go back to my book by her silent consent I did not do so for she had managed to arrest my attention so I studied her instead. It was then that I realized that she had the same hair as her - the short perm hair and though she was a tad bigger in size and does not smelled of the heavy-flowery perfume that she usually adorned, I'm reminded of her.

How long has it been now? Four months? Five months?

Somehow I've lost count of the days that she has been gone from our life. It is distressing to say this but life has move on without her. And this sadden me the most; how life does not stop for anyone. How one person who used to mean so much to you - and still does- can be so easily forgotten in the midst of going through everyday life. How once you stop being real - flesh and blood- you're deemed to be non-existent albeit being solidly carved into the memory tablet.

Thus, I stifled the urge to move across the room to look for that friend of mine and relish the moment of sitting beside this old lady. She might be a poor substitute for her but for a moment or two there I almost forgot that she wasn't in our life anymore. For that short five minutes, by some means, I had managed to convince myself that the lady sitting beside me is indeed her.

I'm not saying that I miss her so terribly that I broke into tears right then and there because I didn't. I'm not saying that I would give anything to have her back because I have finally accepted the fact that she's better over there than staying here and suffer from her stroke.

All I'm saying is that for that five minutes, I was content beyond reasons.

And when I leave the bank a whole twenty minutes later after helping the said old lady in her transaction, mainly because of the language barrier between her and the banker, for once in many many long and depressing months I felt that the world isn't that bad after all


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