ep. [01]

__This story is written by an anonymous.

Firdaus Mike, 29 April 2009

It was lousy in Mirdiff, Dubai as far as I could remember. It wasn't too cold, but the sun still wasn't out, and there didn't look like there was anything in the Mirdiff Mall except dog crap and globs of spit and cigar butts from old men, and the benches all looked like they'd be wet if you sat down on them. It makes you think too much. It didn't seem like Christmas was coming soon, or any other holiday this goddamn Dubai may have, it didn't seem like anything was coming.

But I kept walking around the Mirdiff Mall anyway, because that's where Julia usually goes when she's having a day off from work. She likes to sit near the tree, somewhere inside the huge arena of outsiderness, where you can see those big Arabic people walking here and there, with their shopping grocery bag, with plastic labelled 'Spinney Supermarket'. Who knows what's inside the plastic bags of those Arabic's? Might be that rice yogurt that Julia and her colorful friends Sophie, Vera and Lemon, and not forgetting Xiao Fei loves the most.

When I got there, though, I didn't see her around anywhere. Not even the girls. There were a few European guys with their chicks around, sipping coffee at that  Coffee-shop where I seem to remember some time me and the big boss around discussing about some goddamn tender or something. there were a lot of people, but no Julia.

Even though it was Friday, and Julia might not be here with her colourful friends or anything, and even though it was cold and all lousy out, I walked all the way through the  arena over to the Spinney Supermarket. I knew that Supermarket route like a book. Julia was working with me in the same stuffy office when I was in Dubai, and we used to go to this Spinney Supermarket all the time. Sometimes, we had this wonderful van driver, the guy which name I have completely loss of memory of, which no short of wonderful character of he is, i pardon, which would gladly drive us with the company van to the old Spinneys Supermarket near damn all the time.

Sometimes we look at the beautiful and good smell cakes that were placed at the entrance, with lots of colors, rosemary, pink, and all those rosy stuffy things which girls and kids like on the cakes. Sometimes I would wonder at the cakes that was just being cooked seconds ago. I don't know, but the aroma itself would have me bleeding to death just to get the taste out of it. If it weren't to save money the girls those rice pudding yes. The cakes, the breads, in the stuffy straw baskets and stuffs like that. I get very happy  when I think about it. Even now.

Then the girls would be running down the aisle to look out for the rice pudding. Hell, till now, I could never remember what kind of brand the girls like. I only know it's rice yogurt, but god, look at those million types of yogurts and puddings, and ice-creams and all those sweet frozen stuff you can think of. Men might be born as a hunter, but these girls sure can hunt rice yogurts better than me. I wonder. Maybe they could just remember the sweet taste as it melts  in their mouth whenever they put their finger on each rice yogurts there.

One of the weird thing at Spinney Supermarket is it will always had a lot of candy and gum and all that sweet smell stuff, and the inside of the supermarket had such a nice smell. It always smell like it's raining outside, and even if it wasn't, that you were in the only nice, dry, coziest place in the entire universe. Might be that Heaven
or Paradise would be like this. Might be even better.

Usually the girls will go there first, with me following from behind. Most of the time i wandered alone like an alien looking for the lost spacecraft inside that Spinney Supermarket. And most of the time I would be looking at Julia. I always wanted to hold her hand, but my hand was always sticky or smelly the smell of cigarettes or maybe just don't wanna frightened Julia. I might ask support from Vera and Sophie, and especially Xiao Fei though, after bribing them with those sweet sticky rice yogurt. But it didn't happen though, and somehow in my frustration, i'm glad it didn't.

I still remember the last night I was in Dubai. My last flight back to Malaysia was 6 pm the next day. The night before, I had this urgent surge through my blood. I wanted to see her. I wanted to see Julia's face. Be it ever for the last time. I checked my pocket, and what a disappointment, just a few bucks left. It was the longest 3 minutes that I ever felt in my life. I wanted to see her, please, let it be for the last time. And God was so nice to me, reminded me I had a spare hard disk in blue corduroy bag. I phoned Kamel, a Malaysian friend, asking him for few hundred, and I will spare him my hard disk. And the transaction happens so smooth like a robbery in the bank.

I called Julia, saying I wanted to see her for the last time and all those emotive dovey dovey things. I held for a taxi and waited for her at the office.

The next thing we knew we were in that park again at Mirdiff Mall. Near the Spinney Supermarket. I ran over inside the Spinney Supermarket to buy her that rice yogurt. That last rice yogurt, I'm sure I'll pay a million bucks if I had to.

And so we walk down the park. We exchange non-sense throughout, watching kids running here and there like mad. The bloody dirty bench seems like the most beautiful chair ever created on this goddamn earth.

And then we walk together towards the Spinney Supermarket. This time, I hold her hand. She just keep silent about it.

We walk towards the aisle. As we reached the cake section, her phone rang.

She answered in Chinese. Then all of a sudden I feel the most strangest thing I ever felt.

Julia : Firdaus, the boss called. I had to go now.

I didn't let go of her hand.

Julia : Firdaus, I'm sorry, but I really have to go. The boss is having a company
        dinner tonight. I have to be there.

I didn't let go of her hand.

Julia (with icicles from her eyes) : Firdaus, you are my best friend. The best I ever knew.
                                     I wish you someday that you found the one for you.
                                     I know you would.
                                     But really I have to go.

My clutches weakenes.
She had her hand let go from my clutches.
Then she put her fingers on her cheeks and place it on mine.

Julia (running) : Goodbye, hope to see you somewhere.
                  Write to me often will you?

I stood there like an idiot inside that Spinney Supermarket. In that instant, the smell, the touch, all the five sensors stopped. Everything stayed right where it was. Nothing moves. The strangers, the shoppers, the cashiers, the workers,the sweet cakes, the rice yogurts, the sweet smell. It just stopped. And as soon as I realized, nothing ever changes. Really nothing changes. The strangers, the shoppers, the cashiers, the workers, nobody was different. The only thing that was different was me.

To be continued...