"...that's all I have." I heard him say apologetically. He dropped his head and let it hang for awhile before stealing glances at my reactions, as if I had one at that time. I couldn't think of anything to say and to offer any note of replies would have seemed too rhetoric.
I was young, we both were. He was exactly eleven days older than me. The time he asked for my hand in marriage, he was unemployed without a single ringgit to his name. We had just graduated, not too eager to work just as yet, well, he was not too excited about wading the river to get to his workplace in the virgin jungle of Sabah. And I wasn't too thrilled of the possibility of a long separation.
As a bride to be then, I had thought, money shouldn't be an obstacle to a matrimony. (yes, a young bride with heart shapes oozing from every pore of her skin) We promised to work and accumulate as much as we humanely could. After the wedding, he worked double shifts and I clocked triple hours teaching part time. We rented the cheapest house nearest to the University where I taught, so I could catch the students' bus posing as one ... till one day a student said ..."hi teacher!" audible enough for the driver to hear. ;o)
We lived moderately on our meagre income with no fridge, no bed, no cabinets, no racks except for the plastic ones with the zipper in the middle and an 8 inch tv placed on a brown box cum our storage compartment. The wedding presents were not much of our saviour, other than the iron and the few sets of dinner plates, we were not creative enough to turn the 5 sets of cocktail bowls into something usable.
He often asked me"...are you happy? you could have gotten married to that rich guy." "Which one?" I said "...there were too many" before I laughed a tear. There was none, never was. He was that rich guy, that guy, rich with his love for me, hence the choice.
And lately he frequently asks me again after 14 years, after frustrating days at work, after tiring hours of mending people's affairs, after disappointing misses at scoring goals "...are you happy? I haven't been bringing any good news for you."
"...you'll be glad to know that my demands are small. Say it's me that you'll adore, for now and evermore.
That's all, That's all."
Thank you so so much Tessa and Jules for the opportunity. I hope the cakes I made for both you and Amir will be immortalised here in this entry. This is my story, I know you have yours too, so I will let you tell the rest of the world in your blog alright Tess?
The words Amir had for Tessa written on the hantaran cupcakes
I can only give you love that lasts forever, And a promise to be near each time you call. And the only heart I own For you and you alone That's all, That's all... I can only give you country walks in springtime And a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall; And a love whose burning light Will warm the winter's night That's all, That's all. There are those I am sure who have told you, They would give you the world for a toy. All I have are these arms to enfold you, And a love time can never destroy. If you're wondering what I'm asking in return, dear, You'll be glad to know that my demands are small. Say it's me that you'll adore, For now and evermore That's all, That's all.