Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Of Quiche and Quitting

I was at the counter looking at the cakes and pastry they had displayed in The Upstairs Cafe when my phone rang.


"Ari!" It was my dad. "Where are you?"

"Out with my friends. Why? Are you home?"

"No. Listen, you're free on the 9th?' And before I could reply, he continued, "We're going back to Kelantan."

He told me a week before that he'll be having a meeting over there and suggested we go visit my grandparents.

'"Oh, okay. Sure, cool." I mumbled as I admired the cafe's red velvet cakes.

"And I already booked a place for us on Pulau Perhentian. I was thinking we can go there on the weekends."

"Oh?" I was caught of guard. I guess I didn't answer him in time because my dad then asked "Is that okay?"

"Well... Uh..." I stammered. "It's just that... Mom was planning a trip to Singapore on the same weekend."

It was my dad's turn to be surprised. "But I've booked...."

My heart sank. "I know. But... you didn't ask me whether I'm free on that day..."

"You SAID you were free..." he said.

"Yeah, but only on the 9th till the weekend. Mom had planned this..."

"Okay, fine then. I'll just cancel the booking then. Don't want you to get mad at me."

I didn't know what to say. I just kept quite and he hung up on me without saying goodbye.

I was about to cry there and then. 

"I'm sorry, sir. Would you like to order?"

Can I have my family back?

"One quiche, please."


That wasn't the first time I was forced to make a choice of which parent I must disappoint in order to please the other. 

I guess it comes with the separation. My parents had been separated for more than three years now. It wasn't a secret. I just don't tell people.

I mean, if people were to straight up and ask whether my parents are still together, I would say no. But nobody ever asked. Why would they?

I guess I don't tell people coz I don't wanna make it a big deal. Once people find out that your family isn't that perfect they'll start to look at you differently. They'll treat you differently. They promise they won't... but they do. I've seen it. I've felt it. I hated it.

'Hey, do you know his parents are separated?'

'Omg is that why he's been acting so weird?'


I'm not saying the separation doesn't affect me. In so many ways I was forced to realize that life isn't a fairy tale. 

I have parents who are no longer together, but they're not divorced. When there's no closure, I guess, as the children, we're trying to find the definition of our current situation.

You don't know how to define your parents' relationship. And thus you don't know how to create boundaries, we have no clue how to enforce rules and we have no idea how to act.

Are they staying together? No.

Do they still love each other? I don't know.

Do they still speak to each other? No. 

Are you happy about this? I don't know.

In so many ways I am glad they got separated when I was 17. In other ways, I was not. It happened just before my SPM. Not enough that I had to see my dad sleep on the couch every night, I had to see them walk pass each other like they're strangers.

But I guess the worst part was that the whole family pretended nothing had happened.

But I'm glad that I was matured enough to understand that it wasn't anyone's fault that it happened.

I was old enough to not let it affect how I feel about both of them. I was wise enough to know they still love me no matter what and nothing has changed.

But still.

I remember crying at nights. I remember having to fake smiles when people are talking about how perfect their families are. I remember being afraid to fall in love. I remember feeling like I was walking on mine fields and at any moment I would make one mistake and explode to pieces. 

I guess the worst part is not having anyone to talk to. It's not that I don't trust people, it's not that I don't think they can handle my problems.

I knew that if I tell them, things will be different. Not in a bad way. But I hate different. I hate changes. 

So for as long as I can, I will try to make my friendships as less about my problems as possible. I mean, who cares right? Who can help anyway? Who would listen?

So what am I doing now? Why am I writing this? I guess this is a cry for help. I can't do this anymore. I can't please both parents and I can't make one happy without disappointing the other.

I can't be at two places at once. I can't pretend to be happy anymore. I'm tired of trying to make everyone laugh just so that they won't think I am unhappy.

I'm sick of laughing when I can feel the tears welling up inside. I had enough of pretending to be someone that I am not. I cannot afford to wear this mask any longer.

I'm taking it off.

Mom, Dad. I know you're reading this. And this is me saying that I'm sorry. I'm sorry that this happened. I'm sorry things aren't perfect. I'm sorry that I cannot make you both happy. I'm sorry about everything.

I'm just so... tired. 


  1. bo!! :DDDDDD kau kuat!!

  2. AB you know we're here for you right. I'm here for you.

    I shall now proceed to virtually slap you out of your masochistic world so that you are painfully aware that you are not alone.

    1. I know. I know im not alone. And it was never about being masochistic or whatnot. I just don't feel like talking about it, that's all.

      thanks mayqin :)

  3. I feel your pain. Mine got separated when I was still learning how to walk and talk. I had to please the both of them at a very young age, trying not to hurt the other, had to experience them trying to win my affection, using me as a tool to hurt one another and had to relay messages between them so they didn't have to actually talk to one another. At one time I thought that only my happiness counts and even questioned Him why was I given such a burden. Growing up I realised that it was my responsibility as their child and as a Muslim to take care of them and to be thankful with what I have. I looked at things pessimistically. I didn't see that I had a wonderful father and a loving mother. I didn't see how after all things being said and done, my happiness came before theirs. I guess you could say that I'm used to this situation, not knowing what it feels like to have a 'normal, wonderful family' but I still have my father, whose guidance and wise words built my character, my mother, whose love and compassion built my heart and now I even have a step-mother who loves me like her own flesh and blood and even 3 wonderful half-siblings. All I'm trying to say is that, don't look at what you've lost, look at what you still have and what you've gained. Assalamualaikum

    1. Youre absolutely right. God never takes something without replacing it with something better. Im glad that u wrote this. I dont know who you are (or maybe i do) but just knowing that you understand what im going through makes me feel like i've known u a lifetime. :) thank you anon.

      Thanks for reaching out :)

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  5. hey i was in the same class with u in high school. stumbled across your blog through your facebook posts.

    i remember back in high school you were everyone's happy pill. you joke and fool around and you were one of the funniest person in class. i remember during an english class oral test you were out there acting and talking and puan loh wasn't impressed but the whole class was laughing like mad. :D

    anyway what i'm trying to say is, every word u say rung a bell to me. every scene in this blogpost is played out in my family too. since my parent's big fight in 2008(when we were in form 4), they've not been talking to each other till now. 5 years of cold war yet still not divorced. this may sound irresponsible but i was really torn apart by this in high school, i had to deal with all this family drama alone, i can't tell my friends because they won't understand, their families are perfect, and my spm results sucked. before that i had a clear goal in life, ive always know what i wanna pursue and after my parent's fight everything is meaningless to me.i remember crying the whole night till my eyes were so swollen and numb,no tears is coming out anymore. my mind was 24/7 suicidal. thinking of how to end it all. but i was afraid of the pain. i cursed and swore in my dad's face. all this continued all the way to alevels. i did badly too to make my parents angry. until i started uni i realize i can actually live with it. all this pain. i mean i can't choose my parents, people make their choices and there is nothing i can do, and it's not my fault how things turned out this way(i used to blame myself because i thought my parents would be happier without kids). i also started to see that life is no fairytale. i thought my friend's families are all so perfect and i constantly ask why mine is so fucked up. but as time passed by i realize their families are not perfect too, their parents fight too. their families have its ugly sides too. and i have to stop comparing. and all these drama actually made me stronger mentally. my family problem doesn't end even up to this day but i tell myself it gets better.

    i just wanna tell you, you are not alone. and its nobody's fault things turned out the way it is.

    writing this out is really therapeutic, so thank you :)

    i just wanna say

    1. Wow. First of all, Im glad u wrote that. And apparently we were in the same class in highschool? Yet i cant figure out who u are. Lol. If u dont mind, u can always hit me up on fb if u wanna chat. No pressure. Im not forcing.

      Just that it's hard to find someone who can understand what we are going through. Harder to find someone to talk to. So if u need any help, or just a virtual shoulder to cry on, im here. :)