and I can finally read what I’d wrote on a sleepless night with a near complete sense of calm. The conversation last night brought back memories. Wherever you are, we hope with all our hearts that you’ve found peace & happiness. We remember and we always will.
The Haunted Mind.
It is 230 a.m. All is quiet.
Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, the sound of steadily falling rain tapping on the windowsill.
“Bao-ge, jing tian yue wo you she mo shi?” a dialogue from a Hong Kong drama serial in the background distracts me, but barely. It is a distraction i welcome, a distraction that makes me feel less alone, less frightened.
In a bid to get rid of the steadily growing fear, to halt the memories i thought i had forgotten trying to crawl back into my sub-conscious consciousness, i had gotten out of bed, feeling cold and yes, a little frightened, switched on the laptop and the television, gone online and am now typing with a certain frenzy.
Five more hours at least, five more hours to go before the rest of the world wakes up and i am less alone. I hate such nights. Nights when i am wide awake while everyone sleeps. Particulately when the raindrops keep falling relentlessly, making sounds resembling that of sharp shards of glass falling on a hard floor, keeping me from blissful sleep.
Why couldn’t the rain have fallen after i have slept? Why did i have to read Sputnik Sweetheart? Why make Samire disappear? Why must Miu ask the same questions?
I messaged hx at 3 a.m. I knew he was probably asleep, but perhaps he could be awake watching soccer, maybe my phone would ring and i would hear his deep yet happy-sounding voice.
Ten minutes later, I closed my eyes. Pitter-patter, pitter-patter.
I was alone in a room in hall six. Hx’s room. It was the beginning of the year, and i was just about to turn in. The rain was pouring, pitter-patter it went. A ring-tone disrupted the steady rhythm of the rain.
” Did she call you?”
” She did not bring her passport or keys”
” We are looking for her”
” Would you let us know if she called you?”
I was worried. Scared. Something in me told me something was wrong, i can’t explain it, you just feel it in your bones. I told myself to think on the bright side. I wondered where she could be in the pouring rain.
And then, i opened my eyes. Looked around my cosy bedroom. The room is different but the feeling was the same. That night, i had also forced myself to close my eyes and listen to the sappy love songs playing on my laptop, but every now and then, i would open my eyes. Didn’t know what i was expecting to see. Fearful, yet expectantly hopeful.
Should i wake my mother? No, she has to work tomorrow.
I had called Jini. Couldn’t get her. I had called XW, listened first to the dial tone and then to the familiar voice-recorded message. I had opened the door and peered down the dim coridoor. Was JX awake? Should I knock on his door and tell him i am frightened? I recalled I decided no.
I logged onto MSN and there was no one online except Jason. I asked if he was sleeping. He said no. But somehow, i didn’t want to tell him that I couldn’t sleep or about the image stuck in my mind.
The vivid image of her lying down, cold, abandoned, drenched in the rain. The fact that i didn’t know. The fact that we, I, had failed to reach out.
I closed my eyes again. The image, despite my best efforts and my chants, re-appeared. It was as if i had almost successfully drawn the curtains closed and then the image, with its outstretched fingers, simply and casually drew them apart before gracefully taking shape. Just like how a Hollow tears the fabric of clouds, and haunts the earth, I thought. You could resist and put up a good fight, you could naively believe that you would win, but you never will. The rain is now whispering to me. I listened, not knowing what i was expecting to hear. Fearful, and no longer expectant.
I opened my eyes. I need the lights, the sounds of the television, and the companionship of my laptop while i wait for the awakening of dawn, for the pitter-patter to cease and for my haunted mind to rest.