the tiger

it was around eight fourty in the morning when i was seated at the dining table over at my parents’ house. daddy was having his breakfast, while i sat drinking a warm cup of rooibos tea. in the background, the sweet sound of our maid, bik ana, bathing my son who was splish-splashing all the way.

i had a tough night, the night before. waking up about four times to comfort a crying baby who was having a tough time dealing with his itchy nightmare is not an easy job. not one i’d even agree to receive rm10k for.

i sat sipping my tea, looking over at my dad whose skin was already saggy, thin and veiny. it felt somewhat nerve wrecking, knowing that who he once was, but i’ve always felt like my dad was a big mystery.

God knows how many crimes he’s judged, and all the things he’s solved in the past. my mother’s been planning to write a book on him and all his experiences- kinda looking forward to it, since i’ve lost track of the cases he’s judged and solved in the eighty years of his lifetime.

i continued my stare-a-thon at my father, his hair, a monochromatic work of art. deep down, i wanted to ask him to tell me a story about any of the cases he’s ever solved and judged- those really spooky ones too, even.

he cleared his throat and there i was back in reality. what was he going to say?

“hidayat suka daddy nyanyi lagu bismillah alhamdulillah. hi hih hih”

i guess that’s it. he’s always daddy to all his children, always tokwan to his grandchildren, and i guess i’ll only ever know or read all his past from the book mama writes down- tu pun only if she manages to complete compiling everything.

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