Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Growing Up...

How time flies. I ran into an old secondary classmate and the whole story came flooding back into my memory.

I remembered my Mum told me in my growing up years as well as when I started working. She said that if I misbehaved and got myself pregnant, she will not allow me to walk out of the house. She will make sure I crawl out of the house. She said I do not deserve to be treated with respect since I do not know how to respect myself, my body and my family.

Young kids now a day do not know the consequences and seriousness of ‘SEX’ and got themselves into deep water. It brought them tremendous mental stress, shame and guilt. Abortion is a no joke process. I saw an educational video. It showed how abortion was done and I can feel the pain in my lower abdomen. I cried when I saw the fetus being torn apart.. it is a life…it was is murder. I told myself if I am ‘not careful’ and landed in this situation, I will not abort the baby!

I recalled my secondary school days. There were three of us who were best friends and classmates. One Chinese (Me), one Malay (Ani) and one Panjabi (Kuldip). It was ‘hip’ to have a boyfriend so two of us did. Ani with Mus from another class and me with Johnny. Kuldip is Panjabi and her parents were strict on issue like 'boyfriend' so she was the good one among us.

On birthdays, Valentine Days and Christmas Days, we got presents, chocolates and roses from these boys. I recalled we went for a concert arranged by the school. It was late after the show and our boyfriends saw us home.

A few months passed and we realized Ani has put on some weight. She had a tummy and we laughed at her saying she ate too much. One day we were called into the principal’s office. We were asked where did we go after the concert? That was a few months ago but we remembered we went home. Ani was there too and we looked at her with inquiring eyes like “What happened?". We were asked to leave after the interrogations. We waited outside school and when Ani appeared, we rushed up to her and asked “Hey! What’s wrong?”. Ani was silent and we walked home together. Deep in me I knew we were in trouble..but WHAT trouble? Kuldip went home when we reached the crossroad because we all lived in different directions. I continued to walk with Ani. I intended to walk her to her house but halfway to her house, she said “Honey, I am in trouble!. I am telling you but you got to keep it a secret. I will be leaving school soon. My parents will be sending me overseas. I will not be able to contact you and Kuldip again because my parents do not want anyone to know where I am. I am having a baby..and it is his!”. I was overwhelmed! Tears were rolling in my eyes . The thought of losing a friend was a shocked...and she was having a baby. We hugged each other and cried. We bid good-bye and I walked home. Instead, I turned and ran all the way to Kuldip’s house. Her Mum invited me in for a drink and gave me ‘chapatti’ for lunch. We made polite conversation but I was dying to speak to Kuldip alone. Quickly I finished my food and we both went into her bedroom. I told Kuldip what happened! We both sat on the floor speechless and Kuldip was crying. It was too much to just ‘pluck’ a friend away.

The next day we went back to school, Ani did not turn up for class. We knew she was gone. During recess, Mus and Johnny came to see us. Mus was shocked when Ani told him she was leaving school and did not tell him why. In my heart I was thinking ‘Don’t you know what you have done...walau? ‘. Now when I think back, he probably doesn’t. Probably it did not occur to him that he fathered a baby.

After 9 months or more, one day Mus and Johnny came to see me and Kuldip again. We were at different schools because we went on to ’A’ level. Mus said that Ani’s Mum sent a baby to his home and told his parents that the baby was his. They did not want to keep the baby and Ani was not coming back. It turned his whole family chaotic! His Mum and Dad were so upset. They begged to talk to Ani and apologize. They wanted the two kids to get married but Ani’s Mum was adamant about it. Mus searched for Ani high and low and everywhere. He tried all kind of means but he did not reach her. Mus's family has no choice so his Mum took the baby and said that it was hers….instead of father and son, they were brothers! Ani’s Mum did not tell us where was Ani. She just said that Ani will be getting married in a month’s time.

Today, I am in Singapore. Kuldip is married and followed her husband to Australia. Where is Ani?

In life, along the way, we lost things…we lost friends…but we did not lose our memories…of our young days and the happy time we shared! We blundered along the way, hopefully the mistakes we made is a learning point. I pray that life for Ani is a happy dearest friend.

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