“Even if you drown, you can still swim…”Picture by Muttaqee Misran @ Masterpiecestudios
My first short story on Langit Ilahi!
A true story of mine,
dedicated to all post-SPM students of 2010,
& for those who feel terrible in their academic achievement,
I present to you:
“It’s not the end of the world”
“Ameen, why do I feel so stupid?” Ask Dayang Liyana to me.
Looking at her face, I see a sad gloomy face; eyelids dropping down and losing focus in her eyes, slowly her eyes were brimming with tears.
Yeah, she is in the state of sadness. What can I do? She’s not my sister; she’s just an ordinary classmate to me. Why should I bother helping then? But then, I tried to digest her question again “why do I feel so stupid?” gradually I felt empathy. I know how it feels like to become ‘stupid’. “I must say something to sooth her heart” I said inside my head. She is my friend.
“Hmm… You’re not stupid, you just don’t know the answers” I tried to calm her.
We just had our mid-semester test results. She was upset of her marks, she got less than half. I got 11 out of 15. The subject Sciences of Hadith is actually a challenging subject. Really.
“But, it’s so hard to score…” she went on nearly cried.
Argh!! I hate it when a woman is showing her weakness in front of me. I just hate it. It makes me feel I wanna cry also. I must say something. If you want to sooth her, stay calm!
“You know sis, it’s not the end of the world. We still have time right? Let’s do this!” I carved a smile on my face.
Her face seems a bit relaxed than before. This is my time to scram! I just don’t want to make her feel that I have feelings for her. I want to minimum my communication with girls because I’m shy, I am a shy guy, yes I am.
“Erm.. Dayang, I have a class after this. I have to go…” I said in a hurry.
“Owh. Ok. Go. Bye!” She smiled and waved her hand.
As I walked to my next class that is Introduction to Psychology, I remembered back what I said just now, I said “it’s not the end of the world?”
“Tit Tit… Tit tit…” The sound of my cell phone.
1 message received
Unlocked the keypad and read the message.
Ameen! Have you known your SPM results yet?
“Oh! I forgot! Today is the day! All the SPM candidates of 2006 will get the results. Including me! What will I get? I studied hard! I did my best! How is it gonna be?”
I was so anxious to know my results. Who is not right? My fingers dance on the keypad replying Ammar’s message.
Of course not Amar, I’m in Suria KLCC now. How can I know my results then? How’s your mate? Can you check it for me?
I’m at Suria KLCC. I went to this Arabic Language Camp in Perlis for three months starting early this year and a trip from Perlis to Kuala Lumpur was the closing program for this camp. Most of the participants were post SPM 2006 students, same age of me trying to kill time as after SPM we have like three months of holiday. I bet they are as uneasy as me right now. Suria KLCC is our final stop before we head back to Perlis again.
I was at the fourth floor of the Suria KLCC. My solely target was to go to Kinokuniya Book Store. One of my favorite book stores in Malaysia. I wanted to search for a book titled “How to read a person like a book” by Gerard Nierenberg. A friend advice me to buy it to enhance your soft skills, you can learn how to read people like you read books. Kinda related to psychology though. I love psychology, so that’s why I’ll buy it.
As I walked around Kinokuniya Book Store searching the book, I flashed back on how I prepared for SPM last year.
“Yeah I did do my best. I studied all night and day. Full of eyes bags almost every day. Two years of preparation for thirteen subjects but only for one month of answering. Studying for SPM is truly a back breaking experience!”
My cell phone vibrated, I silenced the phone because I don’t want to make a sound.
Wo dude, relax man. Okeh. Gimme time broer. I’ll give you the detailed info on yours first. Mine? You don’t wanna know bout it.
“I can’t wait for my results! Judging from my trial examination, I got 7A’s 5B’s and 1C. Quite ok right? Well, I know that I’m not an intelligent student but I’m in the middle. Insha Allah my SPM results will be better.” That usually happens to all my seniors, their SPM results are better than their trial results.
Your results are definitely yours. Up to you bro. But I want to know mine! Hehe ^_^
After nearly half an hour patrolling the book shop, I founded the book. There it stands on the shelf wrapped neatly in plastic. Without hesitation, I took it. I know it’s RM40 but money is nothing compared to what I’ll explore from this book.
Took the book to the counter and paid it. Done. The book “How to read a person like a book” by Gerard Nierenberg is mine now. All I’ve gotta do is read it!
Went out of Kinokuniya and crashed on to a bench near the area. Open the plastic wrapper of the book and read through the introduction. Very interesting, the language and style of writing was very simple and very friendly indeed.
Before I could proceed further swimming in this ocean of psychology, my cell phone rang, someone texted me.
Please make sure that you get back to the bus before 12.30 pm.
Ouh! I have to go back to the bus, they’ll leave me here. What time is it now? It’s already 12.00 pm. I’d better get going.
Got up and began walking, my destiny was the elevator. From Kinokuniya to the elevator, there’s an interval about 3 minutes. In that 3 minutes, another person texted me because my ringtone rang and there’s a vibration in my pocket.
This is your result man. BM-4B, BI-2A, HIST-5C, MATH-2A, BAT-7D, +MATH-5C, FIZ-4B, CHEM-6C, BIO-5C, TAS-1A, PQS-4B, PSI-4B & EST-4B. 3A, 5B, 4C & 1D. May Allah strengthen you my friend.
“What the…? Is this my result? No no! This is not mine! There must be some mistake. I’m not stupid as this!”
Is this my result Amar?
“I can’t believe this. This is not mine! My results should be far better than this.”
Sorry to say but this is yours, no mistake. I’m so sorry. Btw, my result is more or less like yours. huhu :(
“It can’t be! Arghh! My trial is far better than this. Darn it! Screw me! Screw everybody! Screw the world!”
“What is the use of my study for all these years huh? Did it paid off? Why? Why am I getting this stupid news? Why am I stupid? No. I’m not. There’s some marking mistake going on then. These guys just hate me. Envy me. That’s why they gave me bad markings. I was too excellent in my answers, these guys are just jealous of me.”
“No. This is all Allah’s doings. I can’t accept this, I will not accept this! I studied like hell but why my results are like rubbish huh? You said that if I do my best, I’ll get the best but now, is this best result for me? Tell me huh? What am I to you? Rubbish? I prayed all night and day, I did what you told me but now, what you have given me? You gave me trash! Garbage!”
I just went on cursing the Education Ministry, the teachers who marked my papers and most dreadfully, I cursed Allah.
I just broke down to tears and cried beside the elevator. I ignored the hundreds of people around me. I know they were looking at me as if I’m a bagger or something. But who cares?
My trial was far better than my SPM results. Far more better like heaven and hell. All the subjects that I got A were down to B. The most frustrating of all is that I got a D in my Arabic Language paper. I was like… Arghh… I got it A for my trials.
“Why is this happening to me? I wish I was not born”
I got up and stood up beside the fence. I stared down at the floors down there. You know what I was really feeling at that time?
“There’s no use of living! I must die”
I wanted to jump from the fifth floor and kill myself. Seriously. I climbed up the fence that was preventing me from jumping. But then half way, Anas Hakimi was around the area saw me and shouted “Ameen!”
I got back down the fence touching the floor. Many people were staring at us and begin to make some noise.
“No. My life is just rubbish now! I am already dead. Allah doesn’t love me anymore.”
I climbed back up the fence again. At that very moment, that very moment where I was hanging on the fence, I remembered one scene that took place six years ago when I was form 1.
“Bro Amru, why am I so stupid?” I said to my dearest bro crying my heart out. The whole Musolla could hear my tears but there were nobody at that time. Everybody has gone to other places. After Zohor prayer, it is usually like this.
“hmm… You’re not stupid, you just don’t know how to answer” said him trying to sooth my heart.
“But, it’s so hard to score…So hard… Sob sob…”
“You know Ameen, it’s not the end of the world. We still have time right? Let’s do this!” Bro Amru smiled.
The bruise in my heart was a little bit healed, like someone bandaged the bruise.
“I know you can do this Ameen. I do.” Bro Amru finished his words and gave me a hug. Yeah I needed that.
“Thanks broer” I said in my heart while smiling.
“Ameen! Ameen! You can’t do this” shouted Anas.
“Huh? Who says I can’t do this? Bro Amru said I can do this?” I said to myself. Suddenly I realized where myself was, I was hanging on the fence. People’s eyeballs were on me. They were watching from afar. I was like a superstar. Wow!
“It’s not the end of the world. It is really not the end of the world.” I said to myself.
“Thanks again. Broer… You are my love…” I said in my heart while smiling.
I got down from the fence. Swiped off my tears. Took the book where I thrown during my madness. I said to Anas while smiling “Let’s head to the bus.”
Anas and everybody was like “Huh? This guy is weird”…
Police and security guards were on their way. But the minute they were here, Anas and I were already in the elevator. Bye bye!
In the elevator, Anas said “Are you mad? You could’ve killed yourself you know”…
“Sorry for troubling you. I was just…” – Anas cut me in “…Upset right. I’m upset as you are…” He stopped a split second and continued “…the difference between you and me is that I can control myself but you can’t. How is your result?”
I showed the text message Ammar sent me. “Not bad. You wanna know mine?” He showed me his results. He handed over his cell phone.
I replied “I’m sorry for your result. I’m sorry for troubling you. I’m sorry for being a jerk” his results were the same grades as mine with the exception of his Arabic Language got A. “But I still envy you for your Arabic results” I added.
He just smiled. We continued on to walk.
“Why are you in tears Ameen?” Asked Fallahuddin, a student from Cambodia to me. All the thirty students were on board now. We will start our journey back to Perlis in no time.
“Ouh. Something was caught in my eyes just now. Maybe dirt or something” I carved a fake smile trying to hide my sadness.
He smiled back at me and sat behind my seat.
I looked outside the bus, gazing beyond the buildings and streets of Kuala Lumpur.
“I was upset truly by my results, annoyed, angry, irritated you name it but why should that feeling possess my body and soul? It is normal for one to feel that way but it is abnormal for one to act stupid like what I did. Why should I let them take control, take over me? Who am I? What am I? I’m a Muslim student who wants Allah’s Redha, Allah’s forgiveness. Letting negative feelings is not what I was taught to do.”
“How was your result?”
Bad… Terrible… Unexpected…
“Did you do your best Ameen?”
Yes I did. But it is still bad.
“How are feeling now?”
Honestly I feel miserable but I’ll try to cheer my heart up.
“Have you forgotten what Allah said?”
No I haven’t but I read it every day in Al-Mathurat. I believe that Allah will not burden me with something I cannot bear:
“On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray:) “Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith.” Al-Baqarah: 286
“Can you bear the pain?”
Yes… Slowly building the strength.
“Why Allah gave you such pain to you?”
I know Allah loves me through His saying:
“Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because on the things your hands have wrought, and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness.” As-Syuraa: 30
Allah gave bitterness in my heart to forgive my sins. I admit that I’ve fulfill my life with so many sins.
“Is this the end of the world for you?”
No, it’s not the end of the world. I have to stand even though standing is hard.
“Do you believe in what he has given to you?”
Yes. Because there is light at the end of that dark cave, “Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” Ash-Sharh (94): 6
Having a conversation with myself gives me some inspiration and motivation. Yeah, I believe what is said by Bro Amru, “it is not the end of the world” yet.
I have to explore the world yet to be. SPM is only a portion of the key to success; there are many other keys to achieve my goal. SPM is not everything and losing a battle in SPM doesn’t mean you’ve lost totally.
“Yo SPM! Whenever you knock me down, I will not stay on the ground! I will fight for forever!”
“I will find that key of mine and no doors will be closed for me!”
My next class, Introduction to Psychology class is at HS LR 9 near HS Square. I’m now arriving at class.
I opened the door but no one was there. I looked at my watch, still 5 minutes to 10.00 am. I entered the lecture room and sat at my normal chair.
I leaned back, relaxed my body and inhaled all the air I can in my lungs. I burst it all out once.
“Suria KLCC and SPM huh? That was a long time ago. Now I’m in University I was dying to enter and taking the program that I always wanted since I was form three.” I said to myself.
“I failed once but I learnt from my mistakes. I was not enrolled in IIUM using my SPM but it worked with STAM. I really believe that if you try to strive with all your heart, you can realize a dream that was only a myth before this.”
“Why did I fall?”
“I fall to learn to pick up myself back up again.”
The door opened, the lecturer entered. My classmates were entering one by one. Class was going to start any minute now.
I brought out my note book.
I scribbled down, “If I can stand back up again, how about you?”