Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do you consider yourself in love?

How do you consider yourself, you are in love? Fifty years ago, a slight glance through a match make was considered a love. Forty years ago, when I had a chance to date a girl only once, the whole neighbourhood would take us as lovers. Thirty years ago, a kiss with a lady was no joke. She would take it as you already love her. What about today? I am sure things have changed. Even a couple could have sex the minute they met, might not mean anything at all. They could have sex merely for fun and needs, without the slightest feeling of love towards each other. Right?

Is interesting here! Let me share my experiences and you readers would love them. If I could hide my hands and fingers underneath the dinning table, rubbing my little darling thigh and buttock, and she doesn't mind, I am pretty sure she loves me. Agree? Or she could be tickling my feet with her leg while sitting, and I am not the least bother by the surrounding, she knows I love her as well. Right? These are only gestures but they tell the couples are in love. What about you?

When I see the lady holding the gentleman arm while walking together, I know she loves him. Hugging and kissing might not be necessary in love. Friends of the opposite sex do it most of the time for sincere friendship. If I allow my little darling to pay the bills by using my wallet, I am telling her...I love her. When you see me holding her handbag while shopping, she is telling me...darling I love you. Don't be mistaken when you see couples holding hands while crossing road. A gentleman should help a lady to cross the road by doing that. Not me! Whenever I cross any road with my little darling, I dip my hand into her back pocket, almost able to feel her inside. Or if she has no back pocket, she would slide her tender fingers into mine. Flesh to flesh and skin to skin we touch each other. Don't you consider this is in love?

A couple eating together closely might not necessary be in love. However when I eat and drink with my little darling, we share with only one drink and one plate on the table. Not that we are stingy but the sharing makes us more loving. This is in love. Kissing and hugging could be common. The adventurous one like my little darling, likes to whistle her words nearer to my ears. She even bites my nose and ears out of excitement. Telling me in body language...I am crazy with you. My God! Things have changed. Including the way love is shown. So! My readers on this blog...how do you consider yourself in love. Are you brave to reveal?

Food for the heart - "Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one agrees on just what it is." - Diane Ackerman


Anonymous said...

This is a story of a beautiful, gracious lady I once knew.
Circa: 1970's. Location: Kuala Lumpur.

'Love is always bestowed as a gift, freely, willingly, and without expectation. We don't love to be loved. We love to love'.

With beautiful memories of Donna. I have not forgotten you. Your beautiful smile, your warm and caring heart, your great sense of humour and most of all, your laughter will always cherish in a corner of my heart.

How I came to know Donna.
I was in Singapore on business and returning to my hotel in the evening was passed a sealed envelope from reception. It was from my secretary in KL. "Mr Lee, your friend Paul rang up, request you call him when free".

I rang Paul around 8pm after my dinner. As my secretary did not mention, 'urgent', I knew it was a social call. "Hello Paul, you called me"?
"Hi Lee, oh ya, where you now"? "Singapore. You getting married again or what", I teased. "Hey, you want to attend my funeral? She'll kill me if sniff I have a girlfriend, my daughters too, ha ha. Anyway, I called to ask whether you have any vacancies in your office, or branch offices"?

"Sorry Paul, right now none, but who is it for? If it's your cute sister, I create one for her".
"You want my mom put salt in your coffee? She only 17, no, its for a friend of mine. A lady, about late 30's, very pleasant, soft spoken, but only a Form 5 education, but more than 15 years office experience. She got laid off last month and looking for a job".

"Aha, I sniff something in the air now", I teased.
"Cheh! She just a friend, never even dated her, honest! Knew her from same hometown long ago, but real hard worker, very conscientious if you know what I mean? Lee, you know me well, but do me this favour, you have your many contacts, try find her one. I assure you she will not disappoint you or anyone who takes her".

"Married"? "No, divorced". "Kids"? "None, on her own, no commitments whatsoever".
"Paul, I know you well, this the first time you asking me a favour, and I can sniff something behind it".

"Lee, this much I will tell you, long story, but if she fails in your expectations, I sneak my sister out for date with you, ha ha, call me when you get back, I buy you dinner and we can chat".
"Paul, I can't promise you anything, but give me a week, I'll call you".
"Thanks Lee, I'll tell my sister you asked about her, ha ha".

A week later. "Paul, you free for that dinner you mentioned"? "Yes, where"? "Bukit Bintang, you know, that corner restaurant we had lunch last month"? "Oh ya, see you there at 8".

Over dinner. "Paul, I may have something for her, good friend of mine here in KL, but let me meet her first, my reputation at stake".
"Ya Lee, I understand, I'll call her, tomorrow dinner"? "Okay".
"Lee, just to cool your curiosity, just between us, let me put you in the picture. Her name is Donna, very pretty. But why I ask you for help is she's all alone, I mean she has a few friends, but not close, if you know what I mean".
"Her family"? "They up North, none here". Paul then told me her story.

"She comes from a very strict, conservative family with a scandal free background. Father big towkay, well known in the community and all that. Mother Church pillar if you know what I mean. She had fallen in love with someone of a different nationality, another religion and wanted to get married. Her father went ballistic, her mom almost intensive cardiac arrest. They tried to dissuade her but she was very much in love with him. The parents refused to let him come one mile of their house. But she loved him and went against their wishes and married him.

None of her family, relatives attended. Instead, the following day her father took out an advert in Chinese and English papers declaring she is no longer their daughter and not welcome home anymore.
She then went to live with him in another State. But sad to say, two years later the marriage fell apart for reasons I don't know, and she got a divorce.

She then approached me for a job, I securing one for her at a friend's company here in KL, everything went well, but sad to say the company went belly up last month, the friend lost big money at Gentings and that's it. She on the loose end one month now, not successful in her many applications. You know la Lee, nowadays its not what you know, it's who you know". I laughed as he said, "anyway, she has never contacted her family nor they with her all these years".
"Okay Paul, she sounds alright to me. Let me meet her first".

Next night. Entering the restaurant at Petaling Street we had agreed to meet, I saw Paul waving at me. I saw a pretty lady sitting next to him.
"Lee, meet Donna, and Donna, my very good friend, Lee".
We shook hands, she greeting me with a lovely smile. I guessed her to be about 5' 3", slim built, short permed hairstyle and very fair and pretty. She was wearing a simple, plain dress.

I let Paul do the ordering as I chatted with Donna. I learned she had worked as a stenographer and no problems at above fifty words a minute on the typewriter. For someone with a Form 5 education, she spoke impeccable English. She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien as well Malay fluently too.

She was very pleasant and laughed easily as Paul and me joked about about work and telling Donna how we became friends long ago. I liked her and wished I could take her. "Donna, Paul mentioned you looking for a job. I found one that you should be alright with, a good friend of mine needs an office administrator, someone who can work on her own, accept responsibilities and same time keep an eye on the office and staff of 6 girls, one male bookkeeper, he away most times. He's a typical Chinaman", she giggled, as I continued, "his English passable, but needs someone who can do official correspondences in English, as well the usual office matters. You okay with that"?

"Ohhh, Mr Lee, I'll be fine with that, thank you, thank you, you too, Paul". Paul teased her, "you buy me and Lee here lunch when get your first pay"? "Yes...I will Paul, and Mr Lee too".

I said, "Donna, I'm not sure what you earned before, but from what little Paul told me about your experiences, your excellent English, I think I can squeeze my friend a $750 salary for you, how does it sound"?
She laughed, "Oh my, Mr Lee! Its more than what I got before, thank you, and to both you gentlemen, I give you my promise, I will not fail your expectations".

I shook her hand, "Donna, not to worry, you fail, Paul has a big problem then with his mother". Paul drinking his Tiger beer burst out laughing, coughing out some beer and spilling some on his shirt. Donna patted his back laughing as he tried to control his coughing spasm, "Lee, you rascal, you caught me that one, cough, cough".
We all laughed, Donna looking at Paul. He laughed, "just a joke between him and me and my young", he winked at her, "cute sister". I sprinkled some ice tea at him as he dodged.

Donna started work at my friend's company, getting the salary I had mentioned. My friend too was very pleased with her as he only has a Form 2 English, but more Chinese educated and she could work without his supervision and knowing what he wants done, always a step or two ahead of him.

I would see her when I visited my friend's office, and on and off go for lunch with her and her Chinaman boss. Once awhile Paul and I would invite her out for dinner and drinks, but strictly social. We became close friends.

She never mentioned about her past to me, maybe suspecting Paul might have confided to me. But I never brought up the subject, none of my business. Her boss had bought me dinner one day and had thanked me for her as she was proving invaluable to his daily operations.

Three years passed by. He had now promoted her to 'personal assistant and office manager', with a few more new staff joining. She was very happy with her work and worked hard, hardly taking any days off, her excuse, "no where to go". Another year passed by, she once awhile baking cakes for Paul and me. Knowing cream puffs being one of my favourite cakes, she would get it delivered to my office.

She has always been grateful to Paul and me for getting her this job and now doing well. She had told me she was saving up to buy her own house, but wants to trade in her old Colt Galant car for a Ford Telstar. She was renting a small terraced house in Bungsar then, living alone with her Siamese cat named 'Weng'. From what Paul and I know, she had no social life, always at home, or maybe shopping with her office friends, and devoted to her cat, Weng.

We never asked her why that name. I would invite her out for dinner on and off but no further than that. Besides she was older than me and somehow I could feel the hurt she still carries with her, her past.
This I noticed when we having dinner she would glance at tables with happy families, her mind and thoughts temporarily distracted.

One day her boss rang me up. "Hey Lee, you free next Friday night"? "I think so, why"? "It's Donna's birthday, I give big dinner for her at restaurant, you come, okay"?
"Sure, I'll be there". I said, "I rang your office two days ago, Donna not there"? "Oh, she sick, I ask her go home, not come to work".
"Why, what's wrong with her"? "Ohh, she got fever and bad cough".

I then immediately rang her house. I heard her soft voice, sounded like she in some kind of pain. "Donna, Lee here, heard from your boss you not feeling too good"?
She tried to laugh, "I'm better now, just some cough and feeling abit weak, I think maybe have been sleeping late watch TV at nights".
"Donna, I'm coming over in a few minutes".

At her house, I was shocked to see her looking pale and looking like she had dropped a couple of pounds in weight. "Donna, you seen the doctor"?
"Yes, he says it's flu and to come back see him again if still not well. I'll see him tomorrow if still not okay". She made coffee for me as we chatted in her very neat living room, her walls bare except for a framed picture of her holding 'Weng' her Siamese cat, taken outside her house. She told me not to worry, thanking me for coming and the bouquet of orchids I had brought for her.

"Thank you for the lovely orchids, Lee, you so thoughtful, always". We talked for awhile, Weng snuggling in her arms, she caressing him, then getting her assurance she'll be okay, I left, still not too happy with her condition. I phoned Paul informing him. He too later went to see her.

Next morning I rang her house, no answer. I rang her office and she answered me, sounding better than yesterday. "I'm much better today, Lee. Must be your lovely orchids, ha ha".

Friday evening. Her boss had invited the whole office for the birthday dinner he giving for Donna. I was the only outside friend he had invited. I noticed Donna still looking slightly pale but otherwise her cheerful self, laughing and joking with the staff. The boss had arranged a special birthday cake for her, and had surprised her when she cut the cake, her knife struck something inside the cake.

The boss laughed, "Donna, you take knife take out something in cake for you". We all watched as she carefully took out a specially wrapped box. Everyone looked as she giggling excitedly, her fingers now covered with cake cream opened the box.
She let out a loud gasp, "ohhh, Mr Cheong, thank you, thank you", she holding a Lady's stainless steel, Rolex Oyster date watch. Everyone then sang, "happy birthday" to her, then each giving her a small present. I went to my car and brought for her several cassette tapes of Francis Yip, Theresa Teng's songs, giftwrapped in a gold box. "Thank you, Lee, I love both of them, will listen in my car and at home".

It was three weeks later when I rang her office and heard she at home having taken two days off work. I rang her and went to see her at home. She looked really pale this time. She again telling me she will be alright, only needs some rest.

I knew her boss did not overwork her, and said, "Donna, I'm going to call my doctor friend, he's a specialist at the hospital, I want him to look at you, and don't argue with me"!
She laughed holding my hand, "thank you, Lee I won't". I could see she was in some kind of pain. What pain, I don't know?

Next morning, my doctor friend checked her out, a complete medical physical test with x-ray, blood test, urine test, the whole works, and the same time seeing her weak with a high fever, admitted her into a ward. As she was being wheeled into the ladies ward, he pulled me one side.
"Lee, I don't like the look of her symptoms, but I felt her breast, right side, she has a lump there, that's the pain she has been feeling. I need the x-rays to tell me more, hopefully its not serious, will also get a second opinion".

I was shocked to hear him telling me that, "doc, I hope it's nothing serious". I then went to see her chatting and trying to cheer her up. She even though suffering from the pain managed to laugh and joked with me. She then gave me her house keys and asked to pass it to Paul to go over and feed her cat.

That night the doctor rang me up, "Lee, I'm afraid I have bad news". It was something I had dread as I lighted a cigarette to calm my nerves as I had grown fond of her.
"Lee, I'm afraid she has cancer, her breast, and...and its malignant. Her nearby tissues are damaged already". I now felt a lump in my throat, she a woman in the prime of her life, happy at work, happy with herself, why this? Why?

"Doc, is there anything you can do, help her doc, help her, she's a good friend". "Lee, I'm afraid, even if we operate, she might not recover, the cancer has already spread".
He asked me, "how come nobody knew"? I answered, "she did go to a doctor who said she had the flu, as well I know she has a phobia about doctors and medicine".

"Lee, I am going to give her chemotherapy immediately, then maybe will see how it goes, radiation therapy".
"Doc, do what you think best, help her doc. Please save her". "Lee, you too, pray for her".
"I will, Doc, I will, but tell me Doc, if it is serious, how long she has"?
"Lee, I'm sorry, but she left it too late, it has spread, I'm sorry say this, but at most the chemo might prolong it, I would say less than a month". I felt like something heavy had dropped on my head. Why? Why does this have to happen to a woman like her?

Two weeks passed by, her boss, her office staff all visiting her almost daily as she had no one else. Paul and his wife too visited her. Paul had taken her cat 'Weng' home till she gets better. I was with her every evening, bringing her some women's magazines, fresh orchids. Donna was now getting weaker each passing day. Her pretty face had shrunk, she losing some hair too I noticed from the chemotherapy doses.

Sitting beside her one evening, holding her now frail hand, I asked, "Donna, since when did you get or feel uncomfortable, I mean your body"? The doctor had already informed her she had breast cancer.
"I don't know, I think about three months ago, I thought it was nothing as growing older", she tried to laugh, "you know, we women get aches and pains here and there".

We talked awhile, I then trying to distract her by talking about my work and travels and making her laugh with some funny incidences. I could see it was a strain for her to laugh now. She would hold my hand and smile. She saying she misses Weng very much.

A week passed by, she now having lost a lot of weight, her face shrunken. It was about 2am, when the loud ring of my phone beside my bed woke me up.
"Lee, its me". My doctor friend sounding anxious. "You better come over to the hospital now, also better inform her parents, I think she's not going to last, she asking for you".
I put down the phone, my tears coming down as I dressed quickly and sped to the hospital. I had called Paul too waking him up. He too now rushing to the hospital with his wife.

Donna, her eyes looking sleepy opened her eyes when feeling my hand holding hers. "Donna, I'm here, doctor called me saying you not feeling too good". She gave me a weak smile and squeezed my hand gently, "I..I feel so light now, Lee...funny, but..but, I don't feel anymore pain in my body". Looking at me, my tears rolling down my cheeks, she slowly raised her hand caressing my face, "Lee, you are so good to me...you,...Paul.. my boss,..like family to me".

I then took the opportunity, "Donna, I don't know about your past, or your family, give me their number, I'll call them now come visit you".
"Its okay, Lee...I..I never told you, but..but", her voice now very weak, "I don't..don't have a family anymore".
" Donna, I'm so sorry hear that, but is there anyone else I can call, sisters, brothers, relatives"?

"Its okay, Lee, you are here, I feel so happy you come see me,...everyday..you so busy..".
"Donna, you my good friend, work can wait. I'm very fond of you". She smiled squeezing my hand, "I know, Lee, thank you,...and..and I too am fond of you, very much".

The doctor and two nurses was checking her pulse, as well giving her an injection. Donna seeing my tears caressed my face, "please don't cry for me, Lee....you,..you don't know how happy you have made me getting me the job and that big salary", she tried to laugh.

I joked, "hey, I had to squeeze your boss, practically threatened him too". She smiled. Just then Paul and his wife arrived. They greeted her as she smiled at them. "How..how is my cat, Paul...is Weng okay"?
"Yes Donna, my two girls crazy over him, but I think he misses you as he keeps meowing now and then". Donna smiled weakly, "give..give,..my Weng to your daughters, Paul".

"Oh no, he's your cat, you can take him back as soon as you get well". "I..I don't think I will be going home, Paul. Look...look after him for me". "I will, Donna, till you get well".
Paul now had tears in his eyes, his wife too, "no Donna, don't say that, you'll be alright". She touched Paul's hand then his wife, her voice getting weaker,"he..he,...he likes to play with a tennis ball, it..it is in his box,..at home".
Paul nodded, "I'll get it for him".
"Hug...hug, Weng for,..for me, Paul". Paul just nodded wiping his tears.

What Donna said next really worried us, "ohhh look, it..it is so nice outside now,...so green...".
We all turned to look around us, outside was dark, the lights dimmed as the other patients were all sleeping. It was 3am.

Donna, she now breathing hard, "Paul..Paul,..please...if you see my,..my family, tell....tell my mother I love her and,..and my dad I love him and forgive them. I love my sisters too, all of them,..tell them....tell them I love them,...I have..have never stopped,...stopped loving them".
"I will, Donna..I will, you rest, get well first".

We could see Donna was fading fast as she breathed hard. "Paul..my,..my house keys in my hand..handbag. Go..go my house, letter..letter for you my table, look..look after Weng". Then looking at me, she slowly reached for my hand squeezing it gently, "Lee,...tha..thank you for every,..everything, you..you so good to,..to me, don't..don't cry,..cry for me...I feel better now,...I..I will be alright soon,...I..I..,hold..hold my hand Lee, don't..don't cry", my tears really coming out now, "hold..hold my hand,...Lee...hold...my...". "Yes, Donna, I'm here, talk to me, talk to me..Donna..".

We all looked at her as she looked at Paul, his wife smiling at them, then looking at me, a tear now rolling down her cheek, she squeezed my hand then released it slowly as she closed her eyes.
I called her, "Donna, we are here, Donna...Donna...". The doctor and nurses tried to revive her, but Donna had passed away.

We suddenly noticed how serene she looked. She looked like she was sleeping as I held her hand, then kissed her tears on her cheek. Donna had passed away. She no longer suffering in pain. Paul, his wife and I cried by her bedside holding her hands, my thoughts of she passing away without any of her family members present. We were her family.

My friend, our friend Donna is now at peace. Paul and I then arranged for her funeral. We buried her two days later. Her boss, her office staff and a few of her friends all came. I placed a bouquet of white roses on her grave, "goodbye Donna, I will miss you, rest in peace".

As her grave was being covered up, we were shocked to see a big group of people rushing towards us, men, women and some kids.

Paul recognised them, quickly telling me, "oh my God, her parents, sisters, her relatives"! They too saw him. I then saw Donna's mother and father walking to her grave and the mother crying out, "Donna, Donna, forgive us, please forgive us....", she and the husband now kneeling at the grave, both crying. The mother sobbing uncontrollably asking for Donna's forgiveness. I could see the relatives, her two younger sisters all kneeling down by her grave crying and begging for her forgiveness.

Paul whispered to me, "Oh God! After all these years, what they did to her, and now....", he shook his head, "its too late".
He then went over to console the mother and father telling them as he stood infront of Donna's grave, "Donna passed away peacefully, and her last words, my friend Lee over there was present when she asked me to tell you all, I quote her words, "please tell my mother and father, my sisters, I forgive them, I love my mother, I love my dad, I love my sisters, I never stopped loving all of you". The mother fell to her knees crying, "Donna...Donna, please...please forgive us,...forgive us".

The father too now kneeling low, his head on the pile of earth covering Donna's grave and crying loudly for her forgiveness, "Donna, Donna, please forgive me, please forgive me."

Paul had the morning she passed away took out an ad in both the English and Chinese press that Donna had passed away after a short illness. That was how they learned of her passing away and date and location of burial.

We after the burial ceremony was over went to Donna's house, her parents and relatives followed as they never knew where she was or lived. Paul and I looked around and seeing two sealed letters on her small dining table, "For my good friend Paul", and "For Lee, A brother I never had".

Her letter to paul stated she had a will with her lawyer, address given, and thanking Paul and his wife, "for being my family".
And to me, a short note, "my dearest Lee, thank you for being my friend and a brother to me. Please don't cry for me. I want you to know you made my life a very happy one, giving me a job with that high salary. I will now tell you my previous salary was only $500, ha ha. Thank you, Lee. Please take care, and God bless you for coming into my life. Your friend, Donna".

Donna taught us all a lesson. Love that we cannot have is the one that last the longest, hurts the deepest and feels the strongest.
To err is human, to forgive, divine.
Rest in peace, Donna.

Anonymous said...

This is a very touching story. I really envy your little darling becuase u are so romantic and full of love . What's your opinion of men who treat their wives like servants and slaves