We don’t need much encouragement to ignite a thousand fireflies. Talking about the weather is our way to keep the ambience lukewarm. People talk about chemistry or destiny. Though we both know that it’s the knowing which only dreamers know; the touching which only lovers fathom.
We don’t need much encouragement to spread a wild fire. Being silent is what we can master to mask the need. People talk about soul mates or twin flames. For us, it’s just two people happily know each other but never feel the need to meet.
We don’t need much encouragement to burn up heaven. Leaving without saying goodbye is the only way that we survive from each other. People talk about love and affair. We know too well that we choose neither.
So it’s just like we said it would be, forever perfectly perfect.
It was at grandad’s wake, new faces I saw. I didn’t remember or know all those people in my family. I could tell that we were related by their strong jawlines and pear-shaped body.
There was a lot of chatter and whisper going around in the room, mostly about who would inherit what, and a little bit gossip about the affair between aunty Joan and uncle Peter.
I moved my wheelchair through them quietly, and the sympathy look they gave me made me feel uncomfortable. The accident was over a decade ago when I was three. It’s not as if I knew a better way to live. I was quite comfortable in my skin and a happy person.
I removed myself from the crowd and tended to the orchids grandpa loved. We used to go around the nursery to appreciate their beauty, trim dead leaves and spray mist to keep the humidity up. I knew I would always find grandpa here even his body was laying cold in the wooden box.
Grandpa told me lots stories about his past as well as his plans for the future after he turned his toes. I knew for a fact that everybody out there in the room would hate me. As much as I wanted to live on the sidelines for the rest of my life in this family, just like the past eighteen years. But I knew it wasn’t going to be possible. The truth was going to come out when they realised there was no inheritance that would go to any of them.
Over the years, grandpa and I gradually moved all his wealth to the National Trust as a silent donor, except this mansion, all its expenses for maintainance, current staff and other outgoings, and medical treatment and substantial amount of cash would come to me. Grandpa made sure I would always have my home where he promised to visit from time to time. I was content because I would always have a home where grandpa’s love echoed within these four walls.
I could hear “Time to Say Goodbye” playing and I guessed everyone in the family was in the main hall for grandpa’s funeral. A butterfly landed on the prayer plant in front of me which made me smile. It’s a sure confirmation that grandpa was absolutely not in that coffin, instead, he was here with me.
love boils down
to ordinary minutes and hours
it is hard to escape
from the mundane
of food, sleep
and bathroom trips
it makes it harder
to please you
when my cooking always
falls short of your mother's
the only thing I manage better
is baking cakes
which turns out to be
a slow murder
to the diabetic you