Falling Slowly

I troop home, disconsolant. It is the frustrating feeling of helplessness, of being shut out once again because I'm a minority.

Not that it wasn't my fault; looking back, with hindsight, I could and probably should have prepared better. Nevertheless, the hammer blow, when it did come, was a shock to the system.

"You can't take this class," the teacher had said earlier. "Your language skills are not good enough. I'm sorry."

Cold, hard...but fair.

Which is what hurt me the most. Which is what prompted the soul-searching conducted on the way back home, all 30 minutes of it.

What the hell am I doing here?

I had an offer from America, a country synonymous with movies, at the heart of the film industry itself. I could have been in a place where I speak and understand the language, history and culture. Instead, I am stuck here, not even being able to understand my teachers and friends, without a handphone, bank account, and student card.

What the hell am I doing here?

The theme repeated itself over and over in my head, the mind poking the logic endlessly. The answers were obvious enough: I had no money for America, no scholarship despite being practically promised one (still think the government help all the Malays?), and Korea came calling.

What was I supposed to do?

And yet...what am I doing here?

As I walked, I reached around in my bag, and somehow feeling a little something. Reaching inside, I realised it was a copy of Batman Begins, a movie that my friend had lent to me, but I had completely forgotten about.

I put it back in my bag, resolved to watching it once I reach home.


"Why do we fall, Master Wayne?" asked Alfred, as he cared for Bruce tenderly.

Young Bruce had just awakened a few moments ago, a patch on his head an unnecessary reminder of his escapade down that deep, dark, scary hole. It was cold down there, too.

He reached for the patch, nonetheless, but Alfred's hands reached for his. Bruce felt the warmth of the old man's love, and looked up at him.

Alfred smiled. "So that we can get back up."


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Fikri said…
Ari, mate, drop me a line whenever you're free. Would be nice to hear from you. Take care, mate.