Jan Firdaus

Yikes, happiness who? I don’t know her

December 1, 2019 in Poetry/Puisi

Why am I placed

In a house where I’m not suited to be?

I was chosen for my worth they said

But what value is my worth exactly?

My brain couldn’t figure a no brain equation

My lips couldn’t utter a single grammar perfection

My grades are lower than those of a chopped down tree

My looks are below the average of the hunchback from Disney

Tell me, what is it that makes my label a  real specialty?

 

I am no saint either

Despite the name of my respected religious belief

Has been a symbol for my blood to take its shape

No matter if the colour has been tainted by a thief

The number of my prayers are close to none

My practices either have never been done

Why can’t I force to shape my soul to his liking

Why is it my true colour is what has been grieving

To end the white and just let the darkness keep beating?

 

My family is a puzzle no?

People see it as a completed puzzle in a frame

It’s hung proudly for the audience to highly admire

Despite the secrets that comes with it that buries me with shame

Why doesn’t dad stop the lies and acts a bit tougher

Why does my mother has to be the one to suffer

My brother is always the proud trophy standing tall

Leaving me in his shadows, where my steps are about to fall

Further away, leaving my body to be under and crawl

 

I’m no doll from the magazine

I fail everyone’s expectations of me

I’m no perfect figurine that should be admired

I’m just second hand me downs given for free

The value of my own fabric was never fair

Placed under for people to sit on the high chair

I’m no beauty and my brains don’t even compare

To those being fought over to be owned proudly

My rags are just for me to despair.

 

Seri

September 22, 2019 in Conceal/Sembunyi

The surface of my skin wrinkles day by day. Caressing my right cheek, thoughts of insecurities barges through my head towards my eyes. All I see is imperfection, the opposite meaning of my name. What stood in front of me was just a glass boarder, separating me from another hideous creature. She was my reflection who does no better. Her looks were repulsive. The way she looks back at me is disgusting.

“I can be the better reflection of you.”

She speaks, her actions no longer imitates the duty of a mirror. My eyes widen as I saw her lips forming into a smile. I must have gone insane.

“How are you able to talk?” I question myself standing on the other side.

“I  am you, what can I not do?” she questions back.

“Why do you look so unsightly?” I asked. Each physical feature of herself was brought to my own judgement.

Laughter. She was filling my room with the echoes of my own voice. “I can be the better reflection of you, that is if you allow me to.” she said.

“Then do it.” I replied without hesitation.

Once those words left my mouth, I had no regrets. She did became the better reflection of me. I could no longer see the wrinkles that were once carved beneath the depth of my skin. Her eyes sparkled like those of priceless pearls that should have remain hidden in the ocean. The long locks of her hair screamed delicate at each end of the strand.

She was me but I was not her.

“Now tell me, what is that you want me to do?” she asked as if she was the genie from a magic lamp.

And I, the poor beggar from the streets, began to wish.

 

***

 

My reflection granted all of my wishes. She went to school, attended all of my group discussions and did all the house chores. While she was fulfilling my endless number of wishes, I lived the life of luxury. I would listen to music while lying down on my soft bed coated in gentle sheets. She would bring me my meals if I was too lazy to head out to the kitchen. I didn’t need to go out and face the world. A chance was given to me to hide my very unwanted attire of my existence and I had no objections.

The only time that I would unlock myself to enter the world is when my family calls me to dine with them. Unlike any other social events, participating a family dinner is what I find the most comfortable compared to the rest.

“Seri!” my mother calls me.

In response I was about to head out of my room as it was time for dinner but I saw my reflection head out to the door instead. Rage began to engulf my entire figure. This was not the first time she began to respond to my family’s call.

“You!” I yelled, stopping her at her tracks.

“Yes?” she replies, with no sense of shame. Does she not realise who she is?

“My mother will only call for the original Seri to be present at the dinner table,” I made my stance “You will only be my double, you are my reflection.”

She only nodded her head in understanding as she made her way back to her position.

Making my way out of my room, I went to the dinner table. Mother and father were all smiles and so was I.

“What’s with the happy occasion?” I asked.

“Sweetie, your mother has told me so many wonderful things about you today!” father said, his face was lit up like those of a firefly.

“What wonderful things?” I asked, obviously confused.

“Silly girl, you must have forgotten.” my mother giggled “You previously told me how your grades went up in every subject for the last examination!” she continued happily.

There was an examination?

“Oh yes, I heard that you’ve completed all the house chores daily for these past few weeks!” my father said.

“We’re so very proud that you’re changing for the better.” mother cooed as she served me my dinner.

Now I’m getting compliments because of her.

This is annoying.

 

***

After dinner I rushed up to my room. When I opened the bedroom door, I saw my reflection was texting someone using my phone, laughing. Stomping my feet, I went to her and snatched away what was mine. She looked at me furiously.

“What was that for?” she fumed.

“You’re stealing my parents from me and now you’re stealing away my friends too?” I barked angrily.

“You were the one who wanted me to attend to school and to complete your chores! What did I do to have stained your reputation? I made us better!” She snapped.

“Yes, but I never wanted you to completely replace my identity!” I shouted back.

“That was what you wished for!” My reflection replied, shoving me back until my figure hit the wall behind me.

“You wanted me to be the better reflection of you!” Her hands began to grasp tightly on my shoulders, pushing me back as I was leaning further on the smooth wall which surface felt like glass.

“Days after days I had to hear you shaming my looks,” she continued, pushing me further into the glass “I hated myself because of you. When I granted your wishes, I thought you would change your views on how you looked at me!” Anger was seeping out through each of her sentences.

“But in the end, you still hated me who was your own self.” With that, she shoved me completely into the glass boarder. My palms could only touch glass and I understood where I was exactly. My figure was trapped.

“Now you get to feel how it means to be my reflection.”

With that, Seri’s reflection grabbed the mirror and threw it to the ground, shattering it completely with Seri forever concealed within.

I was not the Puppeteer

September 20, 2019 in Conceal/Sembunyi

Paperwork. That’s easy. That’s a must isn’t it? With this I’ll be able to fit in society. I am now able to provide for my family with my own hard work and money. It’s an occupation that everyone glorifies rather than being a certified neet. That’s an accomplishment.

“Miss Sofea, get back to work.” One of my co-workers said, bringing me back to reality.

Here I am, in front of my work desk. With papers to sign and documents to fill. This is a prestigious job and I should be honored to be offered such an opportunity.

Right?

Document after document. Paper after paper. It’s not tiring.

Right?

I absolutely can do this. This is what my family wanted me to be. I’ll be able to survive in this world by working here.

“Miss Sofea!” My co-worker rang me “Bring those papers here!” He demanded.

“Absolutely!” I replied.

Grabbing what was on my desk, I ran from my seat to him. Handing it out with a smile but what I have received in return was just a glare. He snatched it out of my grasp and simply gave a 2 second look before criticizing my work. Some were understandable and some were just because I couldn’t reach his high expectations of me.

“You’ve graduated, majoring in literature,” He uttered with his eyebrows furrowed “Why are you working here?” He asked.

“Just to try something new.” I smiled.

A small sigh left his mouth after saying “Are you sure you’re not doing this for the pay?”

I simply shook my head in response and went back to my desk with my eyes glued to the floor.

This was the right decision, right? My passion is just a hobby, I can just hide it away. This job is my dream.

Right.

 

**

 

Most people say working an overnight shift is a simple task for a rookie. It’s because they depend on me that I can do it. How many days has it been since my first time working here? My co-workers are gone and they left me with their work. Is it because that they trust me enough to have left me with such a strong responsibility?

My fingers continued to type, finishing the report that was due tomorrow. Eyes glued tight to the screen, fingers moved non-stop as my position remains still. Do I need a break? My hands are getting tired yet I’m still moving them.

There’s no one here but me. Will it always be like this for the remaining years? Will I be alone? These thoughts has to stop. Maybe that could help.

Stopping my hands from continuing further on my assigned duties, I began to stretch my crooked limbs with each movement resulting a sound. This is absolutely normal for a rookie like me to feel sore in every part of my limbs. My hand began to reach the insides of my bag, searching for a small notebook that I bring everywhere I go to. The book that I write my poems. A garbage of a hobby is what they might say, but it’s still my hobby.

Gently opening the book like it was a sacred piece of my soul, I read them all. The poems where I wrote had themes and words that were centered among the emotions I felt during my rough times. It’s amazing how beautiful a creation can be on paper when you can only see it as a toxic scar in your mind.

No I need to conceal this passion. It will stain my career.

Tears. They’re streaming again. Why? Why are these tears flowing right now? My fingers felt my wet cheeks. Looking down at where the tears drop, I noticed something.

My hands, knees and feet. Every part of my limbs. They didn’t belong to me. No.

I was attached.

Strings are connected to me, I see them.

So much of them. To where the strings may lead?

Of course, to my Puppeteer.

 

***

 

Again. These same movements. Typing on my keyboard to finish the workload that has been piled up higher than any building. My ears were always opened to hear them criticizing what I could not do. My restricted movements due to the hours and hours I sacrificed for this job.

At the very least your family is at ease. You finally can put food on the table for them. They’re not struggling. Your friends are finally proud to call you their friends. They’re happy that you are one of them. Your friends and family are happy.

But what about me?

Your occupation comes in first, your emotions come in second and, your passion comes in third. You cannot be selfish.” The Puppeteer whispered to my mind.

Why do I have to listen to you? It has been months and I’m tired.

This is what I want you to be,” He whispered again.

Why are you controlling me? I’m not your servant. I’m not your puppet!

Fool, you made me your Puppeteer.”

Those were the last words I heard from him before my limbs were being pulled by the strings to the opposite direction. I can feel my bones being separated and my skin being torn. Is he punishing me? Pain started to spread from my chest to every part of my figure. As if my heart started to give up on me. Piles of blood are seeping out from each end of my skin. I’m shattered. But the strings aren’t connected anymore. I’m free. I can write again. I don’t need to hide what I’m truly passionate about anymore. Because I can’t see the strings anymore. Those strings of my Puppeteer are not connected to me anymore. They have finally snapped.

So did my veins.

Help! Help! There’s someone who jumped from the 20th floor! Call the ambulance! Quick!”

***

 

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