web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Anak Rusa Nani
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Anak Rusa Nani

My friend from school, Rosenani, passed away on Friday. I have not seen her for more than ten years. One of the last things she wanted to do was see me, and she begged another friend to give me her number. That friend, now distraught with regret, forgot to do so.

You may have read the story in the news. They misspelt her name as Rosnani Daud, spa manager. Jumped out from her husband's moving car, died of serious head injuries. Her family, though, thinks there's more than meets the eye.

Here's what I know : she was in an abusive relationship. The very last time we met, I had begged her to run away from this man, this man who was beating her up. I didn't hear from her since then. A mutual friend said after more than ten years, she finally summoned enough courage to tear away. The details are sketchy, but it must have been a factor in the argument she had with her husband on that fateful night. I cannot imagine what he told their children, three of them, the eldest a girl the same age as Adam.

Rosenani did not have an easy life, but she must have been the most easy-going person I know. Her father was a Polis Hutan, and they lived in police quarters no larger than my bedroom now. She was always at my house; constantly trying to escape her dour and indifferent parents, and their dark, cramped cell. I think she wished she could be me on some days - we weren't rich either, but we did have more than two rooms to live in and my father, when I think about it, had a relatively liberal policy to upbringing.

We were fourteen, fifteen, fast friends. It was us against the establishment, for some reason or other or for no reason at all. We hated school, loved the arts, played the drums in our school brass band, and dreamt. She had a wonderful sense of humor, and could find the funny side to almost anything. Indeed, in her, joie de vivre must have been a necessity, to keep from going mad with depression. I was all teen angst, pretended I was angry with my parents, pretended she was the only one who understood. I knew for Rosenani there was no pretense. She clung to our friendship the way one clings to a refuge, an island in a raging sea. When I heard that one of her last requests was to meet me, I cried and cried and cried. She could have swum to safety.

After Form Three, we ended up in different classes and drifted apart. Though I knew what I meant to her, at fifteen you could manage little more than what's in front of you, and her troubles did not come up as priority. A year after I married Saiffuddin, I met her by accident. She was manning a gym that I decided to join, and we picked up the friendship for a while. By then, she was already living together with the man she would later marry, and he was already abusing her. Saiffuddin and I became her rescue team on several occassions, only for her to go back to the very man who harmed her. She insists that he truly loves her and that he is always apologetic after. I wonder how many times this pattern of anger and remorse was repeated throughout their relationship. In the end, I guess he never got to say he was sorry.

Rosenani, I remembered her as one with twinkling eyes, full-throated laugh. I never knew if she was ever happy, right till the end. Saiffuddin noticed that she passed away on a Friday morning, always a good sign for Muslims. God must have repaid her sorrows in full.


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