Part Four was published on the 24th of November.


I will never forget what happened. It completely destroyed me. I haven’t got anyone on my side. It was just me against the world. I figured that my mother would understand but I was wrong. I told half the story to mother but she cut it short by telling me about my brother’s accomplishments and my cousin’s marriage. It was as if my pain didn’t matter to anyone. My father fussed about my grades and when I mention the bullying he just listened in silence and told me that ‘it happens to everyone.’

“Just suck it up, Del. You will get over it soon enough,” said my youngest brother. My second brother actually told me that I can write to him and tell him what was bothering me so much but letters are not the same as a hug or a pat on the knees. I thanked him graciously but I didn’t write him a single word.

Is this normal?

“You should be thankful to your seniors. They’re there to toughen you up to make you ready to face the world!” said my eldest brother when I finally got to speak with him. They basically supported bullying as a way of life. It’s best to hung up the phone and pretended that it never happened.

To be honest, I did not know that any of this was real. Apparently it’s great favor to mess up other people’s life for their future. I didn’t notice that life sucks and the world is full of criminals. So when I graduate from university and had the fortune to work with an asshole boss then I should be thankful for the bullying I got in secondary so that I can survive through that shit.

What an amazing life we’re living.

Raffles knew this game pretty much before she knew everyone at school. She was the first person that complimented my unnatural accent (my cleft palate made it sound worse) and we bonded during orientation week.

I guess she trusted me when she told me that she was in love.

At 13, the only person I was in love was fictional and he lives in Neverland. So, never mind. She said it was love at first sight and it was mutual attraction. They have been spending some time together and obviously she has had sleepovers. She gushed about all the chocolates, flowers and dirty little notes that she got every day. She had met The One and they’re going to live happily ever after.

“What’s his name?” I asked.

“You’re really dumb, aren’t you?” she asked, sarcastically.

I would never guess that the corresponding name was Saleha. During the first few weeks I only knew one girl named Saleha and she is a Form Five prefect. I knew this because she wears a beige uniform and stand at the back of the assembly every day checking for random things like petty coats and nametags. Also, she doubled as the president of our surau*. She had a soft radiance when she smiles, and that it why she is so easy to like. Surely Raffles can’t mean the same person? There has to be another Saleha that I did not know.

I felt more uncomfortable when I found out that there is only one Saleha.

It can’t be right. She was the one preaching about sins, punishments and all the doors of Hell. It’s not possible that she would choose to be happy this way. Every time I saw her at the canteen or surau I felt a pang of guilt. My respect faltering.

“Kak** Sal, do you have a minute?” I asked when I saw her alone at the library.

That was my least favourite mistake.


*surau – a small mosque, or room for Muslims to go to pray.

**Kak – put in front of a female’s name, for people older than the caller or for someone that the caller grants respect, informal strangers or biological older sister.

Part Six will be published on the 28th of November. Thank you.

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