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…….The World Without Boundaries

That Lady at the Optical Shop

Written By: jipp - Apr• 13•16

I went to an optical store at Wangsa Walk last Sunday. While browsing around, a young lady came up to me and asked if she could be of any help. I told her I was interested in one of the glasses in the display. I noticed her accent almost immediately. There was no mistaking that she is from Sabah. A little bit of conversation then ensued.

She told me that she is a student at one of the colleges nearby – and that she is working there as a part-timer because the fund that she got from her scholarship is far from enough. I couldn’t help but noticing her beauty. She really is pretty. And her smile glows. I asked her if she had a boyfriend and she told me she had none.


“But I’m sure a lot of guys are after you. You are a beautiful lady” I said to her, probably more direct-to-the point than I had intended to. I addressed her as ‘lady’ after she told me that she is 29 years old – a far cry from my initial guess, which was 23.

And I really meant it. She is beautiful. “Especially Malay guys. They can be very romantic around girls at times. They really know how to melt your heart. I mean, just look at their TV drama series” I said to her with a stifled laugh.

“Ahhhh, Malay guys”, she said with her head thrown back. This time she was the one who laughed. “Too romantic it’s actually funny at times” she said. “Especially Kelantanese guys. I realized many of my Kelantanese friends got married to Sabahan girls. You can be one of them”, I told her. And I meant it too.

“No, I’d prefer marrying a Sabahan”, she said and to that I could feel my face blush. “I don’t intend to stay here. I gotta go back to Sabah. And in order to go back to Sabah and stay there, I gotta get married to a fellow Sabahan” she said which made me blush even more.

“Are you sure you are still single?” I asked for a reassurance. “Yes I am. But I actually got engaged when I was 22 years old”.  I tried not to look too surprised. Or happy. Or .. relieved?

“Really? Then what happened?” I asked, this time more curious than ever.

“Oh well, she lied to me. I was engaged to him for six months. Everything seemed so perfect and we were all set for our wedding until … “ she paused, probably trying to keep her composure.

“.. until a woman called and asked if she could see me. I agreed, out of curiosity” she said.

“When we met up, she told me that she was the wife of my fiancé, that they’ve been married for quite a few years but they couldn’t get a child”

“I was so devastated. It really broke my heart” she continued before pausing again.

“They were still married when he was engaged to me. It really hurt me, there’s no doubt about that, but what hurt me most was the fact that his parents were in it too. They probably wanted my (ex) fiancé to have kids too” she said with her eyes now fixed to the floor.

“I called off the wedding almost immediately. I felt so cheated. I didn’t want to be used as a tool for him to get kids”

“I left for KL soon after and applied for a scholarship from here. I just wanted to go away at that time. As fate quite had it, I got a scholarship, first to get a diploma and later a degree. And here I am, a happy student, full of hope and enthusiasm and ready to face the world again” she said with a wide smile on her face. I could easily fall in love with that smile.

Well, needless to say, I bought the glasses. I’m not quite sure whether it was her smile or I really liked those glasses.

“The glasses will be ready in a few days. I suggest you come and collect it on Monday because I’m going back to Sabah on Tuesday. At least you can see me again before I go back” she said flirtatiously – with that bright smile of hers again. “OK, I’ll try” I said, trying to sound and look innocent at the same time.

I actually couldn’t come to that shop on Monday.

Good news is, she did not go back to Sabah for good.

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