It's almost a month since I posted something on my blog. This is gonna be a long, meaningful post. Bear with it.
So, if you kept up with my blog, I'm sure you'll cross by me talking about my late cousin.
Here's the story. Her story.
She was someone you could say caring and thoughtful to others. That was what she was. To others. Well, to me, it was completely different. Totally the opposite.
To me, she's inconsiderate, reckless, still confused between being a kid or an adult.
Well, that's what all teenagers are right? Most of them.
I have to admit, she acts all well behaved and matured in front of people and that's a good fact that doesn't last long when she's with me.
Behind those eyes, she's someone whom you would expect to tease you and someone who would just wait it their way.
Just someone in the process to find out who they really are.
She is Jane Lee.
Jane was brought into this world unexpectedly.
The fact that she's not my true cousin, completely surprised me. I really have no idea about this.
I only knew it on the night of her wake service.
But that's not the point. The point is I was blinded by love so much that I couldn't see the thin line of truth.
That's what we were.
Every year, she'll be overtaking me by my height. Really hated it when she teased me how short I am getting but really, it was her who was growing really tall. I used to be the tallest in our family and now perhaps I got back my title I always wanted. I would give it up again for her but I know I couldn't anymore.
Every Chinese New Year, she'd be sitting at the living room eating a bowl of rice at our Granny's house. She'd chug down multiple of packet drinks and these recent years, she has been eating lesser. Perhaps it's because she wanted to be skinny when she has reached her teen years. She wasn't even a teen yet to begin with.
|Some 3 years ago. Chinese New Year.|
During Mooncake Festivals, we'd play candles outside of Granny's house. I remember we'd take dead leaves, sometimes our leftover food, peanut shells and all sorts to burn. We used to arrange lots of candles together, form a really big flame and watch the colorful wax melt. I once brought marshmallows to burn. We couldn't see much in the dark so as we entered the house to check whether my marshmallow was cooked, I realized how black the marshmallow was. She laughed at me with that sort of annoying laugh. Nowadays, Granny wouldn't let us stick the candles on her tile floor as it would be hard to clean up the wax later. We'd use a brick or a stick instead. Now, the stick or brick would be meaningless without her.
Every Christmas, her family would always give me books as a present. Even though my family wasn't that kind of family who would sit around and unwrap every present on Boxing Day, trust me when I say, I already knew what she will be giving me.
In every dance practice, I was afraid to stand in front of her as she would always kick me from behind. I always got really annoyed by it and I often complained to my parents, friends, and granny. Soon, her brother followed her footsteps and kicked almost everyone he sees. I guess I'll be missing that forever now. I always thought she would pass that phase once she enters her teenage years so I let it be and never lectured her about it. If I knew she had 'that' long to live, I would really advice her about it and head towards a better relationship.
|Our dance team.|
Me and my sister would go to her house for sleepovers once in a while during the holidays. We'd go to the park at night and walk the dogs. Shawn would be cycling, my sister would be followicng my unle and aunt to walk the dogs and for us, we'll be on the swing or just racing. I remembered once my phone dropped out of my pocket when I was running and we were using everything we had to find my phone in pitch darkness and good enough, we found it. Maturing, fun wasn't a thing for me anymore. It was just a word. I wasn't interested in all those dress up or Barbie anymore. When she called me up to her room, I gave her as much reasons I can not to. At night, we'll be gossiping about stuffs the world outside our four walls will never know. My mom do not really like me and my sister to sleepover at people's houses cuz' she thinks of it as a bad habit or so. I guess, it's too late to regret about it when we couldn't go over to her house when we had the chance to.
|Shawn Lee holding a picture of Jane.|
She was the first person I think of when I hear the word "cousin". Growing up, I wasn't close to most of my cousins. Losing her is like losing most of my childhood. My childhood was awesome, though at times bitter but that's the way life's gotta be right? And now without her, my childhood is just... gone with her. I thought I'd share my teenage years with her since it's easier every Sunday cuz' she was in a proper age to be in the Youth Force. She was the gap between my sister and I. We were all 3 years apart from each other. She was like our beef patty to our burger, our "Re" to our "Do" and "Mi", our middle part of tomato sauce to our pizza.
This is probably my last letter to her. I don't know when we'll meet again, don't know when I'll remember her again, don't know who to share my joy with again, don't know how to sleepover at her house again, don't know who to play with again and I just don't know what will the future be without her.
To my enemy at times, my friend to share my secrets with at night, my height-rival, my sister who looked a little bit like me at times, some big bully of mine, my cousin, Jane.
That was what we really were.
Our last moments that are still fresh in my memories are when we were in Church Camp. Her last camp.
Before the camp, we didn't really meet up with each other.
Well, I do see her in church, just a quick glance. Just to stay out of a pointless fight with her which I knew I would lose.
Once, we fought all around the church over my hair rubber band. It was a really tiring battle. Haha! When I pinned her against the walls with my hands, she spitted at me! Gosh! Ew!
I'm really a hygiene freak when it comes to salivas! I tried so hard not to lose it by asking for help from the people around. Well, that was what my mom always told me to do when I was picked on. Ask for someone else to interfere and stop. Didn't work.
Her reasons to hold on to my rubber bands were absurd and invalid. I was really, really mad.
Well, of course it came to a stop and my rubber band is back in my hands but this was one of those times I hated her!
I did nothing. Did not approach her, did not teach her. Nothing. Always, always thought she will grow out of this nuisance. She didn't have the time to.
During camp, we hardly bumped into each other. There was just once. That was in the lift. She told me where her room was but I didn't pay any attention to it. Just a simple nod as a reaction and therefore, I didn't look for her in the middle of the night like how any teenagers would do.We had to serve the congregation during one of those nights. That was when we cooperated together.
After being taught by one of our dance seniors, we went to the side of the stage to practice. It was one of our simple tambourine dances. I led the practice. There she was with two of her close buddies too. I remember I screwed up one of the steps. We didn't really joke around. Well, that's because I wasn't in to it. I never knew that that was the last.
The very last.
Ah yes! I just remembered. During the camp, she scooped me out of a conversation between my friends quite rudely, she's really strong so I couldn't do much but wriggled. She said the children's speaker Ps. Teong Soo Cheng wanted to see me because it's been years and years since the last time we met. My foggy memory couldn't let me remember what we talked during our walk to meet the speaker but I think we were talking about how awkward it is for me and she was reassuring me that it was okay.
I hardly saw her after the camp ended. All of our church members headed home. I woked up in Bidor for lunch at one of the most famous restaurants there, Wantan Mee.
That was when a call came...
|That's Ps. Teong Soo Cheng on the left. I didn't even take a photo with Jane on this day. The last day of camp.|
My feelings were all jumbled up, my mind was out of place. The crash was between my uncle's car and the lorry. A part of me told me it was nothing serious. God will protect. Part of me ached to disagree. I couldn't remember most of the things on that day. Someone on the phone said that there were two victims, both ladies. One dead, one seriously injured.
I kept chanting, "It's neither anyone from my family."
My dad was speeding towards the scene. Both my parents came out of the car. My sister and I weren't allowed to. After a while, my mom returned for the camera and told us that Jane's gone. My dad came back to head to the nearest hospital where my uncle and aunt were sent to.
|Small picture of the scene. The blue car...|
Just shocked and speechless.That night was really long.
Sometimes, I still believe she's still alive. That I will soon invite her for random Canteen Days or ask her to accompany me to famous International Understanding Days for my first time. Our first time.
She's never been to those special days. Not even from her school.
Every time an event comes, I want to invite her but then I realize... She's gone.
My mind plays tricks on me.
|Rest in Peace, Jane Lee Xi Yan|
Till I see you,