A Long Journey ~ Part 7


Memandangkan cuaca semakin panas, pihak pusat kanak-kanak di Acton Park telah menyediakan permainan di luar. Apalagi? Arishlah yang paling teruja sampai tak pandang kiri kanan dah. Hehe~

Secara umumnya pada setiap hari pusat kanak-kanak di Uniterd Kingdom akan mengadakan sesi permainan secara percuma untuk orang awam. Kanak-kanak bebas bermain apa saja permainan yang disediakan asalkan ada ibu bapa atau penjaga yang mengawasi. Saya akan cuba sedaya upaya untuk membawa Arish ke sini dan setiap kali sesi permainan tamat, akan ada ‘perang’ kerana dia tak mahu pulang ;p

Baiklah, sekarang kita sambung dengan cerpen ‘Perjalanan Yang Jauh’ karya Zaharah Nawawi yang saya terjemahkan ke dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Selamat membaca!

A Long Journey

By: Zaharah Nawawi

Translated by: Firuz Akhtar Mohamad Bohari


Rugayah kissed and hugged her mother as tightly as possible. “Forgive me from the beginning of my hair to the end of my toes, Mother.” Rugayah’s voice was filled with sadness. “Please legitimize the milk you gave me…”[1] Rugayah could no longer continue her words.

Mother was also unable to answer, save only for the nods and sobs immersed between Rugayah’s blouse and neck. Consent was something that does not need to be requested. Consent has already been planted in each child at birth.

“Pray for my safety.” Rugayah hugged Sham.

“Pray for my safety, my loved ones.” She hugged and kissed her children, one by one.

“Mother, pray for me.” Once again, Rugayah looked to her mother who was drowning in a flood of tears.

“Doctor, may I see my baby?” Rugayah uttered a request that would not accept a ‘no’ from anyone.

The unnamed baby was brought in and handed to Rugayah. With the help of Mother and Sham, Rugayah embraced the child, whose eyes were still shut. Rugayah kissed the baby, and his lips and eyelids moved as though signaling that he wanted his mother to be patient. Rugayah, Mother, and Sham’s tears spilled profusely.

Doctor Ee looked at the clock. He whispered something into Sham’s ear. A nurse appeared, took the baby from Rugayah’s hands, and left.

Through her blurred vision, Rugayah stared, one by one, at her loved ones as they left her. She would be alone in facing the risky operation. Once the backs of Mother, Sham, and the children vanished behind the door, Rugayah, now on a stretcher, was pushed into the operating room.

Before being injected with an epidural, Rugayah could see various pieces of operating room equipment, especially the huge heart monitor located beside her. There were many sizes of scissors, knives, and scalpels arranged neatly upon a shiny tray. Nothing was scary, for the pain she was experiencing that moment was more tormenting.

The nurses in the operating room stood ready, with clothes that covered their bodies, hands, and faces, exposing only their pairs of clear eyes of surrender.

The epidural syringe was pierced into Rugayah’s spinal cord. Rugayah grew silent. Her anxiety waned. Her pain gradually faded. Her eyelids started to lower and became sealed. However, her ears and other senses could still hear and perceive the way she was being handled.

Doctor Ee opened Rugayah’s eyelids. Rugayah knew it. The thing that Rugayah did not know was that Nurse Ef was standing beside Doctor Ee, together with Nurse El, Nurse An, Ar, Kiu, Ji, Bi and Vi, who were standing at her right and left, under the beam of the bright light in the room where her fate would be determined.

The clinking sound of the operating equipment touching the tray corresponded with the voice of Doctor Ee, who was asking for this and that from his assistant.

“Doctor,” Nurse Ef called out. Doctor Ee looked at her from behind the glasses, which were half covered by a green cloth.

“Blood is not flowing.” Nurse Ef signaled with her eyes to the blood pint that was hanging close to Doctor Ee’s head. “Her body is not accepting it,” she continued slowly.

[1] It is a phrase that Malays tend to use when they ask for consent from their mothers especially before going to a long journey and there will be no guarantee for confirmed safety for the return.