As I was immersed in my dilemma, my shoulder was tapped. It was Zam. Your typical perfect guy with wealth, looks and brains to boot. He is pursuing his doctorate. Sponsored by FaMa – father and mother. He declined scholarship as he does not like the idea of being bonded to any particular body or company.
Zam: Going home ?
Me: Yes, am just deciding if I should risk walking through the park to get to the Paki Store.
Zam: Great, I'll walk with you. I need to get some cabai burung.
As we entered the park, the atmosphere seems to get more depressing. The mist starts coming in and the trees bald of foliage looks as if it is in mourning. I am still undecided between the prata with chicken curry or perhaps do a masak lemak cili api. Zam's mention of the cabai burung bred this idea. There's chicken in the freezer and the rest of the ingredients in the larder. But then it will be at least another hour before I can eat. Decisions, decisions.
Zam: I need to tell you something, but please keep it to yourself.
Me: Huh, sure.(Still absorbed in what to eat).
Zam: I almost killed myself last week.
Me: What ? Whatever for ? Money is not a problem (god knows that is definitely my issue), your study is going great, your wife and kids come over every few months. What's wrong ?
Zam: That's what you see. Hmmm, I don't know, it's just that I feel the whole world is crashing around me. All these thoughts keep invading my mind. I can't sleep and think. It was such pain that I need escape from.
Me: So ?
Zam: I've made all the arrangements, even leaving instructions for you to take my remains home. You know, my stuff and of course my body. I would like to be buried where my kids can visit me.
Me: Whoa, now you're scaring me. (I was, what with the dark gloomy day and all).
Zam: I have everything figured out, from the kid's education down to the house and car settlement. The thing that stopped me was the thought of my kids without a father. I just can't bear the thought of them without a father. So, I sacrificed my freedom for my kids.
Me: Why are you telling me all this ?
Zam: I just need to offload, you are a good listener, keep to yourself and the fact that if I actually got through with it, you were the one who will have to sort the final bits for me.
We walked in silence all the way to the Paki grocer. I don't know what to say or make of this conversation. How can someone who seemed so perfect, who seem to have everything, harbour such thoughts ?
When we arrived at the Paki, Zam picked up his cabai burung while I, still undecided bought some sausages, beans and mangoes instead of what I had been thinking of earlier.
This post is inspired by Pi Bani's Mr. X who wanted to commit suicide after doing some foolish things. Go over to her site for the story.