When Sofie was still alive, I used to visit the family on weekdays without much problem. (I prefer to keep Sundays for myself. Hey, I need a break too.) Even during the time when she had started her nasi lemak stall, she’d usually be home by 11 am. So I’d usually go in the afternoon to visit her family.
But ever since Sofie died in Aprill 2012, the sister Sofie trusted most, Rozi, took over as the new guardian. Rozi works Mondays to Fridays and would usually only be home at night. Nope I don’t do house visits at night either.
From time to time I do go on weekdays to visit the kids when their aunt Rozi isn’t around, but whenever I need to discuss some matters with Rozi, I’d have to wait for Sundays to visit them.
So yep, last Sunday I went to visit. Rozi knew I was coming. When I got to their house, the gate was open, the front door was open, but there didn’t seem to be anybody around! As I got down from my car, Saiful, Sofie’s 3rd child saw me and said, “Eh, makcik dah sampai!” Apparently Rozi, Saiful, Ika and Rozi’s son were at the neighbour’s house, just finished their lunch.
They had actually been painting their house in the morning (the landlord paid for the paint and they agreed to paint the house themselves) and with the house in a mess and smelling of paint, Rozi did not cook. When the neighbour, the same one who had been giving free tuition to Saiful and Ika, invited them over for lunch, they simply couldn’t say no.
Anyway, I was told Azlan, Sofie’s eldest son, was home for the weekend, but had gone out with his cousin. Azlan had completed and passed his first semester exam in IKM and has turned out to be a very responsible boy now. He is in fact already planning to go on to diploma level after he completes his certificate course in another 3 semesters.
The same can’t be said about Sofie’s second son, Azman. Having wanted to quit school immediately after his PMR (as a matter of fact he did not go to school when he should have), I paved the way for him to join a culinary school, knowing that’s where his interest lies. Azman was happy when I arranged for him to join the culinary school. Initially he did okay, but somehow along the way, he became big-headed, he started spending as though he was rich, and he seldom went home. When Sofie died, he got even worse, going back only to the home of his other aunt who had once told the whole kampong about Sofie’s HIV. When Azlan, the older brother, tried to advise him, they almost ended up in a fist-fight!
Azman had stopped going to the culinary school, before even completing his one year course. What a waste! Now he’s doing odd jobs and no longer goes to see his siblings. He prefers to stay with the other aunt who doesn’t encourage him to continue his studies. I can just hope that Azman will come to his senses soon before he wastes his whole future.
The 3rd child, Saiful, is in form 3 this year. He too, like his brothers, are not too much into academics, but I could see his interest lies in the mechanical field. I think it’s probably best for him to join a vocational school next year, after PMR. Saiful himself is keen on the idea.
Ika, the youngest, seems to be doing better academically, although according to her aunt Rozi, she’d have to be reminded time and again to complete her homework every time.
I always remind them about the importance of education for their future. I hope they will work hard enough to get something more than just PMR or SPM. For the moment, Azman seems to be in a gone-case situation. But I hope Azlan, Saiful and ika, who I know are as disappointed with Azman as I am, will take their brother’s situation as a reminder for themselves NOT to do what he did. I know these 3 are at least happy staying with their aunt Rozi, just like Sofie would have wanted them to be.