this is the home i grew up in.
the only place that felt like home for a really long time even after we said our final goodbyes.
all my memories of childhood remain in that square terrace unit we rented at rm350 for almost 20 years.
i lived in all 4 rooms upstairs over time. each change of scenery for very different reasons. i helped paint the hall, put granite into the pavement and tiles on the floor.
i’m a sentimental fool, for the most part.
and i really love that house.
i didn’t even realise how much memory i have of home until ah ma passed away and all my dreams of her are set in that home.
this is home, right before we said goodbye.
i don’t remember when it was painted white. blue was a much better colour.
that is our mango tree ah ma planted back in the early 90s. come to think of it, our family occupied that house for more than 20 years. by 2013, i had already moved out but ah ma and ah kong had to shift to a new rented house in their old age when the owner decided to sell the whole row of houses and the new owners doubled the rent, then tripled it.
i shall remain bitter about that forever.
i went back to visit the house a month ago. just out of curiosity. the place is now covered by weeds and it’s clear the mango tree left with us. all that’s left is a huge bark and bald branches.
i dug through the jungle of weed and got to the windows in front. i know how to get them to open from the outside even if it’s latched on the inside. doing that reminded me of the many times i did in the past, to call out to ah ma so she could open the doors for me when i forgot my keys.
the inside was naked, except for my old piano sitting still in the middle of the hall. it still felt like home.
i thought seeing the place completely abandoned would have saddened me more, but i actually rather like how nature has taken over. better nature than people.
i have a new home now.
and a new family.
oh, the memories we’ll create.