Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mrs. Lee- my back neighour

The palace that I am living in (for close to 25 years) has a kitchen that typically extends to the border of the behind neighbour. What separates us would be a grille atop a block of cement wall. Given the close proximity, Mr and Mrs Lee have developed an annoying nosy habit of watching what my mom cooks. Not that my mom minds even though she calls them "The Nosy Couple" all the time.

(Speaking of which, we have nicknames for a few other neighbours i.e. The Lion Head, Skinny Lady, Inspector, Crazy French. We are probably "The Family with Old Junk Cars".)

Back to "The Nosy Couple'.

Though my parents are in amicable terms with them, we (the kids) pretty much scurry around the kitchen without giving them much attention. I mean, we are used to the extra head or two overlooking our kitchen after living in the condition for the past 25 years.

Sometime last year, Mrs. Lee fell and fractured her leg. Mr. Lee wasn't strong enough to carry her into the car to the hospital. So they asked for help. My help. I was annoyed. I was like, Man.. I am sleeping lah.. I don't carry heavy stuff. TSK! Bla bla bla.

Yep.. I was in a full blown bitchy mode. I was gonna help but I just had to let go steam a while. The irascible me had to let the whole world know that she sacrificed 10 minutes of her slumber to help an old lady. *mutter bitch to self*

And so I went under the pressure of my 'care-for -thy-neighbour' mom. The house was fairly spacious. A Mother Mary portrait hung at the entrance. Both Mr Lee and I heaved Mrs. Lee up from the old rattan chair. As she leaned precariously over my body, I had a whiff of her body. Not smelly. Just old. Kinda like moth balls.

Recently, Mr. Lee passed away.

We all felt sorry for Mrs. Lee. She bemoans her loneliness to my mom. Of course my mom doesn't mind lending an ear. Meanwhile, us kids scurry around the kitchen as per norm not paying much attention to the lonely face at the grille.

This morning, while fixing my usual cuppa, I heard a "Miss De Cruz.."*

I looked up and as expected, I saw Mrs. Lee's face. At the tip of my tongue was, "Oh, looking for my mom? Wait arr.. Let me call her." I reckoned that there is no reason for her to talk to me, you see.

And then I heard, "Good morning to you.."

Just that. A simple "Good morning to you.." And a smile. I think I stood and blinked a few times. And I replied, "Oh good morning." I hope my smile was ok.

Strange, isn't it? 25 years separated just by a wall and yet the "good morning" came only today. Shame on me for not being the one who initiated the greeting too.

I should really make a conscious effort to look up more and smile at Mrs. Lee whom I think needs a lil bit more TLC now.

*not my real name. Duh..


tuti said...

*pat on the back for the elusive ms de cruz*
(you have a heart of gold. you just donwan to admit it.)

goolypop said...

tuti..really? U know me better wor.. Pat back your back....:)

sinkar yao bao daiwok said...

heart (hahahaha) of (muahahahah) gold (kakakwkkakwkawaaa)??!!!

*wipe tears away*.. oh my.. fuhh.. (*try catching back some breath*)

the only explaination is... she tot u r ur mom..!!

goolypop said...

takkan i look like your mom? (whom I heard look like Sunye)


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