I said my salam and she replied. She knew me by sight. "Come in, Har," she greeted me as I made my way into her house in Tanah Putih Baru, very near to the masjid where I performed my Friday prayers.
She is Mak Cik (Aunt) Bedah to us all. Her real name is Saodah.
With her was her son Zilkifli with her former husband, Pak Cik (Uncle) Wahab.
Mak Cik Bedah and my mother were close friends when we were in Police Filed Force Galing campa way back in 1960.
She was my first Quran teacher. She told me that Pak Cik Wahab always carried me on his bicycle to enjoy satay in Teluk Cempedak!
They were divorced, sadly though, when she found out that finally she was pregnant. She always wondered why Allah never fulfilled her only wish, that was to have a baby with Pak Cik Wahab. An ustaz told her that may be something unpleasant would happen before she got what she had been wanting - pregnancy. It was true, she was divorced when she was pregnant.
Pak Cik Wahab is missing. No one knows of his whereabouts. When they were still married, he had already a wife and two children somewhere in Kuala Kangsar. Even then Mak Cik Bedah, a learned lady,always made sure that her madu was equally treated by pak Cik Wahab.
My mother told me that she even went as far as buying her a radio when Pak Cik Wahab bought her one!
So please, if anyone of you know of Pak Cik Wahab, please tell me of his whereabout so that Zulkifli could find his father.
When Zulkifli was still a small boy, he befriended a young man by the name of Ariffin. They were so very close, the two of them.
One day Ariffin's mother visited him. As Ariffin's house was a small one, Mak Cik invited her to stay with her. She accepted. She was so attracted to Mak Cik Bedah so much so that she begged her to marry his son.
At first Mak Cik Bedah refused. "I was too old for him. Ariffin is just like a son to me."
But Ariffin's mother insisted and so they were married! They were blessed with a son who is now married and lived in Sepang.
So that is in a nutshell, the story of Mak Cik Bedah, my adopted mother who always cry whenever we met. She was and still is a part of our life.
In a corner of her house she still kept the old radio which I used to play with when I was a kid. That pasu naga, my mother's gift, was also still there in her bathroom. She would not part with it though someone had offered to buy from her.
May she always be healthy and prosperous.