I was pleasantly surprised when I received a call from my sister, Audrey, on Saturday. Since her family moved to Lahad Datu over a year ago, I hardly had the opportunity to meet up with her. Occasionally, especially during the long school holidays or festive seasons, she'd come to KK for a few days. She'd then call me up for mahjong sessions. While playing mahjong, we'd catch up on stuffs.
Other then that, Audrey hardly ever call. I visited her in Lahad Datu a little over a year ago, but that was when her daughter, Onon (her real name's Erlina), was terminally ill. By the time we reached the hospital where she was warded, she was already in a coma; she died of brain cancer about a week later. She was only 21 years old then.
Anyway, as I said, I was pleasantly surprised to receive her call. She invited me to her house for the coming Hari Raya celebration. She said she had invited dad and the rest in the family too. Even Dennis and his wife, Nor Shidah, might be going too. I said I will let her know soon. Mia's spending the weekend in Genting with JJ. Well, actually she's going with some of her colleagues and their respective families. I told Audrey that I will discuss the matter with Mia when she returns from her trip.
This year the Hari Raya holidays will fall on the 1st and 2nd of October. And just this afternoon I signed a memo to be circulated in the office—we're closing on the 3rd which is a Friday. That way some of them can enjoy a longer holiday. It would be good to drive all the way to Lahad Datu; perhaps can even spend a night or two in Kundasang too. It's been a while since the last time I spent a holiday in the mountain.
This is not the first time Audrey had invited me for the Hari Raya celebration. Over the years she must have invited me perhaps 10 times or more, even long before she moved to Lahad Datu. But I never did accept her invitations.
I'm on very good terms with Audrey, and all of her children respect Uncle Cornelius very much. But I haven't been on talking terms with her husband for at least 17 to 18 years now. The last time I spoke to him was when Audrey was still pregnant with her son, Erwin. And Erwin had just finished form 5 last year.
I'm afraid this is gonna be another Raya invitation in vain. Maybe one of these days when I am 80 years old—that is if I can live anywhere close to that age—I will find it in my heart to forgive my brother-in-law. I very much doubt it though.
But don't get me wrong, I am not all stressed up due to this thing between my brother-in-law and I. In fact, I am quite happy not to have him as a friend. I am confident he feels the same way too. As for Audrey and I, well what can I say, we can still have our mahjong sessions whenever she's around.