I was 15.
My dad picked up the phone that evening. It's been 6 months since I last saw him, so it was great to talk to my dad once in a while because I know I can talk to him about anything, as we always consider ourselves not only as father and son, but also as the best of friends.
We talked about a lot of things throughout the conversation. We bandied stories about school, my mom and my sis. And as we chatted, I could hear the sound of his lighter, as he lit up his cigarettes, one after another.
So, life ok? ada girlfriend?
Mana ada pak. Kenapa ke situ pulak?
Mana lah tau...Teenagers...kot-kot ada someone special...
Takdelah. Takde lagi..heh...
Alah...come on...you can tell me...Bapak tak bagitau mak punya....
Eh, takde lah pak. Betul...
Heh..ok. I believe you. Tapi janji ngan bapak satu benda boleh?
Boleh. Apa dia?
Nanti bila kamu dah jumpa that special person, send my regards to her, ok?
At that time I thought he was joking. So, I never took it seriously. A few later, he was gone. And I never recalled about the promise ever since.
But it all came back to me recently. And come to think of it, although he joked around most of the time, he also meant every single word that he ever said,no matter how silly or absurd those things are.
Maybe one day, I'll deliver on that promise. I just hope that it's not too late.