It was recess at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Bayam. As it was during the fasting month, all of the Muslim students remained in their classroom including Maisarah. She was busy doodling something on a piece of paper, trying to let her mind escape from thinking too much about the surrounding heat. Lisa, the class monitor, noticed that Maisarah was drawing something and decided to have a look.
"You know Mai," commented Lisa as she glanced the half-finished picture. "You've got a lot of talent at drawing. It's really beautiful." Maisarah stopped her hand from moving and joined Lisa in admiring what was on the piece of paper. "Yeah, I think so too," she winked and wiped her sweaty forehead.
"Hey, I've got an idea!" Lisa exclaimed, dragging a wooden chair over to her friend's desk. "Raya is in two weeks time, why don't you make your own card and give it to everyone? I'm sure it'll be delighful!" Maisarah had continued her work, and gave a thoughtful look. She mumbled something about the picture, before replying, "Yeah, maybe I will. But I have to get materials later then, and it's been so hot lately that I think I will melt sooner or later if I go outside." Both of them laughed as the bell signaled the end of recess.
Zaid's heart fluttered as he cycled back home. Maisarah's going to give away cards to everyone. Everyone including himself! "Maybe the gang of bully won't get any though," his mind wandered as he swayed from one side of the road to another.
Zaid has always been a fan of Maisarah's artwork. Every time he noticed Maisarah had drawn something, he would take a look at it when she's not around. It's not that he was afraid of her; the fact was that he was shy because he too was a fan of Maisarah herself. Zaid realized that he would be numb struck if he were to approach her directly. Many times he to to talk to Maisarah about her art, but that many times ended with no success.
"But this time I'm definitely going to have a talk with her!" he shouted as he let go of his bicycle's handle and spread his arms wide. He can't wait for Maisarah to give him a card.
This was it. Today's the day she had decided to distribute her handmade greeting cards before the holiday began. Maisarah had came to class with a plastic full of colourful papers. Lisa had a grin on her face. The teachers could only shake their heads with a smile. Zaid had a time bomb planted in his heart.
"So that's it for today's class," Cikgu Aliff finished off his Science lesson for the day. The classroom went into a sort of frenzy. The holiday has begun! Maisarah went up the teacher and handed him a card. "Thank you Mai," said Cikgu Aliff warmly. "It's very beautiful. Okay class, Selamat Hari Raya now!"
Zaid didn't even take the energy to respond to his teacher's wish. He was trying to keep his cool as Maisarah began to distribute her cards. "One for you...one for you..." Those who have received the card kept praising at the nicely made cards. It was full in colours and details, many wondered when did she have the time to make them all. "This one is for my best friend," Maisarah exclaimed as she handed a card to Lisa. Lisa yelped in excitement and hugged her friend.
This is it, Zaid thought. She's going to skip those bullies, and it's going to be me next! He closed his eyes in anticipation and waited. And he continued to wait. Huh? He opened his eyes and realized that Maisarah was already packing her bags. She indeed have skipped the bullies, but he never thought that she was going to skip himself. Everyone began to disperse as Zaid's heart sunk deep.
His bicycle seemed heavier than usual. Zaid was so distressed that he was making an effort to actually go back home. He kept on sighing, wondering why he did not receive the card. As he approached the gate with his head hung low, someone called from behind. "Zaid!"
Zaid stopped but kept his head down. "What is it Lisa?" he shrugged, not having the energy to turn around. Lisa gave a giggle. "What are you so sad about? Was it because Mai didn't give you a greeting card?" she asked. Letting out a sigh, he replied, "Yeah...."
Again another giggle. "And do you know that Mai is right behind you right now?" Huh? As quickly as he could, Zaid turned around. He saw Lisa, and next to her was Maisarah! "M...Mai?" he was out of words. Maisarah scratched her cheek that was turning red.
"I'm sorry Zaid," said Maisarah as she walked towards Zaid. "It's not that I haven't prepared anything for you, it's just that I thought you wouldn't care about it. You've always been kind of distant with me. You've never even talked to me. But I guess Lisa was right, you are really down for not receiving anything. Here you go, this one's for you." Maisarah handed out a card to Zaid, which he took with a simple reply, "T...Thank you Mai."
A few long seconds went by without either of them saying anything. Then Maisarah turned to Lisa and said, "Let's go home Lisa." Lisa huffed in anger, and Zaid came to his senses. "I'm sorry. Can I accompany you guys home?"
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A special piece of work for a celebrating occasion. I always wanted to be like Maisarah creating my own greeting cards and distributing them to everyone. But as always, I never find the time and space to do so. Besides, it's not like everyone cares. Haha, okay readers, thank you for reading. To all Muslims out there:
"Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, maaf zahir dan batin!" (now, let the creative mind continue to rock)