The sun was glimmering behind a tall leafy tree. The air was fresh as there weren’t so many cars on the road. There are surprisingly less cars parked along the side of the road along my house. It wasn’t school holidays, I am sure but it seemed like it was carefully staged to be a pleasant morning. Except the fact that I have to wake up earlier this morning, for a friend.

No, I wan’t complaining, but it is a well established fact that I am only capable to function at an optimum level after 10am. With her sms not replied, I know for a fact that something happened. Furthermore, it gained importance since she isn’t much of a morning person either. But there she was, right in front of my house in her car ready to for breakfast strongly suggest this morning might be as pleasant as to her. Concerned, yet sluggish I entered the car, slightly embarrassed by my messy appearance upon waking up just ten minutes ago.

“Morning,” she greeted.

Just like normally how she would, but there was something missing in her tone. Something wasn’t quite right and I can’t exactly place my finger on. Unable to process further due to limited brain functionality, I shrugged it off.

“Breakfast? Where do you want to eat?” she asked.

That was by far the most difficult question I encounter through the course of social interactions and I have to answer now? “McDonald’s” I said, maybe it’s a default preset that I would resort to when I avoid excessive cognitive processing in the morning.

She nodded and pressed on the accelerator.

McDonald’s isn’t far, possibly 500m away from my place but the parking facilities are just beyond horrible. SS15 is a driver’s nightmare when there are colleges, residences and commercial areas packed into this miserable square area right beside the train station. As the number of car increased throughout the years, this area begins to be plagued by far too many cars.

She pulled up at the side of the road and parked. Neither of us paid too much attention on the yellow line, since most of the people do the exact same thing when there are insufficient parking bays in the facility.

The sun felt a little bit hotter by then.

Quickly, we entered the air-conditioned area. I believe fellow Malaysians can relate to this very well. The heat did make the situation a little less rigid, I can tell she felt a little better. She told me about the what happened in the morning while she slowly poured her maple syrup over her pancakes while I was nibbling my burger away. It is apparent that she was deeply affected, emotionally.

I can relate, I really do. I wanted to tell her, but I held back. Maybe it was different in context, after all it was fundamentally similar. It was a case of public display of emotion and despite how much we would like to rationalise the disadvantages of the aforementioned action but there is this intrinsic motivation that rejects this expression of emotional state to the public.

“It wasn’t appropriate.” I told her.

We justified the communication structure over the effectiveness and appropriateness factor, we reasoned with ourself how that would not result in any constructive outcomes, we unanimously agreed on the poor selection of action on the particular scenario. However, deep down inside, this unpleasant feeling that result from observing such expression is actually an act of avoidance to the situation. This avoidance was natural, we do that because we are very sensitive and susceptible to the emotional stimulus. With the undesirable influences, we somehow think it would cloud our sensible judgement and blind our rational mind,  so we instinctively decided to avoid.

And we don’t realise it.

We headed out again the next day. over a cup of hot mocha and green tea latte at a cafe nearby. It was a lazy afternoon, I continued to sip on my mocha while she told me she is felt better after talking to her cousin the very next day which encouraged a change in perception, to put oneself in another’s shoe. We understood clearly and we understood it very well that an outburst of emotion is just spontaneous reaction. We acknowledge the fact that this isn’t anything of novelty quality. In fact, it is nothing but ubiquitous. So, what are we holding on here? There is still discomfort when dealing with this emotionally engaging situation. I guess it won’t be going anywhere any time soon, at least for me and for her.

I wasn’t quite sure about the details of her conversation with her cousin, but from the look of it, everything seems fine again. There was a smile that I know so well and her face was the one glimmering on that sunny afternoon. We went on talking about finance, career and relationships, basically everything you could cover over the coffee table.

That quiet afternoon, that chocolate cake which wasn’t that sweet.


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