Tag Archive: The Moment I Have Been Waiting For


by LIM LI ANNE

Tears filled my eyes as I ascended upon the podium, feeling a wave of exultance sweep through my entire being. The flashbulbs went off like rockets as I held my trembling hands out to receive the award that I had not expected to attain. After all, the International Young Poet’s Award was only obtainable by the brightest and most inspiring young writers out there and I certainly was not expecting this to happen when I submitted my works in for the running.

I allowed a smile to grace my face, giving a small, humble bow as I did. The clapping never ceased-it was thunderous, coming from the audience of more than a thousand, all dressed up in their very best for this formal event. I, too, had tried to appear my best, though it did not come off very well. Still, it didn’t matter now. I felt neither self-conscious nor embarrassed, for this was my success, the many years of hard work toiled with seat and blood.

Wistfully, I reminisced about the past. Just like everyone else, I, too, had a tale to tell. Rome was not built in a day, and similarly, this success was not achieved in just a day itself.

I came from an English educated family and cultivated an interest of reading since young. However, as time went by, I baffled everyone not just with an extensive book collection-but also by having a passion for writing itself. While the people around me categorised themselves as the jocks, the geeks, or even the punks, I classified myself as someone who did not belong anywhere. When the girls complained about the rain messing up their hair, I immersed myself into the sweet, sensational feeling of it. Afterwards, I would be seen huddled in a corner, scribbling furiously into a notebook.

It was no wonder that I could not fit in easily-I was just so much different from others on terms of thinking. Words were the most beautiful thing to me-and should be used to express the second most beautiful thing that existed, which was the human soul. Feelings that were indescribable to others were describable to me with writing, and though I was admittedly not an Aristotle or a Socrates, I gradually found myself mixing the beauty of language with worldly philosophical thoughts.

Time marched on and everybody grew up. Universities and various institutions began visiting us, introducing the various courses, programs and career pathways available for us. The flurry of excitement become even more apparent as graduation day approached. Plans were carefully made, fees were being balanced, farewells were being made. While the indecisive ones were constantly on a debate with their inner selves on what to pursue in the future, many others had laid out paths for themselves-paths that were perfect and unblemished, whether it was to become a surgeon that would save the lives of others or a designer to showcase their artistic talents. One thing for sure, though-things were changing, minds were evolving; and life was definitely going to take a turn for many at this point.

My parents had hoped that amidst all the years of biological dissections,k chemical mixings and complex mathematical equations, I would pick up an interest in something scientific. Sadly, their hopes were crushed. Their daughter, a top scorer in Biology and the one that was always top ten in class, was more interested in her foolish little drabbles and her bizarre imaginations than pursuing something more commendable like a doctor’s degree. They then proceeded to introduce a whole line of Economics and Accounting subjects to me, hoping that I would at least take a course that would enable me a source of wealth, but I remained adamant on a Bachelors of Arts degree. To me, the future belonged to me and myself alone. It hurt me to see my parents being upset, but I knew I had to make them understand and see my reasonings. To pursue this was not a want, it was a heed, for language was the great well in which I drank to quench my thirst.

Finally, reasoning won through and I was in the overseas, New Zealand to be specific. I never had problems adapting to such a place of tranquil and serenity, in fact, I enjoyed to share ideas with others of different cultural backgrounds. Every new friend I made was a different experience, and I knew they felt the same curiosity towards me as I felt towards them. To top it all off, I enjoyed my courses immensely, and I often admitted it without shame. While others complained, wailed and whined about their uninterest in things like medical and dentistry, I would willingly stay up in the darkest hours of the night, pouring over Shakespeare and Robert Frost while venturing into a few works of my own.

Soon enough, I began to have thoughts on my work-I wanted them to be shared with others. I wanted others to not only read my works, but to feel them with their soul. I considered a piece of my work a success whenever it inspired someone out there. Hence, I volunteered at papers and magazines, writing articles on short stories on a part-time basis. Soon after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, I decided to take a step further by obtaining a Master’s degree. Of course, life was always in a rush, never pausing for anything, not even for a weary soul. I took the these pent-up emotions and wrote them into the book I had decided to write, hoping for the best to happen.

Alas, it was not to be. The real challenge arrived after that, where I was unemployed for a long time. There were no vacancies at any newspaper or publishing entries and everywhere I looked, there were no positions available for someone of my degree. I fell short on my expenses and had to endure the teasings of friends and the scoffs of relatives, all of them saying “I told you so.” When the rain came or the nights were long, I would sink into a wave of despondence, feeling the despair wash through me, a battered being without a place to be. It reminded me of the past, an unwanted figure anywhere I went. Every day I would ask myself: was my passion not enough? Did I choose the wrong path? Perhaps if I had listened to others, perhaps I would not be in this state of exhaustion. Still, there was nothing I could do but to continue writing, even when I was rejected by countless publishers and newspaper firms.

The months went by and I completed my book-which I titled as “The Struggle”. It depicted the life of a city girl who was just too different in the place she lived in, and the mental hardships she endured as she grew up. I, however, felt no happiness when the book was finished, so I just decided to submit it in for the running of an award and be done with it. Then, perhaps, I would have to go back to the beginning-obtain a Science degree, push on and more importantly, to reset my mind. I had to tell myself that passion was useless in such a cruel world like this, that dreaming was a pointless thing to do. Why should I continue to dream on, anyway, and to have myself crushed over and over again?

However, as I stood in this current moment and felt the rush of mixed emotions wash through me, I realised that I had not made any mistakes at all. It was just one of life’s hardships that I had to face. What mattered the most was the person, him or herself. My face coloured slightly, for I knew that I had responded pathetically to that challenge-if I had not submitted my book in, I would never be able to stand at this precise location, an award cradled in my arms. I shook my head. Never would I react with such negativity ever again. If there was anything I had learnt from this experience, it was the resilience of the human soul.

As the emcee prodded me slightly to give a speech, I broke down completely, warm, salty tears spilling down my face. I scanned the crowd, knowing that my parents, relatives and friends were somewhere there, gazing up at me with strength and pride. I stood and embraced this particular moment once more, before taking hold of the microphone to tell everyone the story of The Struggle-the young girl’s struggle, which was mine.

Dreams could be fulfilled. Passions shouldn’t be ignored. Couple that with perseverance, and anyone could be the next one on the podium of success, experiencing the moment that they have been waiting for. I certainly experienced mine, and hope others would experience it too.

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By BENJAMIN YAU

At a certain point in our lives, there lived a moment where we would endure a moment of joy, an ecstatic joy, an inexplicable elation, a moment where words lose its significance to those escalating emotions, a moment where we have been awaiting for. For me, that moment of ecstasy is where I take my last breath and sight before falling into eternal slumber.

My heavy eyelids took like an eternity to be raised, and another eternity to accustom to the blinding morning rays that penetrated through the windows of my room. Fresh and invigorating crisp air couldn’t be instantly scent, as my deteriorating sense of smell, like my other senses, was failing me as each numbered days gone by. But soon, the boisterous chirping of the myna bird lured me to throw a blurry stare to the ever-magnificent view of the Titiwangsa Mountain Range. Instead of gasping in awe, I led out some hacking coughs that throw my lungs out, indicating the little time I could still tolerate with life’s last challenge.

A couple of knocking sound was heard from the door. With nearly all my strength, I spoke the commonest words “Come in” with a distorted tone and a weak voice. The door screeched open to reveal the visitor, which happens to be my personal caretaker and the person that I have devoted my sincere love since more than half a century ago and still kept to the devotion, and vowed to keep it until my last breath, which was going to take place soon. This person is none other than my loving wife, and she came in with a tray of scrumptious looking breakfast along with some medications. She sat on my side, slowly inserting spoons of warm and aromatic congee into my dry mouth. I looked at her occasionally, and she still looked ever-gorgeous and gracious, despite the cruelty of time and age had built countless crates and valleys on her once youthful face. Knowing that this might be our last rendezvous, I whispered to her in an undertone, to ask her consent to re-enact those loving and intimate moments that we did since half a century ago. She agreed and held her lips to meet mine. Passionately, we had our final kiss, and strangely, that kiss had as though gave me some energy as I felt more awake than the last few days I were on the same bed.

They say that the final few moments of one’s life would be exceptionally awake and energetic, and so I wondered: is that the premonition that is happening to me? Has the countdown timer started? Not long after she left, a phantasmagoria of mirage presented before my eyes. It looked familiar, it looked surreal, it looked rather recognisable. It was scenes of my past re-enacting before my death bed! All of those joyous moments, from childhood to teenage life, from being successful in career to having a family of myself and even carrying my first grandchild, all of those unspoken happiness, performed in a panorama of sepia images. Water gradually gushed out from my pair of old eyes, with each drop expressing gratefulness to the Lord and telling indescribable happiness.

All of a sudden, a strong gush of wind blew into the room swiftly, and took away the mirage and disapparated it in thin air. I looked towards the mountain range. It was a picture of the magnificent ball of fire firing its remaining rays while approaching the horizon, bringing this part of the world towards nightfall. A twilight scene at my twilight moments, I thought. Another series of knocking was faintly heard. With my rather drenched energy due to reliving the joy and excitation moments, I welcomed in. It was a delegation of my family members, heralded by my first son that came to visit me. They approached and surrounded my bed, looking solemn and lugubrious. Probably because of the grim and sad air filling the room, my youngest grandson broke into tears. I caressed his hair with my rough wrinkled hand, telling him that it’s nature’s law to have everything that begun to end. After pausing a few moments, I expressed, “You should know that I am proud of you for what you are today. Thank God I have lived to see this day, with no regrets,” Shortly, I led out a few more lengthy breaths.

Silence lurked in my room, but in my head, some familiar hymns were sounded. One of them was something like “This is the day the Lord hath made” which was used in a blissful ceremony to tie the knot with my beloved wife, and the last tune was a choir singing melodiously, signifying my last moment on Earth. It was “Amazing Grace”, beautifying all the gifts bestowed from the Lord above, praising the Lord above for His blessing to me throughout my 78 years of life. Finally, happiness took dominion over my body, and with bliss I led out my last breath and having my eyelids closed, for eternity. The moment I have been waiting for had arrived.

The second work published, “Love’s Reminder” received some positive response, which marks a good sign for this site.

For the next few days, thefourlobes will present to you the first published publication of thefourlobes subscription, which is the “The Moment I Have Been Waiting For” series. Enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                

By LIM ZI SHAN

Wearing my pristine white dress, a glass of wine in my hand, I closed my eyes, savouring all that is happening and revolving around me. My heart was content. All the years of sweat and tears finally paid off. Being in this very simple room, around the crowd of people, I was filled with joy that I myself could not comprehend. Notwithstanding the fact that I was once shunned, rejected, criticise or made a fool of, I finally made it. Together with my crew, I manage to clime the ladder of success.

All of a sudden, the lights dimmed. Intakes of breath could be heard, it was time. The time the truth will finally be unveiled. Looking at the creamy yellow envelope in the long hands of the master of ceremony. My heart started pounding. As he slowly opened the envelope, sweat tickled down my forehead. His careful and snail-like movement raised anticipation, excitement as well as trepidation in every single one of us. When the results finally emerged, silence fell. The sudden pitch made by the microphone reverberated throughout the room. I swallowed hard as the emcee slowly reached for the microphone. I closed my eyes again, silently praying to God.

As if God had answered my prayers, the emcee announced my name. I could not believe my ears. Tears swelled in my eyes. The spotlights are on me now. It’s my time to shine. My have finally been discovered. I am no longer the amateur that most regarded me as, fearful, timid. Now I stand before them, tall and proud. A woman who is filled with pride and joy of her work. I  am no longer the amateur that most regarded me as, fearful, timid. Now, I stand before them, tall and proud. A woman is filled with pride and joy of her work. I placed my glass on the table. Slowly, with my hands and legs slightly trembling, I stood up. I gave a bent to the audience. “Please, Miss Lim. The stage is yours,” said the host for tonight. I gave a slight nod of comprehension. Clutching tightly on the hem, I took a deep breath. With careful and precise movement, I walked towards the stage.

Feeling all eyes on me, I smiled. There was nothing to be afraid of, I have earned it. Elated, I went towards the emcee with slow strides. Clutching the award in my hands, I pondered for a brief moment. I had no clue in what to say. Images of my past flashed through my mind. My parents, my friends, my rivals, my companions… these are the people who made me who I am today. I had so much to say, I wanted to pour out till my heart is content. Yet, I know better to do so.

Sniffing and blinking back tears, I tried to control my overwhelming emotions. Control, that was what he taught me. Never let your feelings cloud your judgements, he always say. How could I ever forget? Thanks to him, I made it here. Reaching out my hand for the microphone, I gave the audience a brilliant smile. I will thank them later, I will do it personally. I will give them what they should deserve, a real thanks. The emcee broke the silence, “Is there anything you wish to say?” I focused on the audience, gave a ninety degree bow and said “thank you”.

Silence continue enveloping me, panicked began to rise. Standing here, on this stage, I felt lost. I looked down at my feet, my good mood rapidly deteriorated. I wanted to cry, hide in a hole. Without any warning, one stood and clapped. Slowly as if the audience have followed his pace, another stood and clapped. Soon, the audience gave me a standing ovation.

Yes, this is it. All I have ever dreamt of. All my fantasies becoming a reality. I looked up. My heart filled with the upmost joy. This is it. This is the moment I have been waiting for.

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