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- Knowledge + Practice = FAITH -

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Honestly, this is one of the words that Iíve never really understand and maybe Iíd I'll never understand it completely. Iíve wondered around the web, digging up in dictionary, up and down the stairs of library; ask my family, interviewing my relatives, brainstorming with friends ... with no clear cut answer to it. Maybe (just maybe) if I ask 100 peoples, Iíll get 100 different answers.

I think that whatever answer come from everybody about love however different or strikingly similar, it can be counted to be true. Funny it may sound, but when I bring up the topic of love, everybody that Iíve ask will become more serious and almost immediately they sunk into the realm of thinking.

I donít know whether I should understand the Ďmagicí word or just let it be, let my feelings take over and experience what it is like to be in it.

Iím interested and intrigue by the definition of Love because I think that Iíve fall in love. Thatís the whole point, ĎI thinkí. I really-really wanted to know if Iím really in love? or maybe its just lust? or is it just a friendship? Ö

Iím 26 years old now and Iíve fall in love twice (I think Ö nah, again!).

My first love struck me when Iím 16 (Aug/ Sept. 1992). Sheís a girl from another school and of course sheís pretty and has magnetic personality (that I discover later on). It all happened when I was on my way to the town with my friends by bus.

At a bus stop, two girls come in (theyíre sisters). At first I donít really care. However, when I look into her eyes (younger of the two), I feel like the time is stopping (love at first sight?). Suddenly I feel that itís only me and her in that crowded bus (can u imagine that?). Weíd a quick glance and then she take her seat at the front row (boys always fill the last row). I stay in Ďunconsciousí state for the rest of the journey to the town (doing nothing!). Luckily, my activities with my friends that day went on smoothly.

In the first few weeks I felt restless as I never know whether I can get any other chance of meeting that girl again (I canít believe I do nothing at that bus). I start looking for information about her, what is her name, where she lives bla, bla, bla and the like. Not long after, I got the information I needed and start mailing her (thereís no email yet at that time, at least not widespread). The result was encouraging and I got her phone number. We started to contact each other ever since. Then, we arranged our first date (I felt guilty though).

The first and second year of our relationship (or love u might say) everything looks rosy. Everything is fine and I felt (at that time) itís the best moment in my life. Although we donít see each other frequently, we maintain our relationship through the wire and through the letter. Furthermore, itís my SPM in 1993 and her SPM in 1994. In 1994, I went to KL to further my study in Chemical Engineering at UTMKL. In 1995, things gone quite cool as we donít contact each other as frequently as before and we never met each other in the next 2 years as the requirement of higher education take a toll on me (I am an art student wondering to technical/ science realm). Despite the problems, we insist and pledge that weíll be together no matter what (It turn out that it is the first crack on our armor).

What was once cool gets sour and bitter. In 1996, my problems amplified as my grandmother (I live with her since I was 9) passed away. It affected my study and consequently my relationship with my sweetheart. She said that things will never work out this way (with us being apart for so long) and she said that we better stop being couple and relegate our relationship to friendship. Itís a hard blow for me at that time. Although itís so bitter, I calm myself down and concentrate to my study until I finished my Diploma in March 1997.

At that time though, I felt so unfair and I felt that Iím treated unjustly. Now, when I looked back through the time, I feel that I fully deserve whatever happened to me. It turn out that I become too confident and cocky when she pledge that weíd be together no matter what. What I can reap from this experience is, Love needs refreshment, needs confirmation, and needs validation over time. The fire of Love will surely burnt out if we donít maintain it.

Anyway, our friendship went on and after my graduation (somewhere around August 1997) we feel that the fire that once out, is now alive again (although small). I went on to took my degree (which I consequently failed in the second semester). As time goes by, we maintain our friendship and regularly contacted each other via wire and email (email has been born!).

In September 1998, I was recruited by a local University to be a Research Assistant (permanent post). At this time I feel that Ďthe fireí is burning inside of me and I feel the way that I feel back then in 1993. I went on to express my love (I never express it clearly enough before) and proposed to her on her birthday somewhere in March 1999. However, I was turned down because thereís been someone else whose express affection and love to her way earlier than I am. She in dilemma though, because the other person doesnít proposed to her yet.

After that (year 2000), things become murky and gung-ho. When I felt that itís finally over and I am ready to forget my feelings towards her (I met another girl and be friend - who I hope can turn to be my love), she contacted me again and our relationship start all over again. I start becoming restless, confuse and slightly annoyed (but I donít tell her) with the Ďon and offí moods of her. Having said that, our relationship resumes as before but Iím cautious this time. Until finally I feel Ďthatís it, Iím not going to play this anymoreí and make a decision to meet her family.

I still remember the moment I went to her house Ė itís the seventh day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2000, about 10:30 AM. I feel that the meeting with her family is OK. (Even though I am alone in a place Iíve never been before). It turns out that, itís the last time we see each other and virtually our relationship ended for good.

Maybe at that time (the meeting with her family), Iíve little feeling left towards her and I end up leaving false impressions. I am being too casual, take it easy, joking a lot and never serious. When I replay back that moment in my mind, Iíll be smiling to myself (in cynical way) and out of control I said Ďwhat a pityí. Iíve gain valuable lessons though.

1992 to 2000, a healthy 8 years. This is the timeframe that teaches me many valuable lessons about myself, relationships, friendships and LOVE. Although it hurts me a lot, I think itís worth it and I felt little regret today for without that experience, Iím not the person Iím today (thereís a lot more to be explored, however).