Another sad experience...
She was 11 years old when I knew her. I was her class teacher then. She had curly hair, round chubby face .One thing I noticed the first day I saw her, she had scabies on her arms and legs.She spent most of her time scratching here and there.Kesian tengok.
I bought her some cream from the farmacy.She was ok for a little while.Then something happened that brought us even closer. She came to school with bruises on her face and arms.When I kept asking her she told it was done by her mum.It was real sad to see such thin long arms to be bitten to such an extent.
With a friend accompanying me , we went to search for her house. Her mother came out ,dengan muka masam mencuka. I knew she must have guessed I knew what happened.
Before I could say anything She blurted out.
" Kami ni hidup susah teacher, makan pun tak cukup."
I was thinking, what is that has to do with her hitting the child ?
" Orang tua tak guna tu bukan reti cari duit ! " ( referring to her husband.)
"Dulu masa nak kawin dengan saya bukan main lagi." She was almost talking to herself.
" Bapa Siti ni kerja apa? " I asked.
"Bawa beca." She answered, looking away.
"Bawa beca dengan anak ramai manalah nak cukup.Puan kena usaha kut lain la pula nak bantu dia"
" Nak suruh saya buat apa.Saya tak mau.Malu kerja rumah orang, tak larat buat kueh2.saya ada kencing manis, bukan larat sangat."
Then she was blaberring . Couldnt make up what she was saying. Then only I knew she had been married to that present husband only for a few months.The children were all from the first marriage.
Suddenly she turned to me and said.
"Saya nak bagi Siti ni kat orang, kalau teacher ada kawan-kawan ka, ambik la .saya tak larat bela.Yang lain2 pun saya nak bagi kat orang "
I looked at Siti. She was at the corner of the room, crying softly.
Adoi, hancur luluh hati saya...
I said to her mother, " tak pa esok saya mai ambik Siti".
I had a friend who wanted to adopt a child. The couple was living a lonely life in Telok Kacang , my kampung.They were very nice people I knew them for a long time. I thought Siti would have a good life with them.
My friend was tremendously happy to hear that.
The next day around 3 pm , we were there at the house. Siti was there with swollen eyes.I knew she had been crying.
Her step father was there too. An old man I guessed he must be around 60++. He looked at us and said.
" Teacher, saya ni minta maaf apa yang jadi ni. Saya tau saya ni dah tua .tak larat nak bela budak2 ni hidup mewah macam orang lain, tapi setakat ni depa tak pernah tak makan .Saya siang malam bawa beca. Kadang2 tak tentu makan minum.Malam2 baru balik"
" Tu la, saya hanya nak tolong anak murid saya.Tapi tempat paling baik bagi seorang anak ialah dengan ibu dia.Mungkin susah sikit, tapi kita kena sabar la. Saya dulu pun susah hidup. Tapi lama2 semua akan berubah."
"Saya bawa kawan saya ni yang suka nak ambik Siti sebagai anak angkat.Tapi kalau semua dah baik balik, tak pa la.Lepas ni Puan jaga lah anak ni baik2.Kesian dia.belajar pun tak senang kalau dia tak tenteram. Makanan sikit berbagi sorang sikit.Sambil2 tu puan usaha la apa2 untuk bantu suami puan tambah pendapatan"
Muka mak yang masam bertambah masam. Macam mana lah anak2 nak hadapi muka macam ni tiap2 hari..kesian Siti.
Saya balik kerumah dengan hati gundah gulana. Couldnt imagine a life of a child with a mother like that. Siti was a bit ok after that. Saya masih bertanya dan bantu dia apa yang mampu.
Berdamping dengan ribuan murid sepanjang career saya sebagai guru, I have been through a lot of such experiences.Sometimes things that we never expect a human being would do to another human being.
I brought out this story because yesterday I thought I saw Siti, with her friends. She is about 19 years old now. She has grown into a beautiful girl. I think she is happy now... because I saw her laughing aloud with her friends... didnt even notice her old teacher observing her from far...