When I entered the class I saw a new face sitting at the corner . With her face down, she hardly looked at me.When everybody stood up to wish me good morning, she just stood up with a blank face.La awat pula ni..kes tak mau bercakap pula.
Then I asked her to introduce herself. No words.
"Your name please ? "
"Nor Aini." adoi jenoh dok perembang telinga...almost whispering..
I thought of asking where she came from .What was her last school. Where is she staying , father;s occupation...I changed my mind.
" Let me have have a look at your personal file"
I got all the information I need. She came from Perak. Father worked in the army. A retiree now, kerja kampung . Living in the kampung nearby..
I looked at her old report card from her formal school..Mampuuusss, her English marks was 39 in the last exam. I have a small group of illiterate ones. Now this one although not illiterate, but the look of her marks showed I have to really geared myself real hard to help her pass in the coming exam.
Days went on, she was the most hardworking girl I have ever seen. did her homework on time.mistakes banyak, but never asked anything.Did her corrections regularly..Only one particular thing was lacking.She did not speak at all.She only nodded and shook her head...and of course she had no friends..kesian tengok dia.Everywhere she was alone..to the canteen, at the lab, even in the class she preferred to sit alone.
One morning , she was unsually early, I took the opportunity to talk to her.
" Nor Aini mai awai na?"
She nodded her head.Nampak so uneasy because I sat very close to her.
"Tadi makan apa di umah.? "
No words .Sunyi sepi lagi..
" Teacher tanya kamu ni. Tadi makan dak di rumah? "
"Adik beradik berapa orang? "
Terus senyap.I thought hard... Then I created a story..to see if it can be of any help to this girl....
" Nor Aini tau dak dulu2 masa teacher kecik2 ada sorang kawan teacher tak mau cakap macam kamu la.Diam saja.Tak pernah dengar suara dia.. Satu hari mak dia jatuh di bilik air, pengsan,semua adik beradik and ayah dia tak dak di rumah.So dia kena la panggil jiran minta tolong.Tiba2 bila nak jerit minta tolong, suara tak keluar.Tu la. dah lama tak bersuara, peti suara pun merajuk.Tak nak bunyi lagi."
"Kamu tentu nak tau apa yang jadi kan ? mak dia ada pendarahan di otak sebab lambat di bawa ke hospital. Kesian.."
She looked at me.Muka putih.takut maybe.
"OK mula dari hari ni cakap na? ok. la ni habak kat teacher minuman apa kamu paling suka? "
Suddenly she talked." Milo ais "
"Tu, sedapnya suara Nor Aini, macam Siti Norhaliza bila bercakap."
Then I saw her giving me the sweetest smile ever.
"Lepas ni cakap na.. Jum kita pi order milo.Teacher pun suka milo ais."
Since then she began to talk.And I started to persuade the girls to make friends with her.She was ok at last. During our class party she even brought me a big chocolate cake and insisted to cut a slice for me. I dont like cakes but Nor Aini punya pasal makan la juga .lepas tu sakit perut la pula..
The most surprising thing at the end of the year, when the UPSR result was out, she got B for her English language.I was tremendously happy. so was she..
She is in form four now. Never saw her again, but I know she is going to be alright...and I am sure dia dah bercakap..maybe banyak dari dulu....
Ps.Sometimes a teacher has to bluff in order to help make things better.