"Today I am giving u your report cards. Take it home , let your parents see it. Sign , and then bring it back to school tomorrow. Please put them on my table first thing in the morning."
Everyone took their report cards. Looked at their marks. Some giggling with each other comparing their marks. Some just stared at the figures, saying nothing, while a few others did not even bother to see, took the cards and kept it in their bags.
" Now you know your marks, I hope you do something about it. Concentrate on the subjects you are weak in, but dont neglect the other subjects too."
I read out the marks of those pupils who failed in my subject (English ), asked them to bring forward their papers and started to explain why they did not score in any particular section.Those who really need attention will be called again during extra classes. Those who excelled were given more sets of questions to do as homework.
The next morning , all report cards were on my table except one .I went looked for him and asked.
"Where's your report card Fazli ? "
"Terlupa teacher " muka sengih2 macam tak bersalah langsung.
"Bring it tomorrow. Kecik2 dah lupa.Tua macam teacher tak pa juga."
The next morning the card was on my table, but something was wrong with the signature.I called him to the staffroom and showed him the report card.
"Who signed this report card ? "
" Mak saya sign teacher." talked with his face down.
I looked hard at his face.
" Fazli, tell me frankly.jangan tipu saya.Who signed this? "
Diam...His hands pinching the corner of my table.
" Ok, mak kamu sign ya? jum kita pi rumah kamu.Saya nak tanya pasai apa signature mak kamu macam budak2 tadika , or you want to tell me about it."
Tears started flowing down his cheeks.Tu yang buat saya jadi lemah...Adoi.
"Jum kita pi sembang di kantin."
He followed me to the canteen, keeping his distance quite far away..
I ordered two glasses of iced milo.
" Ok minum dulu, lepas ni kita cerita "
He drank his milo in silence.
" Ok , now tell me sapa sign report card kamu tu."
Still not showing an attempt to answer.
Then I went straight to the point.
"Ok, why did YOU sign the card? mak tak tau ka keputusan periksa dah keluag.?"
" Saya terpaksa sign teacher sebab kalau mak tau saya dapat markah rendah dia nak hantag saya duduk dengan ayah.Saya tak mau."
" Ayah di mana? " He started crying again..kesian nya hati saya.
" Di Pulau Pinang. Dengan perempuan lain."
"Dia dah kawin lain ?"
He nodded his head. I thought for a while. Then touched his hands.
" Macam ni Fazli, kamu ni bukan lemah sangat, cuma malas.La ni kamu cuba bagi pass dulu 3 subject ni, bagi mak nampak biru semua.Merah ni memang menyakitkan mata tau." I tried to joke.Dia tak gelak pun..
" Saya tengok apa yang saya boleh buat. Ok ,benda ni akan jadi rahsia kita.Tapi teacher nak kamu janji , penggal depan kena lulus semua "
" Dah tak mau susah hati lagi.Hari Sabtu ni ada class tambahan, jangan ponteng pulak "
Baru nampak muka senyum sikit..and he went to class with a smile on his little face..kanak2 kesian..
That was years ago.....
Last Ramadhan I bought a watermelon at the stall by the roadside. When I bargained for a good price, the young man said,
" Tak payah tawar lagi teacher, harga tu paling murah saya bagi kat teacher.Tempat lain tak dapat harga tu. "
I looked at him, and thought " Di mana la saya nampak muka ni, so familiar.."
" Kita pernah jumpa ka? " I asked him.
" Amboi teacher lupa dah kat saya.Fazli la." He smiled.
I gave a big sigh...
" Fazli, ya la ..minta maaf, teacher makin tua, Lupa..kamu anak teruna dah, handsome pula tu.."
Dia gelak terkekek2...
" Lama dah meniaga tembikai ni.? "
" Lama juga teacher, boleh la cari makan sikit2."
Then a big lorry arrived with loads of watermelons.Fazli stood up and said...
" Tak yah bawa turun semua, yang lain2 tu bawa pi nat esok."
"Pekerja kamu ?"
" Lori kamu ? "
" Ya teacher...." His eyes meeting mine. With a stammer in his voice.
" Alhamdullillah. Teacher suka sangat hari ni.Kamu dah ada lori , dah boleh berniaga dengan senang.Dah ada pekerja sendiri ."
I patted him on the shoulder.
" Baguih2. Fazli .."
I opened my purse to pay for the melons.
He pushed it aside.
" Tak payah la teacher. Takkan la saya nak minta duit teacher untuk 2 biji tembikai ni.Nah saya sedekah ja."
I felt tears coming out, I couldnt continue another word.
Went to my car with my eyes blurred.From far I heard him say..
" Teacher, mai lagi na, "
I waved my hands to him and said ..
" No problem, tapi tak mau free dah lain kali."
" OK TEACHER...." he shouted back..
Ya Allah,Mudah-mudahan dia terus berjaya mengubah kehidupannya . I started the engine and drove off with my heart blosomming like the hibiscus in my garden...