I'm a hermit, an anti social who values my solitary a lot, I don't go out and mix with my neighbors much. I never smile to anyone unless I was force to, which means smiled upon first. But I did returned the wave and smile if I get caught off guard. Its not that I'm rude It's just that I was born like that.
There is one non-Malay family living on my street who has a one and half year old daughter. small, thin, innocent looking, more to her mother and pure at heart-the most distinctive trait of all.
Every evening when I got home from work, my routine were to drove passed everybody outside my house (usually kids playing, neighbors taking their evening walk or walking their kids).
I have become accustomed to pretend to ignore everybody around me, albeit they're 3, 4 risky processes that requires me to be out in the open before I managed to lock myself safely inside the house. I carefully planed and regularly practices this routine so that I will not get caught, so I hope.
Let me walk you, first, I have to drive through the crowded street (the risk emerged when I didn't tinted my window dark enough), second, I have to get out of the car to open the gate, third, I have to reverse park and then again got out of my car and close the gate, lastly I have to risk minutes in the open to take care of the lock at the door before I can let myself in safely from those viciously friendly neighbors.
I went about this for three years full until this girl learned to walk!
...and then a new chapter of my life open itself before me.
Every evening, her mother took her out for a stroll or taught her to ride a tricycle, now to drive a car -paddle car that is. (Despite the news, I observe everything secretly from my tinted window so that I wouldn't miss anything around me, that's how I catches up.)
The first meeting was when i was closing the gate last year, with a cute blank face of no emotion, she waved at me, she was standing by her tricycle and caught me by surprise, I startled and force to wave back in amazement, her mother chuckled to herself for she knew my hermithood nature.
After that incident its almost like automation when she saw me or even my car (its one of the miracle of memory -how could she at that age possibly recognized what car I drove) she definitely will raise her small hand and gave an emotionless face, and I, like hypnotized, would wave back startled.
After a few strings of incident, my life changed, I say hi to her mother, and even make a conversation, asking how old is her daughter, I smile whenever i see my other neighbors and we talk a little about subjects that we already knew about, (once I taught it was stupid to do so) like,
"hey, going to work?" said I to my neighbor Yazid who is obviously going to work.
"shopping?" when my other neighbor got back from somewhere carrying a lot of groceries.
"Its going to rain yea?" pointing out to the obviously marching gray sky.
"It's really hot today", on an obvious cloudless day with scorching sun proudly ruling the sky.
"new car?" to a neighbor who just jumped out from a shinny car with a new registration number that ends with a 'T'.
And then I finally realized the beauty of it all, obvious question makes the world go round.
This girl has changed my life.