Growing Up

Time flies fast. That is a sure thing. But it never occurred to me that it is so fast until last few weeks.

As we were celebrating Hari Raya, my sister was preparing for her university entrance. The registration was on September 2nd. Two facts that matter to me were: she drove my mother’s car, long distance on her own on a couple of occasions and she entered university.

I am seven years older than my sister. I left home for boarding school when I was 13. The age gap resulted in our relationship did not turn out to be a friendship or playmates, unlike our brother and I. She was too young when I left and I had never been home for more than two months ever since. And because of this, perhaps, I never really see her as more than a six-year-old sister. Sometimes, she resented the way I treated her. Most of the times, she just let me have my way, which I, initially not realize, that it is a sign of maturity. It didn’t really matter to me until a few weeks ago…

She drove the car on her own. She doesn’t need me anymore to drive her around. She went shopping for school alone. She managed her baggage on her own. She prepared the documents. She didn’t even need our parents’ help except on the financial matter.

I could still remember those days when we prepared for the opening of school. I was the one who put on the plastic covers on her books. I was the one who wrote down her names on her exercise books. There were days when I was the one who drove her to and fro school. There were also a few times when I went for her parent-teacher meeting when our parents couldn’t make it.

I told my brother, “Our sister is now a big girl, you realize that?” He agreed.

My mother cried when we bid goodbye to my sister. She laughed awkwardly while comforting our mom. That is the exact moment that I realized she was not crying because she is worried whether her daughter will make it through, but those were the tears of reluctance in letting go of her youngest child to let her grow up and remembering how desolate the house would be later.

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