“Mom, what happened in that accident? How did it happen in the first place?” Stacy asked with a curious tone as she sat sipping her hot chocolate at the dining table.
Stacy’s mom was cooking lunch and stopped for a moment to think of the incident that took place twenty-eight years ago which had shaken her to the very core with numbed fear and even now as Stacy looked at her, she could see that it made her mom somewhat shiver.
The accident was a horrific one. There were glimpses of it that Stacy remembers and she wanted to know the exact details of how it transpired as it now comes on in flashbacks and recently subjected Stacy to experience blackouts as she recollects events from her past.
Stacy was a two month old baby when she was travelling by car from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore with her mom and dad. There was also another couple in the car with them who were friends of her parents on that fateful journey. It was a winding road and dark at the corners. All around them were rubber and oil palm plantations. Stacy suddenly experienced an unknown fear lurking at the back of her mind which she somehow cannot seem to explain or fathom. She sees dark images and queer figures in the jungles by the side of the road they were travelling in when she tries to recall the incident or conjure up what had transpired in those momentary flashbacks! These flashbacks gives her monstrous headaches and sometimes even causes blackouts in her.
They were travelling during a time when it was dangerous with the civil war on the brink of eruption between the two major races in the Country – the Chinese and Malays, her mom had related to her. Travelling anywhere was restricted and allowed only after thorough checks were conducted by the authorities and curfew hours were implemented to the citizens of the country. It was an era when the then Malaya had just gained independence from the British Empire and renamed as Malaysia and it was also a time when the people were still wary and suspicious of each other and their activities.
Stacy remembers some of the events that took place when the accident took place quite clearly though it seemed a bit odd as she was only a baby when the incident happened. It was as though she was a spectator to the whole incident while at the same time being involved directly in the crash. Little flashbacks occurred quite frequently as days passed with Stacy experiencing deja vu over some of the incidences that took her back to her childhood.
Years later Stacy would come to realize that she could remember certain events that took place in her life clearly even though some of it happened during her infancy. Sometimes her memory would be ignited by current events that took place which had similar inferences to her past and with a sudden jolt she would try to remember it and get the exact impression that it had happened before. Certain events would sometimes take her into the crevices of her memory remembering events when she was born. It was like a time-warp that she transcends into and this phenomenon that she was feeling was coming to her in snippets more regularly as days passed.
On that fateful day, Stacy's dad was taking them back home to Singapore with two of their mutual friends who had followed him and who were travelling back to Singapore together with them in the car. He was really excited her mom said, to be taking their baby home after having been away from both of them for three months and leaving them with his mother for the duration of Stacy's mom's confinement period.
Her mom had come down to Kuala Lumpur at the start of her eighth month of pregnancy to stay with her in-laws as was customary according to Indian tradition. Her grandmother was insistent that she follow all the traditional healing methods of recuperating after the birth of Stacy. Her mom ate food that was cooked specially for new mothers with medicinal qualities and adhered strictly to anything her grandmother considered taboo . Stacy's mother told her that the traditional treatment was such a rigid curative procedure to follow that she couldn't wait for the time when she could just take Stacy and head back home.
Her dad worked for the British Air Force and soon after their wedding, he and her mom moved to Singapore where he was transferred to work at the British military base located there. Stacy's mom married her dad at the age of eighteen soon after arriving from India.
Stacy thought getting married at such a tender age was wrong and questioned her mom about getting married to her dad at such a young and impressionable age. It was a norm in an Indian family was the reply Stacy got as an answer."Didn’t you miss your childhood days and your friends?" Stacy had then asked. Mom had just shrugged off the question at first. Then as an afterthought. she said that she was a beauty and Stacy's dad was captivated by her looks almost immediately, at the same time giving Stacy a cheeky smile!