In a Parallel Universe

When I tell people about my family, I get a kick out of seeing how their eyes widen with surprise with every quirky detail shared:

"Well, my parents are both college professors. They've been teaching in the university five minutes from my house for over twenty years." (Polite nods)

"My brother is teaching, too. He's teaching in the same university." (Eyes wide as teacups)

"He shares the same office with my parents." (Eyes wide as saucers)

"His name is Quantum. Do you know what he teaches? Physics! So yeah, he's my little brother. And, yeah, he's taking up his PhD." (Eyes wide as dinner plates, followed by laments like "What am I doing with my life???")

"Well, their life is fun and awesome. They see each other at work. They see each other at home. I'm kinda like the deviant, noh? Ever since university, I've been away from home." (Eyes shrinking back to their normal size)

That's their life right now. It makes an interesting icebreaker. It makes me wonder a bit though. What if I was right at home with them? What if I stayed in La Trinidad forever?

Or, in a parallel universe, what if they were living in Malaysia with me all this time?

The two make interesting scenarios. I had a taste of the latter when they visited me post-Christmas 2012. They stayed until after New Year. It was different, hearing their familiar voices and shuffles through the walls of my Malaysian apartment. It was as if we were never separated. It felt like... home.

Minus the warm fluffy blankets and the chill, unstuffy weather.

There was an abundance of food in the refrigerator. They bought lots of fruits and cold cuts. They amused themselves walking all around (and I mean walking all around) Kuala Lumpur while I went to the office to report for work. We spent New Year's Eve counting down at the Petronas Twin Towers and they video chatted with Ades (who postponed the chat just so that he could shower for the occasion - lol!). I drove us over to Penang. And then after a few short days... they were gone.

And the parallel world gave way to the real one.

I miss them. As you can see, living in a distant shore isn't all fun and games. Though I turn 16 whenever I go home or whenever we find each other in the same space again, it doesn't hurt being a teen again, sometimes.

Malaysia has taught me to not take family for granted. It has taught me to appreciate my biological family all the more. It's funny how distance does that. Well, if you are living with your family now, or if they are just a few bus-hours away, don't take them for granted. Love them. And don't forget to tell them that.

Pa, Ma, Quantum - this entry goes out to you. I love you! 

We're so happy! 2013. Taken at my old house. We're not that tan in real life.