Issuu on Google+

Rachana IM

New Year Countdown


2

New Year Countdown

Rachana IM


3

New Year Countdown

Rachana IM

New Year Countdown

Rachana IM


4

New Year Countdown

Liberty Association #53 CE0, St 242 Chaktomuk, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh Cambodia Blog : khmerphnompenh.wordpress.com Public relation : Bolin Davith cambocanada@gmail.com

Rachana IM


5

New Year Countdown

Rachana IM


6

New Year Countdown

President of Liberty Association : Phalla Ker Editor : Santepheap Lim Writers : Vathana Serei Kanitha Neng Chanphal Sok Rachana Im Proofreader : Oudom Heng Website designer : Boeun Tim Public relation : Davith Bolin English version : CALLME translation services Proofreader of English version : Chandra Ky

Rachana IM


7

New Year Countdown

ŠRACHANA IM

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and incidents featured in this work are imaginary. Any resemblance to real events or person is coincidental. Rachana IM


8

New Year Countdown

Rachana IM


9

New Year Countdown

[01.30 p.m.] How fast a year passes by! Today is the 31st of December, the day everyone counts down to New Year, the remaining time before the year is completed. Some people celebrate the countdown in other provinces because they think it is fun. But I find it funnier to stay home! New Year’s Eve is no big deal for me... It is yet another lonely night, during which I have to keep breathing for ten hours, killing time until the next morning is up. The same 31st of December is a holiday for everyone but me, it is a working day… Instead of just staying home doing nothing, I’d better go work, shouldn’t I? I have no girlfriend and my Rachana IM


10

New Year Countdown

friends are all married. If I stay idle alone at home, I’ll surely die before even getting any chances of getting married.

The phone rings and interrupts my thoughts wondering far away from the workloads in hand. I take the call, tired in advance… Who on Earth is calling?

- Hello! How do you do?

A voice of a man of about 20 years old answers:

- Well, how do you do? I’m calling from Kampong Som Hotel. I’d like to confirm the room you booked for this evening? - Oh, thanks for calling… I am still working but around 6 p.m., I’ll be there… Rachana IM


11

New Year Countdown

- OK! So I’m going to keep a room for you… Thanks a lot... Bye!

Of course! I was about to forget that I had to go and meet clients in Sihanouk province, this evening…

Before

the

year

ends,

all

the

outstanding jobs need clearing up or this would mean trouble for me till the following year. As a matter of fact, I don’t really have too much to do in Sihanouk province either. I will go and only meet a few clients and review documents. Then, I can have spare time sitting and drinking to the countdown alone on the beach. And I will have another free couple of days to stay and relax on Russey Island, watch the stars and listen to the sounds of the waves at night time… Simply visualizing this makes me already happy.

Rachana IM


12

New Year Countdown

A single person should make the most of their time and I’d say there’s no better way to spend time than with work… If I have spare time, I shall go out as a single man… Easy enough!

Rachana IM


13

New Year Countdown

[06.47 p.m.]

Sihanouk city today is busier than usual. Lots of cars are parked at guesthouses and hotels, while the beach especially, is so crowded that I can hardly find a seat. After driving around the city, I turn my car towards the hotel that called me earlier this afternoon‌ If I was not a regular customer over there, I would not have a place to stay and meet my clients then sleep in my car instead. The hotel that I often stay in is small albeit beautiful and near downtown‌ But the true reason I choose to stay there is because nearby is a mart owned by a beautiful lady. Every time I am there, I never forget to drop by and see her. I got Rachana IM


14

New Year Countdown

to know her two years ago, when I first had to work in Sihanouk province.

I remember the time when I was drunk after a meeting with clients... I entered a mart, next to where I stayed, looking for something to sober me up as I had to drive back to Phnom Penh in the morning. As I was standing in front of a freezer displaying so many types of drinks that I could not tell what to drink and sober down, a voice made itself heard from behind my back:

- Do you wish to sleep or walk?

I could not help but turn back and check who had asked such an odd question. A 22-year-old girl was standing behind me with her arms crossed

Rachana IM


15

New Year Countdown

while staring at me strangely. As I turned toward her, still wondering, she smiled unreasonably:

- … If you’d rather sleep, take this one!

She said, while pointing toward a freezer of beer cans and many other alcohols before adding :

- But if you’d rather want to walk, take this one instead…!

After she finished uttering this, she bended down and picked up ``Bacchus`` cans from near her feet and arranged more into the freezer. Finishing doing this, she stared at me again seeming to wait for my answer. I tried to smile and answered:

- I’d say I’d rather walk than sleep...? Rachana IM


16

New Year Countdown

She smiled back and opened the freezer to get me a can of ``Bacchus`` before leading me to the checkout counter for the bill, next the exit door of the mart. I have no idea of how many of you still believe in “love at first sight”. And you may not believe this, although I want to tell you that it does exist… For it happened to me. From the moment she first looked at me, her deep eyes made me realize she actually was the one I had been waiting for so long… All of a sudden, I knew I had two choices only... Throw it... or take it! And my choice was…

Rachana IM


17

New Year Countdown

[11.15 p.m.]

- Brother Sith!

I turned back and smiled to a young man standing and working out the bill for a foreigner in the mart next the hotel I was staying in:

- How did it go, Yuth? Biz’s good?

Yuth smiled beautifully and answered me in a friendly manner:

- Very good, brother... All stuff is running out of stock now! Rachana IM


18

New Year Countdown

Just before he finished his word, Yuth joyfully laughed.

- How about Ya? Hasn’t she come in to work today?

I was asking about Kethya, the girl I had wanted to meet without an instant hesitation. Her younger brother who was standing in front of me said:

- Sister Ya has made a short trip to the beach... Didn’t you tell her that you were coming here?

I shook my head:

- No! I thought of surprising her and didn’t know she’d go... leaving me behind like this. Rachana IM


19

New Year Countdown

[11.55 p.m.]

The beach was crowded with people. I walked along it, looking at sand mounds piled up in varieties decorated with very brightly lit candles for the New Year’s celebrations. Youngsters lit up fireworks while old people ate seafood together then laid back. In some areas, teenagers were having fun dancing and shaking their bodies to the music, with their friends of the same age. Who would have wanted to count down for the New Year alone? I picked up my phone and call Kethya...

- Happy New Year...``drunkard``! Rachana IM


20

New Year Countdown

I have smiled every time she has been calling me this... Of course, she had first met me when I was drunk. Eversince, I have been given this nickname. Only she knows whether or not I am a real drunkard!

- Happy New Year... I wish you, ``mart owner``, all the best! - Can I have other wishes?

How many people actually do bargain for New Year’s wishes with me like this? Maybe only she does...

- I doubt, if you bargain for New Year’s wishes like this, whether the wishes will work... - The divinities are not so nasty or... are they? Rachana IM


21

New Year Countdown

I laughed at her innocent words:

- OK! Ask me whatever wish you want... - I’m not asking for much! I only wish that what I’ve wished for can be achieved... as expected! ... Oh! By the way, where are you now, sweetie? I am on the beach... So crowded! - I’m on the beach too...

After a quiet while, Ya asked back:

- So you came around to Sihanouk province? Why didn’t you tell me? Didn’t you say you didn’t like to count down for New Year nor the crowd?

So many questions...Which one do I have to answer first? Rachana IM


22

New Year Countdown

- I had to meet my client this evening... I didn’t tell you because I wanted to surprise you. In fact, I didn’t want to go to the beach either, because it’s so crowded. Then...

I made a pause, but my mind kept racing ahead of me... to think logically, thinking hard of how to answer this question.

The countdown started to sound so loud... The sound of small fireworks got louder and louder, but Kethya’s voice could not be heard even the least... I didn’t care about people near me excitedly celebrating the countdown for New Year, keeping walking ahead till I saw the shadow of someone walking opposite me... When seeing me also, she stopped and stared back at me, Rachana IM


23

New Year Countdown

sending me a smile from a distance. I walked on forward till she and I remained only one meter away from each other. The call was not yet disconnected... Then Kethya opened her mouth and softly asked...

- What? - Well, I could not stop myself from joining you because... Because my heart is with you!

I saw a very happy smile appear on Kethya’s face... The eyes I loved so much were shining grippingly. And later, the tears of joy she pushed away from the edges of her eyes, reassured me about how happy she was...!

Rachana IM


24

New Year Countdown

Rachana IM


25

New Year Countdown

Rachana IM


26

New Year Countdown

Rachana IM


New Year Countdown