I was on my way to the neighbourhood shop last Sunday. Walking past the 73 year-old woman's house, I saw tears trickling down.
"Why are you crying?" I asked her as I entered her house without being invited to.
"No, no. It's just that my eyes felt warm." The childless woman replied as she wiped away the tears with a small towel in hand.
"It's always the case when my body felt the heat." She continued.
"How about I'll bring you to the doctor now?" I sincerely wanted her to have a proper medical check-up and rest in bed.
"Not necessary. I will be alright." I expected that answer from her. She always refused my offer.
I pressed the RM50 I had, in her hand, reminding her to call me should the need to the doctor arise, before I left.
That is the only offer from me that she never refused - Money.
I dropped by her place again the next day to see how she coped. She was preparing to go out. She had phoned her 'adopted son', whom she had known for the last 8 years, to bring her to pharmacy. He came with his wife and a child - All the way from Batu Pahat to Johor Bahru.
I did not want to probe further. Just hoping that the RM50 can stretch very,very far for them.
On Friday, I saw him again at her house. She must have money in hand that he's willing to stay for the night. Yes, I was right. She had just received RM300 from Social Welfare and SHE SPENT IT ALL ON HIS FAMILY.
When the old woman received compensation for being a flood victim just a year ago, the 'adopted son' was handed some money, most foodstuff and the new mattress.
I wondered how many more years can he rely on this old woman to feed his family members of 10. He would bring home most rice bags that this old woman received annually before each fasting month.
His explanation to me that he was being cheated of RM75,000 in a business deal did not move me to have sympathy on him.
Not having taken an offer, to be paid the next day should he work for his adopted mother's neighbour, showed his true laziness - And what an irresponsible husband and father he is.
This morning, I showed up again at the old woman's house. She sighed of difficulties of not having money in hand.
In fact, I cautiously give her money these past 8 years but I would stock what's needed in the kitchen.
Even then, once in a while, I would be trapped in a situation as above...