A few weeks ago I got a call from my friend, Miss A. She’s a single mum with a toddler. She was at Skypark, waiting to board a Firefly flight to her hometown in a few minutes. “What’s up at home?” I asked her. It was unlike her to call me just because she wanted to balik kampung, something must be going on. “Well, I can’t tell you now,” she said between giggles, “but just know that this weekend is going to be the D-Day. Whatever happens, you’ll find out soon!”
The conversation ended there. I didn’t bother to probe further because I knew if she wanted to tell me more about it, she would call me again later. And she did call me again on Sunday morning. “So tell me now, what’s up with you?” I asked her, knowing that it must have something to do with the balik kampung trip she had. “Oh my God, you are not going to believe what happened!” she screamed. So here’s the story…
Miss A had been friends with Mr. B for over a year now. It started with work. Miss A works with a prominent company and Mr. B came in as a consultant to help with some projects. They exchanged business cards and phone numbers. She thought it was a good idea to befriend the guy. She had been working for the same company for quite a number of years so it was time for her to seek opportunities elsewhere. Being a consultant, the guy knew many people in the industry. Perhaps he could help her to scout for a new job.
As time went by, they became closer to each other. They started exchanging text messages at odd hours and long distance phone calls when the guy went for overseas assignments. Apparently the guy did quite a lot of travel. Yet he would always text and call her when he was abroad, telling her that his flight had arrived, asking her what she was doing while he was gone, and so on. Knowing that they were taking their relationship to another level, Miss A made it clear to him that she’s a single mum and she has a 3 y.o. daughter. She didn’t want him to get any impression associated with the “J” title, she already had enough of that. She also asked him pointblank if he was married, he said no. He’s a 43 y.o. single man who’s genuinely interested in a 29 y.o. single mum.
Since Miss A already had bad experience with men (her ex-husband was a wife beater, she made 3 police reports against him before they got divorced), she knew she had to be extra careful. She ran some background checks on Mr. B. Is he really who he says he is? Does his job really require so much time abroad? Is he really a Malaysian? Or is he a foreigner who has to leave the country every now and then to renew his visa, hence the frequent travelling?
All the background checks turned out to be positive. Miss A was happy, yet she was still a little suspicious. She asked Mr. B if she could have a look at his IC. He did show it to her, though he also asked her “Why don’t you trust me by now?” Finally, Miss A decided enough already with the spying game. She asked her friends who had been helping her with the background checks to stop doing so. She was already satisfied that the guy’s intention was honorable.
They started making wedding plans. Mr. B asked Miss A to clear her calendar for a few days to go to Bandung to buy wedding supplies. He picked a date in January 2011 for their big day. They discussed about how the wedding was going to be, where they would live after they got married, what would be their future plans, etc. He asked her if he could meet her mum to get everything formalized. She said okay, which resulted in the balik kampung trip on the day she called me from Skypark.
Her mum gave her approval. After a tough first marriage, she surely wanted her daughter to be happy. Her brother was a bit skeptical due to the big age gap between them. She told her brother, “When I married a man of my age, you said I was only going for the looks. Now that I’m marrying somebody older, why are you still complaining?” He brother just laughed it off, perhaps thinking how weird it would be to have adik ipar who’s 10 years older than him!
She returned to KL all happy and jovial. She would be married soon. She was finally getting her happily ever after. Everybody at work could see how happy she was.
That was until one week after her balik kampung trip. Unforeseen by Miss A, she received a surprising news. Miss C, one of the people who helped her with the background checks, came to see her. “I have something to tell you,” she said, “and it’s going to be hurtful.” Miss A was puzzled. However she quickly composed herself and assured Miss C it was okay, please tell her. Whatever it was, she could take anything.
Apparently, even after Miss A told her friends to stop the background checks, Miss C decided to still continue with it. Miss C contacted two of her friends – one working with LHDN and the other working with Mahkamah Syariah – to do further probing, this time on Mr. B’s personal life. And the results were heartbreaking. The LHDN guy found out that Mr. B declared a wife in his recent tax filing. Yes, he’s married! Meanwhile, the Mahkamah Syariah guy found out that Mr. B already had a pending divorce case. Not with his first wife, mind you, but with another girl who’s in her 20s! That makes two wives!
Miss A was stunned. Speechless. Frustrated. Heartbroken. On one hand, she thanked her friend for finding it out before it was too late. On another hand, she couldn’t believe she was fooled again. She thought she was already being careful, but as fate had it, it still wasn’t enough. Miss C told her, “I actually found out about it 2 days after you returned from your balik kampung trip. But I didn’t dare to tell you because I could see that you were so happy.”
Miss A then told her mum and her brother about what happened. Needless to say, they were both shocked. She told them that she needed some time to recover and she didn’t want to speak to anyone for the time being. After she gathered back he strength, she finally spoke to her boss and colleagues about it. They all agreed that the guy was trying to make her his second (or third or fourth) wife without letting her know the real deal. By the way, upon hearing the story, one of Miss A’s colleagues who is a weekend wife immediately got worried if her own husband is doing the same thing to other women behind her back, hmm!
With regards to Mr. B, Miss A told him that she had to call-off the wedding because she didn’t feel good about getting married. “I need to do solat istikharah to see if I’m making the right decision,” she said. The truth was, she had already decided – the guy was a liar and she wasn’t about to be a second (or third or fourth) wife.
“Please write about this on your blog,” said Miss A. “Tell all the single women out there to be really careful, there are many bad guys around us!” She said that the entire ordeal reminded her of the case of a Lebanese so-called millionaire who came to Malaysia and married a young girl, showering her with promises of a good life, but finally ended up in jail for being a conman. Looks like Malaysian guys have learned the same trick!
So to all my girlfriends out there, it doesn’t hurt to be extra careful, so you won’t be extra hurt in the future!
P.S.: Looks like every girl needs a friend at LHDN and Mahkamah Syariah, just in case ;-)