Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wati and the Fish Fry that Got Away

My sister told me that someone texted her looking for me. A certain Wati, claimed to be an ex-schoolmate. Can I give your hp number to her, my sister asked. No need, let me call her, I said. I thought it was a bit odd, because most of my friends from school are on FB already. And the Wati that I remembered wouldn’t exactly be looking for me. I don’t remember ever having a good conversation together. We weren’t very close and after SPM, more than 20 years ago, we never kept in touch. Weird that Wati would be looking for me.

And so I called Wati from the office. Wati who? I asked. And she played hurt, how could you not remember me, your friend from the class next door. Oh, I said, Wett ya? That was the nickname Norwati from the class-next-door used back in school. Haah lah, she said. And I was actually happy and felt honored somehow that the long-lost-Wett would want to seek me out. We didn’t talk much because I was rushing to a meeting. I gotta go, I said. Okay but sms me your hp number tau, she said. But I never did. I forgot. This was on Friday.

On Sunday, Wett texted my handphone. She must have gotten my handphone number from the office’s reception. She said she needed help. She didn’t know who else to approach. Wow. After more than 20 years…

Her text read, ‘hari tu I ada masalh family, jd huruhara sikit, so I pn masa tu dah blur, pening, so I dah terpinjam ceti. So skrg I dilanda mslh. Stiap mggu kena bayar 360. Skrg ni susah sgt. Duit mkn pn dah takde. I kalau blh nk mta bantuan u. xksh la brapa pun yg u mampu bg pinjam bt smtara’

I asked her how much balance is still owed to the ceti.

‘I pinjam hr tu rm2500. Dapat kat tangan 2000. Cara payback 10*360 so I da settle 3x. kat I dah xde ape2 ni. Kad bnk, dokumen penting sume ceti tu pegang sbgi cagaran. U mlm ni u xdpt bnk in cikit x? aku duit makan pun xde ni. Aku bg akaun maybank kazen aku’

Sigh… I am such a sucker for friends in trouble. I don’t remember ever turning a friend in need away. But you see, I am broke too, belum gaji kan? but I do have a bit of cash. Only, I don’t have online banking facility (well, actually I do, but I don’t remember the passwords). So I said to her, I cant, not tonight but let me see what I can arrange for her.

‘aku phm. Tp aku harap sangat ko dpt tlg aku esok. Xksh la brapa pun yg ko mampu k’

worried for her, I texted our school alumni’s president and thought of setting up a fund to help Wett pay off all the balance. Kesian Wett! And that night I slept badly, worrying about my friend and if she would go to bed hungry.

The next morning, there was a few smses from her. One asking if I could bank in the money, and other smses requesting that I give her our other friends’ phone numbers.

Instead of giving her the numbers, I called her classmate, Anom. I told her that I don’t even remember how Wett looked like but how could she, of all people, sought me out. Someone that she wasn’t even close with, back in school.

Anom told me that it would be almost impossible for Wett to be in dire need of money, because Wett works as a pharmacist, married to a well-to-do man and is childless. She’s loaded! Said Anom. I gave Anom the girl’s number to check if it was really Wett. When Anom asked her for her full name, she just laughed. When Anum asked her if she was from Pujangga class, she hung up. Anom dialed again but she didn’t answer. After many tries, a man answered, saying wrong number.

Yamtuan tried calling the number again that night. The call was picked up and we could hear tv sounds, but she kept quiet.

After much deliberation, I actually went to a police station just now.

Nak report apa, asked the pretty constable.
Kes penipuan.
Berapa banyak kerugian?
Errr…. Tak ada.
Baik, jadi apa tujuan puan membuat laporan?
Supaya tidak ada lagi mangsa yang tertipu selepas saya.

Konstable Umi said, better if I said the report is because I fear for my safety.

Oh, oklah, whatever.

And so there was I typing that chapter of my life away in the police station, hoping that they would at least call Wati and frighten her a bit so she would stop conning people around like she did me.

And yes, i put in the report that tujuan I did the report is really because I needed protection, as per the Constable said I would!

An ‘anggota’ called me after that for investigation. And that was it.

Yamtuan said my timing was wrong. The police is currently busy trying to get DNA of DSA and video owned by Datok T. Cheh…!


By the way, Wati the Penipu uses this number: 0143220804
And if any long-lost friend approached you, dont offer information, let them validate their claims first. They probably dont even know your full name.