Whenever I'm alone in public, I become really conscious of myself and turn dignified in my actions and ways. With no friends to laugh with me at my lack of grace but only strangers to make a judgment of it, I wouldn't dream of doing anything that would call forth attention to myself.
One of the days of internship has come to an end. After walking in the rain, braving the crowd packed like crushed tuna in the bus and keeping myself from being thrown about by the constantly changing momentum of the jerking bus, I reach KL Sentral and get into an LRT coach.
As the doors close and the coaches begin to move, I step into my favorite spot to stand in -- a corner by the door. Tucking my hair behind my left ear, my heart groans a beat as the tip of a finger runs by my naked earlobe, where my stud earring should have been. In the same moment, I feel something gets caught in my hair before it makes its way to the floor, so my only consolation is that my earring hasn't dropped a long time ago. It's probably somewhere in the coach with me.
Agitated by the loss of my earring, I scan the ground frantically, unperturbed by the stares of increasing number of strangers as they sense my agitation. My eyes dart about, as if lost of control. I pray a quick prayer that before I reach my designated stop, I will spot the blue and pink beads of the earring, a Christmas gift from my best friend. Under a seat, something catches my attention. I lower my head for closer inspection, realize the object probably belongs to me, and get down on my knees to retrieve it.
I don't care that a man is actually sitting in the seat, obstructing the way. I don't care that people are raising their eye brows at my antics. I don't care that I probably look awfully clumsy as I bend about while also trying to balance two bags on my shoulder. I make a scramble for the tiny thing on the floor. The man moves his feet. The object I am going for belongs to me all right, but it is only the back piece that secures the earring. The front piece is still missing.
More than a couple people notice my discovery. A jolly old man even exclaims "diamond!" as I pick up what was lost. Half victorious (only half, because the stud is still missing), I stand back up. The old man peers at me and asks excitedly, "is it a diamond?"
"No, it's not," I laugh. "It's only my favorite earring I'm looking for." But it may as well have been diamond to me.