I decided that I couldn't wait until my leave application is approved before booking tickets to go back home for Aidilfitri. Wise move.

When I called MAS ticketing agency, the person politely informed me there are no more flights from JB to Kuching on 11, 12 and 13 November. I was flabbergasted.

'Not even business class?' I asked after briefly doing a mental calculation on how it would affect my dietary two months from now on.
'Sorry, miss. All booked out.'

Alternative plans. I have to find an alternative plan. So I queued up at the Air Asia counter. Luckily on the 12 November, there is a seat (one seat left!) that I immediately am willing to pay for. When the person behind the counter told me the price, my jaw crashed on the counter.

'Am I mistaken?' I took a step back to look at the signboard on the counter. Yup, Air Asia.
'Why is the price almost like taking a MAS flight?' I asked, incredulously.
'Well...' the person took a deep breath, ready to launch into a lenghty explanation when I cut him.
'Right, right. Just give me the ticket.' I shoved a stash of money (boohooohooo!!) across the counter. Yikes. Balik Raya affair has always hurt my purse.

The first half of the journey has settled. It's time to find out the fare for the journey coming back to JB. I went to MAS counter again.

Luck got on my side. Luckily, on the 17th November, there are plenty of seats left. Even on SuperSaver package! I immediately bought those tickets. Finally! I decided to call my mom to convey this good news.

'Guess what mom? I'm going back for raya!'
'Oh? Good! I thought I lost you to some Peninsular guy over there.'
'Momm....' Didn't realize how long I've set foot home. I decided to check whether I still remember how to speak in Melanau.

'Kak susah ati ka'au inan... pulik keau raya ih... (Don't you worry, mom. I'm coming home this raya) .' I assured her. My mom just laughed.

I wish that I could go back this fasting month. To set foot once more in the Darul Hidayah mosque, to sweet memories of Ramadhan, to past live untouched, unlived.