Malaysian Mystery Memoirs: Made To Fit

I always thought the extravagant meals my father prepared were gestures of love, and overfeeding me was just his way of portraying his affection non-verbally. I was 10 when I was told it was abuse.

The room was what gave it away. Its repulsive smell, and the fact that I was never allowed to step out of it. The belief that it was “for my own good” obviously faded over time. I grew angry with my father for holding me prisoner and denying me a normal life- not that I knew what a ‘normal’ life entailed back then.

What astounds me is how he pulled it off so immaculately, but I suppose hiding a small child chained to a bed in a tiny room isn’t too difficult when you’re residing in a landed property along the backstreets of Shah Alam.

I knew I had a mother and sister. I remembered them faintly, but knew better than to ask him about it. All he ever did was come into the room every few hours to feed me, teach me basic English and Malay, then walk out as if it was a done thing. He never laid a finger on me.

In all honesty, I did not have much to complain about. I was not taught the concept of calorific value nor nutrition, so I ingested every oil-laden, fried, heavy meal I was offered with grace. I also didn’t get the chance to ogle at conventionally beautiful celebrities, so my weight was never a society-established concern.

I was heavy. It has been 5 years since I escaped the ordeal, and I’m still attempting to shed the extra weight. Most days I could barely move, and had no reason to. My weight tripled over the years. I didn’t have a scale to tell you my exact mass but when I escaped, 10 years of age, I weighed in at 106 kilograms, standing at four foot nine.

But why? As much as I now know the answer, I cannot comprehend it. I’ll explain it to you in the words of media channels who covered my story:

“Mr. Ibrahim Ismail, 39 years old, was arrested on the morning of November 15th with two charges of murder pertaining to his wife and daughter. Allegations of severe abuse and neglect towards his 10-year-old son are currently being investigated by local authorities.

“The child, Ahmad Zaidi, was found in the store room of the family’s residence. He was dangerously overweight. A full medical checkup revealed that he had been suffering from diabetes and high cholesterol as well as high blood pressure.

“An inspection of the room found that Ibrahim’s deceased daughter, Puteri Alana, died as a result of her body getting stuck between the metal grill of the room’s window. It is reported that she was starved to the point of near-death prior to her passing. When asked, Ibrahim confirmed that he fed her two slices of plain bread every alternate day, but did not deny her water.

“He then admitted to finding her body halfway lodged between the bars, almost successfully escaping, however her lower body, from the hip, could not pass through. Enraged by her attempt to flee, Ibrahim left her there to die. She would have been fifteen years old today.

“The corpse was never removed. Ibrahim only had double curtains installed to conceal the body from both the inside and outside view. Cops believe that he chose to overfeed his son to avoid a similar instance from occurring, ensuring that his physique would make it almost impossible to escape.

“Investigating officers probed the matter following a tip-off from neighbours who complained of a rancid smell, noting that Ibrahim portrayed strange behaviour and there was no sign of the rest of his family. His wife’s body was never found.”

I can never make sense of my father’s actions or mental state; but I do ask that if you suspect that your neighbours may be in trouble, please take immediate action. I don’t know where I’d be now if it weren’t for that one phone call they made to the police.

 

* All illustrations are edited versions of  free stock images available on the public domain.

Malaysian Mystery Memoirs is a series of fictional horror tales by JUICE, for entertainment purposes only. Any similarities to actual persons or situations are purely coincidental.