Secrets are a burden.
Rahsia had known that since she was seven and her teacher had stared when she said her name was Rahsia binti Abdullah. The teacher asked if that was really her father’s name, but hadn’t said why, so Rahsia asked her mother when she got home in the afternoon.
“That’s none of her business,” her mother replied with venom.
“But what does she mean, Mak? Why would she ask that?” Rahsia pressed, confused though she had never known her father. Maybe now Mak would tell her about him. “Why shouldn’t bapak’s name be ‘Abdullah’?”
Her mother wouldn’t reply, so Rahsia asked her grandmother that night at dinner.
Nek Ramalan glanced at her daughter over their simple dishes of fried fish with sambal tumis and fried kangkung with steamed rice.
Mak shrugged her shoulders and refused to say a word.
Nek shook her head and sighed. “Rahsia, there are some things that you are too young to understand now. It is your mother’s secret and she will tell you someday.”
“Mak!” Rahsia’s mother protested, scowling.
“Even if she doesn’t tell you in her lifetime, one day when you are Secretkeeper, you will know. For now, it is your Mak’s secret to keep and mine to bear.”
“I will know it as the Secretkeeper?” Rahsia asked with excitement in her voice.
“Yes. You'll bear our secrets, Rahsia, when the time comes. You'll be our Secretkeeper, the one that the world needs at this hour. For this time.”
As a random aside, I don't know what Rahsia's mother's name is yet. LOL
This is also all very disjointed, and scattered all over the place & timeline, sorry.