Do you know that love and good food are inseparable? If you're going to impress a girl on a first date, bring her to a place that serves really good food, you can take my word for it. It doesn't have to be a five star restaurant. It can just be a simple mamak stall or a road side cendol, but the food have got to be really good.
Now I think you understand why we associate love with Penang. ;)
To be frank, I've only been to Penang a few times in my whole life, and each time, it was on a business trip. So, when I received the invitation to contribute to this anthology, I was torn. I would love to come up with a love story but I couldn't remember exactly the places I've been to in the island. I have this tendency to describe real locations in my stories, so not knowing the places poses some difficulties to my writing process.
So, what I did was, I wrote a story about a girl who wanted to start a new life in Penang. She was not familiar with the island and a big part of her life, especially her heart was left in KL.
Coincidently, the character names I used were from my earlier story published in KOPI Anthology. If you've read it, the story title is Bersaksi Kopi. If you haven't, then too bad because the book is a limited edition and will not be reprinted.
But you can always read my short story titled 'Runaway' in this anthology without knowing what Bersaksi Kopi is all about. I don't want to make your life miserable. I'm a very considerate writer, like that....;)
So, Runaway is about running away. You have to read it to find out who's running away from what.
It was a difficult story for me to write because romance is just not my forte. It took me a few days just to come up with the conflict. You see, in my novels, almost all conflict was solved by someone getting killed. It couldn't be so in a love story. Since I couldn't bring myself to kill any of the characters, I wrote a happy ending (at least it made me happy. Hehehe...)
Go! Go! Go! You know you want it!