A Singapore Love Story is a novel set in Singapore, with the theme portraying the fact that we cannot change reality, but can only change our expectations. A Singapore Love Story, Low Kay Hwa's tenth novel, is a contemporary novel set in Singapore, with the theme portraying the fact that we cannot change reality. Copyright Low Kay Hwa Published by Goody Books Pte Ltd at Smashwords. I would like to thank Bing Tai, Xiu Han, Dylan, Lionel, Jing Lin, Yi Xin, Rachel Teo, Sia Fong, Pascaline Ang, Alvin Chua, Pei Ling, Yuhui, Cheng Nam, Valerie Lee, Gui Wen, Jia Hui, Jia Tong, Chang Da.
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A Singapore Love Story book. Read 33 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. “Someone once told me this: Love is a rubber band. It can ei. A Singapore Love Story Preview (Part 16 of 18) Previous Part: download up to four Low Kay Hwa's previous titles (except A Singapore Love Story and For That . A Singapore Love Story [Low Kay Hwa] on osakeya.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
I followed him like a daughter awaiting punishment upon reaching home.
It was so hot that the five-minute walk soaked my shirt in sweat. But Michael was dry when we settled down. Maybe it was not that hot after all. If you had used a fictitious name, he would really have come. I was speechless. My mind went blank and I just wanted him to lead the conversation. Ask me questions, I prayed. Since primary school. Did I do something to you in my past life? I nearly wanted to smile. He had asked questions but I did not want to answer them.
Ask more questions! Other questions! I analysed my shoelaces. His was a simple, standard one knot. Mine had two knots, as I wanted it to be secure. I had the urge to tie his shoelaces with two knots. Did I ever step on your shoes a long time ago? I was expelled and detained all because of you, Noodles. And now, you even played a prank on me?
How the fuck did you get my telephone number? I just wanted to stoop down and tie his shoelaces. Do you have, like, size six and a quarter? We all howled in laughter. The sales assistant looked amused. He put on his smile and said, How about size seven? Will do!
Maggie chirped. You go look for size seven. If there isnt any Ill take this one. She began to trace the design of the shoe with her finger. The sales assistant hinted at her to take the shoe off but Maggie was totally immersed in appreciating the beauty of the shoe. Finally the sales assistant gave up and went off in search for size seven.
In one smooth motion, I took out a Royal Sporting House plastic bag from my bag. Maggie took off the shoe and threw it into the box. We glanced around the busy shop. When we confirmed it was safe, we placed the shoe-box into the plastic bag and I strolled out of the shop, feeling victorious. No one came forward to stop me. The alarm did not ring. After all, how could anyone steal a pair of shoes? They were all supposed to be stacked neatly in the storeroom.
When I was out of the shop, I pictured Maggie and the sales assistant quarrelling in my mind. Maggie would not lose; after all, customers are always right. I could only pity the poor sales assistant who must be wondering if he did place the size six shoes back in the storeroom.
He might even consider quitting his job. While I was lost in my thoughts, someone tapped my shoulder. A pretty girl with shiny long hair smiled at me and said, Put that pair of shoes down. Theyre coming to get you. I studied her. She looked a little older than me and had the kind of features that any teenager would envy. Her eyes were as round as her eyeballs and the dimples on her cheeks were deeply curved to perfection.
What the fuck are you talking about? I demanded. Trust me. That sales assistant is the supervisor, not a temp. He has met all sorts of people. Hes coming for you. Drop it, or youll regret it forever! I stared at her. She seemed to know everything. After an internal debate, I decided to trust her and threw the shoes into a rubbish bin.
A few minutes later, to my surprise, the sales assistant, together with two security officers, came up and apprehended me. When they found nothing on me, they gave up and I let out a long sigh of relief. It was my closest encounter with a criminal record. After that dreadful incident, the girl showed up at my house. I had no idea how she obtained my address. We chatted a little. I later knew her to be Landy. As time went by, we became good friends.
She was older than me by four years and was working full-time as a clerk. My mum died when I was fourteen and I cut off links with all my friends save Landy. Somehow or other, Landy stayed with me through thick and thin. Knowing that I disliked going out, she came to my house to chat with me instead. If there was only one blessing in my life, it was definitely having a friend like Landy. Our play was supposed to be ten to fifteen minutes long. Look, I think well have to rewrite the script.
Our so-called director, Delvin, suggested. He was one of our classmates with the most outstanding leadership qualities. Im open to all ideas. We ransacked our minds and a few ideas were proposed but none of them seemed to work. Amid the mood of depression which had descended over the room, Jacky stood up and told us, Trust Joanna and me. Well be able to prolong it with our acting.
Wont we, Joanna? I sank deeper into my chair and pondered. What did he mean by that? He was smiling at me again. I felt my hair standing up. What was he thinking now? I bit my teeth, hoping that he would not suggest some outrageous proposal that would embarrass both of us. Itll be a lot more realistic if we act out the play without directly following the script. For example, if the audience laughs, well extend the humorous scene.
If the audience is crying, well extend the sad scene. Of course, that would mean wed have to add our own lines to the play. You understand? After some brainstorming, they all agreed to that idea. I wanted so much to debate, to confess my disagreement, but upon seeing their exhausted faces, I consented.
After we were dismissed, we all headed in different directions except Jacky and me. We stayed together as I wanted to confront him about the idea. Why propose that stupid idea? I probed. For fun, Joanna!
For fun! And for authenticity! Dont you think the whole play will look a lot more realistic if we dont follow a script? I mean- You wont understand!
I need to follow a script! I cant I cant talk well. I Im afraid I will say the wrong thing and I choked on my words and halted. Tell me whats stopping you from opening your heart, Joanna.
I was shaking softly. His warm hands embraced my shoulders and he lowered his voice. Please tell me more about yourself. Why youre keeping everything to yourself. Why youre living in your own world. Get away! I pushed him off, my face burning red.
After I had taken a few steps back, my cell phone rang. It was Landy. I rejected the call and turned back at Jacky.
You wont be able to help me! No one can! No one! Let me help you, please! Believe me! You wont fail if you keep trying! You cant, youll never! Im going to withdraw from that fucking play, and you and your fucking good friends can be Juliet! Joanna- I killed my father, my mother and many other people! Im a fucking murderer, a fucking killer, a fucking sinner! I turned and dashed out of the hall. The moment I was outside the school, I raised my hand and a taxi stopped.
I let out a soft moan of despair before I swung open the door and went off in search of respite. Chapter 4 The taxi ride to West Coast Park took me fifteen minutes. By then, night had fallen and I had already stopped shedding tears. There were not many people around. Landy came an hour later and we climbed up the tall pyramid-shaped playground, lying on the ropes. You really want to tell him everything, dont you?
Coz you feel like youve got a bond with him. Hell get killed by me. I whispered. I dont want danger to befall him. But you really want to tell him about your problems. You really wanna tell him about your curse. I support you.
I dont know. Okay, why not we play a game? If hes here within fifteen minutes, youll tell him about your problems, okay? If not, well sleep here for the night. Are you game for it? I looked up at the star-less night. He would not be able to find me, I thought.
Well then, Im going down. Landy reached down, grabbed the rope below and slowly made her way down. Look down, my friend. By then, Landy had reached the ground. She waved at me and I understood what she meant at the moment I looked down. Jacky, still in his uniform, walked past her.
When he saw me, he smiled broadly and climbed up the ropes, flaunting his lean biceps. Within a few seconds he was sitting beside me. How did you know I was here? I said. Landy called you? Whos Landy? Jacky shrugged and shook his head. The girl who just walked past you. Did anyone walk past me just now?
I didnt notice. I just saw you. Then how did you know Id be here? I installed a tracer on your hand-phone. You know, like those tracers that secret agents use? I bought it on the black market. Cost me a bomb. I bit my lip and ignored his pointless remark. Joanna, can I tell you something? I nodded, stunned at his seriousness. He never usually bothered to request permission when he asked questions. What he had just said freaked me out.
My eyes were fixed to the ground, my hand toying with the ropes that supported our weight. I know its one of the hardest things to do in the world I know its like asking you to stuff your fist into your mouth or its like asking you to eat caterpillars but he paused. I shivered. Gosh, he looked really serious when he was not smiling. Will you will you, believe me? Believe you? I twisted my head, almost relieved. What do you mean? I was not expecting him to say something so simple.
Lend me an hour of your time. In this hour, I really hope you can believe in everything I say. Will you? I clenched my hand into a fist, thinking hard. I then recalled the deal I had with Landy. Okay, I believe. Now, what do you want to say? Tell me about your problems. Joanna, youll not fail if you keep trying. No one can help- Joanna! And he did it: He held my hand and cried, Believe me! I shook my head a few times, trying hard to believe him. I will not fail if I keep trying?
I had always been trying but I always failed. Id given up hope on everything, choosing instead to live in my own world. A minute passed silently. I gazed fixedly at the star-less sky. Time seemed to be crawling by callously. I grabbed a rope, preparing to leap down when Landys words came to mind again.
With that thought, I looked up at Jacky. His eyes darted towards mine. It was then I realised he was still holding on to my left hand. Believe me. He repeated as he released my hand. I felt a surge of loss. What is the reason that causes you to be so reserved? How did your parents pass away?
Tears started to well up in my eyes. I wanted so much to lay my head on his shoulder but I feared he might feel uncomfortable. I shook my head a few times to hold back my tears. It was not an easy task. I killed them. Tell me more. Let me help. You cant help! I yelled, my voice echoing in the quiet night. Believe in me! You wouldnt- You have to be- Its too complica- Believe me!
No one can help- I can help you. I really can. Let me help, please. Believe in me. Somehow, my heart melted and I gave in.
I was born into a perfect family. I had a father who drove a taxi and a mother who cooked for others. I started, not daring to face him.
Thats very good. Go on. We lived simply, yet happily. My dad worked seven days a week. Every night, I would wait for my father to download supper for us.
The three of us would eat while watching television. That late night meal was the only time for us to be together. I would tell them about the new bully at school. They would teach me how to fight back. Youve got good parents.
Jacky cut in, obviously just to prove that he was still listening. Life was perfect. Just so perfect. Until one day one day Whenever the memories flowed back, I would choke on my tears.
Jacky patted me on my back, encouraging me to keep my composure. I knew if I was to tell him about myself, I would have to overcome those memories. One day that day I took a long, deep breath. It all happened. The day started like any other day. My father ate his breakfast in a rush and then went to work.
As usual, I yelled Drive carefully, Dad to him before he stepped out of the house. I was in school, listening to the teacher telling us everything about how apples drop to the ground when I saw my mother outside the classroom. I remembered that day, we were supposed to have a spelling test yet I had forgotten to bring the exercise book. I thought my mother was just there to pass me my book. Little did I expect it to be something more than just a book.
She grabbed my hand and we left the school. No words were exchanged. We went into a taxi, and when she cried, I sensed something was wrong. Then she hugged me, and I knew it was bad news. I paused. I needed a break from the bad memories flooding back. Jacky flashed his trademark smile and patted my shoulder. We stayed that way for a few more minutes. My father had died in a car accident. In his desperate attempt to fetch a passenger, he neglected his own safety. A lorry crashed his car.
He died instantly. I was only twelve then. I cried everyday, waiting for my supper to come. But every night, only memories of my Dad came back. I could no longer tell him about the new bully that came to my school.
My mother, strangely, indirectly blamed me for his death. She claimed that had I not told my father to drive carefully, he might not have died. It made no sense at all. With my fathers death, my mother quit her job and turned into a drunkard. She would return every night stinking of alcohol. I had no idea where she got the money.
I was totally depressed with my broken family. I met a group of friends when I was in Secondary One in a stairway. They introduced to me ways to relax: smoking, drinking. I was lured in by the luxury of not having to care. I smoked my days away. I cannot imagine you were once a smoker. Jacky said.
I was. Home was just a place for me to seek quarrels. I tried my best to stay away from my house. My mother would always call me names like jinx or bitch, even in her sober mind. Finally, one day, I had enough. I put all my clothes into a bag and shouted to her, I hope youll die in a car accident, just like daddy. And I hope youll get crushed by a big lorry! After that, I stayed in my friends house for two days.
And two days later I was shuddering now, my tears rolling out like there was no tomorrow. I tried to brush them away but they kept coming. I felt like jumping down to the ground now, ending the ordeal once and for all. Jackys hand was still clutching mine. Without warning, he embraced me, his body warming me up. He was shuddering along with me.
I dropped my head onto his shoulder and whispered, Two days later, my mother was crushed by a big lorry. She died on the spot. Chapter 5 There was a long period of silence. I wiped my tears off but they kept on coming. Jacky stroked me gently on my back, as if it would help to stop my sobbing. In that moment, I really wished I would wake up in the comfort of my bed and realise that everything had just been a dream.
I guessed I had regretted telling Jacky everything. No one knew about all this except Landy. I had tried so hard to bury my past but Jackys persistence had caused me to dig it out. I pushed Jacky off, knowing I could not lay my head on his shoulder forever. To my surprise, he was wearing a smile, not at all surprised by my story.
And you believe you caused the death of your mother? Because of the curse that you have? I nodded. Silly, Joanna. Theres a word known as coincidence. It just happened to be a coincidence.
This time round, I shook my head. A few days after my mothers death, I had a quarrel with one of my friends. In the midst of the quarrel, I I paused again. It was hard to dig out a past that had been buried away for so long.
I said, Youre so stubborn, your boyfriend is gonna leave you soon!. And a few days later, her boyfriend broke up with her. Well, two coincidences. I once scolded a taxi driver for speeding. I said he would soon get into an accident if he continued to speed.
He ignored my warnings and the next day, the newspaper reported that a taxi had smashed onto a tree. Luckily the taxi driver suffered no serious injury. Ive always hoped it was just coincidences, Jacky. Its not.
Its a curse. Im cursed. Every bad thing I say will come true. Thats the reason why youre so quiet? So introverted? More or less. Trust me, its not coincidences. Therere more examples of my curse. I dare not talk, for fear I may accidentally curse others. Its not my fault. Jacky bit his lip. A few seconds later, he mouthed, I remembered you once said youve got friends outside JC. Is it true? Just one friend. Names Landy. Strangely I stopped, wondering if I should tell Jacky about Landy or not.
I thought, since I had already told him so much, why not tell him about Landy as well? She isnt affected by my curses. I had accidentally cursed her a few times but she seems to be immune to it. Nothing happens after my curses.
Hence she has always been my best friend. I told him more about Landy, on how we first met and how she visited me frequently just for a chat. My grandmother will open the door for her when Im not in.
However my grandmother always forgets she does that. She has poor memory and poor eyesight. Landy must have been a good friend to come by for a chat. I said, a bit annoyed by that pointless remark. So she knew about your curse as well? And encouraged you to avoid talking to others?
Thats right. She had seen how people suffered under my curse. Thats the reason why she prefers me to keep quiet. Okay Jacky muttered then closed his eyes, obviously trying to think of something to say. I stared at his closed eyes. Why had I told him so much?
Maybe it was to tell him the reason why I did not like the idea of the free-style play. Maybe it was also to tell him that my quietness was not my fault.
Maybe to let him paint a better image of me in his mind. Remember your promise just now? Okay, believe in me now. Say this after me I dont have a curse. But I- Remember your promise! Now, repeat after me I dont have a curse. I guessed I just had to play along to humour him. I dont have a curse.
Just say I dont have a curse. No silly behind. Come on, try again. I shrugged. Was he childish or was I too matured? Now say I am just having a minor mental illness that can be cured after seeing a psychiatrist.
No, I, you you- I stopped myself at that very moment. I was going to say you idiot, but that would equal to cursing him. I just glared at him, wanting so much to scold him. Im not sick. I sneered. Remember your promise? Say after me! Youll not fail if you believe! Once again, I fell into silence. Knowing that I would not win this argument, I said, I dont have a curse. I am just having a minor mental illness that can be cured after seeing a psychiatrist. Jacky nodded.
Ill call the shrink tomorrow, and well book an appointment, okay? Ill accompany you to the shrink. I yelled instantly. No way! Look, Joanna, therere still five more minutes to the hour. You should still believe me, all right? You need a doctor. No I dont! Then prove it to me! If the doctor cant cure you, then Ill give up! I had never seen a shrink before. In my impression, a shrink looks like the beautiful Kelly Chen, the actress who acted as one in the movie Infernal Affairs.
She would just listen and the patient will do the talking. The patient will feel better after taking some medication and he or she will be cured. Silly, isnt it? How can anyones accumulated mental illness get better after saying everything and popping a few pills? I could not believe Jacky had just suggested I do that. Ill go with you. Every appointment. He would go with me? I pondered on that. For the longest period of time, I had always been alone.
Now this silly weirdo had just proposed to accompany me for those silly appointments. I frowned, lowering my eyebrows to a V shape. Was he trying to break my routine? Are you trying to break my routine? Change my life? I said my thoughts aloud. I wanna break your routine.
I wanna change your life. This was getting sillier. I had been lonely for more than three years. What could he possibly do? I guessed the best he could do was to mess up my life. Like recommending me to see a shrink. Silly, silly Jacky.
Really silly. Asking me to believe in him, to believe that he would be able to change my life for the better. He added suddenly.
For the better? I stared up at the stars. Maybe I was trying to avoid him. But all of a sudden, I said, When is the first appointment? It was my heart speaking. He told me he had to check everything first.
Upon our agreement, we climbed down the playground and made our way to the bus-stop. After waiting for a few minutes, we realized that it was close to one in the morning. Sorry, I dont have enough cash with me. He said. Me too. His face brightened up. Then Ill walk you home, and Ill walk home after that! I wanted so much to smile. To laugh at his silly antics. However, I just nodded. We were at West Coast and my house is at Jurong Extension. It would take more than an hours walk. We started the long walk talking about many things.
This was the first time I had spoken so much to another person other than Landy since my parents deaths. Jacky said that he was the only child in his family. His father died of cancer when he was just seven; hence he had a very close relationship with his mother. He said he learnt a lot of things when his father was dying.
He told me how precious life could be, and said that we all came into this world for a purpose. Happiness and sadness are not caused by your surroundings. Theyre caused by your thinking. He verbalised. When I asked him about his plans for the future, he gave me an answer that really surprised me. My plans for the future? Make you smile. Do something meaningful. We reached my house about an hour later.
He was totally exhausted. Beads of sweats blanketed his forehead, but he was still smiling despite the weariness. Ill call you. Ill call you and tell you when well meet up for the appointment.
Ill see you around, eh? I realised he still had a long way to go from my house to his house at Bukit Batok. You want me to get some cash for you to take a cab? I had expected him to say yes.
He was massaging his neck and looked as if he wanted to vomit. However, he maintained his pride and muttered, No, Ill walk home. Its good exercise. Well, good for you. See you. After he left, I took a bath. Landy was my room, sleeping soundly on my bed. After my bath, the doorbell rang. It was two in the morning. Who could it be? I looked through the hole in the door. It was Jacky. Hey he said, resting his back on the wall. His face was pale white, as if he had just seen a ghost.
His lips seemed to be wet and he smelled of puke. Can you lend me twenty bucks? Ill return it to you tomorrow. I passed him the money. Return me something else. Not the twenty bucks. Something else that is worth twenty bucks. What was I saying? Sometimes, I felt that I said stupid things to him.
He saluted me and said, Ill return you something else. Something that twenty bucks cant download. With that, he ambled off. I stared at the last of his shadow before I closed my door, and I did something I had never expected myself to do. I smiled to myself. Chapter 6 I was unable to sleep that night.
At first I thought that maybe I was too physically exhausted and my mind was unable to drift into sleep mode. So I began to count sheep, drank warm milk and studied my Economics text. It was futile. After playing a loud slow song that woke my grandmother up, I decided not to sleep. After all, I had to wake up early the next day for school. It was, by then, four in the morning. Several windows outside my apartment were lightening up, getting ready for the day.
I looked at my hand phone to check for new messages. There werent any. I frowned and sent Good night, good morning, Mr. Wu as a SMS to Jacky and went to bath. Why the heck had I done that? For fun? No, in my dictionary, the word fun had ceased to exist.
I spent the next two hours surfing the Internet, checking my hand phone, watching television, checking my hand phone again, playing games and checking my hand phone once more. At last, at six, I received a message.
It was from Jacky. Morning, Joanna! I m so happy. This is the 1st time u msg me.