What if I’m right?

I want to be a billionaire… so fucking bad. Ok, I’d be happy being a millionaire even. Or a hundred-thousand-naire. I wouldn’t mind tens of thousands of dollars either.

Today, someone wasn’t sure about me as a prospective partner because it seems I like living my life a day at a time. What load of crock. I have ambitions but I am sure as hell not going to broadcast them to the whole world. Maybe only to you, Internet, because you have been a kind therapist this entire time I have been sobbing my heart out to you.

I am now convinced more than ever I need a vacation away. Or I could list down the 10 things I’d do before I turn 30. That could be my new longish-term goal in life.

My mid-term goal is grooming a good team at work so I can … how do I put this delicately… Shake my legs and have a cup of mojo [milo+coffee] at my desk while I leave the daily grind to them. Sounds awesome, innit! I know right. I can’t wait for that day to come too.

If someone said they love you, would you be happy just knowing they love you, or would it matter to you the reasons why?

After getting the long awaited hint, I asked someone to be my girlfriend in the middle of one night (somewhere before the end of first week of December). I made a touching speech – listing the reasons why that wonderful girl should be mine and what I would do for her because I feel so so much for her. There was a bit of tears.

But in the end, it didn’t matter because … Anyway it was a traumatic night. I have blocked most details of that night out. It was just too heartbreaking to keep in my memory. I wonder if she even remembered what I said.

So I fell in love, a I-had-no-idea-it-could-be-like-this kind of love. I didn’t plan for it but it happened anyway and there were times with her when I was the happiest I had ever been. Suddenly, falling in love and spending time with someone you think the world of was very exciting and it felt so real because it seems that person might actually feel the same way. It was amazing and made me fall even harder in love.

I have kinda always think that any relationship can work as long as both people involved really want it to work, and both of them make staying together one of their topmost priorities. It is scary because you have to trust with everything you’ve got that someone feels the exact same way as you. So if they change their mind, you’re essentially fucked.

Which is basically what happened to me.

It turns out there were so much uncertainties that were brought to my attention that night and I didn’t have the energy to continue dealing with them. Whatever I wanted to say, even if I did, I could still do no right in her mind.

Things should not be this hard. I woke up in the morning and I couldn’t figure out why things were the way they were. Then I very clearly remember turning around in that moment to hold her to sleep and I felt her snuggling back in my arms and you know what, it just felt right.



It’s amazing how Cher’s greatest hits [disc two] have been narrating my life the past one week. I would hit play the minute I walk out the door in the morning and Cher would tell me, “Where does it end?”

I don’t know, Cher. Do you know what I am going through?

“There’s no peace, you close your eyes. I’m all out of truth, I’m outta alibis.”

What would you do, Cher?

“We’re gonna love one another ’til morning comes. Seek the sweet salvation for what we’ve done. Give up resisting one by one.”

Why, Cher? Because like you, she gives a new kinda meaning to what I am and I know I could never love any other?

“One of these days you’ll understand,” she sings before getting shuffled to the next song.

Yes, I have somehow managed to link her songs to the events that have occurred to me. Maybe this has happened to you. It’s like how brokenhearted people would listen to sad love songs on repeat and think “OMG, I totally feel like that. This song gets my pain!” And they’d cry their eyes out like little girls.

Yeah yeah, whatever. But I mustn’t be mean now because I found a great song that was the story of my life late last night (more like early this morning).  I guess this makes it a much better reply than whatever I had wanted to say.

Now I hardly ever listen to Chinese pop songs because I never had time to sit down to properly understand what these Mandopop factories are churning out other than beautifully-packaged singers, who may or may not have the ability to sing at all.

Until I found this song that has been translated by one kind YouTube user, who by the looks of it, has plenty of spare time. Go on, press play. You won’t feel it now but the song will hit you hard in time to come.

I have been listening to this song on repeat by clicking play non-stop on YouTube the entire morning. I should stop now. I can feel the ache in my heart again.


Decepticon and dementors

This is what I wrote on 21 November at 5.14pm:

I’m incredibly sad today. And there is nothing I can do about it. Except to tell myself I’d be awesome again.

Which I am. Obviously. But it will take a while.

What happens when someone you think the world of breaks your heart over and over again?

You try to be as understanding and accommodating as you can because this is the person you have invested so much of your feelings with.

It’s 28 November today – exactly a week since I found out about the unpleasant truth.

I have asked her so many questions. I have asked myself even more questions. Every waking moment gives me more time to cause myself even more pain.

More often than not, people are most likely to deceive the person who loves and trust them most. And the person who tends to love and trust these people most tend to think that their lover would never lie to them. Fool.

You see, discovering that someone had not been very honest with you is pretty devastating because the deception destroys trust and it leaves me very vulnerable and tormented. I keep thinking: Why? What did I do wrong? Why didn’t I see this coming? How did this happen to me? I thought I was a good person? What else have you been lying about? I thought we have been through this and you said you’d be honest with me from that day onwards? What about us? Why?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. I tried answering them but I wasn’t happy with any of the reasons I came up with. Sadness. Anger. Denial. One by one, the emotions came like waves over me. Then nothing. I become numb. This was much more than the day a bit of me died inside. This was even more wrenching than the “Silent night” (private journal) I wrote on 30 July. No, wait, nothing can be compared to that. It took me months to get over it and now this happens.

What do I do now? As if anything I do would accomplish anything. Perhaps I could laugh at myself for being so naive and foolish. For thinking that you don’t hurt someone you love.

I guess this finally explains the drastic mood swings, unstable emotions, the confusion, the occasional detachment, the endless contradiction, and the displays of affection followed by the lack of endearments.

But the weirdest thing is I actually think I understand the other person’s point of view or what she might be going through.

What I’ve learned so far is it doesn’t pay to be honest and to be the best you can for someone because even if you have been faithful the entire time, you will always be hurt in the end. I mistrust every single thing now. I no longer feel safe now and it is a very frightening feeling because I can feel myself slowly changing. It’s not safe to tell the truth any more. It’s in my best interests to protect myself first. Most probably.

2 Dec 3.43am

Maybe I’d stop harping on everything if you have been honest with me the whole time and instead of thinking you have to hide everything from me because this is not a game. Yes, I think that’s definitely it.


I’m on the top of the world

When it comes to post-sex cuddling for many couples, singing children’s melodies while gently patting a lover’s back is not an obvious choice that comes to mind.

But late into the evening on a lazy Saturday in a suburban part of a city still recovering from the Diwali public holiday’s hangover, a devoted lover was singing a medley of popular children songs at her lover’s request.

Who would have thought a 1970s Carpenters tune would turn up as both, with legs intertwined with one another’s on a huge comfy bed, cheerfully started singing with gusto into the cool air-conditioned air?

“I’m on the top of the world,” she sang. There was a slight pause as she struggled to remember the next line. Her lover looked up from the lazy slumber she was drifting into under the gentle kneading on her aching shoulders and carried on from there. “Looking down on creation, and the only explanation I can find, is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around. Your love’s put me at the top of the world.”

And last weekend, the lyrics just about sum that 24 hours up. Maybe even the last six months.

How do two people stay in love and be ridiculously happy with each other? Perhaps it’s having fun when spending time together.

Lying in bed posing for random shots together and watching video clips they made together for each other over and over again that day, the lovers were laughing uncontrollably at how silly and adorable they are around each other.

They still talk about themselves, their past, their present, the future, their likes and dislikes or things they watch on TV. They still have long conversations online and over the phone about their day, sometimes during work hours or into the wee hours of the night. There is always so much to talk to each other about. They are beginning to share more of their worries, their fears, and even their secrets. They still laugh a lot, sometimes at one another, but mostly together at random things in life.

Whenever they catch each other’s eyes now, they would reach out for a kiss on the lips, instead of looking away shyly.

They would spend too much time looking at their photos, reading their emails, thinking about the days spent together and the hilarious things they would do that make them grin stupidly. Most of all, they would look forward, sometimes impatiently, to see each other.

The nights and days become precious as they find little pockets of time to spend with each other. When they part, it was still with a smile. But filled with much longing for the next time that they should meet again.

Life has remained charmingly comfortable as their lives intertwine. Spending hours at the local grocery store where everything was priced at $2 was something they both enjoy doing together. Or they would make lists of the food they want to eat and fix dates to do just that – eat. Sometimes it was desserts, sometimes, it was a local delicacy, sometimes it was a snack. Recently, it had been Sri Lankan crabs soaked in salted egg yolk gravy.

The sense of comfort they have with each other was again something hard to put a finger to. Maybe the stars really did align their thoughts long before they even knew each other.

Then one day, on a whim, she decided to send a bouquet of flowers as a surprise. They were going to see each other during the weekend and she knew it was going to be another awesome time together. She sent a note along with the flowers that said, “I E T T Y A T S A E O E V M!”

A message that still lingers true from the first time she cracked the code in someone’s diary entry, “I T E T T H A T E A S O E”.

Were two people to stay happily in love, would it be because they have found someone who make them laugh all the time, who keep them warm in bed, who enjoy sharing a meal, snacks or even secrets with them, and who are comfortable spending time together?

Is this bliss?

Because… I’m on the top of the world, baby. I hope you are too.


Dear Future Me

Dear Future Me,

Before you carry on reading this letter, please do me a favour and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Yes, this is important. For the love of ourselves, just do it and stop giving me that “raised eyebrow” look.


If you have managed to retain your youthful good looks after the last couple of years, you’re welcome. After all, I had invested quite a bit in an expensive facial regime five years ago – starting from those branded facial products and regular treatments. Not smoking anymore was another brilliant idea. So is purchasing that gym membership, which should have been keeping you lean and fit ( if you have been attending classes religiously).

If you look a bit rough around the edges now, what the hell?!

Please tell me you’re at least fabulously wealthy. If not, you better step up on it. Your PCI (perceived cuteness index) has been declining since 2010 and this is SO not the time to procrastinate on maintaining our good looks. We depend on our looks to succeed in the line of work we do! Like duh.

Also, I am sorry for inflicting you with short curly hair in 2010. This hairstyle has managed to split opinions right down into two camps – It’s horrible and you should fire your hairstylist – and – It’s so nice and you look good with this refreshing change. Well, needless to say, there are more vocal members in the first camp.

I have been trying to avoid getting caught in photos so there won’t be any lasting memories of this tragic incident. I will not be impulsive and think I can pull any hairstyle off again. But you have to admit, this hair does look good at times but only when I am alone with no one to verify its awesomeness. Sadface.

Listen, you’re not crazy. Yes, you think way too much at times and yes, you should probably go run it off or talk to someone. Or go out more often and take many short breaks. There is only so much you can do all by yourself.

Trust me, I know what you’re going through right now. I am currently swamped with work. UP to my neck, no, MY HEAD, I swear. I can’t even see the distant light in the tunnel. The last three months have been rough on me, I’m sure you’d remember.

I just sent the freelancer an email filled with a certain amount of angst and dejectedness because I can’t believe someone can be that daft. I have six interviews to transcribe. I have 20 pages left in the print magazine to fill by myself before 16 November. I have at least 18 online stories to write for next week. I have over 100 profiles to proof read before next week as well and I rather write a letter to you. This is the level of procrastination I am facing.

How I wish to get away and run to somewhere cool and sit outside a cafe, drinking hot chocolate and people-watch. Yes, many have asked if I am on the verge of screaming and running away. I mostly reply with a smile, “Not yet, just doing one thing at a time” because I don’t think it’s nice to add on to other people’s burden or that anyone really cares. Are you still as cynical like me? Or have you become a much more approachable person?

But all in all, 2010 has been a good year for me so far.

Starting today, I have officially clocked three full years in my first job back in Singapore. I never thought I’d last so long at something. Then again, I have always been loyal or rather, steadfast in staying put when I am comfortable. If I’m correct, you have been using the same hairstylist for the last few years, hung out at the same places you have always frequented and use the same products you have always used. Rain or shine. Things or people may change. But you just don’t. Unless of course, you see something better. Hahaha!

I hope you have been taking care of your lower back, neck and shoulders. No doubt, I didn’t do you much favours by sitting 14 hours straight in front of the computer everyday the last three months. Once we get through to December, I promise to take better care and not let them turn to chronic aches. Ok, I am straightening my back now. See!

Are you a better presenter or speaker on stage now? Do you still get stage fright from facing over 600 people? You can be quite eloquent when you try. But please remember to not try to be funny. Sometimes you tend to overdo it and it makes people awkward. Wait, do you get invited to speak at events now? That would be an interesting turn of events. From statue to star!

You have always been a planner but your plans tend to fail quite spectacularly. I hope you’ve learned to take things easy. Things were hard for you the last few years and you have gotten over them now. Have faith that all good things will come to you naturally. There is no need to overplan or even think desperately about what you want. Just relax. It’s going to be smooth sailing from now.

It’s ok if things don’t turn out the way you want at times. Not everything is such a big deal. (It will always be a blessing in disguise!) It’s ok you’re getting slightly older now. (But thankfully, you’re never boring!) You still laugh a lot when you stop thinking about work. You still make many people whom you’re close to laugh. You’re still enjoyable to be with. And almost everything I wished for has come true for you.

I hope to hear from you soon, Future Me. I’m sure we will have loads to catch up on. For now, go out and have some fun. You deserve it.


Present Me