The way home was lonely and quiet. It was the rainy season in Singapore. Although the rain had stopped, the streets were still wet. The bubbles of lights lay on the streets by the streetlamps gave no protection in the chilly season. Chilly, in the rain season. And chilly, in the trending violence.
I put up the hood of my sweatshirt. It was red, my favorite. My skinny jeans were slightly wet at the bottom as my heels clicked on the tarred floor. Crossing the carpark was my favorite route home. It was isolated and quiet, but it was my sanctuary ever since I found out that…
I did not even find out. I saw it, with my own eyes. Him, coming down the steps, through the gate. I haven’t seen him in three years. All those time he was overseas, he did not bother visiting during the holidays. I’ve always been supportive, but I had not expected that he would leave me all alone here. He had gone to England to study with his friends. They were the cream of the crop. I was already prepared to feel the neglect when it boiled down to long-distance relationships, but I had never expected him to come through the gate hand in hand with a mutual friend of ours and carrying a two-year-old boy who called him ‘Daddy’ and her ‘Mummy’.
I never saw him since. That was two weeks ago.
He had never cared about me at all, not even when a year ago, I e-mailed him, telling him that I was caught in a hit-and-run. My family never pulled through. I struggled alone. Well, not really alone. I had a friend in my head, encouraging me, just for his sake. But what was the point now? Gradually, I hated that friend. She got my hopes up, false hopes. She was trash. I hated her to the core. Without her, I would never have been so disappointed, so heartbroken, so miserable…
“Ok, so that’s three thousand for that packet,” a deep voice said. A man was just round the corner.
Many times, that friend in my head told me not to take that route, ever since the slashings just happened on the basketball court right behind this carpark. It was not my fault the slashings happened. Why should I avoid the miserable place? It was just as sad as I am. I needed company, something which knew my misery.
“Is someone out there?” another voice said. It was less deep, to the point that it was almost familiar.
Come and take me, kids. Come and take me, perhaps cut me up, limb from limb, and end my misery.
Hide yourself, idiot!
For once, I heeded the advice. I tiptoed to the nearest wall and hid behind. To my disbelief, a cat tipped a can across the road.
“Just a cat, dude, relax. No one comes here at this time.”
“I’ll rip the next person who comes round the corner, limb, from, limb,” the other snarled.
That’s the spirit! That’s exactly what I wanted to hear!
But seconds, maybe minutes, trickled by, and they were still conversing, doing nothing to investigate the area, to make the discovery that I was there.
Half of me deflated, while the other got angry.
I told you to come and get me!
Don’t be stupid!
“Don’t be stupid!” came a tinkling laughter. “No one will attack us! Come on!”
Who in the world dared to imitate my thoughts?
And there, crossing the carpark, was him and her. Shit! She lived around the corner. I bet they moved in together! Just my luck to run into them! The little boy was with them, shaking a little present. But, of course, it could joyfully be his second birthday.
“That’s definitely someone.”
“It is. Come on.”
There was the clinging of metal and heavy footsteps. And the silly couple, together with that young child still remained ignorant. What was he doing, allowing that bimbo wife of his to jeopardize the family’s safety, his child’s safety? I was shaking with anger.
No! This is my chance.
Don’t be stupid!
I was never more clear-headed in my life, or maybe for this past year. I had been living in a limbo. Work, drink, drunk, hangover… Work, drink, drunk, hangover…
Take it as I’m drunk now, I told her.
“Honey, stop. Do you see that?” he said.
“No. What did you see?”
But I did. The streetlamps casted the shadows, which were waving long parangs. There were not just two people, but five in total. He pulled his family behind a pillar, just like how I hid myself. But I could see him peeking out of a corner. I watched, breathless as the shadows approached and my eyes searched for comfort; maybe a warm blanket to wrap me up when I’m gone. They did not find any blankets, but I found his brown eyes. Those brown eyes which hid our love, our long, forgotten love. His eyes widened as we exchanged gazes. When I put my first foot out, he started shaking his head. But I shook mine too.
“Run,” I mouthed to him, gesturing for him to turn back.
I never loved anyone more than you. When I step out, they won’t notice you. It will be quick, it will be nothing because I’ve experienced worse pain than this. No one will know I’m gone. There’s nothing for me to remember anymore. And when I leave, you can love her better, love her more, because I no longer exist. Most of all, I need to go… I want to go… Set me free… Please… Whoever you are… I don’t have to know you… I will thank you…
It all happened very fast. There was flashing silver, lots of them. And there was blood. Flecks, droplets, streaks…
But the pain I expected did not come. In fact, it was liberating me, until one of those sunk into my heart, slicing it into two.
That was the pain, the pain when I felt when I saw him walk through the gates with the child… and our friend.
This story is inspired by the recent gang slashings. Hope this serves as a reminder of those night owls who stayed out late, partying, or wasting their lives away, and especially those who stayed near the areas which were involved in the attacks as well. Go home as early as possible, best to avoid dark places. For your family, and for yourself.
Heartbreak © 2010 by Auby. All rights reserved.