This is a piece of autobiographical fiction. Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book, and with the exception of public figures, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.
This story is written as an example to anyone who wants to believe that we are more than the patriarchy deems us to be, more than our limitations, and more than our fears.
1st January 2020
I’m trying to pack and failing miserably.
One of my friends came in the morning to check on me. V had brought me food and when she came into the room, she crawled into bed next to me, pressed her face into mine and just held me. I don’t know if she remembers telling me this, but she said, “You’re going to be okay Jane. I know you are.”
At that time, all I could do was to cling onto her words, I let her belief in me comfort me, even if it was just for a minute. She embraced me in so much warmth and joy that just for that moment, my entire being believed her words, that belief was so important and for the next 2 years, I clung onto that moment whenever I had no more energy for myself. I remembered I could always borrow strength from others, when my own was depleted.
Later on, another friend came to visit. A has been my friend since we were in secondary school. “I can’t pack A, I’ve been trying and failing for 3 hours.”
“Let’s do it together,” he said.
Together, we sorted through the 2 huge piles of clothes and things that I had previously put together. I hadn’t even gone back to the house in Sengkang. I couldn’t. Not after knowing that they had been there together.
” Okay, if i’m on a beach in Mexico, do I want this….or this?”
“It’s gonna be super cold in the US, so….do I bring 3 or 4 jackets?”
“Maximum 2.” “Okay”
I couldn’t have gone through the days right after D-day without this group of friends. I couldn’t have made it without my support system. (My parents had left Singapore for diving trip)
Later on at night, we went for some drinks in a bar. It was a nice little cosy bar in Holland village, one I hadn’t been to before.
We were sitting at the bar, chatting about random things, when I received a text from Gideon.
“Just to let you know, Marianne is coming to the airport with me tomorrow.”
I scoffed at the message and showed it to my two companions.
“What the fuck, he tell you for what sia”
I chuckled at their attempts to cheer me up, and I down the glass of martini, mentally preparing myself for the next day. I had a big day tomorrow.
I had to go to the airport to meet with my husband and his mistress, before my husband and I fly to the US to be together for the next one week.
Thank goodness this martini packs a punch.