Ep. 22 ‘Why, Why, Why?’

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.

11th February 2020

Gideon has told me about the security camera that’s been installed outside of his apartment. The one that Marianne installed so that she would know if I were to go back to his place.

“Okay so this is my plan. I think what I’ll do is to disable the wifi….then we go into the house and i’ll turn it back on again so – ”

“No. Stop. We can’t do this Gideon. I don’t want to lie to her anymore. Just tell her that I want to see the cats one last time and that we won’t even be sleeping in the same room.”

“She’s gonna flip.”

“I don’t care.”

“Okay fine. Let me tell her.”

He takes a huge breath and messages her and then puts the phone aside to face me.

“So, how’re you doing Jane? How was your trip to Mexico?”

“It was great, I realized there is alot about myself that I don’t understand so look, about the love letter I sent you. Forget about it – ”

“Yeah I wanted to tell you that my final decision is still to choose Marianne. Sorry about that. I think if I hadn’t met her, I would still be willing to work things out. But the more I get to know Marianne, the more I feel that she’s the right one for me. I really don’t think you and I are suitable for each other.”

Ouch

Ahem. “I hear you, and I respect that. I was also going to say that I had met someone in Mexico. It was just a fling and it didn’t mean much, but meeting him showed me that perhaps….you and I were never compatible for each other.”

For the next one hour, we talk like friends would. We talked about his work, we talked about my Mexico trip, we talk as old friends would with each other.

It is so strange. For the first time in a long time, I don’t feel angry talking to him. In this very moment, I want to accept that we are truly better off without each other. And so, I speak with him like I would if we were just friends.

But we aren’t friends. Even as we’re sitting here behaving like two friends talking, we’re husband and wife.

Why DID we get married to each other in the first place? Why did I ever say yes to marrying him?

I remember our wedding event – the one on the boat. It was only 5am but I was already wide awake – not from excitement but from stress. I had been planning for this wedding for almost a year and the weather forecast is saying that a storm in coming. On top of that, 15 of his relatives have decided not to come. They misunderstood our invitation and thought that the boat had unlimited capacity. They didn’t know that each invite cost us $230 dollars. We were bound to “lose money” and I was stressed about that. I was so stressed that as I walked to the buffet area to get some coffee, I started crying.

I sat there at 5.30am in the morning alone on my wedding day and all I could think about was whether I was making the right decision.

We hadn’t even written our vows. We were going to wing it. Winging it has been our style since the day we decided to get married. We winged it when we bought an overly expensive bed. We winged it when we decided to splurge almost 10 grand on a balcony that we used less than 20 times. We winged it when we decided to hold 3 wedding events.

The both of us were a classic example of the blind leading the blind.

“Are we really ready to get married?” was what went through my mind as I walked back to the hotel room at 6am, just in time for the makeup artist to start putting on makeup for me.


Sitting in that restaurant, about to go home to say goodbye to our cats, I made a mental note to answer my own question.

Why had I gotten married to a man I barely knew and why did I get married when I wasn’t ready to?

Over the next few months, I would set out on an adventure to find this answer. It was clear to me even then, that I had to take responsibility for my own actions. I couldn’t just blame him. I got myself into this situation and now I have to get myself out of it.

Off to Europe we go then.



Ep. 21 ‘Gnawing guilt’

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.

15th April 2020

I’m in England, crouched over a pair of pink shoes. I’m washing dirt off a five-year-old’s shoes in exchange for a bed and food. The food is passable, the accommodation is not great, but at least there’s a lot of peace and quiet in the neighborhood. Space for me to think.

A few days ago, I celebrated my 28th birthday with the 5-year-old girl and her mother. I found them on the workaway app and I decided to spend a month with them in Oxfordshire, England.

Even though I had mentioned a while ago that it was my birthday, they forgot about it. I reminded them again on that day itself and got a day off. During that day, all I did was have a picnic with them and bought a bottle of wine to share together. It was a really nice night.

Now as I’m scrubbing the pair of pink boots, I start to recall what had happened during my birthday a year ago.

(Flashback to April 2019)

In the parking lot somewhere in Boat Quay, we are full on fighting. It sparked off from something so foolish, but neither Gideon nor I know how to deal with this.

I had planned his birthday earlier on in the year, I invited a bunch of his friends but they couldn’t make it and so I invited some of our mutual friends instead. It went okay but I had a feeling that it wasn’t the kind of birthday he would have enjoyed.

Today however, was my birthday celebration with my bunch of friends. My good friend Samantha planned for all of it. We went to a bar, went to a club and then had supper together. It was a really nice birthday celebration but now, Gideon and I are fighting. The fight is bad. It’s one of the worst we’ve ever had.

“All I said was that I helped to pick the venue, why would you get mad at me for that???” Gideon had said with his arms up in the air.

“Why would you want to claim credit for doing something so lame like picking the venue? You’re my husband, wouldn’t you know what I want for my birthday? Shouldn’t you be the best person to know what I would want to do on my birthday? You don’t know me at all and you don’t care to plan a birthday event for me” I am yelling at him loudly.

“Please, let’s stop fighting, please. Can we just go home?”

“No! You go home on your own. I can’t even stand to look at me,” I had continued, my rage was uncontrollably. Where the repressed anger came from – I knew. But this wasn’t the right thing to bring it up.

“Okay….I’m sorry b. I’m really sorry. You’re right, I should have planned a better birthday for you. I’ll do a really good one next year okay? I’m sorry. I love you.” Gideon said to me, lowering his voice.

His apologies always soften my heart and I get in the car. We don’t speak the whole way home and when we arrive in the carpark, I get out of the car and slam the door shut as hard as I can. He reacts by slamming the door to the carpark. When we get home, he immediately showers and goes to bed. I sit on our couch in the living room and I feel steam coming out of my ears.

I was fuming. I had so much repressed anger and rage, and all he could do was apologize.

When is he ever going to love me in the way I need? When is he ever going to know what I want without asking me? Why do I have to tell him everything? Why does he not care enough about me?

(Flash forward to April 2020)

Could I have handled that a better way? Could I have tried to understand his perspective better? Why did I need to make such a big fuss anyway? It was just a birthday. I remember that he had specially picked two bottles of alcohol and bought a bunch of bar tools for me that birthday. Why didn’t I fixate on that instead? Why did I only focus on the bad things instead of the good?

Perhaps if we had gone for therapy way earlier, things wouldn’t have come to this point.

The guilt inside of me was so loud and so big. Even though it was already dark, I took my flashlight, put on my shoes and I take a long walk again. I walk to self-reflect. I walk to talk to myself. I walk so I don’t go completely insane, ridden with guilt.

Ep. 20 ‘Pink boots & Micron guy’

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.

19th February 2020

I’m at the airport waiting to leave Boise for Berlin.

Compared to the last time I left Boise, this time I’m actually really happy to leave.

The last time, I remember transiting in Salt Lake City before the next flight would take me to Mexico City. Salt Lake City was where Gideon and I got engaged and so all I could do in those 3 hours was sit in a corner of the airport and play “Sudoku”. In that moment, while I was sulking, a new friend messaged me. He was someone I had matched with on Bumble, back when I was newly single after D-day. We never met up of course, but for some reason, we got along well and continued messaging each other.

Later on, he would share that he too had come out of an engagement. His fiancee had left their relationship to be with someone else. So he knew my pain.

Even though we weren’t going to go on a date anytime soon, E could sense that I needed someone to talk to. So he stayed with me on the phone and we messaged for about an hour before he went to bed, later than his usual bedtime in Singapore.

I think about such times in my life and I can’t help but feel that they were my guardian angels. Each of them appearing at different times in my life when I most needed someone. I didn’t want to burden my family or friends and I had no money to afford therapy. I had given all of my money to paying our debts and whatever I had on me was given to me as a red-packet by my parents before I left. They knew that I was going on a journey to heal myself and they wanted to help pay for some of it.

I arrived in Berlin and lugged my big suitcase around, looking for my friend’s apartment.

I had met these two friends in Puerto Escondido where we stayed in the same hostel. They were volunteers there – volunteering in Mexico meant that you would exchange 25/30 hours of work a week in exchange for free accommodation and breakfast. Even though accommodation wasn’t expensive in the hostel ($8 sgd per night) it still helped to save expenses by a good amount, especially if you’re staying there for 4 months. The work would include doing reception work, laundry, cleaning duties and organizing events for guests. Once their work was done, they would then spend the rest of the day surfing, sun bathing, playing volleyball or whatever they wanted.

S and JS both lived in Berlin and while S remained in Mexico, JS came back to Berlin around the same time I had decided to visit Europe. After Mexico, I had fallen in love with slow traveling. Now, without a husband and a job waiting in Singapore, I was free. Free to go wherever and do whatever. Off to Europe it was.

My 2nd night out in Berlin, JS brings me out to a club.

It was where everyone went to feel happy.

I had never been to anywhere like this before. It was a huge building with different floors, different rooms and each room was themed differently. Each room had its own vibe, its own music genre.

Everyone was just doing their own thing – no one cared about what you were doing. No one cared if you were watching them do their thing. There was no judgment. No “bottle service”. No VIP treatment. It was so different compared to the clubbing scene in Singapore.

Singapore’s clubbing scene was really more of a chance for people to show off their wealth anyway. In my many years of clubbing in Singapore, I can truly say that 70% of people went to hook up with people, show off their wealth, and only 30% of us really went just to dance.

Here, it was 0% judgment and 100% no fucks given. Everyone was responsible for having their own fun. Everyone showed love to each other.

Man…..I wish I’d come to Berlin earlier.

This electric energy…..it was so amazing, so pure.

I saw a middle aged man wearing fish net stocking, thigh high pink boots and a sailor’s cap. He was topless and had two bands on his wrists to absorb his sweat so that he could shake people’s hands without grossing them out. He had come with another friend who sat next to me. This other guy wore a t-shirt, jeans and looked like he works for Micron or something.

When it came for the time where everyone was happy, the two of them started dancing like there was no tomorrow. They each had their own way of movement, but they vibed so hard with each other, with other people, on their own. I couldn’t help but watch and be mesmerized with their spirits being set free. They danced to express. They danced to connect. They danced to celebrate life. They danced because they wanted. They danced because they could.

Later on, I would learn that the guy with pink boots is actually a mathematics professor and the ‘Micron’ guy is a chef in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Never. Never. Never judge a book by its cover.

What’s the use of judgment anyway? When we judge others, we are inviting judgment onto ourselves.

If we don’t wish for others to judge us, shouldn’t we begin by re-conditioning our minds not to judge anyone first?

But they did it first.

And now you can stop it first.

We are all responsible for our actions. Don’t point fingers. Let them go on their journeys of self-reflection and self-love. Just focus on YOU.

This is a reminder I tell myself all the time.

It’s hard to resize leather when it’s already cold, but add a little warmth or lubricant and you’ll see how malleable leather can get.

It’s not easy to change our old ways but it’s definitely possible. It all starts with an intention.

Ep. 19 ‘My mistress says you can’t come home’

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.

11th February, 2020

After a dizzying and life-changing month in Mexico, I’m back in Boise, Idaho.

2 weeks ago, I wrote Gideon a love letter. One that told him of my intention to work on the marriage if he wanted to. I acknowledged my part to play in the failure of our marriage and I told him to let me know of his decision when I came back.

1 week ago, he messaged me and said, “Marianne is here in Boise, she’s deciding to extend her stay. I’m trying to get her to buy a ticket back to Singapore but she wouldn’t do it until she’s sure you’re not coming back. Can you please send me a fake message so I can show it to her?”

I complied. Because I really wanted to see my cats for the last time and also have a last talk with him. Before I left Mountain Home for Mexico, something happened between us that gave me the feeling he wasn’t quite sure of his decision to leave the marriage. He had also said some things that made me very unsure of his decision.

I just wanted answers. I needed to know if I should start moving on or not.

So here I am, living in a beautiful Airbnb in Boise. The owner has a dog and he’s amazing. The apartment is amazing. It has a big backyard, a bar, a huge kitchen and is close to a dog park. I volunteer to walk his dog for him when he’s out working, also so I get to walk.

For my whole month in Mexico, I learnt the beauty of walking. From walking around cities like Guanajuato and Puebla to walking along beaches in Puerto Escondido and Chacahua, walking has helped me tremendously. It gave me an immediate solution. It allowed me to immediately channel my pain into something.

When you’re deeply traumatized, your mind can’t help but circle around the wounds like a flock of vultures would. Walking helped me by giving my body something to do, this form of movement therapy – I would learn about later – is something people with Post-traumatic stress are asked to do. Movement therapy can be in so many forms other than walking – dancing, swimming, yoga, rock climbing, really any form of sport or movement. Even just stretching the body for an hour could help if you can’t go out of your house.

After a whole week of hiding out in Boise, it was time to face the music. I had enjoyed my stay so much that I asked the owner to keep his room vacant for me to return in 2 days. I just wanted 2 days with Gideon, that’s all I asked for.

“Okay she’s finally gone. I just sent her to the airport and I’m coming to get you now. ” he messaged.


After he picks me up, we go to a korean restaurant because I was really craving a good asian food. Mexico has amazing food, but I really missed asian food.

We ordered and were sitting down opposite each other. Then, he said, “So…..we have to find some way to get you into the house, because Marianne installed a security camera outside of my apartment, just in case you came back. It’s automatically linked to her phone so she will know whenever someone comes in or out.”

I looked at him with wide eyes and a gaping mouth.

A what????????

Much later on, Marianne tells me that Gideon was the one who begged her to extend her trip. He was also the one who suggested to install a security camera to soothe her insecurites.

All of it is just surreal to me.

The only thing I can register is that there is a security camera outside my husband’s house….mainly because they don’t want me to go back to the house. Am I trapped in a Netflix show?

Ep. 18 ‘Maybe, it’s all my fault’

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.

28th December 2019

I’m sitting in Gideon’s good friend’s tattoo shop in Peace centre, somewhere in Dhoby Ghaut. She’s doing her thang, being super cool and creative, and I look at the people around in the shop.

This is not my scene. I’ve never considered getting a tattoo. My father always told me that if I got a tattoo, he would pay for me to remove it.

Before D-day, I belonged in a world without trauma or pain. Before my husband abruptly left, I had never suffered any other real difficulty in my life. Now that I have this immense pain in my life, getting a tattoo seemed like a reasonable desire. I’m sure my dad would understand.

J looked at me watching her client get a tattoo and said, “Nope, you’re not getting a tattoo today hon.”

I was sitting in a tattoo shop talking to Gideon’s one good friend that I really like. I’ve always liked the way she would call things as they are. I needed that today.

“Jane, can I ask – why DID you suggest you guys date other people? Did you secretly also want to date someone else?”

“Yes. I did. I wanted to give up on the marriage but I was too cowardly to call things off. I was desperate J. I didn’t know what else to do. For 1.5 years he has been avoiding our problems. I know that in a marriage, we have to stick by each others’ sides through thick and thin. I know. But what if I made a mistake? What if I made a mistake by marrying him? What if this is the rest of my life and it never changes?”

“You have to forgive yourself hon. I know that it’s hard and I agree that he handled things in the worst way possible. But as his friend, I know that he loved you very much. And maybe this is his way of getting revenge on you. This is his way of hurting you back for giving up on him.”

“You’re right. I shouldn’t have suggested it. It was so stupid. I read about this in a novel – this couple who had problems and who decided to take a one year break to find themselves. At the end of the book, they realized they loved each other and they decided to work on their marriage again. That’s how I feel about us. I feel like when we met, we were two lost souls. And along the way, I started realizing that who I want to be, is not possible if he stays in the Airforce. What I want my life to look like, is not possible if we remain the same, if we……”

I can’t tell her. No, I can’t. It’s too embarrassing.

I walk away from Peace Centre that day, carrying a lot of guilt in me. J was right. Maybe I was the coward who wanted to leave and maybe I had made him feel unloved, so much so that he has now done the unthinkable to me.

Maybe it really is….all my fault.

Ep.17 ‘wow no wonder it didn’t work out for you’

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.

11th of August 2021

Marco and I had a good day at the beach yesterday.

I had a mini meltdown because of the trigger. I got badly triggered by Marianne’s email. She sent that to hurt me, and no matter what anyone else might say. You can’t will for something not to hurt you. If it hurts, it hurts.

Marco and I had gotten into a stupid quarrel, and amidst the fight, I broke down. I started crying. Even though it was just a silly email, it bothered me so much. It triggered all of the unhappy memories I had from before. After crying however, I felt much better.

Marco cooked me dinner, we watched the sunset together and I had a good sleep.

When I woke up in the morning, I saw that Marianne had emailed me again.

” Before you draft a lengthy reply on how you’re such a good and kind person and that we are “people in pain” LOL, I suggest you read all of this because if you don’t and you do something silly again and then cry wolf when you have to suffer the legal consequences, that we didn’t inform you beforehand. Don’t worry about anything else related to the house. Cancel everything you deem necessary you don’t even have to inform us of it.

Let’s take a look at the big picture. You didn’t want the marriage, and you’re sore that he chose someone else over you after you fucked up your own relationship. And in multiple bids to restore your broken ego, you go on a sad 1.5 year long rampage defaming him and calling me names so you look like the innocent saintly victim. But let me tell you this one last time. Go be kind or a saint elsewhere. You aren’t wanted here in this space. 

It’s quite clear for everyone and for us to see what’s really going on and how people are mocking your public posts lol sometimes it’s like you have a dual personality. To your public audience you act like the poor scorned ex wife who is free from all this but behind closed doors you’re still gripping at loose ends. Sometimes i look at all of this behaviour and i think “wow no wonder it didn’t work for you”. So let’s not forget your role in all of this and your contribution to your failures. 

The saying goes happy people don’t have to say they’re happy. You wanna say that we traumatized you LOL go ahead. You don’t get to harass us constantly while we sit here and receive your private blows and look like an angel to everyone else. I dare you to take a screenshot of this to show your little world the real truth. 

We don’t owe you anything. You are no one to us and we do not have to be kind to you especially when all you do is harass us. We do not want you as a friend, we do not want you in our lives, we have said this more than ten times now. Idk how to make it clearer to you…. stop trying to analyse us because it’s really pathetic and stop trying to analyse why his behaviour “changed”. He did it only to have a smooth divorce. Now that the divorce is done so is he! Guess what? If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is a fucking duck. End of story. 

Get that into your thick skull honey. Empty vessels make the most noise. Not everything is about you my dear child. Take a real good look in the mirror and stop acting like someone you’re not. At least we don’t pretend to be something we’re not. 

Yes i am being a bitch (or call me whatever name you want) i do not deny that but our past 9 months of silence while you defame him has already been a kindness to you, the poor ex who is healing from a marriage she didn’t want in the first place. Go figure. Our first move after this email will be to file a police report- not that you would get into any trouble so don’t worry yet, but so that we have an official record of what’s been happening. Also hold your dramatic horses because this isn’t a threat- we’re genuinely emotionally tired of constantly hearing from you and we aren’t public like you because honestly no one gives a real shit so this is our only recourse.

Our advice to you is to actually move on with some grace, composure and whatever dignity you have left. Handle your guilt for your failure in a better more constructive way and do something real with your life. This chapter is over so close it. Thanks and have a good life! 

Regards

Gideon & Marianne “

Again. I sent to it a friend of mine and asked her, “I guess Marianne doesn’t like that I’m processing my healing through my blog. I think maybe I should stop writing.”

“Jane. You can’t give into fear. You yourself said that. She just doesn’t want you to email them anymore, so don’t. Let a lawyer or someone else handle the house issues. You focus on your healing and you ignore them, you hear me? If you’re really ‘nothing’ to them, why would your blog or emails affect them so much? Plus, what did you do that was so wrong? I’ve read all the emails you send to him. You have only been communicating about the house and divorce stuff. Instead, every single change he has, he would use words to trigger you into a reaction. Narcissistic people all do this because they live off the ‘highs’ they get from triggering you. They love it when they anger it. They need it to feel SOMETHING because most times they feel NOTHING. You were stupid enough to fall for it. I love you but you were dumb. Never again, you hear me? Clearly, Gideon is still wrecked with guilt over what he did to you, and Marianne is too insecure that she can’t stand you. It’s not even about you. Anything you do or say – she’s going to hate. Look at the truth, look at the facts. You’re the wife that her current husband had to leave in order for Marianne to believe that she is loved. She needs you to feel miserable so that her happiness is justified.”

Promise me, you will ignore them. Okay?”

My voice croaked but I said, “okay”. I’m a lucky girl to have friends like that. Who knows what I’d do without them.

Ep. 16 ‘Enough is enough little spoilt brat’

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.

10th August, 2021

Scene flashes forward to the future

I’ve received a bill from SP utilities. It’s a July bill.

Strange. My tenants moved out in June, why is there still a bill for July? Maybe his brother is living in the house. I check with Kelvin and he says that no one is living in the house.

“Should I email him the bill?” I ask my boyfriend, Marco. “Yeah, why not? You shouldn’t have to pay for it if he’s letting others stay in the house”

“But he has already been very on edge lately. He keeps threatening to ‘do the necessary’ if I contact him unnecessarily again”

“This is for the house stuff. How else are you going to contact him about it? If he didn’t want you contacting him, he would have asked a lawyer to be the middle man for all of this. He’s clearly just keeping you as a contact point because he enjoys triggering you. Just keep your email as formal as possible, don’t say things like ‘hey hope you’re well’ none of that bullshit”

I laugh at my Italian boyfriend’s way of talking. I love it. I embrace it wholeheartedly.

Coming from Singapore, where passive aggression and toxic-politeness are both deeply ingrained in our society, it’s been refreshing getting to learn what the ‘italian way‘ is. They call it as it is and they emote their feelings very strongly. Many times, I’ve mistaken his calls with friends or family to be fights. “What happened?? Why did you guys argue?” I would ask. “What do you mean? My mama and I were telling each other how much we miss each other,” he would say, looking at me with bewildered eyes.

I craft my message to be as ‘dead’ as possible.

Enclosed is the July utilities bill. I haven’t closed the utilities because I forgot. So sending you the bill here. I’m offering to help pay for this bill since I know you’re dealing with alot of other debt and bills already. Just let me know if that’s agreeable to you. Cheers.

I read it again and remove the ‘Cheers’. Keep it official. Keep it without emotions.

Less than a few hours later….he replies. Oh no, SHE replies.

Hi this is Marianne.

Gideon told me that you’ve been emailing him often and he doesn’t like it. He does not want to have anything to do with you. It’s clear from the bill that Gideon shouldn’t be paying for it because it’s for your tenant’s consumption. So i’m not sure what the point of the email is apart from a feeble attempt to communicate with my husband even though he has repeatedly told you not to. Leave my husband alone, or is this only applicable when it fits the self righteous Jane? 

Don’t embarrass yourself and have some pride and dignity. It’s really quite pathetic that we hear from the grapevine that you constantly write shit about him and us, and yet behind the scenes you’re reaching out like the sad ex. Enough is enough little spoilt brat. Don’t act out just because you can’t get what you want. Have some grace and dignity and leave. 

Thanks! 

Marianne

I read it out loud to Marco and he looks at me and says “Well then, I guess he’s married a psychopath, good for him”

We get along with our day and put her message behind us. It was clear that this message didn’t come from a happy place.

What do you do with unhappy people? You let them find their own happiness while you go on to find yours.

Ep. 15 ‘Mountain home sucks’

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.

7th January, 2020

The weather has calmed down a little today. It’s not snowing today.

I’m feeling better somewhat. I’ve just done our laundry, washed the dishes, fed and groomed the cats. It feels normal. It feels like things are still status quo.

Gideon has gone off to work and again, I’m cooped up at home because I can’t go anywhere else anyway. If anyone has ever been to Mountain Home, it’s amazing how anyone enjoys a life there. You can survive….sure. But how do you do anything enjoyable at all??? There are 3 decent restaurants, 7 fast-food outlets, 1 Walmart, and the nearest movie theatre is in the next town.

The reason this town even exists is because of the military base. Everything is in that base. It has schools, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a shopping area, it’s where all the military families live. We’re not in the base because Gideon is not officially posted here – we’re not entitled to living on base. So instead, he’s gotten a small apartment about 20 minutes away from work.

Being posted to Mountain home had been our dream for the last year. For the whole year, we have been talking about the possibility of getting posted. It was our big break.

It was our saving grace. It was our solution to our financial problems. Being posted meant that Gideon would be getting more allowance, a hefty amount on a monthly basis. It meant that we could finally start paying off more debts and breathe slightly easier.

For the whole year, I’ve been there with him, alongside him. The stress of every credit card bill, him almost not getting his bonus because the Airforce found out about his debts. I’ve been the one riding out every single anxiety. Every time he looks forsaken or forlorn, I was the one who held him in my arms and soothed him. I gave him massages when he came home from a 13-hour day. I thickened my skin to borrow money from people. I did it all because I thought we were a ‘we’. I thought that in a marriage, his problems are rightfully our problems and that I should share my husband’s burdens.

Instead, as I sit there in his living room, in an apartment he has decided to rent for just himself, memories flood back and bring me to the 5-way conversation we had.

“Jane did this…..Jane did that……..”

The guilt that he wanted me to feel was definitely downloading into my ‘hard drive’. The blame he wanted to put on was definitely made known to my parents.

On top of it all, he has now painted Marianne to be his saving grace. His angel from the sky. His one true love.

What about me then? Didn’t he once say to me that he would fight till the ends of the earth for me? Hadn’t he stood infront of our friends and family and vowed to love me forever? Wasn’t I the love of his life?

And if I wasn’t, why did he marry me? Why did he pursue me so hard? Why was he so desperate to marry me that he didn’t even ask for my father’s permission for my hand – even though that was my one request?


Ep. 14 ‘I need to go to Sun Valley’

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.

5th January, 2020

Today, we’re meeting his friends. We’re going to Sun valley to snowboard together. I’m excited!!!

For the last few days, I’ve been cooped up in the house with the cats while he goes about to prepare for his work. Today, I finally get to do something fun. I’m excited. I get up early and I switch on the lights in the bathroom.

Shit. My eyes have swollen up to look like golf balls. No…. no no no no no.

I have an allergy to NSAIDS, and last time I took a pill to help me sleep. I wasn’t sure what was in the pill, I had gotten it from Walmart and didn’t check the contents. Stupid. So stupid.

In desperation, I start googling, “How to get swollen eyes to ease” and before I could open the third link on the first page, I felt tears streaming down my eyes and I heard myself cry uncontrollably.

I must have been crying really loudly because Gideon walked into the room. He saw my swollen eyes and he said, “Oh no….” followed by “You don’t have to come if you don’t feel well”

No. I want to go, I told him. I opened the freezer to get some ice but there was none. Gideon was going to get ice racks but he had forgotten. In desperation, I take a small towel and open the front door and stepped outside in my thin pajamas.

It’s snowing and really really cold, but my determination to go on this snowboarding trip was so strong. I scooped some ice into the towel and I start pressing it onto my eyes.

I didn’t care if I looked ugly. I didn’t care if I looked funny to anyone. I just wanted to go snowboarding.

So far, since we’ve been here, some of his friends have tried reaching out to me. One of their wives took me out to dinner and let me rant to her. She listened to my sorrows, told me that I was better off now, and wished me all the best. Another one of his friends told me, “I wouldn’t be able to do what you’re doing now, you’re a good wife Jane.”

Yet, no one really did care enough to do anything else. What COULD they do anyway? How do you pull someone out of such a situation? Especially when it seemed like she knew what she was doing. I had never felt so alone in a foreign land with a husband I barely knew. For the last few days I had been completely regretting my decision to come here.

But the one thing I hadn’t told anyone was still weighing on me greatly. This deep, dark, shameful secret was gnawing at me inside, and I let it. I let it eat me up inside because I just couldn’t let it come to light. Not yet. Not now. I have to use my entire will to hang onto sanity if not I might just lose it. And if I lose it……….No. Don’t think about that. Just focus on getting your eyes less swollen so you can open your eyes – just enough so you can see through the ski mask while you snowboard.

You got this Jane, you got this.

Ep. 13 ‘B’

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.

4th January, 2020

Thus far, Gideon and I haven’t fought yet. We’ve still managed to be polite and civil to each other.

In our messages, I still call him ‘b’. Why? Out of habit I suppose. But also because I didn’t want to be forced to move on when I’m not ready to.

He still calls me ‘b’ back too. In fact, this morning before he left for work, he came into the room and planted a kiss on my forehead.

I had already woken up but when I heard him open the door, I closed my eyes again and felt him plant a soft kiss right where he usually does before he goes to bed.

I remember the many times I would wake up when he has to go for morning duties. While he got dressed, I would pack his lunch and send him off before feeding the cats and cleaning up the house.

For 2 years in that house, I was his wife. I did his laundry, I cooked his meals, I made sure that every time the coffee beans are out, I would go to Serangoon Gardens and buy some from the Italian coffee roaster. I knew his favourite food to cook – Chicken curry. I sat with him every night as he came home to tell me tales of his day. Stories from work. I knew all of his friends and their callsigns. I also knew all of the gossip they would spread to each other. I didn’t think that Airforce pilots would gossip so much with each other. It was like a network. They have whatsapp groups, telegram groups, brocodes, all to hide little secrets for each other.

I never liked the idea of marrying a military guy, let alone an Airforce pilot who’s been trained to be a weapon. Having been a junior diplomat for Singapore when I was young, I was acutely interested in world politics. I have a deep interest in finding out why countries go to war. It’s a natural interest for me. I always saw the world as one big place full of people who had the power to collaborate and coordinate with each other. But alas, reality is such that we live in a world often manipulated by a few groups of people in power. People who would use weapons, use arms, use soldiers to get what they want – Power.

In turn, the rest of the world has no choice but to arm themselves up in case they ever got attacked. They use weapons, arms, solders to achieve what they want – Defense.

This is the world we live in. It’s already hard to live in such a world of constant tension and power play. Yet here in a town called Mountain home, I was living in my own living hell – full of tension and power play.