About janetoryl

A Singaporean, born and bred in the city with a heart for the wild jungles, mountains and oceans. I write so I can think better. Its very nice to cross paths with you, thanks for reading :) ig: janetoryl

Get Angry

Get angry. Get angry when you have every right to be. If you feel the rage start as a tingle, light that spark up and let it burn. Let it burn and feel the blood rush to your face. Feel that pulse coursing through your veins, carrying oxygen that will feed the fire. Let your blood boil. Feel your lips quiver and watch your pupils dilate. Stand in front of the mirror and just watch yourself get livid. Tell yourself “Let it fucking lit the roof up” and feel the heat rise to the top of your head. Put a song on and celebrate this anger. Celebrate because you are finally seeing your worth. Celebrate the fact that today you are realizing how much time and effort you have wasted on people who don’t deserve you. Feel your anger and harness it. Harness it into a power that you can use for good. A power that you can channel into a purpose that deserves your love and attention. Let nobody else ever waste a single second of your time.

Get angry.

Because it’s about damn time.

“Gideon and Jane” renamed to “29 & Divorced”

Hi everyone!

Thank you for reading and sending me lots of messages to share how the book resonated with you. I’ve been working on writing the e-book and just making sure I own the copyright to the book.

For people who have been asking for a life update!

Marco and I have been getting ready to leave Croatia. We will then be going to Italy for 2+ months before heading back to Singapore for a visit.

Thank you for sending all of your love and well-wishes.

Once again, sending love to everyone back home in Singapore.

Update Sept 2021: I’m re-writing some chapters and adding new ones!! There will be some proof reading that has to happen, an illustrator who will help me with my book cover, and then ill get started on boring admin stuff like copyrighting and blah

For those who are waiting for updates please check my IG for future ones! There will also be chances to get free copies of the ebook if you follow me there 😘 ig handle is janetoryl

Update: “Gideon and Jane” will be renamed as “29 & Divorced”

I just feel that it does the book more justice 🙂 This book isn’t just based on my real life story, it’s a novel that I wrote to stir up conversations.

Why is divorce still such a taboo topic in Singapore?

Why are so many people, women especially, so ashamed to be divorced?

I also want the book to send hope to people who have chosen to face their fears and meet with Grief and Trauma head on.

The more we choose to uproot from our comfort zones and take that first step to changing our unhappy lives, the more we will be confronted with truths we have tried to run from for our entire lives.

People often say that the first step is always the hardest, but I actually think that all the parts in between require a lot of stamina and continual determination and support to get us through the long marathon.

I hope the book also lends support to people who are running this marathon because I’m still running it alongside you.

I’m here. You’re not alone.

It’s okay to weed people out

I remember when I was younger, that I wanted to be friends with everyone. I didn’t have much attention from my parents while I was growing up, not because they didn’t want to take care of me, but because they had to work.

Although my parents made sure we spent quality time together during the weekends, I was mostly left alone to my own devices on the weekdays.

I loved my friends. I loved making new ones too. I had an attachment to my friends to satisfy a craving due to loneliness. Many people seek comforts from different things because of loneliness – food, alcohol, movies, art, pets, porn, or even a stamp collection.

In seeking to remedy my loneliness through keeping many friends around, I became a people pleaser as well. I would overly compromise on my needs in order to please my friends.

At the start of my secondary school life, I once asked a girl to slap me whenever she found me annoying. I had such a deep desire to please her because she had shown brief interest in me before becoming bored and moving on. I wanted so much to win over her affection.

Of course, over the course of 2 decades, I have learnt that I cannot possibly please everyone. But beyond that, I’ve also learnt that its not necessary to do so. My sickness of feeling lonely has long been cured by having closer relationships with my family, a tight knit group of friends I can always count on, and realizing that friends are found everywhere and anywhere.

Still, I had some left-over people pleasing tendencies in the form of keeping toxic people in my life. I always thought that friendships have to last forever. Why? Because I want to stay loyal to them. I often think that friendships can endure all time as long as two people make the effort and put in the work to iron out differences.

But over the last two years, especially while grieving and dealing with loss, I’ve learnt an even greater lesson. That self love begins with realizing how sacred our time and energy is. Self love is a powerful technique that if mastered, can effectively keep loneliness at bay most of the time, barring any isolated situations.

Recognizing our self worth means realizing that as much we want people to respect us, we also have to first respect ourselves to set healthy boundaries.

It’s truly okay for us to weed certain people out of lives, simply because they carry energy that doesn’t help uplift us in lives. Sometimes, these people can be friends, colleagues, relatives but other times, these people could have been our best friends or even our parents.

I know that weeding out best friends or parents can feel like the most difficult thing to do and I personally haven’t needed to do that. But I recently cleared my life of certain people who didn’t really matter anyway, and it felt really cathartic. I suppose that’s what the art of Marie kondo is all about.

Weeding people out of our lives can be a heavy and difficult topic. So what can we do?

For a start, it would help to consider a few things.

1. Have we communicated our feelings with these people? How have they responded and do we find them reasonable? Have we also taken accountability for our own actions towards them if we did them wrong?

2. Have we created a safe space with them so we can clarify misunderstandings with them? Have they chosen to respond reasonably or not?

3. Were their wrongdoings so unforgiveable that we cannot move past them? Or would an apology and actions that follow help to make us feel better?

4. Have these people tried to change and have they also chosen to be vulnerable with us?

5. Would weeding these people out bring us more or less joy or are they absolutely necessary to keep in our lives?

Perhaps something to consider would also be to keep a distance from people while we consider weeding them out. Sometimes, all we need is a little distance from them while we sort out our emotions. I’ve learnt the hard way, that I often say or do things on impulse whenever I’m emotionally charged.

So we can always choose to step out of a situation, pause and process our thoughts first.

It’s more likely that we find peace in our decisions when we make them with a calm mind rather than with an erratic one.

Regularly weeding not just people but bad habits in our lives is really useful so that we protect our energy and our minds from unwanted negativity.

If we weed out the truly toxic things in our lives, we surface from these situations feeling much lighter and happier after a while. Of course, at the start it might feel weird because we’re not used to such “aggressive” tactics. But give it a while, and you’ll see that decluttering your mental and emotional spaces was worthwhile.

What is Love?

My grandma was sold as a baby for 12 Singapore dollars. Back in the 1920s, that was decent money.

Her adopted parents were rather well-to-do and adopted two other children as well. However, when she was 19 years old, my great-grandfather passed away abruptly. After crying for a week and crumbling with grief, my great-grandmother passed away as well.

In one week, my grandmother buried two parents. Overnight, she became a parent to both of her younger siblings.

It’s not a surprise that she would develop a fear of abandonment and a fear of being alone.

This fear has been passed down through the generations – from my grandmother to my mother and from my mother to me.

For the entirety of my life, my grandparents fought.

My grandma was always jealous of the women my grandpa flirted with. As much I love him, he was a huge flirt, and he had a big gambling problem back in the day. My grandmother’s fear of him cheating and splurging all his money away was very valid.

If my grandma was born in our current age, she might have never stayed married to my grandfather. For 60 years, she endured his yelling at her. For 60 years, she endured the lack of affection from him. She had to learn how to love herself – and love herself she did.

When my grandma was still alive, she was full of love. Full of love for the world, for people around her and full of appreciation for life.

After her parents died, she learned how to earn money fast through setting up businesses. She rented a shophouse in Tiong bahru and started two businesses – one to teach others how to sew, the other how to do floristry. She also bought a payphone and placed it outside of her shophouse, where there was a lot of foot traffic. She learnt that her small investment would reap her passive income through people making calls while standing outside her shop.

My grandmother was so strong. But alas, she was born in a time when divorce was not a socially acceptable option. It still isn’t, even now, but back then, she didn’t know that she never needed a man. She just loved my grandfather so much.

I know that he loved her too, and perhaps if he had ever gone for therapy, he would have learned to love her better.

Now that she’s gone, he has begun to mourn for her loss and through his grief – reflect on his past actions and behavior towards her.

The way that my grandmother chose to be with a man who didn’t know how to treat her well is the way my mother chose to stay with my father too.

This time however, they’ve entered a different era.

When they first got married, my father was a different man, compared to the person he is now.

He was cold, aloof, indifferent, and kept his thoughts to himself a lot. My mother would beg for him to be vulnerable to her. She waited patiently for so many years. It was a risk that my mother had taken. She took a huge chance on him. She knew that he loved her; she just needed him to love her the way she deserved to.

I saw for myself – the change in my dad’s temperament. I saw how different he became over the years.

Through rounds and rounds of couples counseling and therapy sessions, my parents’ dynamics changed. My father learned how to express his emotions to my mother in a safe space. He learned that it was okay to be vulnerable. He unlearned and relearned the different love languages, and how to be patient with my mother.

My mother too, learned how to love my father the way he needed to be loved.

Still, I had already absorbed the dynamics between them at a young age.

At 5 years old, I had already falsely believed that to love is to accept each other’s flaws unconditionally. I had already been conditioned to believe that you never walk out on each other, no matter how much you’re suffering in a marriage.

I saw it happen in many relationships and marriages around me too.

For years, I questioned the meaning of love. What IS love?

Because I inherited these beliefs of love, I ended up falling in love with a man who neither knew how to love himself nor me. He didn’t know how to accept my love for him as well. I loved him so much. But there came a point in our marriage where I saw that I had married a man like my grandfather and father. Even though it wasn’t my choice to end the marriage, I’m so glad it did. Because it released me from being the 3rd generation of women accepting men who don’t know how to love them properly. I would have been the next generation to pass down this inaccurate ideals of love (at least to me). If we had had children together, how would my children have turned out? How could I have educated them on what love is, when we didn’t even understand or demonstrate what love should be?

Now, I feel that love is not dependent on the duration of a relationship. Of any relationship – be it a romantic or non-romantic one.

We can’t wish for everything to last. We don’t have to.

Love is found everywhere, in all ways and in all things. Love can mean different things to different people, based on their personal journeys and experiences.

To me, love means being vulnerable with each other, it means being committed to choosing each other and growing together.

Now, I feel that nothing we want in love needs to last forever. If it does, it’s because the parties in the relationship both put in effort and commitment for that to happen. If it doesn’t, it’s because both parties somehow grow apart rather than together.

The sooner we let go of the expectation that relationships must last forever, the sooner we realize that love does endure all time.

It exists in our memories, it exists in our interactions with people, however short of long, it exists through generations.

Love is everywhere, especially when we know how to carry love for ourselves.

An alternate universe

September 2020

“Hey, why did you lie to Marianne and paint me as the bad guy again? It’s not true that I want you back, you know that. So why would you tell her that I’m talking to you because I can’t get over you?” I message Gideon

In this alternate universe, Gideon is brave and has come to accept his mistakes. He realises that he has to start owning to his actions and not constantly blame others for his wrongdoing.

“I’m really sorry. It was just easier to lie. I know that we’ve been talking so we can get closure. I’ll let Marianne know” Gideon replies.

I don’t have much faith in his words as he’s been a compulsive liar since the day we met. But I give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Hey Jane, Gideon just told me everything and I’m really sorry that I ever said those things to you. I never intended to hurt you although I see how my words were really insensitive. I’m just dealing alot of insecurity now. And Gideon constantly lying to me isn’t helping. ” Marianne sends me a message later.

“I’m sorry you’re in this situation. But if you really love each other, you can fix this. I just want Gideon to be happy honestly, I know that I need more time to heal and move on properly so it’s best that we don’t stay in contact, but I was so angry that he just basically threw me under the bus for everything. He told my parents that I went against his wishes to quit my job. He told his friends that I’m a gold digger. He told you that we were already six months separated when you first met. He told Aaron that I asked him for alimony and couldn’t pay him his money back. When is Gideon going to stop lying? “

“yeah I’ve gotten to know him better the last few months and as much as I love him, I’m also really tired of his lying. I wouldn’t have minded the two of you talking really, I just can’t stand lying!” Marianne tells me.

We have a nice conversation about life and wish each other well.

December 2020

“Hey Jane, I really need to get our divorce settled soon, are you able to find a notary where you are? Marianne and I want to get married ASAP.” Gideon asks me.

“Congratulations! Yes I’ll get it done no worries! Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?” I ask him

“yeah… About the house rental. Do you mind splitting the rental income with me for next year? I know that I said you could have the rental income. But that was for 2020. Next year, I think it’s fair if we split it. What do you think?” Gideon asks nicely.

“oh…. Sure. In that case let’s adjust the amount for the divorce settlement. You see, when you first asked me to name a price, I took the rental income as part of the settlement money, so now, I would have to ask for more. I basically just want what’s rightfully mine which is half of the profits were you to sell the house.” I tell Gideon.

“sure! I’m glad I spoke with you. Thanks Jane, and enjoy your stay back in Singapore!”

In the present reality

Things are much more complicated.

People have been hurt. People have been reactive. People want revenge. People want justice. People want money. People want love.

How did things get this way?

Why couldn’t we have solved things better through healthy communication?

The minute Gideon was caught lying, he ran. He ran and didn’t apologize, didn’t try to make amends for lying to so many people. All he said was “leave me alone, you should move on, and you’re harassing me”

He made that choice to run.

Without honesty and vulnerability, there will only be more lying, more hurting, and more running away from things.

The sooner we face our mistakes and take responsibility for our actions, the sooner we feel lighter, and the sooner we feel free.

Why don’t we choose to be vulnerable? Why doesn’t Gideon feel safe to admit to his mistakes? Is it because he doesn’t feel people will accept him for his past mistakes? Is it because there were never healthy boundaries taught to him from young? Who would ever know?

Ep 55: Jane, Gideon and Marianne are filing a harassment case against you

12TH August 2021. Zagreb, Croatia

I’ve been receiving countless of messages and calls from friends telling me that Gideon and Marianne have reported me to the police. They are trying to file protection orders (POs) against me. Everyone is worried.

“Why did you type his full name out on your blog babe??” A friend asks

“I was angry, I deleted it almost right after but if I have to face consequences for it, so be it.” I’ve already made my peace with it.

“Babe, I don’t think you should contact them anymore, they want blood, they would do anything to hurt you. Just leave them alone and don’t do anything anymore.” My friend continued.

I understand their fear. It’s not easy facing Marianne’s words especially when they are laced with malicious intent. I’ve gotten used to her personal attacks and I now see them as useless attempts to shed whatever guilt she has. At the core of her venomous attacks, she’s just struggling with deep insecurity. Who can help with that? Certainly not me. But do I have to engage in a useless battle with her? Absolutely not.

I don’t quite know how I feel about this yet so, I take a long walk.

As I walk, I set an intention to clear my emotions.

The fact that Gideon and Marianne are trying to use the law to suppress me into silence is overwhelming. What are they so afraid of? If what I’m writing about doesn’t hold truth, why are they so afraid of being exposed?

If they’re claiming to want privacy, why did they publicly announce their engagement when Gideon and I were still married? Did they care about the impact of them parading their affair around on me and my family? No.

Did they care about my privacy when Marianne asked to place a security camera in front of my face when we were just watching television so she could monitor us? No

Did they care about my feelings when they sent me threatening emails? No

When Gideon’s friend asked him to return the money he owed him, Gideon threw me under the bus and said that I had demanded alimony from him, which I didn’t. Did I threaten to sue him for slander? No

When Gideon tried to go against a court order and reduce the amount of divorce settlement he owes me, did I threaten to use the law against him? No

When Marianne sent me messages rubbing salt into my wounds by telling me she understands why Gideon left me, and how I need to grow up and handle my grief better. Did I mock her and tell her to fuck off? No

This is coming from a person who lost a cat 8 months ago and has an entire Instagram account dedicated to finding her cat, and she had the audacity to mock me for not moving on from my failed marriage faster??

How entitled and how inhumane can these two people be?

“Jane is threatening an expose and I live in fear that she will do so one day” That’s not my issue is it? I don’t have an obligation to make sure you don’t live in fear. Your conscience is the one who’s torturing you, not me.

I’m so confused by their intentions. If I’m truly a “nobody” to them, why bother filing anything against me? After all, I have already complied with their demands to stop all contact. And in the first place, all contact before was to discuss about the house. Do you understand what harassment even is? Do you even understand why this law was created and who it was meant to protect?

They’re trying to use my blog as a basis for harassment. When is self expression a crime? You don’t like what you read, DON’T READ. You can choose to walk away. And by the way I changed your names for a good reason. You’re the one who was silly enough to out yourself on Instagram, publicly name me, and now want to blame me for consequences of your actions? Eh please. Grow up. Face the consequences of your own actions just like I’m ready to and have been.

If a rapist raped someone, who can blame the victim for writing about her own story, her own experiences and who can stop her from trying to heal? If by writing her own story, she’s exposing what her rapist did to her, how can the rapist say that she’s harassing him?

Do Gideon and Marianne not realize that they are not victims in this whole equation? I’ve been taking their emotional and mental abuse for so long, not saying or doing anything. But her last email exchanges to me pushed me over my limits. There’s only so much one can take.

Now that I’ve finally decided to stand up for myself and write about my truth, they’re getting scared and now they hide. Now, she has decided that she needs to back down from social media so she can get some “privacy”. Now, it’s convenient for her to say that privacy matters, when they have NEVER cared about MY privacy from the start.

As I walk and let myself rage on, my thoughts don’t stay on my current predicament. Instead, they gravitate towards the conversations I’ve been having with strangers who have been reaching out to me in a hope to feel seen and heard.

I think about Odelia, who was raped when she was young and then married an abusive husband. He has abused her repeatedly for five years now. She has made at least three police reports against him and tried to get a protection order against him. Each time however, he begged for forgiveness and promised to change. He would show signs of improvement for months, at one time for a whole year, but now that she’s doing well at work and getting busier, his abusive behavior has resurfaced.

I think about Crystal, who was shunned by her family after deciding to leave a nasty marriage and had to sleep on a mattress for a year at a relative’s house. She wasn’t even allowed to be home for Chinese New Year because her parents found her divorce disgraceful. Crystal’s father is a religious leader, and he would rather shun his daughter than show her love and compassion.

I think about Arnold whose wife cheated on him with his best friend and then decided to ask for a hefty alimony from him because he also cheated. The difference was that she had hired a private investigator to get evidence on him and he had no legal evidence of her cheating. He isn’t allowed to see his children ever again but he has to pay her $5000 every month for the next thirteen years.

I think about Diana whose husband is a high-ranking officer in the military. He regularly cheats on her, and she only found out when one of them approached her about it. She’s a popular blogger in Singapore and already deals with a lot of public scrutiny. Her husband’s cheating sent her into an eating disorder, and she struggled with depression and anxiety for many years. She has four beautiful daughters and all of them have picked up on their mother’s insecurities. They have all handled it in their own ways, but Diana worries about the long-term effects on their mental health. One of her daughters has chronic depression and has threatened to kill herself before.

I think about the women Chloe met in Greece when she was held in the refugee area. The refugees have been there for two years and haven’t seen their family since. They have no government, no home, no real support from the UN and have been forgotten. Their bunks are filled with bed bugs, and they eat two meals a day, usually leftover food sent by overwhelmed Non-profit organizations. Charities have tried to help but there are just too many refugees. Countries are turning people away, letting them die at sea.

I think about Anais whose husband refuses to wear a condom. They have seven children and all of them stay in a 1-room HDB flat. He has a disability, so he receives disability support. Social services has gotten him many jobs before, but he has managed to lose all of them, either by not showing up for some or showing up drunk. He doesn’t allow Anais to go to work because he thinks other men will prey on her. He keeps getting her pregnant and makes her take care of all the children while every day, he hangs out at Bukit Merah with his friends. Anais is thirty-four.

I think about all these people living in Singapore, all having to put on masks and pretenses just to get on with their day. Because they have nowhere to turn to. Because there is no way they can ever get justice for themselves. They have no other choice but to carry their pain and trauma around with them.

I think of all the suffering going on in the world.

And then I think about Gideon and Marianne’s actions towards me, and I don’t really feel like their actions are so bad anymore.

If I look at things from another perspective, their childish behavior doesn’t matter so much anymore. They’re attacking me to protect themselves. To protect their reputation. To protect their crumbling relationship from tearing apart. To protect their egos. To protect their sanity.

In that case, I’ll let them do whatever they need to, to appease their inner child.

I have my own inner child to tend to. 

Ep. 11 ‘My husband proposed to another woman’

“Omg Jane, have you seen??” I woke up to messages after messages, screenshots after screenshots.

Groggily and completely jetlagged, I open up the photographs they’re sending me.

Through my sleepy eyes, I see a glittery ring on a hand……

They’re engaged. She’s posted a photograph of them on Instagram. The time stamp is in December 2019. They’re engaged. My husband is engaged to another woman.

I can’t do this. I’m suddenly wide awake and I start looking through his Instagram and Facebook. He’s deleted all of the photographs of us. All of it. They’re all gone.

I’m still here. In a hotel room with him while he sleeps next to me. I’m still physically here.

When we crossed one of the immigration checkpoints, he still told the officer that I’m his wife. On paper, in life – I’m still Gideon’s wife.

But in the digital world, in the minds of Gideon and Marianne, I’ve been completely erased. My existence means nothing to them.

I’m suddenly thankful that my parents are not on socials – it would have broken their hearts even more.

I look at Gideon and as usual – he’s fast asleep. His phone is sitting right next to him. I know that it would be futile but I try unlocking it anyway.

He’s changed the password.

I lay back down to sleep, but sleep evades me. The image of her clasping his face in her hands, him in his Dior white shirt….”Sometimes, if you’re lucky enough, you meet someone so pure and good….” So pure……So good……

Flashes of Gideon and I are thrown into my mind uninvited.

Him lovebombing me for a whole month when we first met. Him asking my friend to get my ring size when I visited her in Hong kong, him singing ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’ to me over video calls whenever I couldn’t sleep and he was overseas for work, us taking Maverick out for walks, us laughing together whenever Coco wanted to jump out of the kitchen window. These flashbacks make no sense but they just kept coming and all I could do was to keep batting them away. Stop it Jane. He’s someone else’s fiance now. You have to let him go.

We’re at Walmart and in the 20 minutes that we’ve been here, she’s called him twice. He’s had to walk away twice. “She saw that you were in Walmart so she’s asking how you could come here without me driving you here,” he tells me.

“Sure no worries, go ahead and settle it. I’m gonna get my mint oreos.”

MINT OREOS!!! World’s greatest invention. I loved the thin ones. If anything, this could be the best reason I lugged myself to Mountain Home, Idaho. The trick is to put them in the freezer and then dunk them in warm milk after. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I can’t wait to eat them – I think to myself.

We’re in the car driving from the liquor store, I had posted an ig story of the store and didn’t realize that he was in it. It was just half a frame but she saw it. “Sorry, had to settle her down again. I told her that your story was an old one.”

???? Doesn’t make any sense

We’re in the car driving back home to his apartment, when she calls again. This time, he picks up the call with the phone system in the car. I start panicking. I catch myself breathing softer for some reason.

“Babbyyyyyeeeee, I had a nightmare last night.”

“What was it?”

“You know what it was about…I dreamt of it again.”


Oh My Fucking Universe.

“I dreamt that you told me you don’t love me anymore, and that you went back with her.”

“Baby…it’s just a dream, it’s not going to happen. Anyway, she doesn’t want that too – “

Really??? I don’t want it? I didn’t know that. I hadn’t decided that yet. Didn’t he decide for me when he told me he was leaving???

“….okay. Have fun with the girls tonight baby, don’t drink so much okay? I love you”

“Hahahahahhahahahaha” The minute he puts down the phone, I start laughing uncontrollably.

I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous this entire situation was. WHO THE HELL IS THIS MAN??? WHO???

Either way, I compose myself and I bring up the topic.

“So…I saw that you’re engaged Gideon?”


“And you deleted all of our photographs already?”

“Oh….yeah. It was just easier that way. Fresh start, you know?”

Hmmmmm. It was just easier…………………..for who?

“But….we’re still married. And you just met her a month ago. Also, where did you even get the money to buy her a ring? I can’t believe you bought her a ring when I had just pawned mine a few months ago – “

“I sold our car to buy her the ring. Don’t worry, your ring was more expensive.”

He conveniently picked the easy questions to answer.

It was just a few months ago that we sat down in our living room and spread out papers to sort out his debts.

I had asked that he brought out all of the credit card statements. One by one, I wrote the figures down and I calculated for us, the amount we owed the bank. He had already apologized for letting the bills pile up – “I thought I could handle it….I’m sorry”

“It’s okay b, let’s just try to solve this now.” Inside, I was furious. He had told me that he could handle it. I never knew that he had raked up so many late payments. I never would have quit my job if I had known he would get us into such big debts. Then again, I should have known better than to trust his money management skills.

When I first met him, he didn’t even have a hospital insurance plan. I had to ensure that both him and his brother at least had decent insurance plans. His brother later “thanked” me because he had gotten bitten badly by a dog and needed to be hospitalized for 3 days. “Thanked” because he never really did thank me. He said “Wah lucky got insurance to cover”

I borrowed a sum of my money from my friend, liquidated some of our investments, and we each pawned something – he pawned his emerald Rolex watch and I pawned my engagement ring. My beautiful engagement ring.

I remember looking at it and wearing it for the last time before we went to the pawn shop.

When we were at the pawn shop, I stopped for a moment and looked at it again once more. I never wanted a beautiful ring like that, but at least for a while it was mine. It symbolized his love for me. He knew that I was hesitant and he said “I promise i will buy your ring back for you b, I promise.”

And now…….she has a ring. Now, he’s bought a ring for her.

Ep. 10 ‘I had to book us separate rooms’

From the eye of an unassuming stranger, Gideon and I look like any other married couple – comfortable with each other, not touchy probably because we are way past the honeymoon stage but still lovingly aware of each other. In the way that he would still offer to buy us breakfast, automatically knowing my go-to choices – steamed buns with two eggs on the side and black coffee with no sugar – while I grab us seats.

The airport is rather quiet, we’re catching a red-eye flight after all. I look around briefly and catch the eye of a 6-year-old boy with blonde hair and blue eyes. He’s excitedly pulling his parents towards the departure gate and I somehow imagine him having a lot of fun at Universal Studios Singapore.

Changi airport is a true gem of Singapore. I mean, we literally renamed Terminal 1 as Jewel. Our airport was one of the first real prides of Singapore’s – symbolic of being a strong and wealthy, mighty little nation.

When Gideon comes back to the table, I notice a brown stain on his white SuperDry t-shirt. Instinctively, I dab a napkin with water and try to rub it off. He doesn’t move away from me, but he also hesitated to let me touch him, not because he was protecting himself, but more as if he was embarrassed of the stain.

I take a closer look at it, “Oh what’s this?” I naively ask. He doesn’t answer but just looks at me pitifully, with those cowardly eyes that I would come to see repeatedly the next week.

“Oh………it’s foundation. Her foundation. From………” I put two and two together in that awkward moment, and look away quickly, focusing on my breakfast. By then, I had lost all appetite, but I couldn’t start to crumble, not right there, not yet. Hang in there, Jane. Just get your butt to Mexico.

The countdown in my mind starts – 8 days.

I don’t know if it’s because we’re at the airport. But I think about the last time I was counting down to something. Our honeymoon to Sicily.

It was 2 years after getting married, and we had put off our honeymoon because the weddings, new house and car had emptied out our bank accounts. One of my good friends was getting married in England, and there was my chance. I proposed for us to take a detour and go to Italy for our long overdue honeymoon. “I can use my miles to get us business class tickets dear,” he had offered.

At that time, I thought it was really kind of him to do that. Although, that was really all he did for the honeymoon. I planned everything else and organized all of it. Just like I did for our wedding, just like I did for our house, and just like I did for just about everything he wasn’t interested to do. He had always used work for an excuse, and I always just took it as a default that things at home were my responsibility. I had always felt guilty for not doing enough, not helping enough, not being enough.

Yet, I sometimes can’t help but ask myself, is that his doing or mine?

It’s been an hour since the plane took off. Our cats are settled down, they’re in individual carriers in front of us, underneath the seats of the passengers in front of us. Coco was a little fidgety, but Peanut was calm and fast asleep by the time the stewardess comes around to serve us drinks.

Gideon asks for a rum and coke while I ask for a double gin & tonic.

He has been on his phone non-stop since we took off. I guess he got wifi so he could continue messaging Marianne.

I’m flipping through the channels, looking for a movie to watch, when I finally give in to temptation and glance at his phone. Beside her name, he has put 2 emojis – 1 heart and 1 ring.

He noticed me looking and said, “Sorry. I have to message her every 15 minutes.”

“Oh, why?”

“She’s feeling a little insecure and she thinks we’re going to be having airplane sex. So I have to reassure her every 15 minutes that we’re not.”

Oh honey…………..15 minutes? Try 5 – I think in my mind. But no, that’s not a healthy thought – and I push it out of my mind.

The fact that they’ve been sleeping together is tearing me apart.

I end up choosing an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and desperately wait till the gin lulls me into another precious few hours of sleep. Away from this, away from ALL of this.

After 22 hours of being on that torturous journey from Singapore to Idaho, I was looking forward to respite. In the car on the way to the hotel, I start wondering if we would still be sleeping on the same bed, and just as that thought appeared, Gideon broke the silence.

“She doesn’t want us sharing the same room so….I had to book us separate rooms, I’m sorry.”

My face starts heating up in anger and I refused his request. “You know I’m afraid of sleeping in hotel rooms alone, can we not sleep in separate rooms please?” I can’t even summon up the energy to go into an argument. I choose the easier route – to appeal to his better side.

He relents and requests for me to stand outside the room while he video-calls her.

It is -5 degrees in Mountain home, Idaho and I’m only dressed in jeans and a thin jacket. Yet, I allow myself to stand there in the freezing weather, watching my husband video call his mistress and give her a false reassurance that he wasn’t sleeping in the same room as his wife. My mind registers this fact for a minute but before I can even react with any emotion, it instinctively pushes the thought away for me.

After a few grueling minutes of watching him show her around the room and even ducking once out of view, I hear him say the few words he usually tells me “I love you baby, sweet dreams and I miss you.”

Fuck. Fuck me. What the fuck in the flying fuck is happening?

Ep. 9 ‘I have to fix me’

2nd January, 2020

My brother and I walk towards the check-in counter together.

We look very alike, my brother and I.

He has the same heart as me but is way more chill and always has been more business-savvy than me. Because my parents weren’t around, I got him to send me to the airport.

As we arrived at the check-in counter, I notice Marianne standing outside the check-in area. She couldn’t enter because she wasn’t flying. I walk past her and looked straight at Gideon, not even glancing at her – I didn’t want to give her my time of the day. Besides, as much anger as I had towards the both of them, I still had love for my husband. Who was this woman anyway?

At the check-in booth, Gideon and I checked our bags in, along with our two cats.

There was a slight hiccup because as usual, Gideon had messed up the procedures for getting our cats approved for flying. The check-in staff told us that there was a chance our cats would be detained in San Francisco, where we would be doing a layover before reaching Boise, Idaho. We decided to take the risk anyway.

“See ya later, I’m going to have breakfast with my brother,” I told him.

Wearing my knee high boots, black leggings and a white tank top, I catch Gideon glance at my ass for a second before strutting away. He had always liked my booty. For a moment, it felt good, knowing that I still held his attention, even for just a second.

While we had breakfast together, my brother tried cheering me up, “Wah jie, she quite chubby ah, I wonder what Gideon sees in her.”

“Hahaha, it’s not her appearance that he likes, it’s her. She’s obsessed with him and he likes it. He needs it. He also told me that even if he left her, he doesn’t want to deal with the guilt of his affair. He doesn’t want this hanging over our marriage for the rest of the life. He’s just being a coward. Be happy for me, that I’m being set free from a man like that”

“Jie, I just want you to know, that you will always have us. You will always have me, Pa, mum. No matter what happens, we will always be here for you.”

Fuck, don’t cry don’t cry don’t cry. I tell myself.

This moment suddenly brings me back to a memory I have, stored very vividly in my mind.

I had come home late from drinking and was waking up with a hangover. On my table was a note left by my brother. It read:

“Jie, today at 3.42am, I went outside the house because you were making a lot of noise running up and down the corridor. When I saw you, you were looking over the railing towards the ground. I asked you why you were outside and you looked at me blankly and said “I was thinking of jumping down.” I quickly pulled you in and put you to bed.

Jie, please don’t do anything silly like that. I just wanted to tell you that I love you very much.”

I couldn’t help it. In the airport where my brother was sending me off to be with my cheating husband for a week, a single tear rolled down my cheeks.

I felt so sorry to be his older sister. I felt sorry that my younger brother was the one looking out for me, instead of the other way around.

I vowed to myself – to be better. I have to fix my life. I have to fix whatever is fucked up inside of me. I have to grow. I have to change my life.

Ep. 8 ‘He tell you for what sia’

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 and 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, I clung onto her words. My tears had dried up after almost a week of ceaseless crying.

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?”

“That one.”

“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 that 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.