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

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.

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’

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.

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’

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?”

“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 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.

Ep.7 ‘New Year’s Eve’

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.

31st December, 2019

I have the best friends.

Over the last few days, they have taken turns to accompany me.

When they first met me, I couldn’t compose myself. All I could do was cry. My world was falling apart, and they could do nothing else to help but just be around to keep my mind off things.

We went out to bars, sang karaoke for 3 hours in a row where I cried and laughed at the same time, they fed me with food and made sure I didn’t die of alcohol poisoning.

Today, we are all going out to celebrate NYE. But not before I meet Gideon for dinner.

We had already planned to have this dinner with our friends two weeks ago, and I asked if he was still okay to go for it. “Yeah, this will be the last dinner we have with them as a couple, so sure why not.”

Our friends have 3 beautiful daughters who each have their own personalities. The eldest one loves to dance and sing, the second one is the sassiest and the youngest is just full of pure joy and always loves eating. Just a few weeks ago, our two families had gone to KL together and spent a holiday together. The youngest one loves riding on Gideon’s shoulders and the second one would always run into our arms whenever we meet. The children love us and I love them too.

Just before we go upstairs for dinner, Gideon and I decided to meet and are sitting down on a bench.

I see that he has cut his hair. He’s wearing a white t-shirt and his usual cap and this time, after hiding his smoking habit from me for who knows how long,he blatantly places a box of cigarettes and a brand new wallet in front of him, between us. He wants me to notice the new wallet – probably a gift from Marianne. To be clear, I never wanted him to quit smoking for me, I just told him that smoking wasn’t a habit I could accept. It could have meant we couldn’t be together, but I never wanted him to change himself or change his life for me. He had always made these decisions himself, in order to be with me. I always thought it meant he loved me so much, he would change his life for me. I never once questioned why, what, should, should not. I just accepted his love for me because I needed that validation.

“Just to be clear, us going to the US together is not a chance for us to work things out. We’re over. Things are over between you and me.” Gideon says, without any sign of remorse for his actions at all.

“Okay, I hear you and really, I’m just going because I want to go to the Mexico. Plus, we need to bring our cats there together. If I don’t go, one of the cats will be left behind.”

I half-lie to him. In my heart, I knew that we were over. But I wanted to go to investigate. I had many questions burning inside of me and I thought that by going to the US, it would give me time to suss him out a little, now that he has dropped all acts of who he really is.

The way that he was acting so casual about leaving our marriage was incredibly suspicious to me. Who was he? Who was this man I married? I didn’t tell him, but I went to the US so I could let him show me more of who he really is.

Throughout dinner, I couldn’t concentrate. I barely ate and of course my friend noticed that something was wrong.

I made some excuses to leave earlier, and later found out that Gideon spent NYE with Marianne and some of her friends. On her instagram, she also posted a photo of them in OUR house. In my marital home.

While I was away, he had brought her back to our house.

Later on, when I asked him if they had slept on our marital bed, he said, “No of course not, that would be disrespectful. We slept together on the couch.”

I had no words. I just stared blankly at him and asked myself over and over again, “How did you let yourself marry this man, Jane?”

Ep. 6 ‘My pain, Their pain’

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.

28th December, 4am

I violently wake up from a nightmare and I recognize that I’m not in my own bed. I’m sleeping on my brother’s bed while he’s away at National service.

A deep gut-wrenching pain hits me and I clutch my chest with one hand while the other one supported my weak, hungover body as I push myself off the bed.

I open the door to my parents’ room and I crawl in between them.

Just like I did before when I was a child, whenever I had nightmares.

Wedged in between my parents, I feel my body convulse as I cried again. This time, I let it all out. I let myself sob as loudly as I could. My parents, abruptly awakened by my presence, quickly put their arms around me as they let me cry.

There, on my parents’ bed, my crying represented me begging for my parents to take my load off me. Even just for a second. I just needed them to hold me while I cried. I needed them to let me feel less alone – even just for a few minutes.

Before long, I fell asleep again, worn out from the crying. Later on, I would find out that my parents lay in the dark, their arms wrapped around me, their eyes locked on each others’ as they exchanged tormented glances.

I can only imagine the pain they were going through. After all, I was their “princess”. I was their daughter, their flesh and blood. My parents didn’t know how else to help – so they let me sleep. My mother soothed my crying as I feel deep into slumber, her hands coaxing over my forehead like you would for a baby.

I’m still angry, that I ever let my parents love a man like that.

Ep.5 ‘What happened?’

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.

27th December 2019

I have to work today – my phone calendar reminds me.

I work part time as a bartender in Ah Sam’s Cold Drink Stall, a local speakeasy bar in Singapore. It was very confusing for most to know that I had quit a well-paying insurance job to work in a bar and earn $10 an hour. But I wanted to bartend simply because I loved bars and had always wanted to try bartending.

Usually, going to work would be really exciting for me. Every time I stood behind the bar, I felt happy. I loved making drinks for people. I loved having conversations with people I’d just met. I loved it when I made them something they found delicious. I even loved being on the floor – taking people’s orders and serving drinks to them.

It didn’t matter who walked through our doors, staff at Ah Sam’s always treated them equally.

We had many regular customers, mostly bankers and people who worked in the finance hub since our bar was in Boat Quay, a 10 minute walk from Singapore’s financial district.

Today however, our bar was packed with tourists as well. Christmas had just passed but New Year Eve’s was right around the corner.

I showed up to work looking the same as I normally did, but inside, I was completely broken.

“Hey Simon,” I say hi to our bar manager. “Hey Shu-Ann” I wave to our senior bartender.

“Hey Jane, how are you?”

“I’m good! You?”

“Good! Cool. Just wanted to ask you – when are you going to the US again? I’m just making the schedule for January. How long would you be gone again? Oh! If you’re going to Mexico as well, you have to – ”

Simon stops midway, and everyone in the bar turns to look at me.

I’ve completely sunk to the floor, hiding my face in my hands. I don’t have the energy to get up. The only 2 regular guests who are sitting at the bar set their drinks down and stare at me.

I feel the tears rolling down my cheeks. Hot. Hot and salty. I can’t stop them but I try really hard because this is not the time to break down. This is not the place.

“What happened, Jane???” Simon asks me. He’s lifting me up with his strong arms and together we walk to the back of the bar, tucked in a corner where I tell him briefly what had happened just 13 hours ago.

“Take your time to process things Jane, don’t worry about work today, I doubt it will be busy. I got you. ” I hear him say to me. I’m propped up on a bar stool, back against the wall, my eyes staring blankly in the distance. I look at the seats at the bar where Gideon and I sat on once, where I told him about my decision to leave my insurance job to find my passion in life. “Do it baby, Go for it!! I support you 100%” He had told me.

Yet, 13 hours ago, he blamed me for leaving my job. He blamed me for the failure of our marriage.

My heart can’t take this.

I grab my tote bag and I tell Simon ” I’m so sorry, ” and I bolt down the stairs. I stop when I reach the first floor and turn left – No, There are too many people, so I turn right and go down the alley. I usually hate walking through these alleys because rats often prowl them. But today, my pain is greater than my fear of rats. Today, I just need to walk it out.

So, I walk. I walk and walk and walk.

I walk past OCBC building, along Chulia road, where I went to work for 3 years on the 37th floor. Where I took my first job after graduation and learned that I’m good at doing sales – but that I wanted more in life. I enjoyed the interaction with clients but didn’t enjoy the stress that came from a demanding boss.

I walk past UOB building, where at Si Chuan Dou Hua, the restaurant at the top of the bank, we held our Chinese wedding reception, one that his mother had requested for, but which I had to plan for entirely on my own. A memory flashed across my mind – while we were addressing our guests on stage, everyone’s eyes were on us except his parents. They kept their backs to us even while we were speaking and continued eating. Why did I never realize that was a red flag? How many more red flags were there?

I walk and walk and walk until I reach the Supreme Court and I sit under the shade of a tree while I whip my phone out to text my friends.

“I need you girls. Gideon is leaving the marriage.” was all I could type before the waves of tears came crashing down on me again. These waves didn’t stop coming. Instead, they grew bigger and bigger, crashing louder and louder onto my chest.

I let myself cry, while tourists walk past me. It felt like the worst day of my life.

Little did I know that today would only be the start of a very very very long journey. A journey of finding truth and love.

Ep 4.1: I’m sorry daddy

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.

Gideon and I sit side by side. It’s 1.30pm and my mom had arranged for us to meet with a counsellor.

I can hardly remember what happened but I remember Gideon telling our counsellor that he was over the marriage. I remember him saying, “I don’t think I ever loved Jane”

My mind has refused to remember much of what went on in that session, but soon after, I find out that he’s planning on getting her an engagement ring. He has met this woman 3 weeks ago. And even before I have begun to even take my next breath above the water, he’s plunging me back down beneath the surface again.

He hears my scream underwater, and he knows that my air will run out soon, so he lets me come back up for air when he says, “I’m sorry, I’m still very confused with everything as well. Don’t take what I said to heart” He must have seen how devastated I looked and decided to throw me a treat, like you would a dog so as to get a little bit of attention.

My father arrives to the house to check up on me. It’s 5pm and he’s helping me take some stuff back to my parents’ place. I had decided to leave our marital home for a few days.

It’s too painful to be here. Just too painful.

I’m mindlessly throwing clothes and things together into 2 large suitcases when Peanut, my cat, decided to walk into the suitcase. He plops himself onto my things and I allow myself to get distracted for a while.

Gideon is in the house, putting some of his things together as well. “I’m going to be with her until our flight to the US” He had said to me. I nodded to acknowledge but in my mind, I thought “Why the fuck would you tell me that?”

In that exact moment, I hear someone crying, it’s coming from our study room. I rush over and open the door, only to find my Dad sitting on the floor. He’s clutching his knees to his chest and deeply crying. I don’t know what to do.

I had only seen my Dad cry this badly once. When his younger brother drowned in a boat accident, many years ago.

Now, because of me, my Dad is breaking down. Gideon has conveniently made himself scarce, while I sat there with my Dad and repeated to him, “Daddy, it’s okay. I’m going to be just fine Daddy, It’s okay.”

In that moment, I realized that this impending divorce wasn’t just hurting me. It was hurting my family. It was hurting the people I love the most and will fiercely protect no matter what.

I hated Gideon to the core, for what he did to us. I hated him.

Ep. 4: Last breakfast

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.

My alarm rings and I wake up to turn it off. My phone tells me it’s 8am, I’ve slept for 3 hours but strangely, I don’t feel tired. I turn to my side and see Gideon there, fast asleep, facing me. His hand is close to my side of the bed and I imagine that we were holding hands while sleeping. For a moment, while I watch him sleep, I smile to myself.

Then, the memories all come crashing in again. Like lighting bolts, they flash through my mind, only staying for a split second before tearing apart again. I can’t seem to catch a hold of them but something tells me that these memories weren’t part of my dreams – they really happened.

I leave our bed and go outside to feed the cats. Surprisingly, neither Coco nor Peanut have woken up. By now, they would usually be mewing away, demanding for their breakfast.

After I put their food and water bowls down, I take stock of the living room. There are 4 glasses lying around, 3 on the coffee tables and 1 on the bar counter-top.

“It happened. It really happened.” I thought to myself.

My right hand was on my right hip and my left hand’s fingers were combing through my hair. This is the stance I get into whenever I’m thinking of what to do next.

What is there to do? I gather the glasses and take them to the kitchen. But before I turned the tap on, I closed the doors separating the living room and the kitchen, afraid to wake Gideon up.

I’m not hungry, but after I leave the dishes to dry, I open the fridge out of habit. The fridge has always been my favorite place in our house – after the bar of course. It’s where I get to keep ingredients, ingredients to make food for people I love.

By now, I’m not even thinking anymore, I let my hands and feet take me where ever they want. I’m only an observer.

I watch myself take tomatoes, mushrooms, half an onion, eggs and an overly ripe avocado and I immediately know what I’m making – our regular breakfast item. I started cutting up the tomatoes and onion, adding olive oil, salt, paper and then setting the pan on to fry the eggs. I like mine sunny side up while Gideon likes his scrambled.

Once the eggs were done, I sliced open the avocado, made tiny slits through the flesh and used a spoon to scoop the sliced up avocado out and onto the plate. I’m almost done, and I actually feel pretty happy. Preparing that breakfast was relaxing, it let me take my mind off things for just a bit.

As i take the 2 plates out to the coffee table, I hear the toasted bread ping! ready so I open the sliding door.

Just as I emerged into the “neutral zone”, Gideon opened the bedroom door and we catch each others’ eyes.

“Come, let’s eat.” I said.

He’s wearing his grey sleeveless shirt, the one we had bought together while shopping in Kuala Lumpur together.

I force that memory out of my mind, and pour us both cups of coffee.

As we sit on the living room floor, side by side, eating breakfast, I made a mental note to myself that this was the last time I would ever make breakfast for my husband.

This was the last time I would ever put my love into food for someone who has chosen not to love me back.

Ep. 3: I will never lie again

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.

” pregnant”

The word rings loudly and echoes in my mind. Fuck I shouldn’t have drunk so much gin, I can’t concentrate now.

“Omg” was all I could utter.

We walk outside and I see my parents sitting across Gideon, him on the sofa and them on our 2 stools – the stools we bought so our friends could sit on when they come over for game nights. I’m glad my parents’ backs were facing the photographs above the television. This conversation was already going to hurt them enough.

” So what are you saying son?” My mother asks. Marianne and I have obviously interrupted an ongoing conversation. She takes a seat besides Gideon, while I sit on the floor next to my parents, in between all of them. My husband and his mistress on my left, Daddy and Mummy on my right.

“I’m saying that Jane left me with alot of financial responsibilities when she quit her job. I had to suffer and pay for many things in the house for the last 2 years. It’s been very taxing on me. Also, I never wanted to date anyone else, Jane was the one who suggested we take a break from the marriage and see other people”

I couldn’t look up at my mother. What was this emotion I was feeling? Embarrassment? Shame? Guilt? Anger? Maybe all rolled up in one like a bowl of fried rice?

“I didn’t know…..I didn’t know you were having so many difficulties. I’m sorry. I should have never quit my job. I thought that you were supportive of me. I didn’t know you were suffering. I’m so sorry.” I said, my voice breaking up.

“Why did you suggest to date other people, Jane? You can’t do this in a marriage.” My mother asks me.

“I…..I….I was desperate mum. I didn’t know what else to do. We… we were,” I can’t tell her the truth yet, I’m still too embarrassed to talk about, especially not when Marianne is in the room.

“Son, you know that with family around, everything can be solved, any argument, any fight can be resolved. Are you sure you want to leave Jane for this woman?” My Dad looks at Gideon right in eyes.

For this, I look up from my hands. I’d been digging my nails into my fingertips but for this, I look up at my husband. I want to see it. I want to see him say the words.

“Yes Dad. I’m leaving your daughter for Marianne.” His eyes don’t blink, and his shoulders are relaxed. His composure is so……………eerily calm, so unfamiliar. He doesn’t show a single strand of remorse at all.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt this because I see only shock on my parents’ faces, my mum’s lips tightly shut while my dad’s mouth gaping slightly ajar. No one can process the amount of shock in this room.

I can’t take my eyes off Gideon, who doesn’t dare look at me. Instead, his firm gaze locked onto my dad’s is broken when we all hear a soft sob, someone crying.

It’s not me crying but Marianne. “I’m so sorry everyone…Gideon, are you sure about this? You have to reconsider. Marriage is sacred, it’s not a game. Are you sure you want me?”

“Yes, I’m very very sure. ” He replied.

“You told me that you would tell her, you told me that you would leave her. But yet I find out that you never told her about me. Are you going to keep lying to me?”

“No, I will never lie to you again, I’m sorry I didn’t tell her sooner, I will never lie to you again.”

I turn to my parents and I said, “I’m sorry daddy and mummy, I’m so sorry. But Gideon and I cannot stay together anymore, Marianne might be pregnant”

I hate that I dropped them another bombshell, but I couldn’t stand listening to their declarations of love to each other in my marital house, sitting on the sofa we bought together, sitting in the house we built together, breathing the same air as my parents who have only ever considered him as their son, never someone who would hurt their daughter this much.

“Just promise me, before you two decide on anything else, sleep on it. Don’t make anymore rash decisions. Okay?” my mother said, as she stood up, a clear sign of ‘Fuck this, i’ve had enough tonight, I’m going home to sleep.’

My parents leave and I realize I’ll be left alone with Gideon and Marianne so I tell him to take her home. He looks at me with pitiful eyes and before he can even say anything, I said, “It’s okay. Just go”

I pour myself another big girl glass of gin, tilt my head backwards and let all of the alcohol wash the pain down my throat. I let the gin swirl around with my pain, and feel it sit in my stomach. There, 18 months later, my pain still sits – like an unwanted guest that came in the middle of the night, robbing away all that I had in my life.

Ep2: You didn’t know? I might be pregnant

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.

Marianne arrives and Gideon goes down to meet her. I polish off the glass of scotch, by now already diluted with the ice that has melted.

Without thinking, I call my parents. “Mum, Dad, you have to come. Gideon has a mistress and she’s over at our house.” “We’re coming”

I sit on the sofa and my eyes dart up instinctively to the photographs above our television. Our pre-wedding photos. We had flown to Melbourne to take them, and in them we looked beautiful. The photographer definitely did a good job, because even looking at them now, I remember asking myself why I didn’t feel more happy than I thought I would be. I remember wondering, is this it? Is this what real love feels like?

When you have never seen a whale for yourself, it’s hard for anyone else to describe to you.

Now that I have, I know that what Gideon and I had was never love. It was two people full of hollow pits, wanting for someone else to fill them up with something, anything.

Reality interrupts my thoughts when I hear them speaking downstairs. We only live on the third floor and I go to our balcony where I see them smoking downstairs. They’re not touching each other, just sitting side by side, but I see her for the first time. She’s wearing an oversized white shirt and denim shorts, and she has a big tattoo on her thigh. She has long black hair and a rather big bust. She’s not as I imagined her to be. But then again, he never really had a type in terms of appearance.

Later on, I would realize that he did indeed have a type – the empath, the people pleaser, the type with insecurities that he would find out and later use to manipulate them.

He looks up in my direction and I quickly duck away.

Moments later, they enter the door and I greet her with an awkward hug. I was on autopilot. I didn’t know how else to greet my husband’s other woman. “Let’s have a drink shall we?” I suggested. After all, we did have a bar in the house, and boy did I need a drink or three.

He walks towards the bar and begins pouring the both of them scotch, the very same one that I just drank. Turning towards me, he asks, “And what would you like to drink?”

I couldn’t hold my words back. “Seriously? I’ve been with you for 3 years. You met her barely a month ago and you’re asking ME what I want to drink?”

“How would I know? You always change what you want to drink.”

I roll my eyes so hard I could feel them hit the roof of their sockets. “Gin please.” I said. Ain’t no way in hell am I drinking what they’re drinking.


My parents arrive, and they’re clearly confused with the situation.

Suddenly, I regret having called them. Instead of having a 5-way conversation, I take Marianne’s hand and lead her to the master bedroom, leaving Gideon with my parents.

In my master bedroom, we sit on the floor and I can already feel tipsy – must have downed that glass of gin too fast. We talk about things I don’t remember now, but I ask, “Have you two slept together?”

“Oh…..didn’t you know? Didn’t he tell you? I might be pregnant”