Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Wednesday, September 17, 2003


I stirred awake with a searing ache in my heart, praying that ‘’it’’ was only a dream, at the same time fearing it was real, and therefore not wanting to get up to face ''reality''.

''C'mon, it's only a dream; it can't be real. Even if it is, be brave! Life goes on,'' I tried to talk myself out of bed.

I lingered a while, and finally confirmed it was only a bizarre nightmare - that one of my ex was going to wed my cousin, 14 years his senior! Why such a weird dream?! Could it because she is recently single again, and she has a penchant for dating men his nationality?!

And why such a searing pain after all this while - including the urge to puke? I rarely ache so much after break offs. The last one that hurt so bad that I needed to puke was more than 10 years ago.

Oh well, you can't explain things.....

I went about my routine - and reached out for my jar of face cream. It came crashing down breaking into smithereens and a million pieces of glass shattered on the floor. (Symbolic of my past heart break I guess?!)

Oh well, it was only face cream.

I went to work; I found a leaky bag of wholemeal flour a kind colleague gave me; I found a packet of confectionary with a sweet note in French another kind colleague placed on my desk; I smiled to myself, and reminded myself to thank them no matter how hectic the day was going to be. I continued my routine: I holed myself in a locked meeting room; I faced pressure; I skipped lunch; I got pissed off; I left the office to go for a jog before rushing home to take a 9 pm conference call.

Gosh the run did me good! I sniffed the familiar sweet smell of terminalia serecea trees lining the French Embassy entrance of the Botanic Gardens, said hi to the serene black swans, envied the carefree kids running around, stared at the ponds, paths and plants, and told myself, ''hey - at least you can now run (unlike a few months ago), you have sunshine, you are healthy.... life isn't that miserable - pressure at work is only temporary...''

I returned to the gym to stretch; I had a nice shower; I dressed, telling myself I still have some time for a quick snack before I made it home for the 9 pm conference call. And if I was quick, I might even be able to make some muffins with that wholemeal flour before the call! I put on my pendant; I wore my tourmaline ring. And I discovered my diamond solitaire ring missing.

My calmness scared myself. I emptied my shoe bag, my toiletries pouch, my handbag, my plastic bag... and I could not find it.

I gave my contact details and told my story to the towel counter staff. I told the gym front desk. The Manager came to see me at the cafe where I was having my snack to take a statement. He was very pleasant and helpful (and curious about my matter of fact-ness.) Maybe because I was calm and un-blaming and equally pleasant, and told him all I wanted was for them to call me should they find it?

Oh it's only a ring, I told myself. It’s only a ring. What is material thing? It's only a stone. Yep - only a stone. A stone bought with hard earned money. But its only money - I am lucky I am healthy and have great friends and family right? I am lucky I can be so cool about the whole thing right?

I went home, washed my sweat soaked gym gear and was 10 minutes late for the call. The only other person on the call was my American counterpart. We chattered and waited and wondered why no one else dialed in. She checked her email - and found that the latest email just came in - to say the call has been cancelled. But we did have a good chat and I did have a ready listening / empathetic ear for my day's adventures! She told me to go drink some wine - it helps, she swears. Some things can never be explained - like how my ring can get lost even though I have been placing them in my locker all these years; like how I could have lost an onyx one at Joanna's after PT; or how I could just lose my EZ Link card just after a bus ride.

Surely Sunday's church sermon must have been for me - the pastor quoted a children's book called ''my terrible horrible no good day'' when everything went wrong.

But - surely there must be something ''successful'' today before the day ended? Instead of burning my liver with alcohol, I decided to bake some cookies using the flour given to me (and was all prepared for disasters like - out of sugar, out of butter etc at the late hour of 9.40 pm when stores are closed)

At least the cookies turned out good. I went to bed, praying I won't get another heartbreak nightmare.


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