First Loveby Tiongho Poh Mechanical Engineer
The rain was pouring down and the whole atmosphere was dim. Lights were switched on in one of the hostel sitting rooms. The college term had just begun. The sitting rooms of this
David sat in an armchair and was browsing through a local paper. There were three vacant chairs at this round table. Outside the sitting rooms, the water with ripples was flowing across the road to the plunging valley. This was only his first week at college. Though the weather was cold and wet, it was not as cold as to make people feel uncomfortable. He heard the footsteps of a student coming down stairs. A young lady with dazzling beauty, aged 20, was descending. She looked round the three sitting rooms, two of them were empty. She approached the one that was the closest.
"Hello. Good afternoon," she greeted.
" Good afternoon, " David looked up and nodded his head.
" It's a lovely place, isn't it?"
" Yes, that was why I came down to read some papers. Don't you think we should be grateful to those who made all these facilities available to us?
" I don't know who actually should get the credit. But if Senior Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew did not go to
Rita noticed him the first day the college term began and was waiting for the chance to know him better. What did she see in him? David must also admit he was very much fascinated by her beauty. She blossomed fully physically. He could not find fault with any part of her. Long and vivid hair matched her oval face. She had double eyelids and her perfectly white teeth were neatly arranged.
" How many brothers and sisters have you?" he asked.
" No brother but two sisters," she replied.
"I suppose you won't mind recommending me one of them? I still haven't got a girl friend."
" I'm sorry they're both attached."
" I know you too late then?"
Rita blushed and she wanted to say "No" but was too shy to do it. They went to have the dinner together and came back to the same place when the dinner was over.
Time passed quickly. They both did not want to leave but it was getting late at night. Though Rita was interested in him physically, David might not meet her expectations. On the other hand David had the burning desire to run up to her room and take her into his arms.
The next morning they went to have the breakfast together. In the evening they strolled past the lecture block, the lectures' quarters and down into the field. There were the trees which gave one the shade needed during the daytime when the sun was shining fiercely. There were the turns and sharp bends of the landscape which kept couples out of sight from thee hostels which were situated side by side. The yellowish and misty full moon enriched the atmosphere. They lay on the grassy slope which ensured that the field could be turned into a stadium because there were slopes all around.
David put his arms round her and kissed her on the lips and asked whether she enjoyed it.
"Yes," she answered shyly, wondering if she should tell the truth.
" Was it your first time?" she wanted to know.
" Yes. What about you?"
" I don't know."
" I guess you have many boyfriends?"
" Yes. They were all madly in love with me but I wasn't interested in any of them. Just a year ago I was jilted. That was why I took revenge on all the boys I could get hold of."
" Are you going to make me one of them?"
" I won't because I love you."
" Why do you love me?"
" They say love is blind. But maybe partly because you're handsome, clever, honest, serious and persistent."
" Are those all?"
" And I presume you're rich."
" What would you do if I'm not?"
" I would still love you."
" That's it Rita, you're my soul mate. I'm glad you don't pay much attention to money."
" Please don't blame those girls who do. How could one marry into poverty? Love really isn't so great as it appears in novels. In novels, people live without going to toilets, without foods, and whenever they need assistance God sends it from Heaven. First thing comes first. Can you love if you have nothing in your tummy?"
"Of course not."
" Oh David. You're fabulous. You're practical and intelligent. Just for argument sake- can we fall in love if we're very poor?"
" Of course we can," David who was always confident reassured her.
They returned to the hostels. As usual there was nobody around. David kissed her under the staircase, holding her so tightly that he almost sucked the life out of her.
This ardent and passionate young lady ran upstairs, wiping her beautiful mouth dry on the way. She lay on the bed and wondered if David was really rich. After all can't a poor guy buy expensive clothes to bluff girls? She wondered what she could do if he turned out to be a poor devil. Thousands of questions struck her before she fell asleep. The night was calm but rather hot. The rhythmic chirping sound of the male cicadas seemed to grow louder and louder.
Days passed and weeks were gone. Both of them went on as usual. David noticed her feeling for him had slowly gone cold. He consoled himself by thinking that was only the general behaviour of girls in love. The painful day had turned into months. Eventually, Rita refused to go out with him. The happier days when she would stand patiently on the shore at Sungei Tampines mouth watching David swimming over to Pulau Ubin and then swimming back towards her again were forgotten. Those happy days were of no significance anymore.
"What do you mean by avoiding me?" David asked her one day when they accidentally met at the college bus-stop.
Rita did not answer. When the bus came she stepped in. David followed her, still pressing her with the question.
"Will you please leave me? I don't want to see you. That's all. There are thousands of girls using the buses every day. Why don't you just stop one of them and talk to her. I'm sure you stand a chance."
At that moment, David felt that he could overturn the bus and that all the volcanoes on earth were erupting. He could have assaulted her in the bus but he still loved her.
"You bastard. Why do you want to leave me?" David grasped her by the shoulders and shook her.
She turned pale and sat still as if nothing had happened. The bus-driver cranked his neck around asking them not to quarrel. When the bus reached the City Hall she went her way. David caught another bus and returned to college. He was angry and nervous and did not take his dinner when he dozed off early that night. The next morning he was told that while Rita was in the lift on the 38th floor of a local hotel the previous night, the wire rope of the lift snapped sending the lift crushing down, killing or critically injuring all the people in the car. The safety device which would allow the lift to be lowered slowly to the ground was not installed. The maintenance record indicated that it was installed and was tested as perfect only a week ago by the hotel's maintenance crew. The record also indicated the wire ropes were load tested only three months ago. The truth was, those wire ropes were never load tested.
David rushed to see her at the hospital. She lay there on the bed, unable to move or talk. A few drops of tear rolled out of her eyes. David cried but the lady closed her eyes and was gone forever. Things are perpetually changing and surely nothing remains unchanged. Death is nothing but the temporary end of this temporary phenomenon. It is not the complete annihilation of you and me.
As David was walking out of the female orthopedics ward Roger was coming in. David waited at the corridor for him to return.
" You'll have to find another Chinese girl or you can bring back her corpse and sleep with her every night," David grinned at the competitor.
" If you didn't put pressure on her these days, she wouldn't have been dead. You fucking bastard," Roger retorted.
Roger walked into the crowd and was out of sight. He did not attend the cremation at the Bright Hill crematorium. David never met him for the rest of his life. The man who always had sex with her in the hotel room too failed to possess her even though he managed to separate Rita and David by leaking out the fact that David's father was only a toilet cleaner at the Tanjung Pagar Station. In realty there is nothing that belongs to us. Nothing remains unchanged.
The red jaguar Roger used to drive was borrowed from his uncle in
The illegal ecstasy pills Roger was selling could be hidden above the ceilings of the rooms or in the air conditioning ducts of the hotel rooms.. If the narcotic officers happened to find them, those drugs could be considered as left by the tourists who either forgot to collect them or did not want to collect them because the timing was wrong. Video recording of couples making love during the lunch hours were very common. Roger even successfully extorted some money from one lady who was a married woman and was a secretary to the company president whom she had offered her body. The movements of the couple from the minute they walked into the room until the moment they walked out of the room were clearly recorded. Just like many other married women, she paid the 5000
The only reason why Roger did not extort the president was that this man not only would not pay the extortion money to Roger, he would hire a killer, from
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Created on Mar 21st 2008 04:48. Viewed 154 times.