Sunday, November 17, 2013

#3

#AD

"Your account currently has 0.18$ in it."

My laptop's screen stared at me, unblinking. Boxes of canned and packet food, along with water bottles surrounded me in the small hostel room of mine. I still have no idea what took over me, but I practically emptied my bank account overnight in anticipation of what was going to happen. As usual, being the pessimist that I was, I feared the worst. 

The shopping trip had been nothing but a mess. The supermarket that I first went to was packed with panicked people, mostly who were older than me. I did not know whether they were stocking up for rumoured martial law that will be kicking into effect or if they somehow knew about the zombie outbreaks, and was preparing for it in case something similar happened in Singapore. But I was not the only one who thought about preparing for a situation where one has to stay put in a place for long. As I looked at the long lines of people emptying the aisle, I was afraid that this would not be the only trip that I was making. For all the commotion though, at least civil order has not broken down yet. Panicked as they were, at least these people were still queuing up to pay.

The number at the screen kept staring back at me. I emptied my bank account thinking about how useless money would be in case the worst case scenario came true. However, looking at the cardboard boxes that filled my room then, I was starting to question the wisdom of my decision. Was I overreacting to an Internet article and my own speculation about it? What if nothing happens in the end and everything returns to normal tomorrow? I definitely would have a hard time explaining the numerous boxes in my room. Not to mention that I might have to survive solely on canned food for very long. And how would I begin to explain to my parents about the empty bank account?

Nevertheless, I could not ignore the ongoing developments of the situation around me. There was a nagging feeling that somehow things are just going to get worse and I might as well to be sure that I was well prepared for it.

My parents had called me to ask whether I was able to make it back home first while waiting for the riots and protests that were happening around the island to die down, but by the time I noticed how bad the situation in Singapore was getting, it was already almost impossible to find a way out. Bus services were already suspended and all flights are put on indefinite hold due to restrictions on air travel. If there was any way out from the island you have to literally swim. Luckily, they did not know about me cleaning up the bank account.

So I told my parents that I would wait and see if the situation would cool down or if there was any opportunity to leave. The situation in my hometown itself was far from normal though, with Malaysia itself taking its own version of witch hunting, so I was not sure if I could make it home safely even if I am able to cross the border. I asked my parents to hunker down and reassured them that I will take care of myself. There was a sense of despair in my mum's voice as we hung up, but as much as I wanted to teleport home straight away, the situation was simply too chaotic to allow for it. 

There was nothing else that could be done by then, so I simply sat amidst all my boxes and waited. 

#4


*****

P/s: As this is a work in progress and as I am trying to finish the story before November ends and not forgetting that I have work from 9-6 everyday, there might be grammar errors here and there and if you spot one, I would sincerely apologize for it. I am looking to publish this story, so if you spot any spelling or grammar mistakes, I would greatly appreciate it if you could let me know by dropping a comment after each post. Proofreading your own work is confusing after all. I won't forget your kindness!





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