Monday, November 10, 2014

At the End of Everything #13

“Omg I love watching South Park too!” A new message greeted me in the app the next morning. Curious, I fired up the app to see whom was it from. In my half sleepy state, like I always do during the early morning commute, I saw that the message was from a girl called Jenny. She was probably commenting on a part of my profile that mentioned that one of my favorite cartoons was South Park.

It was unusual for a girl to drop a guy a message, so I found myself looking at her profile soon after. Aged 25, she was two years younger than me, and currently studying for a masters degree in a local university. Masters in science communication, her profile states. She seemed quite a cheerful person from the way she described herself. 

Life is like a box of sunshine, full of happiness if you know where to find them. That was what she wrote. The key to life was to just keep smiling, another line read. On a typical Friday night, she talked about exploring the sights and sounds of the island, uncovering any hidden gem that people might miss.

I clicked on her photos, to see how she looked like. She was certainly not as pretty or eye catching like Phoebe. but she had this smile that glowed. Slim figured and tall, at least that was what the photo showed, she has the everyday girl look. The one that you would call your buddy, or fist bump her on the shoulder. Looking at her photos and her profile, something inside of me stirred. It felt as if an invisible connection was formed. That connection reached out and pulled me in.

A part of me grew excited at the possibility of getting to know someone again. I hastily typed out a reply for her. “Yeah, South Park is like the most awesome show ever! Who is your favorite character?” I re-read the message again, just to make that it sounded alright. That I would not sound too disinterested, or too eager at the same time. Satisfied, I hit the send button, and hoped for the best.

Her reply came soon after, as I was reaching my school. Seeing that blinking notification light on my phone, I found myself suddenly becoming nervous. What her reply was going to be like? Would it be a good one, or an aloof one? Suddenly, I found myself caring again.

“Amen to that! I like Butters a lot! I think he is a very cute character, with a naive and simple perspective of the world. And he loves his friends too, though they always bully him! :(

How about you? Which character do you like most? And you mentioned you liked the outdoors a lot in your profile. What’s your favorite activity?”

I read the message several times over, crafting the reply that I had in my head. Reading her replies gave me a weird tingling sensation inside. I would describe it as happy, like the kind of feeling that makes your heart beat faster.

Before entering my class, I found myself standing near the staffroom corridor, hands hastily typing away. I replied her saying that I loved Kenny a lot, because he always seemed so cool, and he has the superpower of coming back from the dead. I tapped send, and watched the message get uploaded unto the small chat space that we were sharing.

Sliding the phone into my breast pocket, I wondered when she would reply. I actually found myself looking forward to it. A big smile plastered my face as I entered class that day, suddenly undeterred by the noisy students that welcomed me. It was strange, how a simple message from a complete stranger could affect my day that much.

Lunch that day was spent alone in the staff room, as I continued to exchange messages with Jenny. She told me that I was lucky because it was her free day and hence she was able to reply faster. I replied her saying that I should be considered lucky already because she chose to message me. She laughed in her next reply, saying that I am indeed a rare case, because normally she would not make the first move. But something in my profile caught her eye.

We continued to learn more about each other during that short one hour break that I had. Our messages were long and elaborate. In one, she talked about why she chose her field of study. “I have always been interested in teaching students, hence my major in science communication. I want to impart the knowledge of science to the the next generation, and to cultivate a better interest in science among them.” 

I told her that English language, especially the artistic expression of it, has always fascinated me. Which was why I took up English Literature. When she asked about my work, I told her that one could not possibly feed oneself by becoming a poet in Singapore, which was why I chose the path of teacher instead.

Before I knew it, my one hour break was already ending. After I told her that I had to leave, she said okay but not before sending a message that got me jumping in joy. It had a line that read,. “Speaking of which, you mentioned about hiking right? Have you tried Bukit Timah before? As a Singaporean, I have never been there. Why don’t we try going there as our first date?”

“Why not?” I tried to sound cool, but I was already looking forward to it. It was the first time everything happened so quickly, where a date was arranged on the first day we exchanged messages itself. A part of me felt thrilled by the thought of everything, while another part felt strangely suspicious. It seemed too easy, in a way. I suppose that when there is this bond that reaches out for two individuals, things will naturally get accelerated. It made me nervous.

“Just take everything slowly, and don’t overthink things,” Lucas sternly reminded me, when I told him about Jenny. “Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, but at the same time don’t let the past pull you too far down. Just take each moment as it goes, and see how things turn out.”

He certainly has the best quotes sometimes. 

*****

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P/s: Huzzah! That's 4 or 5 posts in one day? And I am back on track!


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