There were many girls at the party, but I couldn't help noticing her. She was
attractive in a different way. Her smile lit the room and her voice reminded me
of soft bells. She spoke to her friends just three feet away from where I stood,
eavesdropping near the buffet table while trying to look uninterested.
an impromptu party, organised soon after the final SPM exams. I was invited
because the party was at my best friend Michael's house. Michael is very popular
with the Convent girls. Well, there is also the fact that I knew how to use a
barbeque set properly.
Although I was outspoken and funny with the guys, I froze around girls.
Pretty girls in nice dresses made me completely tongue-tied. They just seemed so
mature and refined. Roger, as usual was boasting about his recent overseas
holiday. How I wished that I was as tall and as rich as he was. He was now
talking to her and I knew I didn't have a chance.
Suddenly, she left Roger's company and came over to the buffet. I was about
to faint in fright. She said a soft 'Hello' and I mumbled something back. She
asked me if I was 'T.J', and we struck a conversation that lasted most of the
night. I was on cloud nine. I even had the chance to take her home on my bike.
As I negotiated a corner in my dreamlike state, a stray dog ran across the
road. I lost control of my bike and we landed in a ditch. Covered in mud and
bruises, we lay in the ditch too stunned to move. I crawled over to her and
asked her if she was okay. She managed to sit up. Luckily, she suffered just a
few scrapes and a twisted wrist. I was even luckier as I was none the worse for
being flung into a ditch.
At that time, mobile phones were unheard of. Luckily there was a public phone
twenty feet away. I called Michael and Roger, who immediately dispatched a noisy
posse of bikers. We were taken back to the house as Michael's parents had just
come home, and his mother was a nurse. While Janet's wounds were cleaned and and
her wrist bandaged, I went upstairs to clean up and change into borrowed
When I came down, Janet had already gone home with her parents, who were
informed of the mishap. That was the last I saw of her, as her parents forbade
her from any more parties that involved Michael or me. Soon the STPM exams came
and went. It was time to go to college or work. Many went to university while I
settled for a job as I didn't do very well in the exams.
Some old friends had told me that Janet had gone to Singapore to study law. I
joined a shipping line as a cadet officer and gave up on seeing her ever again.
Years passed and one day I piloted my ship -- I was a captain by now-- into
Singapore. While on shore leave, as fate would have it, I ran into Janet at
Tangs on Orchard road. My heart skipped a beat and she smiled joyfully. We've
been married for fifteen years now.