It is the year 2023. I am a twenty-seven-year-old executive in an advertising
firm and leading a very hectic life.
"Dick, this is Ah Wah, your old school
chum. Remember me?" I momentarily hesitated as I tried to recollect whether I
had made the cardinal sin of forgetting my client's name. Then the words,
"school chum" rang a bell! Of course! It was the 'old' Ah Wah from secondary
I answered warmly, "You old rascal, how have you been?"
The upshot of our conversation was that I agreed to a meeting with Ah Wah and
two other classmates whom I had not seen since graduating from our secondary
Before the get-together, I thought about my friends fondly. Ah Wah, the
handsome boy in our class, would still retain his looks. Had he married our
pretty class monitress, with whom he had an on-off relationship? And how about
Morgen, the clever one who constantly topped our class. Was he already a doctor
as he aspired to be? As for Ahmad, would he still be the happy-go-lucky guy who
was constantly playing pranks?
At 1:45 p.m. on a Saturday, I strolled into the Raffles restaurant of the
Crystal Crown Hotel. I thought I would be late for the lunch scheduled at 1.30
p.m. Work problems had held me up. But I was wrong. The waiter ushered me to an
empty table reserved for our reunion.
Morgen was next to arrive. I had a shock when I saw him. The last I saw of
him, he was a scrawny teenager. Now standing
before me was a man with a muscular physique. His face had not changed much,
however. I quickly established that he was indeed a medical doctor practicing at
General Hospital. The shy Morgen I once knew was now married to a nurse with a
son to boot!
While we were thus animatedly discussing our past and comparing the changes
that had taken place in our lives, Ah Wah and Ahmad arrived together. There was
much slapping on the backs and then we proceeded to lunch. Ah Wah had not aged
much. His dashing looks were still there. And guess what? He was working as a
manager in Crystal Crown Hotel itself. That was why he arranged the lunch there.
We found out that Ah Wah was still eligible as his relationship with Janet had
not worked out. Ahmad was the one who experienced the most changes. He was quite
plump now and had a prominent belly. However, our main concern was that he had
suffered from cancer which was now in remission.
Time and sad events had mellowed him. His
business had failed. Ahmad told us that he was very keen on his faith, and his
demeanor was serious and not like the joker we knew of in the past.
In the course of our lunch, my friends also noted the change in me. I was now
more sociable and they were astonished that the shy teenager they once knew was
now a confident man. I also told the two bachelors (Ahmad and Ah Wah) that I was
in a serious relationship. It was time, I hinted, that they should settle down.
It was a very nice lunch. We enjoyed reminiscing about the good old school
days. Morgen, however, had to leave at 3 p.m. for a medical meeting. Before we
parted, we promised to make the get-together an annual one.