Are you kidding me? Am I going to be the only guy in the class? My mind outpaced my steps as I slowly walked on the viridescent, greenish field grass under the bright sunshine.
There were about fifteen girls in front of me as I stood behind the last one, lining up for morning assembly. I was early ten minutes, and when the assembly finally begun, a couple more girls had stood behind me.
Before coming to SAJC, I had been in two all-boys school. Surely I would like a change of scenery, but wasn’t being the only guy in your class rather extreme? Only later I found out there was another guy, only one, in my class. He was not in the line because he was late.
He was an awesome classmate. We and four other girls from our class formed a small group. We kind of hanged out together often in the beginning of the semester. I used to call this little group a clique, but after googling it and read what it could be interpreted as, I wouldn’t call us a clique, because we were actually friendly to our classmates. We were just closer to each other.
I was really happy with my classmates. I grew close to many of them, and in general, our class had a good chemistry. We began our school year with high spirit, and I did too!
Did you remember how I said how I learned not to procrastinate? Apparently, I hadn’t learned it the hard way. Ensuing successful comeback at O-level made me overconfident on how well I would do if I had to play catch-up again. What I didn’t know at that juncture was that A-level was a whole different monster. You couldn’t just be carefree and not expect the consequences. My first major exam went okay. By okay I meant Bs and Cs. This was understandable since the first mid-term was all about basic concepts; some were even repeating topics from O-levels. Even so, I still could not get a single A.
It only got worse from there. The further I fell behind, the lazier I got. Surprise, surprise…
Life is full of surprise. It had always been. My academic hardship had actually never been the highlight of my junior college (JC) life, and I am about to share with you what was. Life was about to throw me another curveball I never expected.
The Moment It Began
It was just an ordinary day like any other days. We just came back from PE period and had one hour break before Biology lecture. I sat in the middle of the lecture hall with my peeps. My body was still sore from running six laps on SAJC track. Air conditioners in the hall blew a soothing air passing through my hair, and ten minutes into the lecture, it almost lulled me to my afternoon siesta. One hour lectures always seemed like an eternity to me. I could not wait to step outside, crack my neck and get on with my life.
The digital clock on the back wall of the room showed one-thirty. We were only halfway through. As I was about to doze off, one of my friends asked me, “why did you pang seh me yesterday?” Pang seh is a Singaporean slang, which means abandon. The day before, I supposedly promised her to walk with her to the MRT, short for Mass Rapid Transit, station. It was a train station, basically. I turned to her, and I saw how disappointed and upset she looked. My first reaction was, “really?” instead of “I am sorry.” Although my first instinct was to apologize to her since she was my close friend, my pointless pride made me question the validity of her question.
As beautiful as she was, she was a stern individual who was not afraid to stand by her opinion. I argued with her on how she was mistaken, and after a couple of heated exchanges on rather quiet lecture hall, other students started noticing our raising tone. Some heads turned and three or four people looked at us, not counting those who were behind us, of course.
At that moment, time slowed down and everything seemed to be in slow motion. Her voice was drowned in the background, muffled and fading from my consciousness. I could feel a squeezing sensation on my chest. My heart palpitated, and I was out of breath for few seconds. When I regained back my senses, my body temperature had significantly increased despite how breezy the hall was. So, I began sweating and my face blushed like a cherry tomato.
My other friends took notice of these changes as I suddenly became quiet and tried to comprehend what had just happened to me. One of my friends who sat in between me and the girl I pang seh asked me why I sweated. I was speechless, literally. I mumbled, “don’t know.” The remaining twenty-eight minutes of the lecture were blurs to me. All I know was that day was the inception of my darkest days, infused into my supposedly mundane daily life.
Intermezzo and some messages!
Dear friends and readers,
In the next few days, I am going to share with you some things I have only told my closest friends. I used to fear the consequence of sharing, but I realized I am who I am because who I was. I am grateful of who I am today because I have survived many ordeals, and become a better person. To those who knew me personally, I might seem aloof nearing the end of my JC life, especially to my classmates. Perhaps, by reading this, some things would be better explained!