I had the privilege of attending my JC teacher’s solemnization ceremony today. It was the classic fairy tale: JC boy likes JC girl, he pursues her, they get into a relationship that lasts beyond NS and university. They make it big in their respective fields and now it’s finally time to settle down, and build a nest.
I definitely would like to congratulate them, they have weathered through thick and thin. Yet, this one evening made me realise the contradictions in my own (nonexistent) love life.
Running a little late, I took a cab from the MRT station to the hotel that the function was at. In that short time the taxi driver made me question things. He started by pointing out that I should be bringing a girlfriend to such an occasion. I quietly replied that I didn’t have one. He immediately went “get one la”.
I politely told him that I was waiting for NS to be over, that I wouldn’t have time for a girl etc. He nicely asked me,”Ah but you surely got target one right? Why never chase her?”
I was stunned. Here, a stranger was probing me on my love life failures. Was he teasing me, or encouraging me?
Deciding to play along, I quietly replied that yes, I did have a ‘target’ during my JC days, and that I did try to ‘chase her’. It was the partial truth. I went on to explain that she was now in uni and that I, being in NS would have no time for her, she would have better guys to choose from, she is probably attached yada-yada. He then said this.
“If you really like her, then you must pursue her right? Even if she likes other guys you don’t want to give her up, right?”
I sat there stunned. He put it succinctly in two sentences what all those Twitter and Instagram motivational quotes say; if you want it, you got to work for it.
I slowly muttered in agreement. I couldn’t tell him about the things at the back of my mind (the was Chinese, I was Indian, she was a high flier, I was a JC repeat student etc). Yeah, we knew each other and we dropped hints to each other but to the outside world, perhaps even to her<i/>, whom I’ll refer to as AT, this would be called an Infatuation.
I spent the remainder of the trip, a few harrowing minutes, listening to what he said about how I should have pursued her if I’d really fancied her. He even took a wrong turn because he was too engrossed in the subject. But I eventually reached the hotel where the solemnization was, after the complimentary love lecture.
Now, fate had destined that AT would attend this solemnization. I has realized this only a few hours before the event (no, I don’t stalk anyone). So once I’d linked up with my old classmates I was busy catching up with them, writing the card etc. Then, she walked past, with her friend. My friend knew her friend, and he said hi. I said ‘hello’ to AT. But she didn’t reply, and looked away.
It was a slap in the face. I awkwardly looked away until they had walked on. What could be done? Fate was playing with me here. The girl who I thought liked me at one point, pretended to not see me. A random taxi driver had just told me to pursue that girl
I liked, and at the first block I stumble, and land on my face.
It took me a bit of willpower to normalize. Pretty soon I had put it past me and was taking in the atmosphere of the wedding.
Weddings are just beautiful things. We had been invited to just the the solemnization. It was very touching, to see one of your favourite teachers at their happiest. It makes you question, what would it be like to find that right person. Yes, the estate of matrimony is a lifetime investment with no physical returns, but it is a beautiful one.
Soon, it was coming to an end. My classmates and I were walking out. We’d stopped to talk to others, and when we started walking, I noticed AT, standing at a corner markedly staring at me. Upon seeing me glancing at her she looked away.
What was going on? I was terribly bewildered but I guess that is the way life works. It tempts you with things, plants ideas in your head and creates ambiguous situations. But it is up to you, the end user, to decide what you really want. For me, I had long ago decided that AT was not the right person for me. Perhaps this whole saga was just life telling me to stick to that decision.