I got to know her while I was fresh out of secondary school, having been assigned as an instructor to a uniform group in the same cluster. She was one of those girls who did not stand out, and kept to herself most of the time. Looks-wise, I would say she was average, as most Singaporean Chinese girls are at that age (Secondary 1). Long-hair (Up to her waist.), tied in a pony-tail, flat-chested, no figure to speak of. As expected, I paid no attention to her or any of the other girls in the uniform group. Besides, it would be illegal if I had tried anything with any of them, and instead of sitting behind this computer screen, I would probably still be sitting behind bars, hopefully on soft ground, as my ass would probably be sore from the treatment I would be getting, not just from the rotan, but the other inmates (I am sure everyone has heard about how rapists and pedophiles are treated in prison.).
Well to cut the long story short, I was playing snooker with my neighbor one Friday night (Or should I say Saturday morning, as it was close to 3 am.), when my hand phone beeped. As I was concentrating on the game, I decided to ignore it. Then it beeped again. Frustrated, I put down the cue and checked my phone. I had received 2 messages from an unknown number.
“Hi! Hope I am not bothering you! How are you? =p” – The first one looked something like that, I cannot really recall the content of the message, but I definitely remember the smiley.
OMG, who is sending me such messages at this time? I showed the message to my neighbor.
“Dude, you have a stalker, now can we get back to the game?” was the un-interested reply.
I checked the second message.
“Sorry if I woke you! Bye! =p”
Curious, I replied with a simple “You are?” and proceeded on with the game.
Strangely, there was no reply so I ignored the message.
At around 5 am, we went for breakfast at a coffee shop and went home. I fell asleep when I got home and was awakened by an sms barely 2 hours later.
Who the fuck is messaging me so early? I cursed as I reached for my phone. It was only 8 am.
“I am Shirley. You’re not coming for training? =p”
Who the fuck is Shirley? And what training was I supposed to go for?
Then it dawned upon me. At that time, I could not put a face to the name, but Shirley was one of the Secondary 1 girls who was in my uniform group. And I was half an hour late.
I jumped out of bed and hurriedly took a shower, changed into track pants and my instructor polo tee, grabbed my phone, wallet and cigarettes and dumped it into a bag and rushed out of the house. On the way, I called my co-instructor and told him that I had overslept.
As expected, I went through training like a zombie. My co-instructor, who was from my secondary school kindly oversaw my portion of the training, being understanding enough that I had a late night. Or maybe he was just trying to show off how hardworking he was to the female co-instructor who I think he had a crush on.
After training, and after getting dirty looks from the other instructors during the debrief, I stumbled out of the school and headed to a bus-stop 2 stops away from the one I usually took a bus from as I wanted to smoke.
I stood away from the bus stop as I did not want to irritate the other people waiting for buses with my smoke.
I lit up and took the first puff and assumed that I was safe (I was still underage at that time.). Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“Hey, I didn’t know you smoked!”
Thinking it was one of my co-instructors, I turned around and nearly choked.
One of my juniors was standing there with a disapproving look on her face. I stole a quick glance at her name tag.
So this is Shirley, I thought and decided against asking her to mind her own business.
Me: “Er, long story.”
I tried to explain and stubbed out the cigarette.
Shirley: “Why didn’t you reply to my sms?”
She looked up at me.
Despite not being very attractive when she was that age, one thing about Shirley stood out. It was her eyes. They were large and doe-like, and when she looked at you, it was hard not to be mesmerized. It was too bad that she chose to hide them behind ugly spectacles then.
Me: “Oh, you message me ah?”
I decided to use Singlish in an effort to be friendly. Little did I know that she had actually spent most of her childhood in Australia, and spoke relatively good English.
Shirley: “Yes, I did. Were you asleep?”
Me: “Er, ya, tired lah.”
Shirley: “Could you not speak like that? I am not used to it.”
Me: “Opps. Sorry.”
Shirley: “So why are you smoking?”
Ok, I have to give it to her, she was persistent.
Me: “Bad habit. Stressed. Stuff like that.”
Shirley: “I am sure there are other things you can do.”
Shirley: “Play sports, read a book, you know?”
Me: “I do all that. Doesn’t really help.”
Shirley: “Do you have a girlfriend?”
My my, where was this leading to? And boy was she fast. I hardly knew her for more than 6 months.
Me: “Nope. Why?”
I nearly wanted to ask her if she was interested, but held back to see what would develop.
Shirley: “Well, if you had one, she would probably not like you to smoke, and you would stop!”
Damn. She was not interested.
Me: “If that’s the case, I will find a girl who smokes as well!”
Shirley: “Ok, you are mad, I won’t bother you anymore.”
She turned to walk off.
Me: “Hey! I was just kidding.”
She stopped and turned around, her pony-tail swishing as she turned (That’s something I found cute about her, too bad she doesn’t wear her hair in a pony-tail any more.). She walked back.
Shirley: “Are you free now?”
Me: “I might be? What’s up?”
Shirley: “I need some help with what was taught just now.”
And there I was thinking that she was not interested in me, but this surely sounded like an excuse to get me alone with her.
Me: “Which lesson was that?”
Shirley: “The **********”
Me: “Oh that. Hmm, I am not really the expert on that, but I will try my best. Did you ask the other instructors?”
Shirley: “I did not see any of them. And I was walking home and I saw you.”
Me: “Do you live around here?”
Shirley: “I am not supposed to tell strangers where I live, but I guess you could find my address in the nominal roll if you wanted to anyway.”
How cute. Then she pointed in the general direction of a block of flats.
Me: “So when do you need the help?”
Shirley: “I need to check with Diane (Another junior.), she needs help too.”
Damn. So it was not a ploy to be alone with me.
Me: “Alright, you have my number, let me know if you need help.”
Me: “Anyway, how did you get my number?”
Shirley: “There’s something called a nominal roll…”
Great. I was not dealing with a normal girl, but a smart-mouthed one. Well, it would be interesting having verbal battles with her.
Me: “Hey, my bus is here! Message me ok?”
Shirley: “Ok! Bye!”
I went home thinking nothing of it and not expecting her to message me. Even if she was interested in me, I can’t say that the feeling was mutual. After all, she was too young, and not really attractive to me at that time. Besides, I was more interested in computer games, snooker, clubbing, and the other stuff that guys my age did. The girls were a luxury. If I had one, well good for me, if not, I had other things to do.
Well, she did message, and I did meet up with her and Diane to help them out with the lesson. Obviously nothing happened between us then. But we got closer to each other, frequently exchanging sms every other day.
I found out that she was an only child and both her parents were working. She did not have many friends over here as she only moved back to Singapore when she was in primary 6. As far as I could see, her only close friend was Diane, the rest were more like acquaintances. In essence, I was like the brother she never had, hence I became her ‘god-brother’. I always felt an indescribable feeling (Not sexual mind you.), whenever she called me ‘kor’.
Despite being close, I never showed favoritism towards her as it would be unprofessional of me as an instructor. If she deserved to be reprimanded, she was; if she deserved to fail a test, she did. In any case, she never expected any favors from me. To her, I was seriously just a ‘sibling companion’.
We often went out to watch movies, play pool (Yeah, she was underage, but somehow managed to sneak in.). But we were never alone together, it was always group outings, mostly with my other juniors.
We were so close that one of the teachers’ in-charge of the uniform group actually confronted me and asked me what kind of illicit relationship I was having with one of her girls. It was so hard to explain it to her that I eventually gave up.
The only time I was alone with her was when she asked me to tutor her when she was taking her O levels. These tuition sessions were at her place, as it was quiet and no one was at home, it was easier to concentrate.
Another sign that I thought she might have been interested in me was her dressing whenever she was at home. She liked to wear over-sized t-shirts (Don’t they all?), and those shorts (Or was it hot pants? I seriously have no idea how to describe it.). The first few times, I was slightly aroused when I caught sight of her breasts and nipples (She was not wearing a bra.), but I got used to it after a while (Hey, I was her ‘brother’, not supposed to be having incestuous thoughts, am I?). There were also a few times when she sat on the chair with her legs propped up against her, and I swear she was not wearing any underwear. I was also pretty sure that she caught me staring at her all those times, but she did not bother to change her sitting position or pull the neck of her t-shirt up to stop me from peeking at her boobs.
In any case, our platonic friendship carried on till she enrolled in a polytechnic after getting her O level results.
By that time, I had already enlisted in the army, and hardly had time to meet up. My weekends were spent clubbing, or sleeping. But we still kept in touch through MSN and sms.
About one semester into her polytechnic life, she told me that she was quitting school and moving to Australia with her parents for a while. Her father was posted back there to undertake a higher managerial appointment by his company. Apparently, her parents worked for the same company, and somehow, the company had no issue with both of them going overseas.
I still recall one particular MSN conversation which I still keep. It was on the Sunday before the weekend that she flew off.
Shirley: “Kor, I am going back to Australia… =(“
Shirley: “Parents’ job…”
Me: “What about poly?”
Shirley: “I quit yesterday.”
Me: “Can’t you stay behind? Live with relatives?”
Shirley: “My parents think I am too young to be independent. And they want me to attend college in Australia.”
Me: “Hmm, ok. But do you want to stay here?”
Shirley: “I don’t know. All my life I have been following my parents wherever they go. And they are selling the flat. If I stay here, where can I live?”
Me (Joking.): “You can live with me! Haha.”
Shirley: “Really??? My parents will not allow that though…”
Me: “Just kidding, my parent’s will probably think I am keeping an underage sex slave in my room…”
Shirley: “What! You are disgusting!!!”
Me: “Joking… Anyway, when will you leave?”
Shirley: “Next weekend. My things have already been packed.”
Me: “Wow, that’s fast.”
Shirley: “Will you come send me off?”
Me: “Sure, why not? Will your parents’ mind?”
Shirley: “I don’t think so. They sort of know that I have a very close older male friend who’s not my boyfriend…”
Me: “Wow, what a description… Haha… Anyway, I need to go back to camp. Live-firing tomorrow.”
Shirley: “Ok, don’t forget to be there next Saturday! Terminal 2, 9 am.”
Me: “Wouldn’t miss it for the world!”
Well, as luck or fate would have it, I mis-fired a blank during the dry run for the live-firing on Monday and was charged and given stoppages of leave for 7 days.
I called Shirley on Friday night and explained what had happened. She seemed fine, but somehow I could detect a hint of sadness in her voice.
I told her I would call her just before she left, but she said that her phone line would be terminated that night.
I would have liked to chat with her longer before she left, but the mother-fucker of the company orderly sergeant suddenly decided to make us wash the toilets of the entire block.
So I bade her bon voyage and told her that we could still chat on MSN and email each other. She said she would miss me before hanging up, and I went to find the other confine-es who had already started to wash the toilets, while singing vulgar songs, mostly directed at the company orderly sergeant.
And that was the last I saw of Shirley.
Or so I thought.
Flash forward to 4 years later, I was still in the army as I stupidly decided to sign on. However, this time, I was the one who was making others wash toilets.
I was chatting with Shirley on MSN one night while on duty in camp.
Shirley: “Hey, are you free this weekend? On Saturday.”
Me: “Should be? You’re coming back?”
Shirley: “Yep. Can you pick me up from the airport?”
Me: “Sure, what about your parents?”
Shirley: “Er, let’s not talk about them.”
Me: “Did something happen?”
Shirley: “Maybe. I will tell you when we meet.”
Me: “Ok… What time’s your flight?”
And so it was settled. I was actually scheduled for duty on Saturday, but somehow or another, I managed to con a junior sergeant to take over my weekend duty. For a price, of course. It was worth it I guess, as I would get to see my god-sister after so long.
And so Saturday came and I drove to terminal 3. I hung around at the coffee club while waiting for Shirley‘s flight to touch down.
Soon, my phone rang. She had arrived!
Shirley: “I am back!”
Me: “Where are you?”
Shirley: “Take a wild guess!”
I looked around, but did not see anyone using a hand phone, as I turned back, I caught sight of someone vaguely familiar. It was Shirley.
She was still short (Shorter than me anyway.), and she no longer had long hair in a pony-tail. Her hair was now shoulder-length, and dyed auburn. From afar, she looked tanned and appeared to have a taut body. I think the reason why I could not recognize her was because she no longer wore spectacles, but had sunglasses perched on her head like a hair-band. I wondered if she had been cold on the plane as she was wearing really short shorts, and a t-shirt.
I finished my coffee and walked towards her.
As I got nearer, I saw that she had multiple piercings on both ears. A sign that she was wilder than before perhaps? She smiled at me and a glint of light appeared from her mouth. She was wearing braces. I smiled back, remembering the time when I had unsightly metal in my mouth too.
She put her bag back on the luggage trolley and came towards me.
Shirley: “Missed me?”
She wrapped her arms around me, pressing her soft breasts against my chest. Woah. Before she left, we hardly had any physical contact. This was a start. I estimated her chest to be at least a B cup, a far cry from the literally non-existent chest she had years back. I wondered if she had undergone breast augmentation. But they felt too soft to be fake. I did not know where I should place my hands, so I put them in the small of her back, just above her ass. My my, she was definitely more curvy than before. And her body was well toned. Athletic in fact, my kind of girl.
I felt a stirring in my loins, but quickly put the thought out of my head. We hugged for about a minute before breaking off. I took over her luggage trolley.
Shirley: “Wow, you are hard.”
I hoped she was referring to my muscles in my body and not the muscle in my pants.
Me: “Well, that’s what army does to you.”
Shirley: “Really? You’ve been working out a lot?”
Me: “Kind of. You?”
Shirley: “Yeah, I did surfing for a while in Australia.”
So that explains the tan and the toned body.
Me: “So, where are you going?”
Me: “And where might that be?”
Shirley: “The same place.”
Me: “I thought your parents sold the flat?”
Shirley: “They did. Sort of. They actually rented it to one of my dad’s friends. But he has got his own place now, so the flat is empty.”
Me: “Cool. And you’re alone? Where are your parents?”
Shirley: “They are still in Australia. I will tell you more later. Oh yeah, can you swing by my dad’s friends’ place? I need to collect the keys.”
And we continued chatting all the way to the car.
She had already completed her degree from RMIT. What a coincidence, I was doing distance learning with an Australian university too.
Along the way to collect her house keys, I could not help but sneak glances at her. She was not hot and sexy, but there was something about her.
Shirley: “What are you looking at?”
Me: “Just admiring how you’ve grown.”
Shirley: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Er. You grew bigger.”
Shirley: “You mean my boobs?”
I was stunned for a while.
Me: “Er. Yeah.”
I contemplated asking the question.
Me: “Did you go for surgery?”
Shirley: “No! They’re real!”
She acted pissed.
Me: “Really? Can’t tell. They seem much bigger than the last time I saw you.”
Shirley: “Haha. That was 4 years ago. Ever heard of puberty?”
Me: “Are you sure? They seem too shapely to be real.”
Shirley: “They are real! I am wearing a good bra!”
Me: “I still don’t believe you.”
Shirley: “You want to touch them to see if they are real?”
What the. That was pretty direct. But it could be a trap. Maybe she was testing me. I had to think of a suitable response.
Me: “Are you daring me to touch your boobs?”
Shirley: “Well, I am sure you’ve touched many other boobs while I was gone…”
In actual fact, I had not. I did not even have a girlfriend. Most of my time was devoted to the army. I did pick up the occasional girl while clubbing but nothing really developed.
Me: “Well, yes and no. I don’t have a constant supply of boobs to grope…”
This was purely to test her reaction…
Shirley: “That’s just too bad then…”
Damn. She did not catch the hint…
And we continued chatting about other random stuff until we reached her dad’s friend’s place. I waited in the car as she went up to collect the keys.
About ten minutes later, she reappeared at the lift lobby with a guy who looked around her age. They appeared to be chatting animatedly.
Just before she reached the car she turned around to hug him, and gave him a peck on the lips. I wondered who he was…
Me (As she was getting in the car.): “Wow, you are barely back an hour and you already have a boyfriend!”
Shirley: “Haha. Wouldn’t you like to know…?”
Me: “So who’s he? No introductions?”
Shirley: “My my, why do I detect a hint of jealousy?”
Me: “Who me? You’ve got to be kidding. I look much better than him, not to mention probably fitter…”
Shirley: “Haha! That’s definitely jealousy…”
Shirley: “Ok, no more jokes, he’s my dad’s friend’s son. Haven’t seen him in a while.”
Me: “So you kissed him? On the lips?”
Ok, that definitely sounded jealous on my part.
Shirley: “What’s wrong with that?”
And she leaned over and gave me a peck on the cheek.
Shirley: “See! I kissed you too!”
Me: “Right. That doesn’t count…”
Shirley: “Well, what do you want then?”
Me: “Nothing, nothing… Let’s just get you home…”
We drove in relative silence until we reached her place. I had not been past the area in a while and was surprised to see that the estate had been upgraded. It was surrounded by lush greenery, multi-storey car parks with roof gardens, lift lobbies on every floor. Hell, even the bus stop where we first met was upgraded.
Shirley: “This doesn’t look like home…”
Me: “Yeah, the place has changed since you left.”
I parked the car at the multi-storey car park and helped her with her luggage.
She appeared pensive of her surrounds, as if they were new, and not the place that she had spent 6 years of her life at.
We were silent as the lift carried us to her floor. Soon enough we reached the door of the four-room flat she used to live in.
Me: “Hey, where’s the furniture?”
The house was an empty space, like burglars had made off with everything in it.
Shirley: “Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you.”
Shirley: “Could you follow me to buy furniture?”
Me: “Well… Okay… When?”
Shirley: “How about now?”
Me: “Anywhere you have in mind?”
Shirley: “Let’s go to Ikea!”
So back to the car it was to get some stuff for Shirley‘s ‘new’ house. It seemed strange at first that she would come back to Singapore without her parents to an empty house. It kept me thinking what exactly was going on. The drive to Ikea at Tampines was mostly in silence. I assumed she was thinking of what furniture she was going to buy.
How wrong I was.
Me: “So where are your parents?”
She did not answer, but merely looked out of the window. I turned towards her. She seemed to be in a daze.
Me: “Are you alright?”
Shirley: “Watch the road.”
Something did not seem right. At the next traffic junction, I turned to her again. Tears were flowing down her cheeks. She was crying silently.
Me: “Hey! What’s wrong?”
I grabbed some tissue from the dashboard and offered it to her.
Me: “Are you ok?”
She still refused to say a word. I decided to drive to Ikea quickly to park the car and try to talk to her.
Me: “Hey, we’re here, what’s wrong?”
Again, there was no reply. Instead, she leaned over and pulled me towards her, burying her head in my left shoulder. By now, she was sobbing openly. Awkwardly, I tried to comfort her, snaking my left hand around her waist, and stroking her hair with my right.
Shirley: “My dad was promoted to managing director. He had an affair with his secretary. My mom found out and left the company for a rival. They are in the midst of divorce proceedings. I didn’t want to stay there anymore.”
Me: “Woah. That’s bad.”
Wow. That was all I could say. Army must really be fucking my brains up.
Shirley: “Dad said he was sorry, but didn’t want to reconcile. He said I was free to choose what I wanted to do as I am an adult now and that he would support me financially. Mom didn’t give a damn.”
I remembered that she once told me that she was closer to her dad than her mom.
Me: “So you decided to come back? The flat?”
Shirley: “Dad said it is mine as long as I am still his daughter. He wires money over monthly.”
I seemed to have stumbled upon a gold mine.
Me: “So what are you going to do?”
Shirley: “I don’t know. Just help me settle in.”
She released me from her embrace and wiped her tears. I could tell she was still struggling to pick up the pieces. As her god-brother, I ought to be there for her. Seeing that I was the closest thing to ‘family’ she had now.
Well, to cut the long story short again, we practically spent the entire day at Ikea looking for furniture for the house, before crossing over to courts for electronics, and later on to giant for toiletries, bath towels and snacks. I seriously wondered if there was a limit to her credit card.
As we walked, her arm was hooked with mine, much alike a recently married couple who were shopping for their new flat. I did not know what I was supposed to be feeling. But the feeling I had at that time was one of contentment, as if Shirley was the one I would spend my life with. Not to mention the funding from her generous father.
In the short span of a few hours, she, or rather we, had racked up a total nearing 5 figures, practically 4 times my salary.
She got a simple sofa set for the living room, a television cabinet, some shelves, a couple of lamps, rugs and miscellaneous knick-knacks. Ikea must really have a good marketing campaign.
For the master bedroom, she bought a king-sized bed and one of those mattresses that were supposedly good for your spine, another television table thingy, more lamps, shelves etc.
She intended to convert one of the spare bedrooms into a study room and thus more money was spent on tables, chairs, and you guessed it, more shelves.
For a person who has never bought anything from Ikea my entire life, I was actually impressed by the wide range of home furnishings available at one location.
Electronics-wise, Shirley purchased a 42′ LCD television for the living room and a 24′ one for her bedroom. Then came the refrigerator, washing machine and microwave oven. She almost purchased a desktop, but I managed to convince her to get a DIY one from Sim Lim Square, telling her that I would configure one for her. I could not stop her from getting the netbook though. And on hindsight, getting one from Courts was probably a better idea due to the warranty and stuff.