I attended an all-girls Catholic Primary School in Singapore, famously known as CHIJ. Being in an all-girls school, I was surrounded by girls five days a week so I hardly had the chance to meet guys (apart from my neighbours). Puberty hadn't hit at this point, so it wasn't that bad to be surrounded by girls all the time. Life in Primary School was great, and I loved every bit of it. However, after taking my Primary School Leaving Examination in Singapore, we left for Perth, Western Australia. In Australia, I attended a High School that was of a walking distance to our new house. It was a co-ed school. The first few days were tough. There were guys everywhere and their presence made me uncomfortable. It was something that I couldn't get used to, considering the fact that I spent the last six years being surrounded by girls.
Once, a guy came up to me and requested to borrow a pen. I struggled so hard to make eye contact, and when I eventually did, ended up telling him that I didn't talk to guys. Unfortunate for me, he yelled as loud as he could, announcing to my classmates that I was a lesbian. Upon hearing that, I felt so upset to be wrongly accused. Made myself a reminder never to answer a guy like that again, just in case another misunderstanding occurs in future.
As time went by, I slowly felt more comfortable around guys. Puberty had started by then. I began to notice guys, although none of them really appealed to me. One day, a friend told me that she had a crush on a guy. Feeling curious, I persuaded her to tell me who it was. After much persuasion, she told me that she would make me a deal. If I told her who I liked, she would tell me who she liked in return. In all honesty, it was a fair deal. Except, I didn't like anyone at the time. She refused to believe me despite my claims that I didn't have a crush on anyone. I was then told that the person could be someone that I found cute.
Told her that I found B cute. By that, I mean that I thought that he looked adorable (like a kid). She ended up asking him out for me, without my knowledge and permission. I was taken aback when she came back reporting to me that he had said yes to being with me. Although I didn't have any feelings towards him, I didn't know how to tell him the truth; that I only saw him as a friend. Thankfully, we 'broke' up after one week because I didn't seem interested (according to him). I felt so bad even though it was no fault of mine for leading him on. The funny thing was that we did nothing together, apart from sharing one hug. We didn't even hold hands or hang out with each other.
In my honest opinion, I wouldn't consider him one of my ex-boyfriends because:
1) I didn't have feelings for him to start off with.
2) We did nothing couple-like together.
3) It lasted a week with minimal interaction.
But I felt like it was important to discuss about my first interaction with a guy, just to give context to the story.
In High School, I was bullied for being Chinese and having a non-Australian accent that I ended up keeping quiet most of the time. I chose not to answer questions or talk to anyone, just because I didn't want to give anyone a reason to bully me. Unfortunately, doing this ended up igniting more bullying towards me. Classmates referred to me as mute, and would ask me to go back to 'China' (which I'm not even from). They would throw racial slurs at me, calling me Ching Chong and saying things like, "You eat rice everyday!" I cried everyday after school, kept praying that it was all a dream and that I was still studying in Singapore. It made me so upset that I ended up developing depression. My grades dropped drastically, from A to F.
Feeling lonely and depressed, I confided in an online friend on Friendster, a social networking website. R was Singaporean, also studying in Perth, and had come to Perth at the same time as I did. We shared many similarities, so it wasn't surprising that we got along very well. He would never fail to comfort me and was my pillar of support during those tough times. As time went by, I began to look forward to the end of each school day; just so that I could go home and talk to him on MSN. One fine day, he ended up confessing that he had something for me. There was butterflies in my stomach as soon as he confessed. There and then, I realised that I liked him too. It was the first time I experienced the feeling of love.
R and I met up at Westfield Carousel that weekend, still as friends since he hadn't officially asked me out yet. There was nothing to do, so we decided to watch a random movie at Hoyts cinema. During the movie, I jumped in fear at a scary scene. R held out his hand in an attempt to comfort me, to which I ignored, pretending that I didn't see his outstretched hand. After a while, I jumped for the second time at another scary scene. This time, he grabbed my hand and just held it tight. Needless to say, I couldn't concentrate for the rest of the movie. We didn't exchange many words that day, letting actions take over instead, as we walked out of the cinema hand-in-hand.
When I got home, my mum wanted to talk to me.
Mum: Where did you go today?
Me: Erm, Westfield Carousel.
Mum: With whom?
Me: A friend.
Mum: Guy or girl?
Mum: Alone or with friends?
Me: Alone. Why are you asking?
Mum: My friend saw both of you holding hands.
I had absolutely no idea that someone had saw me in Carousel, let alone holding hands with a guy. Because we weren't officially a couple yet at the time, I didn't say anything except giggle and run away from embarrassment of being caught.
The week after was my birthday, so he came over to my place to celebrate it with me as I was having a birthday party at my place. Upon picking him up from the nearby bus stop, R knelt down on one knee with a jewellery box in his hand and asked to be my boyfriend. It was so sweet, considering that it was the first time someone had done that for me. I nodded shyly, and he helped me put on a necklace (that he had bought for me as a birthday gift). Since he asked me out on the day of my birthday party, none of my friends knew that we were dating yet. Imagine their faces when they noticed us holding hands during the day. My friends weren't the only ones who found out that R and I were dating. In fact, my mum did too. We were talking in the kitchen when she noticed the necklace around my neck. "Who gave you that necklace? Your boyfriend?"
Feeling shy, I laughed nervously and skipped away, back to join my friends. Given my reaction, I think it may be safe to say that my mum took that as a 'yes' in response to her question. Every weekend, we would hang out together in the city. R would play snooker and pool with his friends, and I would just sit and watch. We would grab Bubble Tea and chill at a comic bookstore that he enjoyed hanging out at. Our relationship was really simple, but it made me really happy. One day, R called. He informed me that he would be going for a Church camp and would not be able to see me or contact me as he would be busy. With it being my first relationship, I couldn't help but be extremely clingy towards him. Hence, I pleaded for him not to go.
R comforted me, telling me that it was only 3 days. He would be back on on the 4th day, so we could see each other again after that. "Alright. But you have to call me or text me as soon as camp has ended. I'll miss you so much," I said. That 3 days felt like 3 months. I missed him so much that I would think of him every second. As you could possibly tell, I was crazily in love for him. Finally, the 4th day came. I waited by my phone all day, but no call or text message came through. I started to get worried. What if something happened to him?
After contemplating for a few minutes, I decided to send him a text message.
No reply. After two hours passed, my phone beeped, informing me of a text message. I ran to my phone, hoping that it was R. It was, but it wasn't the message I was hoping to see.
My heart dropped. It sounded serious. I logged into MSN as soon as it was 9 pm, and waited intently for him to come on. As promised, he came online and started chatting to me:
R: Hi. I have something to tell you.
M: Why do you sound so serious?
R: Let's break up.
M: *in shock* What? Why?
R: We aren't right for each other.
M: Why? What did I do wrong? Tell me please.
R: Nothing. It's me, not you. (Classic.)
M: Please don't break up with me.
R: Sorry. We have to.
M: Please. Tell me what I did wrong, I'll change.
R: Sorry, we can still be friends.
And...that was it. Strangely enough, I didn't shed any tears although my heart hurt so badly. I spent the next few days wondering what I did to R that he would want to leave me. The answer didn't come to me. We had never fought prior to the break up, and everything was good between us. It then dawned on me that he requested for a breakup right after he got out from Church camp. Maybe something happened there. That's the only possibility that I could think of.
That weekend, I hung out with my friends from school, attempting to distract myself from the recent breakup. Walking past the state library, my friend whispered, "Marie, is that your boyfriend? Look! He's holding another girl's hand."
Disclaimer: I didn't tell anyone about the breakup, so everyone thought that we were still together.
Looking up, that's what I saw. R was holding another girl's hand, walking past me. All of a sudden, he noticed me. Guess what he did? As soon as he saw me, he let go of the girl's hand and pretended that nothing happened between them. There and then, it hit me. He broke up with me because he met another girl at Church camp which he developed feelings for, which explained why he treated me so coldly when I contacted him. I had caught him red-handed, so his first reaction was to act guilty around me. I decided to walk away, ignoring his presence. My friends chased after me, persuading me to just cry it out. Shaking my head, I announced that I wouldn't cry over a jerk, for he wasn't worth my time. Truth was, however, that I was heartbroken. I had been cheated on by a guy for the very first time, and it had to be my first love.
Life was better in the 3rd year of High School. I began making more friends, and it wasn't uncomfortable for me to be around guys anymore (maybe because I already had my first relationship). Around this time, I was actively blogging on Blogspot, and had a fair amount of blog readers on a daily basis. One day, I blogged that I was going to Timezone with my sister the next day. There was a comment below my post, by a guy, C.
I thought nothing of it. After all, it was just a blog reader commenting on my blog post. The next day, I went to Timezone with my sister. We were playing a shooting game, so she placed her wallet on the floor so that it wouldn't get into the way of our game. All of a sudden, we saw someone run towards us at lightning speed before speeding away. My sister then discovered that her wallet was missing. She looked at me helplessly, while I looked around for someone to help. A guy approached me.
Guy: Hi! Are you looking for a wallet?
Me: Yes. Did you see it?
Guy: I saw a guy grabbing your friend's wallet from the floor and ran awau. But it all happened too fast. When my brain finally processed what had happened, he had already escaped. Sorry.
Me: It's okay. Thanks anyway. By the way, she's not my friend. She's my sister.
Guy: Ah, sorry. Anyway, you have a lovely smile.
Me: *shy smile* Heh, thanks.
That night, I blogged a new blog entry about how my sister's wallet got stolen and how a guy had randomly told me that I had a lovely smile. Not expecting anything to happen, I published the post and headed to bed. The next day, I logged into my blog and saw a comment that stood out to me.
Whoa! Really? So the guy that I saw yesterday was C! We took our conversation to MSN, and began to chat a lot more about our personal life. At that time, I was still suffering from depression due to my inability to be accustomed to Australia. I had days where I needed a pillar of support, and he would always be there to listen to my sorrows and to give me advice. He was an excellent friend to me, and I was so appreciative. One day, I had a horrible day at school. When he called me, I poured out all my sorrows to him. All I wanted was a listening ear.
C: I'll cheer you up!
M: You can't. I'm too sad right now.
C: I know you'll cheer up when I tell you something.
C: I like you.
C: Hello? Are you still there?
M: Erm, yes.
C: Did you hear what I said? I like you.
M: I'll call you later, okay?
I know, anti-climax. But I was taken aback by the sudden confession that I couldn't reply him straight away. You see, I did like him so much more than a friend, but my first relationship scared me too much for me to have the courage to try again. I didn't know what to do, so I chose to left him hanging. Still young, I decided to ask my mum for permission to go into a relationship with him. (What was I thinking? If I could go back in time, I would have never done such a stupid thing.)
She shook her head and nagged at me to concentrate on my studies instead. So what did I do? I told him that my mum said no to dating, so I had to reject him. Upon doing that, my heart ached so badly as I realised that I had made the wrong decision. But alas, damage had been done. Nevertheless, we still remained friends. But we weren't as close as we used to be anymore. He stopped talking to me, clearly hurt by my rejection. At the same time, I felt so bad that I didn't know how to talk to him again (like how we used to). Things became really awkward between us.
Two years later, we found ourselves randomly having a conversation on Facebook. Honestly, I would never have expected for him to talk to me after the rejection. But I guess I was wrong; it happened. C confessed that he missed me, and that he still had feelings for me. In fact, he had never stopped loving me since Day 1. My heart melted instantly. I smiled, as I typed back to him on Facebook Messenger. "Well, C, actually, I still have feelings for you too," I confessed. We talked a bit about the past, and reminisced over the good memories we had with each other in the last few years. Then, he told me that he wanted to be with me. Before I knew it, C asked me to be his girlfriend. And...I said yes.
After all, we had waited two long years because I made a stupid decision. After some time, C announced that he would be moving back to Malaysia due to some family issues (his mum had passed away). He told me that he had to stay in Malaysia for 1 year, before returning to Perth. This resulted in us being in a long term relationship for several months. I was asked to wait for his return to Australia, which I did. C told me that he had to manage some important matters for the next few months, and that he may not be able to talk to me as much as he wanted to. With understanding that his family had issues (because of his mum's passing), I told him not to worry about contacting me frequently.
Then, all of a sudden, he disappeared. He didn't come on MSN or Skype anymore, let alone chat with me. I didn't know what had happened to him, and tried contacting him to no avail. A year later, I gave up and felt in love with my current partner, Ken. Even then, I never stopped wondering what happened to my ex. One day, C came on Facebook Messenger to talk to me. I was shocked to hear from him again. He apologised to me about what happened two years ago and asked whether I still wanted to talk after all that had happened. Without thinking, I said yes and this was what happened:
He told me that he had always known that he was in a relationship but couldn't remember who it was with. Since she was there at the hospital taking care of him, he assumed that she was his girlfriend. C confessed that even though he was with that girl who he thought was his girlfriend (instead of me), he never felt like he loved her and was confused for a while. It was only after he talked to me after his one-year-long disappearance that he realised the truth. Hence, he broke up with that girl right after he had that conversation with me (does that mean that it was my fault that they broke up?).
Basically, this was how the conversation went (included the important parts and omitted the rest)? Do you see how it reminds me of a Korean drama? In summary, C had a car accident, which resulted in him forgetting who his girlfriend was. He ended up assuming that someone else was his girlfriend because she was there by his hospital bed after the accident (when he was admitted to the hospital). C was really romantic though - considering the fact that he bought an air ticket for one month to see the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, hopes were dashed when he ended up in a car accident. By the way, it's not that I haven't forgotten about C and our past relationship together. Because I have. All I'm saying is that Korean dramas aren't as dramatic as we all assume it to be. Sometimes it does happen in real life. Like this instance.