A Cruel Twist of Fate


It smelt like stale air-conditioning and underground metals, just like how trains always do. Today, I smelt like antiseptic and bad news.


The ring tone of my phone screamed in my ears. The screen showed: Ah Boy. Clenched eyes resigned, I picked up the phone.


“Hey mother… I…have something… to tell you…! I…was given a scholarship…to CAMBRIDGE!!! My dreams…had finally came through. I am…ecstatic!” my son exclaimed in jubilation, tears choking him.


A small smile played on my lips. I knew how much Ah Boy wanted to go to Cambridge. As a mother, I was really proud of him. I thought of the radiant smile on his face. As I was deep in my thoughts, a thought jerked me back to reality. How long could I share this happiness with my son if my life was as barren as dirty yards?


Looking at the medical report clenched tightly in my fist, all the smoldering emotions swelled in me burst – my third stage of cancer, the costly medicals fees and the hopeless life ahead. All these feelings combined in one great impulse towards destruction. The purpose of my life had faded. What was I going to do? What about the hefty medical fees? When was I going to die? What will happen to Ah Boy? And the question that was inevitable: Should I tell my husband and Ah Boy?


I recalled the times when my husband and I used to date. All these memories. All the time spent. All the efforts. I also recalled the very first time I embraced Ah Boy in my arms. I had held onto his hands, seeing those minuscule hands grow into brawny ones. These were symbols of love. However, love had no chance with death.


If I were to tell my husband about this, I knew he would be despondent. He would definitely, and obviously tell Ah Boy. And that Ah Boy would give up his scholarship and take care of me. What must I do?


Frazzled, I let the tears in my eyes roll down my cheeks, unto the medical report.

Lynn Tan (1F)

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