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Chapter 102
Date 24 Feb 1984 7.45pm - The Other Side of the Moon

The Concourse was a communal space for students activities and study. It was an alternative for students who preferred to chat while studying in an open air environment compared to the library which was constantly patrolled by the Nazi librarians determined to enforce a no talking, no eating, no drinking rule.

Mei Mei took a break from her Economics books and fixed her eyes on Tom doing his Further Mathematics homework. There were only a few students left studying in the Concourse area.
He felt the weight of her gaze and smiled without looking up, "You're supposed to be studying." "I'm hungry." "We just had chicken rice." "What can I say? Studying increases my metabolism rate. What I wouldn't give for a package of Twisties." "You like Twisties?" Tom was pleasantly surprised. "Don't be shocked but you do know I'm a Singaporean right?" "No!" He deadpanned. "It's just that you always eat western food." Mei Mei reminded herself to remember to more inclusive in her culinary choices. She bit her lips and decided to open up, "And I'm a little worried about James." Tom looked up with a furrowed brow, "Did something happen?" "Do you know how he feels about you?" The question was direct.

His face was coloured by emotions. He lowered his head and spoke slowly, "I'll always love James...just not in the way he would want me to." He turned back to her and asked earnestly, "Did he say something to you?" "He's trying to move on. But I do think that being around us make it difficult for him." Tom sighed heavily, "He's instrumental to the engineering to our relationship. We just can't cut him off..." "I was thinking he may need some space. He's out on a date tonight..." "He is? Who with?" "Somebody from his class. It sounded promising." "Maybe we can go on a double date." "Er... Space remember?" Tom nodded reluctantly and reached out for Mei Mei's hand, "I hope it works out like how it did with the two of us.". He kissed her hand and pointed to the sky, "It's a full moon tonight. May that will be a good sign." If you enjoy this this, do LIKE & SHARE the post and the page :)

Chapter 101
Date 24 Feb 1984 7.45pm - The serpent underneath

He was stunned and rooted to the spot. Not knowing what to say.

Augustine spoke first, "James, good of you to join us. Come come sit down." "What's going on Augustine?" James finally found a remnant of his voice. "What do you mean?" Augustine looked confused. "I thought we are having dinner," James croaked weakly "We're having dinner." He stopped and looked at Rani and looked surprised, "Oh. I'm sorry. Did you think this is a date?" Then he flashed that grin. "You know I'm not gay like you. Right?" James felt as if the brown Spanish tiles below his feet had given way and he was free-falling. Suddenly he couldn't catch his breath. As he clutched the table to steady himself, he finally realised what was familiar with the scene before him... All the patrons around him were his classmates. They were nudging each other, whispering, murmuring and laughing.

James turned and fled.

Photo courtesy of https://youtu.be/XN-Qq2umKZo

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#kapokxlightwithshade official launch night happening tomorrow ! we can't wait to launch the exclusive Singapore Nostalgia lamp, featuring our well-loved local places and past times. final chance to rsvp #linkinbio to enjoy free old school ice cream treats from @geometry.sg and 10% off the special edition lamps
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‘Once upon a shop in Singapore’, a painting from my ongoing exhibition #lostandfoundsingapore reminiscing an old school toy & games shop that sold unique handmade games & toys. This one like many other mom & pop shops, shut shop in 2017 #Marearatrading, #singapore #singaporeart #singaporeartist #contemporaryartist #contemporarypainter #artoncanvas #kopi #toyshopsingapore #coffee #singaporestreets #sgartist #sg #handmadegames #localsg #localsingapore #singaporeforkids #sgforkids #multicoloured #sgoldschool #sgmemories #sgstreet #oldtoyshop #yesterday

Chapter 100
Date 24 Feb 1984 7.44pm - Step into my palour, says the spider to the fly

The Hans restaurant at Far East Plaza was a favourite among those who valued a good meal - which translated loosely to a set meal with steak - at an extremely affordable $3.50. And it came with a delicious peach tart.
Being located near the middle of town only elevated its desirablity even more. Nonetheless, James was surprised that Augustine had chosen it as the venue for their dinner date.

He had debated long and hard with himself about his outfit. It was between an oversized flirty red shirt from an upcoming local designer Yang Derong or a more traditional blue Espirit tee with a cream-coloured Lee jeans. The conservative won.

He stood outside the restaurant for half a minute, his heart still in a state of uncertainty. Then he remembered Mei Mei's words.
He pushed open the glass doors and immediately spotted Augustine at a table. There was something uneasily familiar about the whole scene but he brushed it aside as nerves and proceeded with a smile.

His gait slowed as he approached the table - there was somebody seated across Augustine. When he finally reached the table, she turned around and he realised it was Rani.
Photo courtesy of https://youtu.be/0-ySKUsRBNA

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Chapter 99
Date 23 Feb 1984 - The day before "Are you avoiding me?" James jumped. He turned to face a smiling Augustine who seemed to be even better looking today. "Of course not," he lied, wondering what face product Augustine used to get that radiant non-make-up shine on his face. "So are we on tomorrw night?" "Tomorrow?" James feigned ignorance. "I hope you haven't forgotten our date," he laughed heartily, "Yes dinner tomorrw?" James's heart skipped a beat upon the word 'date'. How he had longed to be asked out on a date for years. And now that it was really happening.

There was no escape. He wouldn't be able to push back the answer any further. It was the very next day after all.

He took a deep breath, "Where do we meet?" If you enjoy this this, do LIKE & SHARE the post and the page :) watch out for tomorrow's ePIXode.
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Chapter 98
Date 30 July 1983 - Wind beneath my Wings part 2

Yusuf scanned the room of faces till he found the one he was seeking. She waved at him and he blew her a kiss.
He had dreamt of this moment for the last 7 years since that morning he saw how wrecked his mother was: holding 3 jobs just to eke a decent living to provide the basic necessities for him and his brother.
Even though he was too young to fully comprehend the gravity of their living situation, the sight of his fatigued mother and the sour stale taste of the bread forged a strong resolution in him to find a way to make his mother proud that her sacrifice had yielded fruits.
As he awaited by the steps leading to the stage, he felt the weight on his shoulders lightened. He knew it was only a temporal sensation having experienced it yearly after his school results came out. And that his quest still had a long way to go, so he could not take his eyes off the ball.

But for now... "And now it it's my great pleasure to announce and invite our top Secondary 3 student at Raffles Institution on stage to receive this accolade and also the government's bursary. Let's put our hands together and congratulate Yusuf Ismail." He slowly mounted the stage and shook his principal's hand. As he stood with him, posing for pictures while holding a scroll and an envelope, he could see the huge beam on his mother's face. And he knew he had achieved half of what he has set out to do.
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Chapter 97
Date 11 March 1975 - Wind Beneath my Wings

She stood outside her door and smoothened her supermarket uniform, not wanting her children to see her disheveled state.

It had been an exhausting shift and she had been on her feet for a non-stop twelve hour. But it was a chance to earn this month's school fees and she couldn't pass that up.

She slid her key in and turned as gently as possible. The door creaked as she pushed it open, a reminder that she needed to borrow some Singer oil from next door to to fix that.

The house was still dark, save for a few beams slipping through the cracks of the tattered curtains. She extracted a half-stale loaf of bread and a bottle of Ribena that has past its expiry date from the plastic bag.
She slowly sat down on the wooden chair, grateful for the respite. Folding her arms and placing them onto the table, she rested her heavy head upon them, promising herself it would be just for a minute.

From his bed in the corner of the one-bedroom flat, eight-year-old Yusuf stopped pretending to be asleep and got out of bed.
He untied the knot of the clear plastic bag holding the bread and took out a slice and munched quietly. He took another slice and locked it in his worn-out looking Tupperware before tucking it into his schoolbag.

He padded to the bathroom and brushed his teeth gently, remembering the steps the dental nurse had taught them after recess-time while they squatted next to the drain with their mug and toothbrush.
After putting on his slightly off-white unform which had attracted a fair number of taunts, he contemplated waking his mother. Seeing how peacefully she was sleeping and knowing that she would be waking up soon to go to her morning job at the fish market, he decided against it.

He slung his green satchel over his shoulder, casting one final look at his mother before setting off to school.

Photo courtesy of Jacke Chye.

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Chapter 96
Date 29 Jan 1984 - Dressing for the Ball "Of course you should!" James was a little overwhelmed by Mei Mei's convictions but couldn't help wondering if she had an ulterior motive. "And if you're wondering if I have an ulterior motive for saying this, I don't!" She's a witch, James thought, hoping that she couldn't read all his thoughts. "But what if I'm reading all these wrong? He may be attractive but that doesn't mean he is gay." "Look! Attractive doesn't mean not gay. And not attractive doesn't mean gay. I really don't know how you think. You should write a book on stereotypes and myths." She paused and quietly asked him, "Do you like him?" James was silent for a while. Somehow he felt a sense of disloyalty towards Tom when it came to his feelings towards Augustine.

Mei Mei placed her hand over his and squeezed it, "Tom will want you to be happy." "You say it as if somebody is dead..." James tried to be flippant but choked on his tears.

They sat there at Long John Silver's just holding each other's hands for a long time. Ignoring the curious looks from patrons sitting around them.

James reached for his handkerchief and blew his nose noisily. "But my gay spider sense has never been wrong." "My goodness! What gay spider sense?! Just go for dinner and if it doesn't work out, where's the harm in that?" James pondered over that last question. It was true that he tended to be more cautious. But then there were things that even he himself couldn't reconcile at this point. Things that he had not even verbalised to himself. One step at a time, he guessed. "Very important question: what are you going to wear?" Photo courtesy of Jacke Chye

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I love those random memories that make me smile no matter what's going on im my life right now.
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Life is about creating memories with your loved ones and your best friends ❤️ Have a great weekend ahead creating memorable memories with your loved ones ans friends.
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Chapter 95
Date 16 Feb 1984 - How to ask someone out on a date?

James felt something hit the back of his head. He looked down behind him and there was a small crumpled piece of paper. Irritated, he scanned the room behind him for the culprit and saw him grinning at him mischievously, gesturing at the paper missile.

James checked to make sure the teacher was not looking before bending down to pick it up. He unfurled and smoothened it best as he could before reading it: Wanna have dinner next Friday?

His heart started pounding as the implications started to sink in. Could this be happening? Is he really interested? In me? Am I ready to move on?

He stole a look at Augustine who shrugged and then mined them eating. James stifled a smile and turned back to the note. Augustine didn't seem to be gay; yet everything he had done so far seemed to contradict that.
Oh my God?! Was this a date? If it were, then it would be our first date.
Should I do this?

Extra reading: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/five-on-friday-5-iconic-singapore-dining-spots-we-wish-were-9308622

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Happy 53rd Birthday 🇸🇬!!!
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One of our favourite memories of this special day is to witness the flag fly-pass. From wherever we are, we will all look up to the sky to see if we could catch a glimpse of it, even if it means looking outside our kitchen window. 😄
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So, fellow Singaporeans! What are your favourite memories? Come share with us!💜💚
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#cakcakkuti #ilovesg #singaporeourhome #singapore53rdbirthday #skyline #sgmemories

The modelled of the old iconic playgrounds water floats such as the dragon playground in Toa Payoh, dove playground in Dakota Crescent and pelican playground at Dover Road that will sail around Marina Bay during the show in one of the element for this year’s NDP.

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#NDP #NDP2018 #NDPeeps #NationalDay #NationalDay2018 #WeAreSingapore #SG53

Chapter 94
Date 20 Jan 1984 - The Taking of a Sandwich

Augustine took a sandwich from the bag and handed it to James. He took a big bite from it and chewed slowly, savouring every bite of the fried luncheon meat and cucumber sandwich. "You sure you make this? It's very yummy." Augustine gushed, "You should become a chef." James laughed, "You need to be able to do more than a sandwich to become a chef." "What're you guys eating?" Rani suddenly popped up. James sat up straight, immediately uncomfortable.

Augustine brandished the half-eaten sandwich in front of her, "James made the best sandwiches in the world." "Really?" She leaned forward and took a bite out of Augustine's sandwich in his hand before he could react. Both of them stared at her shell-shocked while she munched. Then she swallowed. "Not bad. The cucumber was a nice touch providing a counter to the saltiness of the luncheon meat." "I can't believe you did that!" James protested, "I would have made you some if you had wanted to try." "And missed seeing both your shocked reactions?" She chortled before walking away.

Photo courtesy of Jacke Chye

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