Now, it’s the fourth time I’m back at this place. I’ve nothing to do here, since I’m leaving anyways. But I want to have as much time with our imagined future as I can. The sun baking the wall so much it turns into a starved white. The air refuses to speak and move. I fidget with your ring, and counted the days left with you.
A jet booms above as I catch sight of the unopened boxes in the living room, the tape still securing tight the top of the box. There was this huge one by the window. That must be the bookshelves from the antique shop when we were shopping for furniture for our flat—but now it’ll be just your flat. In another life, or even just a few days ago, I would’ve opened it for a look, and gawked at its ornate rococo finishes again.
In the afternoon heat I let myself pause. This is the only place I can stop amidst all the planning I have to do. I hear only nothing now. I feel the acid tears again, and a howl rises from my tight chest again.
Cheng Yun & Caspian
Our empty apartment stares back at me, the concrete on the floor bares its uncouth edges, a million grey teeth. We were here, just barely a month ago. I had my suspicions when you asked me to go take a look at your new resale flat. I was about to go take a look at the master bedroom before I realised you became quiet. I turned to look at you, and you were on your knees. I shrieked, and said yes before you even began to pop the question.
‘Cas! We can’t even get married here!’ I exclaimed.
‘Then, consider this a mock proposal.’ You replied, your grin as bright as the ring.
I remember I swatted your back after you said that. ‘Yeah you laugh at my proposals I prepare for my boss, but soon you’ll be thanking me for all the new fancy shit Singapore’s going to have.’
As a forty-year-old man holding down a managerial position at a government agency, I am more than capable of buying nice jewellery for myself. But I couldn’t help but marvel at the neat row of eight sapphires that sat on a band of platinum as you put the ring on my finger. I held my breath for the longest moment.