In Fifty-Two Weeks
"We all have only one life. Don't live with regrets, Richard. Make the best out of it."
"But the greatest regret in my life will never be resolved, and you know it."
"I know that, I do. But I can't do anything for you. You cannot expect me to do such an immoral thing for you. You know how being the victim feels like, you've been one before. So what do you want me to do?!"
"That's why I'm feeling so confused, right?! I hate this. I hate having missed the chance. I hate my attitude towards everything. This regret of mine will never cease to exist as long as you are in my life."
"Yes, my point exactly. That's why I am saying that this is for the both of us. It's the only way out."
"But… but I won't be able to let you go." Tears began streaming down my eyes uncontrollably, knowing what the end of this conversation would ultimately yield.
"I know. As much as I do, it is too little, too late. I'm sorry. You'll find someone better, I know this. Bye."
*Gasp* I awoke from my sleep with a start. "That memory again… When will I be able to forget her?"
I lay back into my fluffy pillow, staring at the ceiling, unable to fall back asleep.
"I'm already 17, huh. How time flies," I sighed as I flipped through the Junior College catalogue.
Standing outside the KG campus, I proceeded to step through the gate where I was welcomed by several Open House volunteers. "So far so good," I muttered. I had gone to several Open Houses, but this was by far the optimal choice that I had rated.
Beside me was David Tay, whom had stuck by me through a few years. David was the typical outgoing guy who had a pleasant face and a friendly personality. He was the type who could probably mingle well with any group.
As a group of girls walked past, David whistled in appreciation, saying, "This school ain't half bad! The seniors that is."
I replied, irked, "Don't be such a pervert, David; we aren't here for the girls."
David chuckled, and teased, "Liar, I know you are just like me, pervert."
I rolled my eyes and picked up my pace, leaving David behind.
As I browsed the several booths that flashed messages screaming "Choose KG as your JC! You won't regret it!" et cetera et cetera (and becoming more cynical about the school in the process), I caught sight of a particularly interesting booth about a CCA that I had never seen before. Curiosity sparked, I made a beeline for it, pushing through the crowd and unintentionally knocking a girl to the ground.
Shocked and slightly abashed, I quickly extended my hand out to help her up and apologized. But when I laid my eyes upon her, my heart involuntarily ached. She looked exactly like her. In fact, the resemblance was so uncanny that I thought that it was indeed her, and so I quickly walked away, arms shivering in emotion.
"Hmph. JC life isgoing to be horrible. Just look at this orientation," I shook my head slightly and sighed. Around me, fresh Secondary school graduates were cantering around, girls squealing and guys trying to show off as much as they could.
"Immature, "I breathed heavily. I was seriously considering my application to this school now.
"Eh, c'mon now, Richard," David said, slapping my back. "Don't be so anti-social. You were the one who dragged me here, and now you are trying to run away while playing ice-breakers? Disappointing." David exaggeratedly shook his head, mimicking my trademark motion, much to my annoyance.
"I would rather deem myself as anti-social than partake in this childish game," I scoffed. A few girls who overheard that statement giggled uncontrollably. They then proceeded to do something I loathed: mockery. "Who do you think you are, Shakespeare? Talking in that way, you'll never get a girlfriend!"
I saw red. Although an array of rebukes had swum into my mind, being reminded of her stabbed me mentally and I had to struggle to keep my mouth shut.
Beside me, David shuffled uncomfortably, knowing that the girls had just struck my weak spot. Taking the initiative, he strode out and said cheerfully, "Oh come on, leave my friend alone. He's having some problems with his girlfriend right now and doesn't want to be reminded of her. What's that? You thought he was single? Nah, he is quite the popular one."
"Forget it, David. Let them chide all they want. They don't know anything," I murmured, and strode away. David watched me go, with a resigned look in his face.
The following day, lessons began proper after a briefing about the differences between Secondary School and JC life. As I proceeded to the tutorial room in which the first lesson would be held, I reminded myself not to speak to anyone unless spoken to, not that I felt like talking anyway. Upon entering the room, I tossed my bag in the corner seat and sat down, sprawled over the table and waited for everyone to arrive. As my classmates began to fill into the room, I observed every single one of them.
Potential hooligan, studious type, probably a hardcore shopper.
Most of them looked decent and trustworthy.
Then she walked in: the girl whom struck a resemblance with her. She had walked in with a couple of other girls, whom looked friendly with her. Same class, huh. First lesson of the year, and cliques have already been formed, I observed. Not that I care, anyway.
But try as I might, I simply could not get my eyes off her, and I wondered, Perhaps this is a chance to redeem myself. But I must not be hasty in my judgment, I told myself. This is not her. This is not Cass. Stop fooling yourself.
As the trio of girls burst into uncontrolled, high-pitched laughter, my heart sank. You see now? Their personalities are so obviously different. But still… I sighed once more, just as the class's civics tutor walked in.
I pulled myself up, taking great effort just to stand.
I bowed stiffly and flopped back down into his seat, lacking the motivation to be enthusiastic. "Unlike some people,"I commented disapprovingly, staring at a group of guys chatting animatedly about DotA, treating the civics tutor's presence as null.
David, whom had mysteriously appeared beside me, said, "Well, maybe you should go join in too."
My stare was enough to make him say, "Alright, fine."
The Civics Tutor, a young woman who looked in her twenties, walked up to the boys, smiling radiantly and naturally joined in their conversation for a minute before saying, "O-kay, I've let you have your fill, so I guess it's time for you to let me have mine, right?"
This person actually piques my interest, I wondered. She is obviously different from those dead brained teachers who don't give a damn about what is happening in the class.
The tutor then introduced herself as Ms. Lin ('but you can call me T'cher'), and began to take the attendance.
So began the year.
1. CCA, also known as Co-Curricular Activites, are like clubs and activities that studies partake in after school. They are sometimes optional, but mostly compulsory.
2. A Civics Tutor is a teacher who is in charge of a particular class.