Adventures : Zeph Tales (1)

I hope to make this into a play or even a movie some day!

Zeph’s First Awakening

It is Christmas Day. The holiday of the year but Zeph had clearly forgotten about it. So, he was on the last escalator up to Lido Cineplex at 3.40pm to get a ticket for 4pm’s “Dumb & Dumber”. He was his old happy-go-lucky self. All the way up he looked downwards at the people dressed in their colourful clothes doing colourful things. Shopping and window-shopping. The playing of the images reflecting on the mirror escalator’s sides was fascinating. The heart of Orchard. The young Singaporeans’ “capital” of Singapore. On the last step up, he looked up. A line of people barricaded him. It was a long queue. He was bewildered for a while. After sweeping a few glances, he went to the down escalator. For some reason he didn’t try to understand, his friends wanted to see some other “dumb” movie that day. But that was okay, though he didn’t try to understand why. He didn’t exactly feel disappointed with them. All he wanted to do that day was to laugh his head off. He always knew he had choice. Sometimes he just doesn’t follow the crowd. A kind of freedom – of choice. Maybe he isn’t happy-go-lucky after all.

On the last step of the last escalator down, the phrase “unhappy-go-unlucky” came to his mind for no particular reason he knew. The time is 3.45pm. At the entrance-exit of Shaw House, a few steps from the escalator, Zeph was stunned. He tried to shake the feeling off by hurrying a few steps forward – out of the shadow of the building. He stood still again. The feeling would not go off. There was nowhere to rush to rid the feeling – he was dead sure.

For the first time in his life, he realised he was all alone. Thoroughly existentially alone, and lonely in a crowd. On Christmas Eve, he had already hung out all night with his friends in Orchard. The heart of Christmas is supposedly here. It is not really boredom. Just a startling realisation that he now has nothing in particular to do. All day he looked forward to seeing the movie. No plans on what to do after. He stood on – why should he move when he had nowhere to go to?

His heart started racing. I’m neither hungry nor thirsty. I’m not sleepy. I don’t want to see any other movie. I always loved swimming but not at the moment. He could feel the cold of his cold sweat in the heat of the sweltering sun. So many emotions all at once. Shock, fear, disappointment and something unnameable. An overwhelming sense of urgency – adrenaline pumping to bursting…

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