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Bertha HarianBertha Harian


A Valentine’s Day story – The odd couple

Roses, candlelight and wine. The stuff of Valentine’s Day. Pappy Gee despised such sentimentality. What a waste of hard-earned, carefully-husbanded resources, he thought. Some people actually dug into their reserves simply to get a dining table facing Marina Bay! And what was all this about 50 shades of grey? He himself preferred white, pure white, pristine, virginal, hygienic. But then he had to deal with Wy Yang and her demands…

What a spendthrift! He had had enough! Just last week, she bought a Chanel bag without checking the price. Then she handed over the supplementary credit card he gave her to that so-called best friend of hers. Who knows what next month’s bill will come up to? Did she really expect him to pay for everything?

They’ve been “together’’ for some time now, especially after 2011. Not quite going steady but more or less thrown together by force of circumstances. It was an uncomfortable relationship. You know the kind…He drives the car but she insists on being the navigator. If not for his superior sense of direction and GPS technology, they would have got lost a million times…What a hopeless co-driver she was turning out to be, he thought.

He wondered if he should make his feelings clear to her on their next date. Not that he liked going to her apartment. It was a mess with clothes strewn all over. She was always missing things, looking for this ring or that pair of shoes…Knowing her, she might have thrown them down the rubbish chute! That maid of hers is doubly useless. He had a feeling she was taking things from the house and selling them on her mandatory day off. But Wy Yang seemed to like her so much. Wouldn’t hear a thing against her.


He thought again about what life would be like if they got married. He would have to bear with her whole extended family. He bit his fingernails. They would hammer him and he would have to fight them tooth and nail. It would be a deadly serious fight every day of his life. He would be ruined! Bankrupted! He would have to ditch his car for a Brompton bike.

He caught himself. Have to ditch such negative thoughts, he thought, or their relationship would not survive. Look at the bright side, he told himself. At least, they had enough in their CPF for a BTO flat. He would continue to be productive and strive for excellence. They would have three or more children if they could afford it. They would collect every baby bonus and grant available to the traditional family unit.

Then he thought about his CPF and whether he would have enough of a minimum sum when he retired…Wait a minute! Would he have to top up her CPF account as her spouse? His thoughts turned dark. If only she wasn’t so fussy about taking on a job and insisting that she must receive a minimum wage that would fund her lifestyle. Then she would have more money in her Ordinary Account. Instead she wants to be her own employer, run a blogshop and become a social influencer…

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He shook his head. What in heaven’s name do they have in common anyway? She doesn’t like taking selfies. When he asks her questions, she sulks and won’t answer. She says she will have to “think’’ before replying. Or she needed to clean the ceiling fan first. Or attend some trade fair she helped organise. When she talks, it was always to oppose him. Anyone would think he bullied her. Of course, he’s no bully. He was simply trying to set her right… He tried to recollect their last decent conversation…and couldn’t. Then again, at least she’s not like that distant cousin of hers who is always hobnobbing with the human rights types abroad. That girl is such a pain…and like a butterfly too, flitting from lover to lover

For the last two days, he had said some harsh things to Wy Yang. She fought back, and even broke one of her manicured nails. He wasn’t sorry for what he said. And she certainly wasn’t going to give in either.

And tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. She would expect to be taken out to some place nice. Or maybe not. She wasn’t answering her WhatsApp, email, messenger or text. Maybe he should actually call her…But she would definitely hang up. Maybe drop by her place? Nah. She won’t open the door. Maybe he should just send her a card.

He stopped at a gift shop, looking at the variety of sickly sweet cards on display. So expensive! In the end, he picked out one. Given her current state, he thought it was just the thing she would appreciate. It said : Get well soon!

Written By

An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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