It Was Meant To Be A Game
Mich looked at the last SMS she sent. Why must things turned out like this? Will he reply? Did she do the right thing? She sank her head on her pillow and sobbed.
It was in the morning that Mich SMSed Linus on where they should meet later on in the day.
Mich: Morning! You free today? Want to go out?
Linus: Okay, but I need to go submit my paper later on in the afternoon.
Mich: Would Bugis be fine? What time do you need to submit it?
Linus: Bugis? It's so far from NTU! I need to submit my paper before 4 pm. How about somewhere nearer like CCK or Westmall?
Mich: But I want Bugis...
Linus: Okay, okay, but I can't spend to much time there.
Mich: Okay. Thanks :D You can take your paper with you so after our outing you can go straight to NTU.
Linus: You mean FLY to NTU. Anyway, what time? Would 1 pm be fine?
Mich: Haha...okay. 1 pm then. See you.
Linus wondered why would Mich be so difficult? She wasn't like that in the past. There must be something amiss. Nevertheless, he scanned through his paper before taking it with him leaving home for Bugis.
Linus reached Bugis. He checked his watch and it was 12:58 pm. He was usually late and Mich would always be early, but on that day, he was happy that he was early. He remembered how Mich would fume and go on about why she was always early and why can't he be early for once. Then he would say sorry and she would suddenly laugh and say that she was joking. Linus smiled.
It was now 1 pm and Mich was nowhere in sight. Then suddenly his phone beeped.
Mich: So sorry, but I am still at home, please wait for me. I will rush over now.
Linus: At home? Oh no, then how am I suppose to reach NTU by 4 pm?
Mich: I guess we will just have to end our outing earlier so that you can go to NTU.
Linus: Erm, remember that you stay in Buona Vista. So it will be quite a while before you reach.
Mich: Sorry...I am coming over now.
Linus: Okay, okay. I guess I will just have to wait.
Something was definitely amiss. She was being difficult and now, she was late. What happened? Linus decided to ask her later. In the meantime while waiting, Linus calculated that he had around 45 minutes before Mich reached Bugis. So he shopped around, after all it was Mich's brother's birthday.
Linus finally bought a gift and checked his watch. It was 1.45 pm! Where could Mich be? He decided to SMS her.
Linus: Where are you? To reach NTU before 4, I would need to leave by 2.30 as I will be taking public transport over to NTU.
Mich: Three more stops to BV. Sorry. Why don't you take a taxi?
Linus: I am trying to save for my university fees, so I can't really afford to take taxi. You know the tight budget that I have.
Mich: Worse comes to worse, I can give you some money for the taxi fee.
Linus: No. That's not right. Just try to reach here as soon as you can.
Mich: I know. So sorry to make you wait.
For someone who was always early or punctual, it was definitely strange that Mich was late. And why Bugis? It was far from both his and her house. Linus decided that he must definitely ask her what's happening later on.
Linus waited at the control station and scanned his eyes around for Mich. Nope, she wasn't there. So he decided to SMS her.
Linus: Where are you? It's 2 pm already.
Mich: In front of you, but I have some bad news.
Linus lifted his head. True enough, she was there. He must have missed her. She looked down and walked towards him. Linus did not know whether he should be angry or what. Now he knew how Mich must have felt when he was late, but at most he was late for 15 minutes, but this time, it was 1 hour!
Mich: Sorry for being late.
Linus: Nah, it's okay. I used to be late. So what happened today?
Mich: What do you mean?
Linus: Well, you are late and you chose Bugis, which is like so far from our places.
Linus: Okay, maybe let's eat first. I guess you must be hungry. I am hungry too.
Mich: Remember the bad news I SMSed you just now?
Linus didn't know what to expect. He hoped that the bad news won't be IT.
Linus: What is it?
Mich: While on the escalator, my parents told me to go back. I think they need me to do something.
Linus: Oh ok.
Linus was relieved. It wasn't IT, but still he felt angry for wasting his time. First he was early and she was late. Next, she could not go out with him when she was the one who initiated this outing.
Linus: I guess I will just proceed over to NTU now huh. Anyway, it's almost time too.
Linus: By the way, I bought this for your brother. It's his birthday today. Hope he likes it.
Mich: Okay. I will pass it to him. Thanks.
With that, he walked towards the gate. Mich waited. When the distance between them was enough she called for him.
Apparently, Linus couldn't hear her as the crowd was rowdy and he himself was wondering why must things crop up in the last minute.
Mich decided to do something before Linus tapped his card. She ran over to him.
Linus turned his head.
Man behind Linus: Boy, the gate's open. Do you want to cross or not?
With that he crossed over the gate.
Mich: Oh no. You crossed already.
Linus: Why? I thought you need to go back too?
Mich: I was testing you.
At that point of time, Linus felt very angry. However, there were a lot of people around him and he didn't want to make a scene.
Linus: I see. So you made me wait and told me some excuse that your parents called you...all these to test me.
Mich: Well, my friends suggested me to do it to see how sincere and patient the you would be. I shouted for your name just now, but you didn't hear. And now, you've already tapped your card.
Linus: I see. So it was all just to test me. Well, since I am here, I should go to NTU. Since you are there you can go and find a present for your brother.
Mich: But don't you want to eat? You told me you were hungry just now.
Linus: I was hungry, but I guess I am not now. If you are hungry, you better find something to fill your stomach. It's not good to have an empty stomach during meal time.
Mich: I made some cookies in the morning knowing that you will be hungry after this stupid test of mine. I was thinking of sharing it with you, but I guess that's not possible now. So take them and eat along the way to NTU. Like you said, it's not good to have an empty stomach during meal time.
Should he accept or reject to show Mich how angry he was?
He took it and kept in his bag. With that, he left for the MRT. She stood there confused as to whether she had done the right thing.
Mich didn't have any mood to buy a birthday present for her brother. Her mind was on Linus. Was he angry? Would he make it in time to hand his paper? She couldn't help but blame herself.
Mich lifted her head from her pillow. There were wet spots. She wiped the tears away. It was meant to be a game. Who would have thought that things would turn out this way?
Mich's Mom: Mich has been in her room for quite sometime already.
Mich's Dad: I know. It's dinner time and I think you better call her to eat. It's Mike's birthday today, so try not to keep him waiting.
Mich's Mom: I don't know if she would listen to me but I will try.
Mich's Mom: Dear, you in there? Is anything wrong?
Mich: I am fine...give me sometime for myself.
Mich's Mom: Okay.
Mich's Mom: See what I told you?
Mich's Dad: ...
Mich's Mom: So how?
Mich's Dad: I'll get the door. Meanwhile, you go and get the food ready.
In her room, Mich felt sorry for being so difficult to Linus and also not getting anything for her brother's birthday. Nevertheless, she tidied herself and got ready to celebrate her brother's birthday.
She looked at the mirror and tried to smile. After all, a long face won't be very suitable for a birthday. While trying to smile, she remembered how Linus would compliment how beautiful her smile was. She just wished for the best. After the little practice, she reached out for something to tie her hair. She randomly grabbed a hair clip and tied her hair. While tying, she paused...she looked at the hair clip and smiled. It was the one with a simple design given by Linus. Was it a coincidence?
She tied her hair and suddenly her phone beeped. Should she look at it? It could be a message from Linus. She was thinking halfway when there was a knock on the door. She decided that she shouldn't keep the whole family waiting and should proceed on with the birthday celebration, the phone can wait.
Mich: Yes Mom. Sorry to keep you waiting. I am coming out now.
Mich opened the door.
???: Relax. Don't need to be so stiff. Oh, you are wearing that hair clip I gave you.
Linus: I SMSed you but you didn't pick it up. If you did, you won't be so surprised and shocked.
Mich looked behind Linus and saw her parents smiling. They must have realized that by calling Linus to the house, her problem may be solved.
Mich: *whispering* Did my parents call you here?
Linus: *whispering* No, I came here because I knew that you would be worried.
Mich: Aw...that's so sweet of you.
Mich: Oh yah, I have not given your present to Mike yet. Do you want to give it to him since you are here?
Linus: I have a better idea. Give me the present and follow me. Try to play along.
Mich: Huh? I don't know what you mean but I will try. Here's the present.
With that, Linus walked over to Mike with the present in his hand. Mich followed him.
Linus: Mike, today's your birthday. So...Mich and I got something for you.
At that point, Linus and Mike looked at Mich. Mich knew that she had to do something a.k.a. "try to play along". Mich smiled.
Mike: Thanks sis! Thanks Lin.
Linus: Haha...you are welcome. Hope that you like it.
Mike: Sure. By the way, with my sis standing beside you like that it reminds me of...
Mich: Mike, please...
Mike: Sis is blushing!
Mich: No I am not!
The birthday celebration was simple. Mike opened the present and it was a music CD which he wanted. He went into his room and played it. Mich parents sat in front of the TV watching some chinese drama. As for Linus and Mich...
Linus: I've always liked your balcony. The view here is nice and it's breezy too.
Mich: Well, I guess I am fortunate to live here huh?
Linus: You bet.
Mich: I can hear my brother's CD from here. Seems like you bought for him some soft music.
Linus: Well, he told me once that he liked that CD so I bought it.
Mich: You know...I like this particular music...it's kinda...romantic...don't you think?
Linus: That's nice.
Mich: By the way, thanks for helping me with the present thing just now.
Mich: Oh yah! How's your paper? Did you manage to submit it?
Linus: Don't talk about it...
Mich: Oh no...sorry...
Linus: I took public transport and rushed over as fast as I could but...haiz...
Mich: I am sorry.
Linus: I managed to submit it.
Mich: Why you!
Linus: Hey stop it. One moment you were saying sorry and now you are pinching me.
Mich: That's mean. For a moment I thought that you didn't manage to submit your paper.
Linus: Nah...it was submitted in the end :)
Mich: :) Thanks.
Linus: Thanks for?
Mich: That's for me to know and for you to find out :D
And so it was that what was meant to be a game turned out...to be a game after all.
I would like to thank someone for helping me out with the story by providing something useful. I don't know if he/she wants to be named so I won't put any names. You know who you are. Thank you.