Steph's Friend

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

She Likes Me? (Part 4)

It's the end of recess, are you happy? I am partly happy and partly sad. Happy because I get to see my friends. Sad because I think my friends don't want to see me. It's a joke.

Joke or not, recess is over. So instead of thinking about the end of recess, I will just continue with my story. Where were we? Oh yes...we stopped at this point:

(This is the fourth part to this story. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.)

Then there was silence. I kept quiet, not knowing if she heard what I said.

Me: It’s me.
En: Yes I know. I heard that.

Oh good. At least she heard it. Now what should I say?

En: Wait a while.

Oh ok, at least, now I have some time to think of what to say. Maybe I should just ask her how her CAs were. Then maybe from there let the conversation flow. I waited for her to come back.

Suddenly, the phone hung up. What happened?

Anxious, I tried to call again. The ring tone was there.

???: Halo? Siapa tuh?
(Hello? Who is that?)

What on earth happened? The voice changed completely. The voice sounds like an aunty. Could it be her mother…?

(To be continued)

At that point of time, I thought I heard wrongly. I wasn't prepared to speak to En, even more so if it was her mother! Can you imagine the fright from it? Anyway, I had to say something as the other party has already asked who I was.

Me: Ini Stephen.
(This is Stephen)

Since she asked me in Bahasa, I might as well answer her in Bahasa.

???: Stephen siapa?
(Who is Stephen?)

Of course, she won't know who "Stephen" is as only En knows me.

Me: Aku adalah kawan En.
(I am En's friend)
???: Oh gitu yah. Kok gitu malam malam mau telepon anakku?
(Oh I see. Why are you calling my daughter so late at night?)

Yes! I was right. She is En's mother. However, I have another big question to answer - why did I call her? Was it late? I looked at the clock and it shows like 9.30pm. Personally, 9.30pm isn't late at all, but of course different people may have different definitions of late.

Me: Karna tadi waktu aku telepon En, En suruh aku tunggu tapi teleponnya tiba tiba mati.
(Because when I called En just now, she asked me to wait but the phone suddenly hung up.)
En's Mum: Oh gitu.
(I see)

So what's going to happen? Is she going to ask for my GPA next? I don't know, I just hoped that she won't interrogate me further. It was then that I said something.

Me: Tante...
En's mum: Yah?

I was about to ask whether I can speak to En, but it may seem to abrupt and impolite. So I tried to phrase it in a different way.

Me: En ada di situ gak?
(Is En around?)
En's mum: Iya. Kenapa?
(Yes. Why?)

She didn't get the hint! Either that or she's just trying to make things difficult for me. I guess I have to be direct.

Me: Boleh gak kalau aku ngomong sama dia?
(Is it allright if I talk to her?)
En's mum: Dia kayaknya lagi sibuk.
(She seems busy now.)

Ok, I get it. It's a gentle "no".

Me: Oh ok. Kalau gitu yah gak apa. Terima kasih. Bye bye.
(Oh ok. It's ok then. Thanks. Bye.)
En's mum: Bye.

That end's the short conversation. I called to talk to En and end up talking to her mother. How nice.

After I put the phone down, I thought of all the things that happened and tried to make sense of it all.

First, she says she likes me and gives me her handphone number on the folded piece of paper. It took me quite sometime before I could reach her and when I acutally reached her, she asked me to wait and the phone suddenly hung up. When I called again, it was her mum who picked it up. The conversation was tense and I was nervous. After all, it's her mother! I didn't want to be impolite and sound arrogant so it was very tense. You think of what you should say then when you actually say it you think whether it was too offensive or not. It's not easy I say. The conversation ended with a gentle "no".

I understand. Maybe I should just give up.

It was a Thursday night and En's mum said "no". So I thought maybe I shouldn't have called and just forget about everything. That was precisely what I did. Maybe En wasn't even sincere at all. Haiz...

Friday I only had lab. So the next day, I went to school for lab. After that I went to the library to do my tutorials. I know that to do your tutorials before recess starts is kinda early but I have projects to do during recess.

I went to LWN, my favourite place for study. Do I expect to see En? Not really. I kinda have given out on it already. So I sat there with my Thermodynamics tutorial. It was a question on what is the temperature at the surface of the sun. There were a few numbers given in the question such as the solar constant. If the same question was given before the Internet, maybe things would be difficult but now in the Internet age, all you need to do is Google it. I didn't do that as you can't say "The temperature at the Sun's surface is x degrees Celsius according to Google."

So I had to look through my notes and try to piece the formula together. I was trying to link certain parts of it when I felt something hit my back. I turned around and it was a crumpled piece of paper. Someone obviously threw it at me. I didn't have time for such things as the question was still in my mind. I turned around and looked at the formulas again. I thought to myself that if I use this forumula and link it with this other formula, then maybe it will just work. That was what I did and I solved it. I was so happy. Then suddenly, I remembered something. Could it be...

I took the crumpled piece of paper beside me and flattened it on the table in front of me. Just as I thought. There was a message. The message was:

"I am sorry for the other day..."

I read the message after solving my question. At that point of time I thought maybe it wasn't really her fault and that I shouldn't judge her by thinking that she's insincere. It won't be fair to her.

I turned around and scanned around for her. There she was, seated two tables behind me with one friend of hers beside her. She saw me and looked downwards. Was she guilty? Her friend beside her laughed. I think I know who threw the paper.

The ball was in my court. Should I walk over or just continue with the next question on my tutorial? If I walked over and they ignore me, then it will be very no-face for me. Then again maybe I should just try.

I took my water bottle which was empty (so I can act as if I walked past them to go to the water cooler) and the piece of paper and walked towards En. As I approached the two of them, En was busy going through her notes while her friend was smiling and giggling.

I reached the table and placed the piece of paper on the table.

Me: Is this yours?
En's friend: Haha...

It's obvious that En's friend did it. En was busy with her notes. I decided that I better don't disturb En after looking at how panicky she was.

En's friend: Yes it's mine. But I can explain.
Me: Okay...
En's friend: Why don't you sit down in front of us?

En gasped. Maybe I should sit and hear her explanation. But where? In front of En or her friend? Maybe her friend to avoid any awkwardness. It's good that her friend invited me to sit as I need not pretend to go to the water cooler anymore as they didn't dao me.

I sat down and En's friend started to talk.

En's friend: You see, my friend has something to say but she's...
En: Excuse me...I need to fill my water bottle.
En's friend: See what I mean?

En left for the water cooler leaving her friend and me.

En's friend: You are Stephen right?
Me: Yes. You are?
En's friend: I am Kathleen. Call me Kat.
Me: Okay...
Kat: She told me an interesting story...which I won't elaborate. If she want to tell you, she'll tell.
Me: Well, that was helpful...
Kat: She's my friend and I respect her secrets.
Me: I understand. I was just joking.
Kat: Well, it wasn't funny.

Now you know why people don't find me funny.

Kat: All I can say is that she likes you.
Me: I know that.
Kat: You know!! Oh my...

By then, En returned and sat beside Kat.

Kat: Hey, you are back!
En: So what did you talk about?
Me: Nothing much.
En: How was your day?

That's a friendly gesture.

Me: I had lab early in the morning. After that, I came to Lee Wee Nam to study. It was then that I felt something hit my back.
En: I am so sorry about that. It was Kat who did it.

Kat smiled.

Me: Don't worry. I realised that.
Kat: I think I am not needed here. Enjoy yourself.

Kat took her handphone and wallet before walking away.

En: I have something to say.
Me: I am listening.
En: It's with regards to that night.
Me: Oh...

I realised something. En was more vocal when no one's around. Maybe she feels that it's easier to voice her feelings and thoughts when there's only two people.

En: On that day...I was happy when you called.

That was kinda direct.

En: However, I had wait...I don't think I have enough time here.
Me: What do you mean?
En: You see, I have a lot of things to say and I don't think the time I have now will be enough.
Me: Is it that long?
En: Yes. If only I had another chance to talk to you.

Was that a hint? I took it and helped her.

Me: How about we meet on Saturday? Recess is coming and I figured that you'll be free.

En's face lit up. I was right.

Me: So when would you be free on Saturday?
En: Let me see...somewhere after 5.

I understood. She wanted the outing to be at night. Of course I could ask why not in the afternoon or in the morning, but hey, it's a hint.

Me: So how about we meet for dinner?
En: That will be good!

You see, En was dropping hints through the conversation to make me initiate things like having an outing and a dinner. She hinted, I got it and more importantly I responded in the right way. I could have acted dumb and said something stupid, but I felt if En wanted to explain herself I should give her a chance. She's a smart lady.

Me: Okay. Then maybe we meet at 6.30 at NTU?
En: NTU?!?!

I can take hints, but I'll joke once in awhile.

Me: Haha...I was joking. Relax.
En: Haha...okay.
Me: For the place, can you decide?
En: about...NTU?
Me: Come...on...
En: Okay...okay. Where do you stay?
Me: Jurong area.
En: How about West Mall?
Me: I am fine with that. How about you?
En: Same.
Me: I guess that's it. So we will meet at 6.30pm at West Mall.
En: Yes.
Me: Okay, I guess I need to go back to my tutorial.
En: By the way...
Me: Yes?
En: Can I have your handphone number?

It's difficult for a girl to ask for a guy's handphone number. So instead of staring into blank space and say something like "I left it in the Physics lab", I gave her my number.

Me: Sure.

I wrote it down on a piece of paper and passed it to her. With that I went off and walked towards my table. As I walked I could feel someone touch my arm. I turned around and saw En.

Me: Huh?
En: You forgot your bottle.

Oh man...this is so paiseh.

Me: Oh...thanks.
En: You are welcome.

Luckily she didn't ask why I carried an empty bottle to her side and walked back without filling it.

When I sat down, I thought about what had happened. So far, En's a nice person. Oh well, I have to complete my tutorial and I continued working on it.

When I reached home I thought of what it would be like on Saturday night. What should I say? What should I wear? What should we eat? Will she misunderstand this and think that I like her? The aim of this outing was for her to explain herself since she wanted more time. Anyway, I decided to sleep and let the time come.

It was Saturday. I spent the morning preparing for my project. In the afternoon, I rested and took a break from studies. In the evening I studied the possible permutation and combination of all possible outfits I had from my closet. In the end, I decided to wear a simple T-shirt and jeans. Will I look boring? Maybe.

I left home and took a bus to West Mall.

I reached the place early. It was like 6.15pm. I walked about inside West Mall to scout for a possible place to eat. However, I don't really know En's food preference. Maybe I should just have a list of possible places. As I walked around, my phone suddenly beeped. I checked my phone and saw that it was a SMS from En! How did she know my number? Oh yah, I gave it to her in the library. You know, sometimes engineers can be forgetful with formulas in their head instead of simple details like this.

En's SMS: Don't move. Wait awhile.

Huh? It's not even the 1st of April. What's this? Okay...maybe I should just listen. So I stood there. Luckily I received the SMS in front of the M1 shop near the entrance so at least I can act as if I am looking at the handphones there. Imagine how dumb I would look if I stopped and stood at the escalator? I would jam up the whole queue behind me!

Then suddenly, I felt a tap on my back. I turned around and saw En. However, this time, she looked waaaay different from the En I knew.

En: Are you hungry?
Me: ...

Yes you are right, I was speechless. I didn't know what to say. First of all, she was no longer wearing specs. I guess she took it off. I didn't realise her eyes could sparkle that much. No there wasn't any glitter. It was just natural. Then she neatly tied her hair in some fashion which I didn't see before in school. And also...

En: Hey!
Me: Huh?

In short, she looks beautiful.

Me: Yah...yah. I heard what you said. You asked what time did I arrive right?
En: No.

This is the side effect of being stunned.

Me: Sorry...I was kinda lost.
En: Lost? In what?

Oops! She caught me. I better say something smart.

Me: Lost in that tutorial of mine which I did last night.

Nerd answer.

En: still thinking about that? Well I was asking whether you are hungry.
Me: A bit. Why don't we look for a place to eat?
En: Okay.

So there I was with En as we find a place to eat in West Mall. How will our outing turn out? I am not too sure. Is she sincere? I can't say. What has she got to explain? I don't know. More importantly...why does she need an outing to explain herself instead of in the library?

(To be continued)

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