Most people were rushing to finish marking their papers and words were exchanged; somehow the spirit was good. On the other side, it seemed to be a quieter day for Weitat and me in the absence of Jingkun.
We went to Clementi’s bookshop to search for Weitat’s book cover while I started drooling over the programming books on the shelves. However, before I could find any PHP book, Weitat was done. We went to the bookshop above the fast food restaurants where Mingfa came over to meet us. The board games and stationeries, including bags sparked my excitement.
Next, we proceeded to send Mingfa to CMPB for his stubbornness to book IPPT test before proceeding to Bukit Merah to buy some finger food. Mingfa called us soon and informed us that he had remembered the wrong date. It got complicated when Jingkun was supposed to meet us for lunch but the sudden change of time might pose problems and Mingen had called Mingfa suddenly and wanted to join us. Alas, timing was good enough that we managed to meet up at the ABC market without much delay. Mingfa, Weitat and I were too lazy to choose what to eat and thus we got ourselves the chicken rice again.
After getting back to work, I tried to concentrate but it was not long before my mum made a call to me. At such an odd hour – three PM – she asked if I might be happened to knock off from work already. Then she told me that my aunt was at the hospital. She further scared me that the doctor had claimed that there seemed to be some stones inside my aunt’s stomach and her life might be in danger. She told me that she was going to my aunt’s home to take care of my sick uncle and my brother was waiting at the A&E.
I did not know how serious the situation was but it would not look nice if I were to leave work early when Jingkun was already not around, and the few slackers who were deemed as part of our gang might not be around as well. My determination to finish off my last set of torment held me back. Soon, I started to realise struggling on was a complete waste of time and could even cause errors in my lack of concentration. Finally, I could not hold it anymore and went to inform my boss that I had to leave immediately. He did not question me and instantly gave a hand signal to acknowledge.
On the way, cold sweat started dripping off my tensed body, as my worries started sweeping my brain all over. I began to worry about the medical bill but was pleased that I had not registered for university yet. The lack of visit to my aunt was somehow prickling me.
I took the wrong path even though SGH was supposed to be my dominance for the frequent visit. After seeing my aunt who was already at the observation ward, I got to slowly piece up the story.
She started vomiting on Sunday night and visited the polyclinic on the next day. The doctors advised her to visit the hospital because they could find some lumps on her stomach. My mum’s assume-we-know-everything storytelling had posed so much fear in my mind for the past hour; I could have clarified with my elder brother earlier given the experience of communicating with my mum.
I stayed inside the ward to keep my aunt accompanied. She questioned me about going to university and apologised for not able to offer any financial help to me – she could hardly even fare for herself given no child at the age of sixty over, being jobless, and that my uncle was too great a burden to her. My younger brother arrived some time later. My aunt’s blood test results were out after five PM and everything was fine and the doctor said it could be just some gastric problems that caused her to vomit.
At the payment counter, my aunt insisted to foot her bill but my brother and I lied that they could only accept NETS payment. Then, we told her it was nineteen dollars instead of ninety dollars but the bloody brainless cashier acted like a moron and tried to correct us to make it so obvious that we were lying even though my aunt was not English educated.
My elder brother and his girlfriend made their way to Chinatown while my younger brother and I took my aunt home by cab. From SGH, it actually cost us more than seven dollars just to reach Kim Tian Road and I confirmed that cab companies were daylight robbers.
We left my aunt and uncle soon and made our way to Chinatown together with my mum. We bought some stuffs at the CK departmental store before going for dinner. The sting ray stall was closed for the day and we struggled some time before decided to eat chicken rice – my second time for the day.
Before we could finish enjoying our meal, a weird auntie approached us to buy tissue papers. It was not the usual case of such irritating acts in hawker centres and this time the seller seemed to be an insane case. She was not limping or blind, and none of her body seemed to be pitiful, but she behaved so creepy that most of the diners were staring at her wherever she went.
My mum took out tissue papers just before she came over. She simply put her tissue papers on the table and reached out her hands for money. She refused to leave and suddenly she kneeled down while she seemed to be packing her big bag. We refused to buy her threat and after a minute or so, she got up and decided to give up after some time. Wherever she went to, the people seemed to be so disgusted and even foreigners turned her away. Another disgusting act of her was when she started plucking her nose.
Government should do something to stop selling of tissue papers in food centres to stop the irritation; but however, if necessary, licenses should be given to the disabled.