THE INTELLIGENT SINGAPOREAN

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The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – Chapter 8 “The Garden Party”

Posted by inspir3d on February 15, 2005

On the 30th day of the lunar calendar – the old man threw a garden party in his mansion to bring the auspicious new year to a close.

This was the least he could do to appease the rest of his other wife’s. Who seemed throughout the week quite restless by his open display of affection for his youngest wife during the Chinese new year celebrations in china town earlier in the month.

Since Jeannie Lam was officially my fiancée, the old man naturally expressed an interest to see her that evening, he had remarked earlier in the week,

“Beautiful things are best seen in the fullness of the moonlight.”

Only to smile revealing a row of rotting teeth.

That evening Jeannie wore a vermillion silk cheong sam*, close to her hipline a pair of flamingo’s curled across her chest heightening her figure. Braided discreetly to her bun hair, was a burst of magnolias. She looked quite fetching as the slender flamingo’s seem to nod at each other, every time she either bowed or shuffled. (*formal Chinese dress)

Most of the older ladies looked at her approvingly and though they were preoccupied with the fit of cheong sam – some of these older ladies would later turn to me and wink mischievously, asking me whether a date for our marriage had been set, all except the third wife who seemed as usual quite distant sitting demurely all to herself sipping her tea some distance away on the main table.

So it came as a pleasant surprise to me mid way through the party, when the third wife suddenly appeared to pay her respects to Jeannie and her parents and though a long silence ensued between these two ladies, she turned towards me with her finely shaped nose and huge bright eyes and said.

“Now that I have seen her you are indeed a fortunate man.”

Her words coming out in a rushed whisper, only to move on to another table. Leaving the Lam’s and their relatives smiling suggesting they were perhaps surprised how she had been unusually generous with her praises for their daughter that evening.

With her back to me walking away, each step she took was an inadequate disguise for the roundness of her hips, surprising on such a slim figure, I found myself unable to tear away from her departing figure and as I looked and continued looking till she disappeared into the crowd.

I suddenly realized, Jeannie was watching me, her eyes schoolgirl cheery as always, reflecting the many colored bulbs criss crossing the garden – but in their depths, for one moment just fleetingly I swore I saw a desperate thirst in those eyes, filling me momentarily with a slight shudder – but it must have been the play of lights – Jeannie Lam could never fathom the affairs of man who was as complicated as me. Or could she?

Darkness 2002

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