It’s Tuesday, just half past midnight. Last night, I was waiting at the bus stop around the same time.
It was my last shift at work. My co-worker made me go live on air to cast the news. My producer told me I should be proud of myself- going through school and working while still pulling off a high level quality of work. Our morning traffic anchor left him a message for me.
She had said that what I was doing was smart- taking a break, travelling and seeing the world before marriage and mortgages.
That thought comforted me. Although, I wasn’t quite going anywhere. Twice, my co-workers asked where I was off to. “Sleep,” I’d say. I’m taking a break to sleep and rest.
The last few weeks, after handing in my resignation- a weight lifted off my shoulder. I learned to enjoy the company of co-workers. Was it just me? Was I the problem? Why was I always worried and tense? Brows furrowed back hunched- scared of every little mistake I could make as I wrote the news for the night.
I felt light as I stepped out of the office one last time. My friend, Manuella was waiting for me patiently. She gave me a Kinder Egg surprise, a token for my last day. She also brought a brown sugar bubble tea from Jenjudan.
We walked all the way to the train station and made our way to a Korean restaurant on the other side of the city.
Manuella and I have big appetites, and we never stop ourselves from ordering whatever we want.
We had deep fried mini crabs, barbecued beef tendons, tofu soup, and bossam.
We talked about a lot of things, about our friends from our hometowns, about feelings of worthiness, the excitement of new love.
We screamed when we saw rats as we were walking along the pavement of Alexandria Road. We talked about how my outside appearance didn’t match the level of “uncool” and “dorky” that I really was.
“You told me you were worried he’d find out how uncool you were. Now I know why.” Laughter, tons of it.
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We walked through Lansdowne mall’s parking lot. The spring carnival that earlier livened and illuminated the space was now quiet and dark.
Manuella waited with me for my bus before she booked an Uber. I took the bus home, and looked out the scenery.
I recalled the conversations I had that week. My dentist had asked me why I quit. I was stressed, I told her. She thought I was still working at the store, not at the newsroom.
“So you quit your job at the store, and now you quit your job at the newsroom. What’s happening to you?”
But she was on my side.
“Were you in a hurry?” she seemed to understand. Because I was. I was scared and in a hurry about the future.
When I made the decision to quit, I just felt it in my gut. I felt my intuition screaming at me. I had told my therapist I was scared that it wasn’t my intuition but my trauma, resurfacing. But I still made the decision anyway, even before seeing her.
I just felt that I would be taken cared of. That if I just finally listen to myself, maybe things will actually figure themselves out- unlike when I decide things in a panic or out of fear.
It was a beautiful night and I felt light and free, almost confident that I would be alright.