How We Got Together
by Joel

Though it has only been 1 month plus since we first met, I felt that we were meant for each other. In the past few weeks, I've taken every opportunity to meet up with her in the hostel. I would head straight to NTU after my industrial attachment at Aztech (which is just 15 min walk from home!). And then staying on as late as I can and then catching the last bus out of NTU and the last bus out of Boon Lay Bus Interchange! Occasionally I will even stay overnight in my hostel room (which I had let out to Junqi). With no bed to sleep on, I had to sleep on the cold hard tiles in my working clothes (long sleeve and pants!), with just a pillow under my head!

Junqi told me something which I’ll never forget: “If you don’t move quickly, the other Indonesian guys will get her! So better act fast!"

So on 17 Aug 1999, I thought it would be a good chance to reveal my feelings. It was her birthday.

By the time I got to NTU after work, dropped by Cheng How’s Hall to borrow his car, drove down to Jurong Point to grab a cheesecake and flowers, drove back to Hall 9 and finally arriving at her doorstep, it was already 8.30pm. The first thing she said when she opened the door was, “Do you still want to go or not?” :P

I gave her the flowers in the car and drove to Marina Square for dinner at Breeks. At Cheng How’s suggestion, next stop was Jurong Hill Park. We stood at the top of the hill for a while to admire the scenery. Courage deserted me though (cos she was so quiet throughout the time up there, perhaps thinking why I brought her to this dark and quiet place!) and we headed back to NTU.

After cutting the cake at her place, I had to return the car to Cheng How and she accompanied me. And in the wee hours of the morning, we walked back to Hall 9 together. This was my chance!

Halfway through the walk, I blurted out, ”I like you”

She replied, “Why do you like me?”

Huh? I was stumped! Was certainly not expecting such a reply. Our subsequent conversation lead to nowhere and I went home a disappointed man. But I was determined not to give up hope!

4 days later (21 Aug), we met up again. She wanted to buy a computer and I volunteered to accompany her and assemble a computer for her cos it’s more value for money. I dragged Cheng How along again (thanks buddy!) and asked him to give me a crash course on how to assemble a computer! Gee, the last time I assembled one was many years back and it was a 486 PC!

After buying all the parts from Sim Lim Square, we headed back in Cheng How’s car. Lydia and I sat at the back while his friend sat in front.

After a while, she said that her fingers were cold.

”Is it?” I replied, and then I reached out my right hand and held her fingers. They were indeed cold, but all that I could think and feel of was the warmth in my heart! And we held hands silently (didn’t wanna distract Cheng How!) for the rest of the journey back to NTU.

With Cheng How’s help (at his place of course, away from her eyes), the computer was assembled and I brought it back to her place. We then sat on the bed and chatted till the early next morning of 22 Aug. And then as the radio played the love song of “What do you get when you fall in love…”, I held her hands again. It was quite fuzzy after that, but I think I asked her, “Will you be my girlfriend?”

True to her own special way, she didn’t say “yes”.

She asked if I’m serious about the two of us and how far do I think we will be together. I replied that I’m serious (of course!) and that I can see us going all the way to the end.

I ask her again if she will be my girlfriend.

This time she said, “Yes”.

”Really?” I replied (what a strange response, hehheh).

And she nod her head.