I arrived in Choa Chu Kang, weary from my travel. I had landed in Singapore a few hours ago and met my colleague Andrew who had picked me up from the airport. He treated me to lunch and we spoke about Singapore. I had been here on a couple of occasions over the past few years but I’ve never had to live in this country for an extended time. This time, Andrew designated himself as my guide. He had fixed me up in a comfortable apartment in Choa Chu Kang and after lunch, he dropped me at my new place.
For the next three months, this town would be my new home. I was excited about the project that I’d taken up for work which was the reason why I had moved to this new place, but I was already felt a little homesick.
London and my ex-girlfriend Beth were so far away. Beth and I had broken up a few weeks before I had moved to Singapore. We were still very fond of each other but our work kept us apart so often that we had become like strangers to each other. Our careers had mutually moved us away from each other but I still missed her. Being away from home, brought back her memories with a lot more potency. I curled up in bed that night, all I could think of was Beth’s arms wrapped around me, how she would have kissed my face lightly and stroked my hair until I fell asleep.
I was restless the entire night. I missed my bed back home. Singapore felt too hot for my comfort. Even though the air-conditioning was switched on, it brought no relief to me. I got up several times during the night, first to fetch some water, then to pee, then to check the time.
The next morning, when I finally woke up, I found that my eyes were puffy from lack of sleep. “Not a bright sight, are you Jack?” I said to myself as I looked in the mirror. Andrew had been kind enough to stock a few staples in the apartment on account of my arrival, but I still had to go shopping to fill up on some groceries and toiletries. Only, I had no idea where the supermarket might be.
I picked up my phone to dial Andrew in order to ask him where I could go to buy my essentials but then I realised that it was early morning on a Sunday. I didn’t want to disturb Andrew so early on his day off. So I decided to head out and explore the neighborhood on my own. That’s when I first saw Nina. She had just locked the door of her apartment, which was right next to mine. When I walked out of my apartment, she flashed a smile at me.
“Hello,” I found myself responding inadvertently. She smiled again. Only this time, her white teeth gleamed through her lips like a string of pearls.
“Just moved in?” She asked.
“Yes. I just got here from London yesterday.”
“Oh really? I was in London last month.”
We spoke with each other. She told me about the family that had lived in my apartment before me and how they had just moved out a few weeks ago on account of the husband’s transfer to Shanghai. Nina’s voice had a very calm and soothing quality to it. It was very melodious.
“Do you sing?” I asked her, the thought striking me out of the blue.
“As a matter of fact, I do. Not professionally yet, but someday I hope to”
“I would love to hear you sing sometime” I said.
“Of course. You are welcome to come home any time you want. I’m at home most evenings. Choa Chu Kang is a very quiet neighbourhood. So I don’t go out in the evening very often as there isn’t much to do” she said.
“How about tonight?” I asked as the words had just slipped right out of my mouth. I couldn’t believe the spontaneity with which I had just invited myself to her place.
“Sure, tonight sounds good. Shall we meet at 8?”
“Yes,” I replied, unable to contain my excitement.
We parted ways, I went for a walk around the neighbourhood. I found myself consumed with thoughts of Nina all through the day. She wasn’t beautiful in a conventional way, but something about her mannerisms made her charming. It was easy to talk to her and I thought perhaps Choa Chu Kang wouldn’t make me feel like I was alone and away from home.
That evening I was full of anticipation. I looked forward to spending time with Nina and swap tales of our adventures of what our lives were like and what our lives had been like in the past. At exactly 8pm I rang the doorbell to her apartment. She opened the door, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw her. Nina wore a knee-length, white dress with a single red line encircling her waist. Her long black hair was tied back in a red ribbon and she smelled of lilies. Her brown eyes sparkled as she said “Welcome to my humble abode” and gave a little laugh. I walked in with a bottle of wine.
“I hope you like it” I said as I gave her the bottle.
“I do like red” She said. She tossed her ponytail back and gave me a glimpse of the ribbon again. I was tempted to untie the red ribbon that held her hair prisoner. I clenched my fist to save myself from giving into the temptation.
We had a lovely dinner that Nina had fixed. She had made a few Singaporean delicacies that to my English palate were exotic. We talked at length about ourselves; she about her family, her job, her best friend and I told her all about my home in London, what kind of a boy I was when I was younger and my own business which was what had brought me to Singapore. We didn’t realize how time flew and before I knew it, it was almost midnight. I didn’t want to leave, but decorum demanded that I leave Nina and head back to my apartment as we both had an early morning and for me, it would be the first day that I would work on my new project.
“I suppose I should get going” I said as I secretly hoped that she would ask me to stay.
“Yes, you should. But not before listening to that song I promised to sing” She replied and went to fetch her guitar.
I felt a little glee rise inside me. She came back with her guitar and sat down on the couch. She strummed it and sang a beautiful song, the lyrics of which escape me now. I was lost in her voice. I was lost as I watched the expressions on her face. A smile unknowingly played on my lips. And before I knew it, my hand had extended itself towards her back and untied her hair ribbon.
Nina smiled at my action and continued to sing. I stroked her back lightly. The sheer, satin fabric of her dress felt wonderful to touch. Nina’s eyes closed, whether lost in her song or in response to my touch, I don’t know. Just as her song ended, her face came close to mine. She looked deeply into my eyes. My mouth bridged the gap between us and I kissed her lips. Her lips parted in response. With one hand, she reached the back of my neck and with the other, she stroked my hair. I pulled her close to me as we continued to kiss each other, lost in each other’s embrace.
A little moan escaped her lips. A moan got stuck in the back of my throat. I was extremely aware of how clumsy my hands were around her, but she continued to stroke my hair and back as if I was exactly the person she had been meaning to touch for a very long time. When we pulled apart, her eyes still held my gaze. Her dress had hiked up and the soft flesh of her thighs was visible. I placed my hand lightly on them. She quivered under my touch. I kissed her neck and sucked gently as she sighed in sexual pleasure.
“Stay here tonight” She whispered to me. I nodded in agreement. We went to her bedroom. There were cushions of every size and colour piled up on the bed. The curtains were a vibrant shade of pink. There were photographs pinned to the wall.
She laid down on the bed. I followed her without taking my eyes off her. We lay side by side for a minute before she reached out to me and put her head on my chest. My fingers began to stroke her lazily.
“You have very soft skin” I said.
“Yes, I do” She laughed.
She raised her head up to look into my eyes. I pulled her closer, this time I kissed her hard on her mouth. She moaned loudly, surprised at my ferocity. My hand reached out and pulled her dress off. She was petite, and I was too big for her. The more my tongue explored her, the louder her moans became. I held her tightly and continued to kiss her. She tugged at my hair, and I got rougher as the minutes passed. I was like a hungry beast that found itself in front of a feast after it had been starved. I craved Nina’s body. My hands fumbled when I tried to take off her bra, and she had to ease it off instead. She took off my pants more deftly than I would have been able to do it myself. We made love over the next few hours, sometimes gently, sometimes more aggressively.
Eventually, we drifted off to sleep. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning. It just began to get light outside. Nina’s breath was deep as she was fast asleep. I continued to look at her face, which seemed so serene. In that moment I found myself that I had grown fond of her. I let my fingers gently trail along her arm. It felt amazing just to touch her. She dreamily let out a soft groan, and her fingers clutched at my arm tighter.
We got out of bed a few hours later, and Nina fixed me breakfast. I left with a kiss on her forehead and a promise to be back again later that night.
We continued our conversations over the next few days, mostly over dinner and drinks. Nina took me around Choa Chu Kang, and I explored the town with her. We began to take walks in the many parks in this part of the town. Our evening strolls became one of the things that I used to look forward to with a lot of fervor. We explored the little adult shopping mall where Nina would help me pick out stuff for my apartment or my daily use. She was a smart girl and knew how to pick up things that were of high quality but reasonably priced. We discovered eating joints, regaling each other with more conversation.
And every night I would go back with her. We spent a night or two at my apartment, but mostly I would go and sleep at her place. We made love almost every night. When she was on top of me, she was the gentlest of lovers. She would kiss my chest and let her hands explore my privates. When I was on top of her, I would devour her with passion, kissing every inch of her skin and having sex with her.
We delighted in each other’s company for the three months that I lived in Choa Chu Kang. I came back to London after that, but by then we had become very deeply involved with each other. Now, Nina and I are in a relationship, and I still see her every month when I go to Singapore. Our nights continue to be filled with passion and lust whenever we see each other.