Friday, June 26, 2009


When I entered the room, I thought he would be very angry with me. But to my surprise, he beckoned me forward with a smile. He opened his arms wide and hesitantly, I went to him. I felt his warmth envelope me and relaxed a little in his embrace.

“Don’t you hate me?” I mumbled into his shirt.

The inevitable reply came.


I heard the gun click at my temple.


I’m known by many names. It all depends on what my assignment is. For now, you can call me Harriet. I’m a pharmacist by day. I live in a modest condo with a good view of the city. I have a pet dog that has been with me for many years. But that does not explain why there is a gun to my head now.

Let me get to the point then.

I am an assassin.

Ever since I can remember, I have been trained to kill – swift and without a mess. Of course, I don’t come cheap. I auction my services to the highest bidder. And let me tell you, life is sweet for the likes of me. After all, money is power and with money, you can do anything.

Many would remember their first toy as a doll, a brightly coloured ball, a mini car… Mine was a handgun. Others get pats on the head for getting 5 stars for homework. I get pats for hitting the bulls-eye 5 times in a row. Girls grow up learning how to use makeup to enhance their beauty. I learned how to morph into anyone I like. Teenagers learn to lie from their parents. I lived a lie from the day I completed my first assignment.

Let’s get this straight. I don’t like what I do. It gets old after years of doing what I do. Try as I might, I just can’t seem to take pleasure at the number of successful missions I’ve accomplished. And there’s a reason why I am one of the highest paid in the field. The sense of purpose vanishes in time. I get a call, I carry it out, and I wait for the next call. I wanted to get out of this vicious cycle and put a halt to this downward spiral of my life.

Of course, this didn’t just happen overnight. Somewhere along the line, I dedicated my life to God and knew in my heart that I can’t continue to do what I’ve been doing. I realised I’ve been blind all this while to life – living it like it should be. All this while I’ve never dared to admit to my self that what I was doing was cold-blooded murder. I couldn’t, you understand? Doing so would make it seem personal – that I was robbing someone’s husband, someone’s wife, someone’s parent, someone’s child. In my line of work, there’s no such thing as emotions. You rub sentimentalities out of you because you need to remain objective – even in the very face of death. You can’t afford a single moment of hesitation because that will decide who walks away the victor.

However, just because you want to quit doesn’t necessarily mean you can. First, I was already involved with the man who regularly hires me. This was my first mistake because I needed to be neutral – free from any emotional holds. He was a dangerous man and being the reckless fool I was I fell for his charm hook, line and sinker. Telling him I had enough was equivalent to committing hara-kiri.

At the same time, many people were circulating rumours that I had a daughter. And that she was dying by the seconds with leukaemia. And that I would do whatever it takes to keep her with me. Even if it means to kill for the money. As to the question of whether or not I really had given birth to a daughter, I’d certainly be reluctant to talk too much about her, for fear that her identity might become publicly known. It would be in no one’s best interest for such a thing to happen. The best course, I feel, is for me to say nothing at all, especially when I’m still alive; I’m sure you will understand.

So I continued living my lie – doing what my heart screamed was wrong, wrong, wrong. Every person I killed now weighed heavily on my conscience. I was convicted, God kept tugging at my heartstring to stop. It went on and on until it came to the point where I knew I must take a stand.

The day came where the reason for doing what I did broke.

And I did the unforgivable – I let my target live.

It was utter chaos. I was tracking down this man for months and when I finally found him, he was in a room. Not alone, no. If he was, I would have been able to muster the guts to finish the job. No, he was playing with his daughter – laughing together as she hugged him tight. Tears welled up and I fled.

Naturally, my man found out. How he found out I will never know. And he was livid. The target I allowed to walk free was about to spill highly classified secrets to the government about my man. He was as good as dead.

I walked into my condo knowing full well that I may not leave alive.


When I entered the room, I thought he would be very angry with me. But to my surprise, he beckoned me forward with a smile. He opened his arms wide and hesitantly, I went to him. I felt his warmth envelope me and relaxed a little in his embrace.

“Don’t you hate me?” I mumbled into his shirt.

The inevitable reply came.


I heard the gun click at my temple.



Oh my sweet child! You’re here! And you look beautiful!

I’ve been waiting for you mama…

And so have I my dear girl, so have I.


When I entered heaven, I thought He would be very angry with me. But to my surprise, He beckoned me forward with a smile. He opened His arms wide and hesitantly, I went to Him. I felt His warmth envelope me and relaxed a little in His embrace.

“Do you still love me?” I mumbled through my tears.

The inevitable reply came.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Technology in Communication - Boon or Blessing?

Just a mini break from the whole thing about why left-handers die early not because I don’t have enough woes (I do, trust me, I just got back from a wedding where there were 3 left-handers in one table) but because… I got tired of the subject.

Don’t stone me! At least I’m being honest.

No worries, I’ll finish it, just not now and not immediately.

Anyway, I just finished reading another Jessica Darling book about an hour ago. (YES, THE BOOK I BLEW 50 BUCKS ON). Reading it reminded of something she wrote about technology.

‘You noted how no advance in technology can be a substitute for real interpersonal interaction. I was particularly touched by your admission that being able to get in touch with your long-distance friend twenty-four hours a day is sometimes more of a burden than a blessing because it just makes you wish she were here.’ – Sloppy Firsts, Megan Mccafferty

I hold technology guilty for the break-down of many of the basic living skills. Take for example, cooking. With so many instant dinner-in-a-bag packages, microwave food, INSTANT noodles, we find ourselves pampered and seduced by the mess-free, hassle-free, stress-free food sources. Of course, I really shouldn’t touch on cooking because that’s number 13950897203 on my post-SPM to-do list – TO LEARN HOW TO COOK.

But I digress.

I understand the need of technology for development, for progress. However, I can’t help but notice that it’s due to technology, we’re losing one of the most vital skill ever – face-to-face communication. Like when I was at the wedding lunch, I was listening to one of the guests telling a love story – that is tragic at its best and pathetic at its worst.

I shall briefly summarise.

Boy meets girl through Skype. The communication was mainly done via Skype. Boy and girl fell in love. The courtship was mainly done via Skype. Boy and girl get married after just a few months. Boy and girl are now stuck in unhappy marriage.

Well, I’m sorry but that is as romantic as rabbit droppings.

Unfortunately, that is what’s happening now. We’re losing the ability to carry out a meaningful conversation face to face. We prefer to hide behind emails, online messaging, SMSes, c-boxes spamming, facebook, Twitter, etc.

And you know you’ve got it bad when someone tells a joke and you say, ‘LOL.’

I’m not discrediting technology as a means of communication but sometimes I fear we have relied on it too much that we forget the person talking to actually have a face with his/her own personality and not just a username like ‘CookieMonster59’.

It’s true it’s difficult to imagine a world without the technology as we know it. At times, I do appreciate technology because in some cases, a little contact is better than no contact at all. To that I say, embrace technology but at the same time, remember that technology is a poor substitute to a face-to-face communication.

So keep your conversational skills, they’re a lot more important than the ability to type like a bullet train on MSN.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009



1. ChopsticksTo be precise, using chopsticks during those jam-packed wedding dinners Chinese are so famous for. Try sitting next to a right-hander (or vice-versa for right-handers). IT’S ARMAGEDDON.

2. Potato/Apple/Fruit/Skin Peeler

This is by far the worst one I’ve come across. And heartily agreed by almost all the left-handers I ask. Well, those that do know how to peel potatoes that is…

For right-handers who have no idea what I’m talking about, trying using a potato peeler with your left hand. Good luck!

3. Tin opener

This takes the award of ‘Most Un-leftie Friendly Item’ together with the potato peeler. At least for the potato peeler, I can either just eat the skin (for apples and papayas) or use a knife to cut the skin off. But for the tin opener, there’s absolutely no way around it. Maybe I’ll hack it off with a saw. Speaking of saws… Refer to future post on working woes.


To be continued...

Monday, June 1, 2009



1.The Self-Smudging Effect

Now, remember what I mentioned in the spiral bound notebook case? In the same way, this curling of the hand results in the heel of the palm being placed behind the writing, forcing the writer to lift it off the paper and making the grip even more awkward. In addition, constantly lifting and replacing the hand over fresh ink often causes smudging, causing problems for many left-handed students, especially in exam situations.*

Tell me about it. My hand turns blue/black (depending on ink colour) after exams.

2. Those retarded table-cum-chair-sets

We used to have this in the APD room in my school library both in primary school and secondary school. Thank God my secondary school has replaced them with normal tables and chairs but it was torture in primary school. We lefties have to bend and curl our spine to the right which is uncomfortable and highly irritating.

Note to self: When school reopens, must tell Pn. Shanta that this is the reason why left-handers will be more prone to backaches. The table cum chair set promotes BAD SITTING POSTURE for left-handers. How are we going to rest our back against the back of the chair and maintain an upright position?!* (Those who know what I’m talking about, please remind me when school starts. Those who don’t know, please refer to Biology Form 5 textbook page 62, Photography 2.5. Those who still don’t get it, it’s ok….)

*Sources from and Biology Form 5 textbook

To be continued...