by Chua Han Au


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These days the sun has fallen, giving rise to a climate as close as Singapore can get to winter. The shredded clouds are burdened with rain but they fall considerately. I watch as the raindrops burst into several others as they ricochet off the tar pavement. We made our way to Grandma’s after the rain and that was when I saw it. It made its way through the sharp blades of grass and fallen leaves, as if familiarising itself with its new habitat, not knowing that it’s near the brink of death, literally. Who would have a heart vile enough to displace a tortoise by the road, and have the wretched courage to drive off? They were callous yes, but by being utterly helpless, only to witness the widening proximity between you and the tortoise, doesn’t make you less callous, does it?

You’re sitting in the car and you have James Bay on repeat, to repress the conflicting thoughts about depravity and the bestial act of cruelty. And you wonder if people are like that. There comes a point of interest followed by a climax and then ending off with sickness and a sort of vapid feeling. Perhaps people are like good music. One gets wholly captivated by their idiosyncrasies at first hand and then gives them a chance to bloom beautifully; only to admire it for a mere fleeting second. Eventually crushing it with their bare bony hands as they leave with: “I’m sick of you.”