Tuesday, May 17, 2011


"I wrote this for my prettiest friend
But while trying not to prove that I care
I was trying not to make all my moves in one motion and scare her away
She can't see she's making me crazy now
I don't believe she knows she's amazing how
She has me holding my breath
So I'd never guess that I'm a nonesuch unsuitable suitor for her"

Prettiest Friend (2005) by Jason Mraz

"I got a present for you," I told her in the car right after I retrieved her from the bus station. From my faithful satchel, I produced a pair of handmade earrings of knotted-silver which I purchased on a whim from the Tibetan marketplace in McLeod Ganj. I fell in love with them the moment I saw them, and I was certain Phoebe would too.

They were suppose to be a belated birthday present - about eight months belated to be precise - but such is the nature of geographically-challenged relationships, and over time, we have started to play fast and loose with the sovereignty of lovers' holidays like birthdays, anniversaries and St. Valentine's Day. Phoebe is impossibly nice for not minding my epic tardiness in gifting, while any other girlfriend would have had me hanged, drawn and quartered for reckless endangerment of Martian-Venusian relations. Every single day, just by being the easy-going, good-natured person she is, she reminds me of how truly lucky I am to have her love - which if not unconditional, is the closest any love ever gotten to it.

Phoebe gasped appreciatively, snatched the earrings up, and immediately put them on. After admiring how she looked with her shiny new baubles dangling from her ears, she turned and looked at me imploringly through her honey-coloured contacts. Regressing effortlessly into a six-year old girl, she asked: "Where is my other present?"

"What other present?" I asked in turn, knitting my eyebrows together into a semblance of puzzlement.

A puppy dog pout appeared on her face. Had Herr Hitler seen that pout as a young man, Europe would have told a very different story of the 1930's. "You said you are going to give me presents for two years! You know - in case, we don't see each other again during my birthday this year!"

"Didn't I just do that?" I grinned, and pointed at each of her earlobes in turn. "Presents for two ears."

She gasped in mock injury and indignation. A great gasper is Phoebe. She has one for almost every possible scenario, each distinct from the others by permutations of timbre, intensity and speed. "That is so lame," she pronounced but started laughing anyway. She laughs so freely and openly these days. I remember when the self-controlled Phoebe three-and-a-half years ago confided in me that she had never really heard the sound of her own laughter, I promised in my terminal lovesickness to one day make it happen, to make her truly laugh. I had since kept that promise almost everyday. I love doing it; it's the most straightforward way I know of giving someone happiness.

Last Friday coincided with the thirteenth day of the month, and May thirteenth is the anniversary of the bloodiest race riot in the spotty history of Malaysia. Furthermore, my previous girlfriend and I hooked up together on a Friday the thirteenth as well, and I count myself lucky to have escaped that unnatural disaster mostly alive and passably sane. It was on this Voltronically inauspicious date that Phoebe decided to pay me a weekend visit in Malacca, instantly turning it into one of the best days of the year on my calendar. She said she came for the Malaccan cendol (which is quite probably her favourite food in the whole wide world) but I knew she came for me. She came because I wanted, needed to see her.

Phoebe and Saturday Night Lights
The Long-Suffering Girlfriend™ surrounded by artificial stars by the riverside.

It did not escape my notice that she's flowering into captivating young woman of uncommon quality. Every time I see her, she became more and more beautiful - and it's not just because I am falling deeper and deeper in love with her. I watched as she slowly unfolded from her cocoon starved of self-esteem, and transformed into the imago she is no longer too timid to embody (and I daresay I aided in her transformation by pointing out to her that her old wardrobe should be considered a violation of human rights). I have always confessed my insecurities and my unshakable conviction that this girl is simply too good for me and now, to my horror and delight, she's discovering new ways to remind me of that fact.

In spite of it all, she is still every bit the darling girl I had fallen in love once upon a time, and all the times after. She did not turn into a malcontented harpy of bitter pettiness intent on locking the both of us into a spiral of mutually-assured destruction. She is still sweet, understanding and preposterously cute after being in a relationship with me for more than three years - and I consider that a Nobel Peace Prize-winning accomplishment. For the thousandth, no, millionth time, I will say that she is the best girlfriend any guy could ask for. This is not soppy nothings I whisper to her in secret when we are alone in dark rooms. This is something I shout from the rooftops of the world.

When we were about to arrive at my place, I told her that her second birthday present was hidden under her seat.

"You are lying," she probed while also searching my face for a tell. "You just want to see me reach for nothing and laugh at me again!"

I said nothing but when we did finally reach home, I said: "Your second present is really under your seat."

"Really?!" she squealed excitedly like she just discovered a roomful of puppies which sneeze rainbows and sprinkle stardust every time they scratch their ears. She was beginning to dive for her prize when I told her that I did in fact fibbed about it, and that there is no present under her seat after all.


"It's actually in the glove compartment."

With a subito gasp of sudden realisation, she eagerly popped the case open and found a small white and pastel-pink box which had been sitting there the whole time, barely a few inches from her knees. It was bottled Chance bearing the name of a rare lady I admire, and I had no doubt that Phoebe would find use for it.

"It's very you," I said to her. "So, I've decided that the two of you belong together."

Sorry for being eight months late with your birthday present for last year, Phoebe. This year, I'm making up for it by being extra early. Yes love, it can be September the second whenever we damn well please.

Trying to deserve you,
k0k s3n w4i


Anonymous said...


Okay, I'm gonna do it anyway.


(And I'm pretty sure I've said this before but Phoebe is so pretty! :D)

Elaynne said...

You made me tear T_T

Phoebe has really grown into a fine young woman. Really pretty!

You better lose weight and make sure you don't lose your hair :P

I can't wait to meet her someday!

Phoebs said...

its ok, i think presents are kinda fun when they're late. im happy today :D

Phoebs said...

thank you for saying im pretty! :D :D i worked really hard to lose weight. now its all paying off. hehehehe

dori_lukey said...

AWWWWWW.... incredible love story you have here. You're making me feel sad to be a jealous guy now lol

~*caryn*~ said...

phoebe is so pretty, what a lucky dude you are.

Anonymous said...

Why'd you even need to lose weight?!

Glo-w~* said...

omg she's really blooming! and ahem I see she's getting more well endowed lols...^^

k0k s3n w4i said...

lovealynna: yes, your first comment actually sent me back on a déjà vu trip! she's on a fitness kick but don't worry - i fed her up a bit when she was in malacca and had kept her at least 50 yards away from any treadmills or swimming pools.

Elaynne: eh, so emo, haha. i lost a few kilos after my backpacking trip, and i'll probably lose more once i start my housemanship. problem is, my hair will probably go with the pounds :(

Phoebs: careful now, i think your head is starting to develop a palpable gravitational pull.

dori_lukey: don't be jealous. aren't you in singapore? i heard that you can't lob a brick without killing a hot girl on the streets there.

~*caryn*~: this dude agrees ;)

Glo-w~*: welcome to the wonderful world of optical illusions.

Phoebs said...

lovealynna: i still feel fat. my arms are flabby & stuff T__T right now, im just trying to tone my muscles & hopefully lose a little more weight in the process xD

yuhhui said...

awww.. that's really really sweet. =) you both make a gorgeous pair.

Anonymous said...

Sigh. I think that means the elephant (me) should actually make some effort.

This is depressing... I'm gonna have chocolate pudding now to cheer myself up. :D

May Lee said...

zomg i'm grinning in the office like a mad woman. THAT IS SO SWEET, HOLY CRAP. go, you! i think guys all over the world hate you now for screwing up the grading curve, so to speak.

phoebe, you look gorgeous. i dunno what you have to tone! but whatever you're doing, keep up the good work! and i'm glad to read that you've come a long way, you sound like a really lovely person inside and out! he's suuper lucky to have you!

Phoebs said...

lovealynna: hehe. chocolate pudding sounds yummy

may lee: thank you for thinking im a nice person! :D im nothing special actually. he just makes it seem so :3

Jen said...

Phoebs looks rake-thin in that picture!! (which means whatever diet she's on is working too well. phoebs, share those secrets please haha).

I don't like you la Kok Sen Wai, this post made me all emo-y and melancholic at work on Monday evening.

k0k s3n w4i said...

yuhhui: we try ;)

lovealynna: typical. thin girl pretending to be fat, haha.

May Lee: screw up the grading curve? had no one picked up on the fact that i was 8 months late with phoebe's birthday present? ah, i'm so good at propaganda.

Jen: oh, you're such a softie, haha. and it's no secret - she's eating like a rabbit and exercising like crazy. she did it the hard way.

Anonymous said...

You are SO talking about Phoebe! ;)

Liz said...

Awwwwwwwww. I just read this ! This is super duper sweet !!! :DDDDDD May Lee is right. More guys should be as sweet :D And congrats on the three-years-and-counting relationship ! Wish you guys the best :D

And dang, why on earth does Phoebe need to lose weight??? So skinny already !!!!!! @.@ *shamefacedme*