you run into the night from all you’ve had

There’s something strangely therapeutic about listening to the light pitter-patter of raindrops as they beat against the nylon fabric of an umbrella which you’re holding over yourself.

Besides walking my dog in the rain late at night with an umbrella, this week, I’ve joined the school choir for a day, dressed up on Friday for college and sat on a plane alone. Again.

Last Thursday, since I had nothing else to do after classes, I decided to follow Yi Jing and Hannah (Yi Jing’s classmate and an ex-ALSTAR teammate of mine) to their choir practice from 5 to 7 because what the hell. It was free and who knows, maybe I have some kind of hidden talent for singing showcases. (Spoiler: that wasn’t the case.) The vocal trainer tested my vocal range for the first time and sorted me into soprano 2. Soprano. Oh. Hannah was a sop 2 as well and since I fail terribly at sight singing, I depended mostly (if not wholly) on Hannah when we practised. I don’t think I’ll be returning for the second practice, though.

The next day was a Friday, and previously, our econs teacher had instructed us to “dress up” on that day as we would be having an informal class photo taken. So after class on Thursday, the remaining people of my class had a brief meeting and we came to a consensus to dress formally the next day. So on Friday, majority of the boys were in collared shirts and slacks (Irfan went the distance and even had a bowtie on) (like Harry Styles) while Bellyn, Zi Tian and I dressed up in, well, dresses.

No one can beat Bellyn’s skillz

It was a really fun Friday. There’s always a certain…lightness to Fridays that Thursdays over here never had. It already feels like a day off even though it technically isn’t. Lecturers dress down while students dress up on Fridays, and it really is, in all its essence, TGIF.

On that Friday itself, I was to fly back to Alor Setar on an 8PM flight. Daniel, who was also staying at SMR offered me a lift to the Subang airport and when he dropped me there, it felt like Heathrow all over again, albeit a way smaller Heathrow because all I needed to do was walk straight and turn right to reach the waiting area. I didn’t even have to look for my terminal.

The gate of my flight opened at 1930 hours so at 7PM, I decided to call Beneh just for the heck of it and also to while away the time. The phone call lasted for 38 minutes and I didn’t even realise I’d missed my high school accomplice so much until then. And then it was boarding time and I spent the one hour on the plane silently laughing at Dan and Phil’s radio show video that I had pre-downloaded at school as a preparatory method to elude boredom on the plane. As a result, the hour literally flew by (see what I did there) and in no time at all, I was back at Alor Setar. My parents were already waiting for me and after hugging them, I was on the way home. Truly home. And damn, did that feel really frickin’ good. There really is no place like home.

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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