This is a work of fiction.
It’s 5.30am in the morning and i woke up on the hard concrete bench beside the letter box under a block of flat. My whole body ache as i stretched myself.
I’ve lost everything. My home, my company, everything. I’ve been sleeping on the streets for the past week trying to figure things out.
I have only $5 left in my pocket. i don;t even have a phone. My pride and ego stopped me from getting help from anyone. Not even parents and close friends.
I need to figure this out on my own, how to get back on my feet. I mumbled softly under my breath.
Adam : at least i’m still breathing….
I heard the drag and clank of the metal dustpan from a distance away. That must be the cleaner for the flat, Bala. I’ve spoke with him a few times. He seemed happy to be able to work and make a living.
Bala walked into view and he gave me a wave and i returned one. I made sure to keep my sleeping area clean and tidy before i leave.
Looking at Bala who is only 24, i can’t help but wonder what was i doing at 24. Now that i am 48, i’ve plunged to the bottom of my life with no clear goal in sight.
Bala, in every sense, seemed to be having a better life than me. He spoke on his phone to his girlfriend back home while he worked, he’s young, fit and well, he’s making more money than me now. He even has a proper roof over his head.
I got up and started to walk towards the private estate behind the block of flats where i sleep. Time to go hunt for breakfast in one of those bins.
Rich people always don’t finish their food.
I knew my girlfriend would be bringing up the topic of marriage and money when i talk to her but i miss her voice. She don’t understand how difficult it is to make money in Singapore.
Yes, i may be making many times more compared to back in india but the cost of living here is high. Everything is expensive. I also need to pay my agent back home the debt i incurred for coming here.
If everything goes well, i would be out of debt by year end. Then i can start sending more money back home and get ready to marry Aisha, the love of my live.
I swept up some sweet wrapper off the floor as i walked past the letter box and past Adam. He has been sleeping on the bench for a week or so. I’m very afraid that he would dirty the place initially but thankfully he didn’t.
Some old folks soil the public area when they sleep out and it makes my cleaning job difficult. I don’t understand why Singaporeans need to sleep on the street.
This is a rich country. everything is better than back home and yet there are still poor people. How did they become poor ?
I went up the lift to the highest floor of block 122 to start my cleaning downwards. As i go along the corridor, i smiled at Charlie.
Charlie is a early riser and i envy him. He has a nice house, a 3 room flat of his own. He wears a nice shirt and tie to go to work in office. He has pretty wife and obedient son.
Singaporeans are so lucky. Maybe my next life, i want to born in Singapore.
I slipped on my shoes and i waved to Bala, one of the better cleaners that has served my block. He does his work well.
I waved goodbye to my wife and went to my car for my drive across the island to my workplace.
It’s an important day for me today. Between David and me, one of us is going to be promoted to senior manager.
A substantial increment. I believe i stand a better chance at this. I’ve worked in this company for 12 years while David did only 8. In terms of seniority, i deserve it more than him.
The money would come in useful too. My son is growing, and with a daughter along the way, the family needed a bigger home.
Besides, i don;t think David need this promotion. He’s rich enough as it is.
He drives a sports car to work, and he stays in a expensive condo in town. Word is he comes from a rich family.
How nice it would be to be born rich. Everything in your life is taken care of from the moment you are born. He got into the company through connections too, not that his work is not good. He’s good at what he do, and he’s a nice guy.
He has a beautiful young wife too, i’m talking super model caliber. You should see the amount of attention she draws at company events. Eloquent and sweet, all the bosses enjoyed talking to her.
My wife is sweet too but the years and motherhood have not been kind to her body. Sometimes i wished i could switch place with David, even if it’s just for a day. Drive his car, bang his wife. haha.
Experience what life is like in the fast lane for one.
I parked my car and waved to Charlie across the parking lot.
I asked if he wanted to grab coffee at the cafeteria first but he declined, choosing to head up to his desk first.
Entering the cafeteria, i saw my boss Ethan.
We exchanged an awkward smile before parting ways.
There’s a reason for that awkward smile.
Ethan is fucking my wife.
I only found out about it last night and i was coming to terms with it.
I could not believe this was happening. My life was perfect and i love my wife, i never expected her to cheat on me, much less with a man 10 years older than me.
I have yet to confront my wife nor my boss. I need time to think and figure out what to do. It’s all about ‘face’.
Not only is it embarrassing for this to get out, it would disgrace my family too. I wonder what my father would say if he knew.
He had warned me about marrying my wife back then, saying that he thinks she’s not the kind to stay faithful. I argued that it was all in the past. She may have a bit of a history, but i like her the way she is.
She’s so beautiful and that smile of hers just melts my heart.
It’s just unthinkable that she is sleeping with Ethan. I don’t care about Ethan’s appraisal or the job. I can always change a company. I knew i was due for a promotion, it was down to Charlie and me. I don’t care if i don’t get promoted.
I just wish Ethan would stay away from my wife but i don’t know how i could do it. I could not even make up my mind whether to confront my wife about it first.
Word is Ethan has fucked almost all the good looking female employees in the company. What a life.
The company was given to him to manage by his dad.
He comes into office as and when he likes and he has everything done for him. All he needs to do is just to keep signing and approving documents.
He get’s the final say in new hires too and Ethan surround himself with plenty of girls. People envy me for my beautiful wife, if only they knew sometimes it’s better to have quantity over quality.
I held onto my coffee and smiled at David.
I have a lot on my mind and the fact that i had been sleeping with David’s wife for the past few weeks is not one of the reason why i’m in such a mood.
I’m fucked. I’m really fucked this time.
I have everything a man could possibly want. Money, house, women, fast cars.
And i have something they don’t too.
My philandering ways finally caught up to me. I’ve been tested positive for HIV.
All that awaits me is a lifetime of drugs and possible infection. The worse is i don’t even know who passed it to me. I’ve fucked too many girls raw to know. It could be anyone of them.
It would even be David’s wife.
I sat in my office and looked out the large glass panel into the common area.
I saw Charlie talking to his staff and David shaking hands with a new client he brought in. I need to promote one of them today and frankly, i was not in the mood.
I’m going to die. Who gives a fuck about promoting staff ?
I did what i had to do and left the office. I head straight to my parents place to visit them. We had lunch, then tea before i made my way back to my empty house.
I’ve always enjoyed my privacy, the girls i fucked were never allowed to stay the night. My home is my space.
I ordered food in for the evening. 100 dollar steak, sides, even a bottle of wine. I was hungry but looking at the food in front of me, i had no appetite.
I sank onto the floor and i started to cry. I cried the whole night and i still could not come to terms with the fact i am now HIV positive.
This is game over.
After a night of screaming and throwing things about, i sobered up and started to clean up my place. My home must always be tidy.
I packed up all the food i didn’t eat and brought it to the bin outside my porch.
I stood in the dark and stared aimlessly to the quiet private street that is start to rouse from slumber in the morning and i saw a man.
A lone man shuffling towards my bin. He opened up the box of food and i could almost see the glee in his eyes. He ate with his bare hands like he had been starving for a while.
It’s sad to see someone eating off your bin, then again, he’s probably going to be breathing long after my heart stops beating.
Right at that moment, i thought that perhaps it would not be so bad if our lives were switched.
I don’t mind eating out of a bin if i could get one more chance at this.
Just one more chance.
I smiled bitterly as i walked away from the window.
I knew there will not be another chance, because i already had mine and i fucked it up.