Fiction or not ?
My name is Lim Ah Soon.
With a name like this, you would probably think I’m someone born in the sixties to uneducated parents. Well, you got the uneducated parent part right but I’m not born in the sixties.
I’m a gen X kid born in the eighties. We’re probably born in the same hospital in Singapore.
The route I took is very different from many kids of my generation.
I never like books, I hate to read and needless to say, I hated school.
So it’s not a surprise to my parents when I dropped out of school at secondary 4 just before my ‘o’ levels. My results were already scrapping the bottom and my teachers were pretty sure I would not make it through the exams anyway.
I almost retained when I was in secondary 3.
Anyway, long story short, I spent the next couple of years lazing around, doing absolutely nothing except play games online and watching dramas on my computer. I did not even get a job.
Since I was just another useless bum in the efficient system Singapore is used to, I was enlisted early into the army just after my 17th birthday.
National service did me some good, I grew up a little in there I have to say. After serving 2 years and 4 months, I ORD and got a job at a fruit juice stall.
I cut fruits, blend them into juices if needed. That was it.
There is nothing much on offer for someone like me in Singapore. Without even a simple ‘o’ level qualification, there is not much I can do too.
I earn 1150 a month working 12 hours shift. I get 1 off day a week. Everyday after work, I would go home, play games and watch anime or dramas on my computer.
What about girlfriends ?
Come on la. Look at me, uneducated, lazy and doing a job like this, girls would all run far far away. Even if got girls interested in me, I’m also too embarrassed to take it further.
This pretty much sums up my life. My social circle is small, and i don’t really hang out much with my army mates too. Everyone has their own lives.
I start work at 9am, and I end work at 9pm. Then I grab dinner and head back home.
I go back to my room at my parents place, play a bit of game, watch some show, and my life repeats.
I worked at the fruit juice stall for 5 years and within this period, my pay increased by $30 a year. There is no such thing as bonus and shit, when it’s Chinese new year, my boss would give all staff a $80 red packet.
My life would have remained like this till this day had I not chance upon an erotic blog online. It was written by someone call James.
It’s been years since I read anything and that night, I hung onto every word that appeared on the screen in front of me. I was amazed with myself that night too. I have a short attention span and whenever I see a row of words in front of me, I would get sleepy but that blog.
It has some sort of a magical spell it seemed. The erotic nature really captivated my attention.
I spent a few hours and I finished one story. By then it was already 2 am in the morning. I could not resist reading another one.
The stories are not long, but I just take a little longer to read compared to the average person I guess. The words were simple and straightforward, some terms that I’m not sure of, I googled for the meaning.
Without even realising it, It was already 5.40am in the morning by the time I’m done with the 2nd story.
The feeling is really weird.
It’s like I spent a few hours living the life of another person. I could see the picture and things that James describe in the story. It’s like I’m him.
I can feel the emotion; I could almost smell the scents he describes.
Even the sounds and noises magically appeared by my ears in the dead of the night as I scrolled down the blog to read.
I thought of buying the lottery the next day .
That’s because to see Lim Ah soon voluntarily reading, it’s almost as good as you striking lottery.
I can hardly concentrate at work the next day. All I wanted to do was to quickly go home, log into the internet and read James’s stories. His adventures.
It took me only a week to finish everything he wrote and I realised I wanted more.
I didn’t even know what I was thinking when I dropped him an email asking him when is he releasing his new work.
My email is a smattering of broken English and bad grammar, not even close to the crap you have been reading so far and honestly, I wasn’t expecting a reply from James but I got one.
And that very mail kick started a conversation with James.
Every week I would email him, and he would reply after a couple of days, I know he doesn’t log in often but when he does, he makes it a point to reply.
James was aware of my life story by the end of the month and he asked why I did not pick up where I left off.
I told him it’s too late.
Even if I did, there’s not much job waiting for me. I’m in my mid 20s, without a ‘o’ level. The society might as well stamp a ‘loser’ mark on my forehead.
James’s reply was curt and direct.
‘It’s never too late’
He suggested that I sign up for a private class to retake my ‘o’ levels.I told him it was a ridiculous idea but somehow he convinced me to. He even shortlisted some institutions he googled for me.
He said he would give me a lifetime supply of his books if I get my ‘o’ levels done.
I laughed when I read the mail.
I told him he needs to work on his motivation method.
“ You think you talking to small kid tempting them with candy ah ?? hahah … too late liao la…I’m too old for this…..“
My exact words.
Below are his.
“ You try first. Don’t just say no before you try, KNN, haven’t try already say cannot , you can fucking stand for 12 hours taking shit from customers and your boss, how hard is it to read and memorise some shit ? “
Anyway, I did sign up for the private class. This required me to make some adjustments to my working hours and my boss was not very pleased with me.
It was then I realised what James said earlier to be true.
He said that he feels my boss was exploiting me in a way, that I deserve more than what he gives, especially in terms of annual leaves and medical benefits. I see my boss face black black when I wanted to make changes to my working hours, it made me fucking mad and dulan.
I gave him so many years of my life, all I wanted was to make some changes to the working hours. My boss put it to me as if I was ruining his life. I said I’ll quit and find another job and my boss changed tack.
You know what else he said when my boss reluctantly adjusted my work timing ?
My boss said , see my pattern, confirm won’t make it one.
Why I waste money studying?
It infuriated me further. ( KNN, see, Lim Ah soon now can use words like infuriate. CCB. Last time I can only say CCB, KNN,PCB, all these. Nowadays, I can suka suka gan ppl in English. )
Seeing how my boss put me down made me the more determined to get it done.
James helped out a little too but he also not very smart one la. KNN, some of the Emaths questions I asked him he also blur. Say he forget liao.
Physics James also half past 6. Chemistry even worst. Hahaha…. I think James can only write compositions.
Half way through my class, for a brief period, I think I’m smarter than James.
I got my ‘o’ levels result as a private candidate in early 2016.
The feeling was amazing.
Limpeh got a B4 for English. Maths A2.
The rest a mix of B3 and B4.
KNN lim peh see already also don’t believe.
With that result, I can fucking go to a polytechnic.
I sent James an email with a picture of my ‘o’ level cert.
His first reply was ‘
“ KNN, your name really Lim Ah Soon ah…. I thought you joking “
I asked James he never suspect I take the cert and photoshop my name onto it or something meh ?
His reply is damm sarcastic.
“You know photoshop meh ? “
KNN, sometimes really feel like giving him the finger. Haha…
He sent me all his works as promised but I told him don’t need. I have been secretly buying his works, I already have all of them.
On a more serious note, I’m glad I took my ‘o’ and after a bit of research, I signed up for a part time diploma. Night classes. So I can go after work.
My timing at the fruit juice stall was adjusted to 9-5.30pm .
My boss cut my pay by 200.
It’s ok, I don’t give a fuck. I can still survive.
The diploma is heavily subsidised.
My parents were surprised too at the change they saw in me.
Nowadays without anything new to read on James’s blog, I would go to the library.
My parents at one point of time wanted to bring me to a temple to consult a medium. They think I fucking kena possessed.
For no fuck reasons go library borrow books back and read.
It was through this episode that I realised I did enjoy reading. James recommended me some books and even though I have yet to leave Singapore my whole life, I travelled to multiple countries in those books.
I fucking climbed mount Everest in a book. I went to the jungles of the Amazon, the pyramids in Egypt, even the great wall of China.
Doing the Diploma opened up more doors for me even though I’m only midway through the course. The new classmates opened up a whole new network of friends.
Among them, I met the girl of my dream.
A girl who did not mind my name that is call Lim Ah Soon.
Her dad has his own company, and I’ve started working full time at his factory in early late 2016.
I’m paid 2200 a month, haven even count bonus, and this is me without even a diploma. The best part is I’m dating his daughter. I started with 1800, then increased to 2200.
I don’t care about the money, but my girlfriend, she gave me the motivation to strive for a better life, for the both of us.
I told James about all these, part of me was thinking that my GF father hired me only because he wanted to keep an eye on me since I’m dating his daughter.
James had a different perspective.
He said I was hired because of my attitude towards work. It has nothing to do with me dating his daughter.
Ok la, Hokkien Peng like us, uneducated, we not afraid of hard work. Most of the time we just lack opportunity. I’ve even cancelled dates with my GF sometimes because of work.
There was once the whole office rushing for tender and I had to cancel dinner with my GF.
She KNN came to the office and KPKB the father. Hahaha, but I told her I need to finish up then I go, if not I 放不下. As in, cannot let go, or eat in peace.
My principle is like that, and I think a lot of Hokkien Peng also same pattern like me.
We may not be as well educated as many of the people out there, but we have a simple motto.
Want to do something, do it properly. Don’t KNN do things half fuck.
It’s coming to the end of 2017 and I’ve been corresponding with James for a few years now.
I’ve doubled my pay after reading his erotic stories in a way hahaha.
I asked him what can he offer if I complete my diploma.
This time round he smart, he knows I’m going to do it regardless of what happens. In fact, he say I should continue to get my degree. Something I’m considering.
Anyway, he never offer me free ebooks already. He don’t even want to give me discount code. He sometimes quite CB.
Things are going well with my GF at the moment and I really see her as someone I will spend the rest of my life with.
I asked James will he come for my wedding or not.
He say if it’s not a sit down banquet and it’s something casual, where he can mingle around, he will come.
I might just grab the mike from the MC and point him out.
“there, that one. That KNS, math and chemistry like fuck guy, he’s the one “
And right when all eyes are on him , I’ll drop the bomb.
“He’s the one”
“ He’s that fucker that changed my life”
Thank You James.
Lim Ah Soon