Stories That Breathe

A Singapore Love Story

Final Note

The online preview is only up till page 48. The book has a total of 140 pages. Below are some short extracts:


Extracted from Page 72

I wanted so much to take the ring. I wanted so much to become Michael’s woman forever. That had been my dream since I was a teenager. When I was younger, I had always yearned for this proposal; but I kept my hands behind me.

We had grown up.

Just hours ago, I had gone for an outing. If I marry Michael, I wondered, will I still dare to go to these gatherings? I would have to earn enough to keep the family intact. I love Michael; but is that enough for marriage?

“Rice, I’m sorry. We’re talking about marriage. You need a career. You need to support the family. Given your irregular income now, can you support our children? Can we afford a flat?” I whispered, unsure if I wanted him to hear what I had just mouthed.


Extracted from Page 87:

I would fly to his room every morning. He could not find a job and his parents told him to start looking for one only after six months. He would ignore me when he saw me. “Humans can’t see ghosts. Ghosts can’t see humans,” he would rationalize when I tried to start a conversation.

A week later, he began to respond to my questions. He told me about his life after he had lost me; how supportive his parents had been after the sorrowful demise. Sometimes, he would stop all of a sudden when his parents stepped into the room unannounced. He would tell them that he had taken the medicine. I would then stand in front of them and make funny faces.

When Michael went for his appointment with the psychiatrist, I tagged along. The psychiatrist was convinced that it was a hallucination—and he had seen many such cases. The psychiatrist was confident as he himself had hallucinations before as well, and they went away after a few months. As he spoke, I was slapping him.

Two weeks later, Michael talked more. He asked me how all this could be possible. “I don’t know,” I said. “But I’m very sure of one thing: I’m not your imagination. A long time ago, people believed lightning was thrown down from heaven. Now, we all know how lightning is formed. Maybe this is just something that science has yet to find an answer for. Another lightning.”

“But why is it that only I can see you, and no one else?”


Extracted from Page 114:

“I sacrificed so much—”

“—and what the fuck do you expect me to do?” Michael bolted up from his seat and the chair toppled. “I can’t fucking marry a ghost!”

“Tell me something I want to hear.”

“Just because you’ve helped me in my career, it doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice my life for you. Valerie, listen. I want to lead a normal life. I don’t want to stay with someone whom I cannot touch, whom others cannot see.”

“You’re saying all this because you’re rich and successful now. And you don’t need me.” That was what I did not want to hear—and I had said it out myself. “You’re just a selfish bastard.”


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