Category Archives: novelette

Oudegracht 109

“Where is the place he took that picture at?”

She was in the middle of a bustling sidewalk with two of his best friends. It was a cool summer evening and they were along the canal at one of the busiest parts of the city.

“Well… it’s kinda difficult to know exactly where, they all look the same. And I don’t have that picture with me right now,” one of them pondered.

“I don’t have it either,” she sighed.

It had been an entirely busy time before she made the trip to where he lived, and she wanted to be at that very place he had taken the photograph and sent her two years ago. One of the few photographs he had sent her, before he left them. It was too sudden, that accident was too much of a tragedy, and she had too few places she could treasure the memory of him.

She was exasperated that she had forgotten to save that photograph in her phone before the flight, but then again, time was always a troublemaker. And now, she could not do anything about it. All she could do was stand there, feeling defeated.

Trying to make light of the situation, the other friend started telling a joke about the names of the shops and she soon forgot that sense of defeat.


A year later, she was reminded of that photograph again. Taking a closer scrutiny this time, she discovered that she could vaguely make out the name of the restaurant in the picture. She quickly searched that name and located its details on a map. Then, using the street view function, she finally located the spot that provided the view closest to his perspective.

“Pearle Opticians… Unit 109!” she exclaimed. But what she noticed next made her gasp.

Right across from 109 was the very place she had conceded defeat a year ago.


He gazed out at the city he was to live in, with its lively canal ambience, then he took out his phone. Raising it to his eye, he made a picture. Then, he lowered his phone and scrutinised the photograph he had made. He smiled at it, then looked back up across the canal, still that smile on his face.

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The Shower

He lay on his side in the bed, upper torso almost naked, wrapped in the sheets, scrolling on his phone. Straightening herself from unpacking, she walked over to where he was.

“I’ll go take a shower first.”

In response, he reached out and pulled her into bed and his arms. She gasped as she landed in his encircling warmth.

“I haven’t showered in a day… that’s unacceptable… I need to take a shower.”

“Okay… go shower.”

He loosened his embrace and for a moment she was uncaged. She remained where she was, gazing into his face, and his lips, corners curled in a slight smile.

Then, she leaned over and kissed him on his mouth, feeling the soft bristles above his upper lip as his tongue met hers and his lower lip, full against hers.

His arms came around her again as he smiled at her surprised gasp.

“You’ve had your chance.”

And then they were inseparable.

His arms were around her, maybe hers around him then… were his lips on hers or did they rove down her neck? She might have trailed her moist tongue down his chest, breathing warmth as she went…

Like each time in the past, she could not remember.

All she remembered that afternoon was the window was all along open, behind the facade of white curtains. And she blushed when he teased her about how everyone would have heard.

She could not remember.
But she would not forget.

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On Math, Variables And Constants

He sidled up from behind and peered over my shoulder as I busily scribbled at my desk.

“You are doing Math?”

“You gave me a fright. Yes, I am. Why?”

His grin quickly changed into a look of seriousness when I turned around with a scrutiny of evaluation. He let out a cough at my gaze of suspicion before continuing.

“Well. ‘Y’ is indeed the question.”

“Ehm.. why?”

It was starting to feel like we were pulling neverending puns on each other.

“You know how there are variables in Math equations, represented by letters like ‘y’ and ‘x’ and et cetera?”

“Uh… yeah…?”

“And how usually the value of ‘y’ changes with the value of ‘x’ or vice versa?”

“Umm, yea?”

Was it going to be a revision of calculus? He let out a chortle, as if reading my thoughts at that moment.

“Now, you would say these variables are affected by each other, won’t you? In whatever way they are related.“

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Now, consider the constant in a relation, sometimes abbreviated endearingly as ‘c’. It is an important part of it, but yet it remains unchanged, regardless what happens to either or both variables.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

I was getting more and more perplexed. He must have noticed, and thus let out a reassuring grin before continuing.

“So, assuming both the variable and the constant in a relationship could take on positive values only. The variable could still result in a negative result, but the constant always positively amplifies the outcome. That right?”

He continued, looking at me, still smiling.

“My Math question for you today is: assuming you are a positive value. Would you choose to be a variable, subjected to the fluctuations of other variables, or would you choose to be an unwavering constant?”

He gave me a bright grin, then sauntered away, whistling.

I think I know my answer.

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Serendipity for Christmas

The train doors slid open with a mechanical sweep and she stepped in amongst the other passengers.

Always, she is plugged into her earphones and always, she prefers to lean against the glass panel at the doorway.

The doors remained gaping as the last human trickles filtered in, as he did, through the very doorway she had entered.

Like her, he chose to lean against the glass panel at the doorway, right across from her.

Instinctively, she looked up in the same instance that he did.

Their eyes met.
And they held each other for a few moments.

And in those few moments, her mind was darting through her memories to recognise his face, as he too seemed to be doing.

A sense of wonderment surged through and made her hold up a hand to her mouth in delighted astonishment; across from her, amazement shone from his eyes as a smile crept onto his face, and he came towards her.

To quote him, a serendipitous encounter as such is a magnificent Christmas gift.

And it is. 🙂

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Chivalry Never Grows Old

A rainy evening it was as I made my way towards the exit of the establishment with my lady friend. Within stranger’s proximity, he too was walking in the same direction with his companions.

Our separate quiet chatters seemed to entwine in the cool evening air as we convened towards the door, and with passer-by’s intuition we slowed down to allow his group to pass.

While they did, he stopped a distance behind them, doing the same thing we did.

“Thank you.”

I glanced in his direction and gave him a smile.

He gave a nod as a grin upturned his wrinkled mouth and his eyes caught mine and twinkled in his aged face.

”You’re welcome, madam.”

Chivalry never grows old.

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The Bachata – Part Three

As the music began, she drew him in, feeling his breath on her cheek.

“Come closer a little.”

His hand was travelling down her body, coming to rest at the small concave low at her back. She gasped at the sensation of his fingers on her skin; it brought back memories from so long ago that she thought she had left behind.

And as they danced, each move was a step back in time, each gaze a stronger stirring in their souls, and each turn closer to sweet destruction.

That dance filled the whole room, so much that everything had to melt away. All she could hear was the poignant beauty of the song in her blood; all she could feel were his hands on her skin and his breath on her lips.

He had that look in his eyes, that same desirous look of fever and wild that she remembered. The rhythm was pounding in her ears now, and all she knew was how perfectly their movements connected her to him and him her.

It was as if they had never parted, and the bachata plays, timeless.

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The Bachata – Part Two

She stood before him and he caught the scent of her perfume in her hair. Leaning in with his lips close at her ear, he spoke in a low voice.

“Do you know that you are the most beautiful here?”

“What do you mean?”

She could feel her face flushing and his intent gaze on her.

“Simply that you are the most interesting, elegant and beautiful woman.”

“Do you want to dance with me now?”

Before she could answer, he had taken her hand in his and wrapped his other arm around her waist. Still blushing, she draped hers around his neck. An upbeat percussion rhythm began and the musicians took the cue.

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