I was at Raffles City this afternoon when I heard my Chinese name being called. I turned to look for the source when a lady came over to grab my right arm. I nearly jumped out of my skin because I don't know her.
The lady was so excited upon seeing me that she kept chattering something about my secondary school. Then sudddenly ..... oh! oh! I remember now! She was my secondary school mate.
My hair started to stand on ends but I tried to be polite. As I was rushing to an appointment, I exchanged name cards with her and left in a huff.
That lady is Serene. And she can see ghosts!!! Don't believe? I didn't believe that there were ghosts in this world until I met her. And I encountered a few weird things whenever I was with her.
I came to know Serene when I was in Secondary 2, she had transferred from another school. She joined our class in July. Nobody took much notice of her because she was a quiet girl. She had no friends.
One day, the form teacher made her join my group for a project. We had to go to the National Library to use the reference books. So we arranged to meet at the library one Saturday.
There were 5 of us. The other 3 members would look for the books while Serene and I would copy the required information from them. I was copying a paragraph when I heard Serene talking. I looked up to see her head turned to her left, talking softly to the air. I asked her what she was doing.
She said she was talking to a lady. I told her I didn't see any lady. She smiled and said I wouldn't be able to see her. I asked her why not. She looked at me and said,"Because she is a ghost."
I almost laughed out loud. I thought she was 'cuckoo' (crazy). sigh, siao cha bo (crazy woman), play this type of game. And she continued with her conversation, she was explaining what she was doing to the 'ghost' in Hokkien (a dialect). I just shook my head.
A few days later, we had to go to MacRitchie Reservoir to take some pictures. Serene was walking in front of me along a footpath, when suddenly she stood aside, as if to allow someone to pass. I was bewildered and asked her,"What now?"
She claimed that a male spirit had just passed through me. I was quite agitated by now and ignored her. And I would later see her nodding her head or waving her right hand as if acknowledging some people. I thought she was out of her mind.
Another day, we were seated outside the Science laboratory, doing our illustrations for the project. Serene had a packet of crispies which she shared with us first, then she placed it on her opposite side of the table. After a while, I stretched my left hand to grabbed the packet of crispies and started eating them.
Serene turned to me in horror and said,"You snatched it from him. He's going to be angry. Something will happen to you." I rolled my eyes and exclaimed, "Not again! Stop it lah, you siao cha bo!" And I finished the whole packet of crispies.
The bell rang and we packed up to go to class. As we were walking across the basketball court, I was hit on the back of my head by a basketball. "Ouch! Wah! Which idiot did this?" I bellowed.
Serene whispered," The ghost lah!"
"$#*&!" And I stormed off to class.
My school was an old building situated on a hill. Everything was old and the building was dark in some places, like the toilets. Serene told me our school had many ghosts, and there was one in the girls' toilet. She could even described what it looked like. And it was something that I wouldn't enjoy exposing my butt to. That crazy girl! I was so frightened I dare not go to the toilets in school. And I didn't dare to drink water in case I have to go to the toilet. And I was lucky I didn't develop kidney stones. That imbecile!
Serene would often describe what the ghosts looked like, what they were wearing and what expressions they had on their faces. She was scaring the shit out of us girls. Everytime she looked dazed, we got frightened. Then she would tell us there's a spirit sitting next to us or standing behind us, making us cry in fear. So much so that all of us avoided her eventually.
And we noticed that whenever she eats, she would place an empty bowl with spoon and chopsticks on it beside her. And she would call to the spirits to join her. As you would have guessed, nobody wanted to eat with her.
In secondary 3, we were assigned to the Science class, I opted to go to Arts, not intentionally to avoid her. I didn't want to take Physics, Chemistry and A-Maths. She did look for me a few times but I avoided her like the plague. She enjoyed frightening me most, I suppose.
Many years later, I learnt that there are such people amongst us, who can see the spirits around them. They have 'yin-yang eyes' which means that they can see our world as well as the nether world. It must be scary to be seeing all those things frequently. They come in all shapes and sizes and some died in the most tragic ways.
I was glad to see her again after all these years and was surprised she could recognise me. I thought I look more beautiful now compared to the school days. cough....cough....
Serene suggested meeting up for dinner, which seriously I wasn't looking forward to. She gave me her namecard. I just stuffed it into my pocket and excusing myself, rushed to my next appointment. Later in the night, as I was emptying my pockets, I saw her namecard.
It reads, Scientist (Forensics). Jeez.....