08 August 2005

LorBert Series (Part 1) - Jay & The Dancing Ruby

This would probably by far the hardest series to write about as I journeyed back into the painful parts of my past as well as that of the others. I will start with my own and end with another of my own with 3 other LorBerts to fill in between. Two Lorbert ordeals of my own is probably more than I can take and I shan't write more.

I met Ruby when I was in NS during one of our Christmas parties at my place. She was somebody's sister who tagged along. We kinda hit it right off that night and chatted all the way till the end of the party oblivious to rest of the world, despite the fact that I was the host of the night. She, to me, was "the rest of the world" that night.

We were very different in our backgrounds but it didn't seem to matter then. She stopped schooling after her O-levels and was a dancer on Channel 8 variety show while I was an NS boy with a place in the University nicely secured and waiting. It didn't matter that night as I got her number and we started talking on the phone regularly.

We went out together pretty often after that but only as friends and always late at night for I was still in the army and she had practices and rehearsals. Wednesdays were "Ruby Nights" as I had to stay at home at 8:45pm to help her record down her performance off the telly and then rush over to Caldecott Hill to pick her up and pass her the videotape. Like a regular routine, it's off to supper where she was most impressive at seeking out all nooks and crannies, scattered all over the island, for good food. Good thing I had a car or I would never be able to make it back to camp under the cover of darkness each time.

The most memorable would be the hawker stall at Rochor Road market where they cooked instant noodles. I kid you not. They sold instant noodles which we could have easily stayed at home and do it ourselves, thus saving us the dosh. However, what set them apart was that the stall top off the noodles with lots of "liao" like egg, mince meat, mushrooms, veggie, etc, in addition to the very very yummy soup base. Absolutely delicious for the humblest of fare.

Most of the time it's sending her back after supper but we did, from time to time, have the occasional impulse to take long walks together in the dead of night. Be it the beach at East Coast Park or the street along Balestier Road, we just wanted to stroll and chit chat under the open night sky. You gotta love this country where it's safe to be doing that without worrying about getting mugged.

Chinese New Year's Eve was the most depressing time of the year for her. They were the "second family" and that was the day where the dad has to go back to his wife and family for the reunion dinner. It was a bitter pill to swallow to see her mom aka the mistress, brother and herself miserably abandoned on that day where families were supposed to be together.

I was there. I was the shoulder. I was the pillar. I was the cradle. I was there.

We went our separate ways after a while for she said that she wasn't ready to get into a relationship yet. I backed off and gave her the breathing space and pining for the day when she would come back to me, realising how much I adored her. She stopped her dancing shortly after and left for Malaysia to help her uncle with the business.

We lost touch there and then until one day from out of the blue, I receive an invitation to her 21st birthday party. Two years had passed since. I called her up to catch up and was more than eager to accept the invitation. I found out over that phone call that she had returned about 6 months ago and had started flying with Singapore Airlines.

I made my way to the party at Chinese Swimming Club that fateful evening, hoping to pick up where we last left. Alas, I bumped into Luke, a fellow campmate from the NS days, there at the party too. We were both surprised to see eachother and we talked, updating each other on our lives since we RODed. He dwelt into his "how-Ruby & I-met" story and shockingly, it was the same story that I would have told had he not started first. I kept this to myself and offered an alternative cock and bull story about how it was the brother that invited me and not Ruby herself to the birthday party. I wanted to save him the devastation of finding out that we were both being two-timed right from day one.

I was there. I was the LorBert. I was there.
Despite all these and the 15 years that had passed us by, I still have fond memories of her and the time we spent together. Hopeless Lorbert, I was. Yes? No?

Song that triggered my memory of her each and every time? Fantasy - Black Box.


1. Meepok left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 12:23 am
Thanks for sharing your Lobert story. Makes me feel much better about my mis-adventures. Good to know that I was not alone :-) May your postings this week help Loberts-to-be wise up to the fact that there are many char bors out there who will not hesitate to exploit them.

2. ris left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 12:33 am
...oh no...that's so sad! what happened in the end?

3. Vandice left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 1:21 am ::
Ooh, dude. You make a really good campmate. You spared him the heartbreak.
Mebbe she was looking for companionship and both of you thought she was loving ya. Mebbe she dun trust guys enuf to let them into her life, being in the unenviable position of a mistress's offspring. But I'm sure you know tt.
Bittersweet hor, like that stubborn walnut tt took half a day to open, yet taste bad cos never remove the bitter stuff fully. What could have been...

4. JayWalk left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 6:40 am ::
MeePok: Wise up? Never. It is the law of the jungle where the coyote is destined to fail to capture the road runner again and again and again and again.

ris: Nothing much. I bump into her on the streets years later when I was working shortly after graduating. We went for coffee and had a chat.

She left SQ and was hinting about wanting to settle down and blah blah blah.

Too bad, too late. The fire in the torch had long been extinguished. Even the ambers were cold and dead for a long time liao. No chance whatsoever coz I've moved on with my life.

So I said good luck to her when we parted and have never contacted her since.

5. JayWalk left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 6:43 am :: 
Vandice: You look me too up lah. It wasn't that I wanted to spare him the heartbreak. I did it for selfish reasons. I didn't tell him so that he won't find out that I was being two-timed, like him.

Walnuts are my favourite. It is THAT bitter part that I love about it. haiz......

6. AKK left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 10:26 am
Hmm....I've never been two-timed, at least...not that I know of...but i know the feeling of being used again and again, so what's the female version of Lobert?

7. vanna left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 12:52 pm
oh my god.. so evil to find out about being two-timed.
i never two-timed anyone cos i was afraid of retribution. bad karma... haha

8. JayWalk left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 1:07 pm ::
akk: I have no idea of knowing if there is a female version of a Lorbert for mostly it is always us guys who are baited into slavery.

vanna: I have done it before but technically, it was just an overlap of relationships with the prior break-up not as clean as I would have wanted.

Speaking of karma, perhaps you are right about this one. Perhaps this was the karma for the previous two-timer.

And speaking of two-timer, I was wearing the Tissot Two-Timer during that time when I two-timed. :P

9. vanna left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 2:07 pm
hmm.. gals are always being cheated or two-timed besides guys.
but i got to admit, some gals luv to make use of guys' attention to the fullest. & that equates using 2 or 3 guys to make up all the attention a gal need.
anyway, i just need one guy & its more than sufficient. very tiring to spend time with both.. haha
btw, i luv ur watch.. haha

10. JayWalk left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 2:35 pm ::
Vanna: I wore that when I was in JC, a time when plastic watches was starting to come into fashion (pre-Swatch era).
Anyone remember Smash watches?
Strangely, I am still wearing a Tissot Two Timer 17 years later, albeit the updated model.
I can't say the same about the other kind of two-timing though. ~LOL

11. kIm left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 7:31 pm
I hate two-timers. Those HK drama serials kind are sufficient to make me infuriated. Not to mention real life ones.

12. vish left...
Monday, 8 August 2005 11:46 pm ::
Awwww... you poor thing.
But then again, maybe she just treated the both of you as friends only leh, like good friends?
I liked that coyote and lode runner quote. So so so true.
Why love so complicated?

13. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 9 August 2005 10:42 am :: 
kIm: I won't be that quick to pass judgment just yet.

While I am not saying that two-timing is right, I have to say that some times, we were unwittingly led by circumstances into that situation.

What mattered more is if the two-timer/timee has had the chance to get out of it and start afresh.

People make mistakes and so have I. I think we should be given a chance to redeem ourselves rather than burning us at the stake.

I have been on both sides at different points in my life and both were very different experiences and they are now both little spots in my life's path that Jay has Walked on. :)

14. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 9 August 2005 11:03 am :: 
vish: Well, I made it out alive and so I guess it's all good.
You may be right if it was merely one-way traffic on our parts and that we were making fools of ourselves. 

Perhaps the greatest reward from that experience was that I learn to be able to laugh about it, when I look back. 

Love is complicated simply because that is the one and only way to make you feel alive with its roller-coaster ups and downs.

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