Its annoying how I only seem to be able to recall what I wanted to write about after I shut down the computer, therefore resulting in my dark room being illuminated by a spot of light originating from my phone screen.
Today, while meeting a friend to pass him a portable charger meant for Bo to use in camp, I came across a scene that made me feel like we were all growing up too fast. For once, I turned up early for the appointment and thus had the opportunity of seeing the entire family tumbling out of a silver car only to spend a few more moments with the tanned boy who was about to return to Tekong island for a week. But what surprised me was that besides family, someone else stumbled out of the car looking a little less cheery than her normal disposition. Then it struck me. Wait. Did his girlfriend just step out of the same car his entire family was in? What happened to relationships being kept a secret from the prying eyes of nosy parents? What happened to parents finding out about a budding love story being its greatest kryptonite? Have I been out of this dating arena for way too long and thus not being informed regarding the change in dating protocols?
I used to think that love in high school was an idealistic but unrealistic dream. I admit it is a little too cynical for a child only 18 years young, but heck. What are you supposed to think of relationships when the ones around you only lasted weeks at length? A friend and I used to describe the dating patterns in school using the analogy of a football championship. Its basically a mass exchange between the competing teams. Well in this case, players. You play, you ditch, you swap. I must admit though, whether true love or fleeting love, the mere idea of being submerged inside it is amazing. The nights you spend on the phone contented listening to the sound of silence that puts a tangible distance between you and the one you love, the lubdubdub of your heart which you’re convinced is a special melody only played when you know the one you seek is within sight or thought, the eternal promises fiercely whispered to overcome all odds and be in love forever, that is not something mere mortals like us can resist. But what I witnessed today was more than the euphoria or the surge of adrenaline one experiences when a lover utters the three words we all long to hear.
In fact, there was no hand holding, snogging or even a word exchanged between them. Yet during the short moments I spent with them, I could barely look anyone in the eye before I awkwardly said goodbye and scrambled away. Perhaps it was how there was no hiding, no awkwardness between them that made me feel like I had walked into an intricately woven web and upset its delicate balance. And then as I walked away, I thought to myself; she’s not just his girl, she’s family.
I don’t know when it’ll be my turn to meet the family of a certain boy whom I’ll be able to call mine. To me, love remains at the stage where my parents should be kept in the dark and milestones were celebrated in weeks, not years. But the few seconds I spent with that family today really made me realise that as we grow up, the way we love changes too. Instead of playing a game of swap or merry go round, we’re looking for someone who keeps us grounded and as cliche as it sounds, someone to spend the rest of our lives with.
And that, is a very frightening thought.