I Remember: What If

I remember using a scissors to cut my arms when I was only in primary school before proceeding a few months later to using penknives and blades.

I remember having a huge crush on a senior 2 years older than me when I was still in secondary school - a girl school, where I soon earned my Turtle nickname for being shy.

I remember my dad telling me that we're selling our house in Melaka and moving to Johor, away from all my best friends that I took years to make and keep. I cried a lot when I moved here.

I remember myself hiding from the guys when I reached a new school, I was so afraid. I remember picking up my cutting habit again, still drowning in the memories of my past.

I remember taking up my English teacher's suggestions for me to join the Starstruck! Young Journalism program and then succeeding in becoming a part of a group of writers.

I remember chasing a guy when I was 16 and getting myself in a long-distance relationship which lasted for a year and 5 months when I have only known him for about 3 months - and that is through Facebook.

I remember not daring to hold his hand or returning his hug when we only got to meet once every few months.

I remember a guy that I got pretty close with, and the one and only time he called, he was quiet. I said, "Hello?" and waited for a response. I hung up after a minute.

I remember changing my choice of course from Australian Matriculation to Monash University Foundation Year when I was interviewed for a scholarship.

I remember not bothering to look for other colleges when I got a full scholarship for MUFY in Sunway College JB.

I remember signing up for hostel residency in the campus and how I exchanged barely 10 sentences with my roommate and housemates the entire year I was there.

I remember deciding against going to another university with my first best friend in college when she had to move.

I remember liking a senior from another course in college without knowing that he already had a girlfriend then and then confessing to him only to be rejected.

I remember agreeing to play a little game with the senior.

I remembered scolding a friend for being ever-so stubborn with her relationship problems and getting her through it, taking her side and hating the guy.

I remember making a birthday card, folding a jacket, lending my turtle plush toy to a friend who later became important to me in college.

I remember the exciting, heart-thumping moments of being liked, being chased and then fearlessly jumping into a relationship during the last few weeks in my foundation studies - a trust fall.

I remember buying a drawing tablet and thinking, "this is it. The first step I'm taking for my designing dreams."

I remember getting permission from my parents to go to Singapore 3 days into a relationship and having the best date of my life.

I remember crying, crying and crying looking at Facebook pictures on my laptop screen, wondering what I did wrong, a phone that barely rings by my side.

I remember giving him a choice, and him saying, "I want to try again," 

I remember saying "I love you" after hanging up.

I remember applying for a university in Singapore and the disappointment I felt when my application was rejected.

I remember telling myself, "It's okay. You can study design later in your life" and applying for a degree in biology with psychology. I secured a place in that course.

I remember my friends telling me how naive and stubborn I am and I hardheadedly still stood my grounds.

I remember.

But what if all the things that happened, had happened differently?

What if I never shifted school?
What if I actually decided to turn lesbian in my early teens?
What if I never got to know my first boyfriend?
What if I was more daring with him?
What if I waited for another minute on that call?
What if I never bothered with the journalism program?
What if I went along with my Australian Matriculation?
What if I never confessed to any guy at all?
What if I never played his game?
What if I continued hating him?
What if I rejected his advances?
What if I never gave him a second chance?
What if I did enroll in the Singapore university after all?
What if... ... ...

The list goes on.

Would my life have turned out better


is this already the best I have?

Nicki Sim

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