XXV | Witch
We played soccer
until it turned dark.
surrounded by cans of Red Bull,
sprawled in the empty carpark,
faces lit by yellow streetlights.
Jerry leans on Tom’s shoulder.
Tom tilts his can of Red Bull
for Jerry to drink.
when it trickles out the side of Jerry’s mouth
and wipes it for him.
Ming’s gulping down his second can.
The girls who just watched us play
have joined us with their drinks.
Nora, Pretti, Angie
and two others I don’t know.
Somebody’s CCA friends
Everyone’s here except Shuhui.
It’s been a while since everyone stayed back after the game.
‘That’s just cause
‘you haven’t been hanging out with us,’
I’ve been preoccupied with Rowan all week.
‘So how?’ Ming asks me.
I take a swig from my empty can.
‘You’ve been busy with a new girl,’
Tom says mock-seriously.
A goofy smile.
‘Isn’t he always?’
‘We’re not serious.’
‘Who’s this new girl?
‘Why isn’t she here?’
Jerry sits up.
Nora pipes up.
‘That holy holy girl won’t want to hang out with people like us.’
Jerry’s asking me
but everyone else is responding.
‘She transferred from your JC,’
Smarts Tom on the arm.
‘OMG, it’s that Rowan!’
‘Could be a different Rowan leh,’
Jerry stares at me
like he’s trying to see Rowan in my mind.
‘You should stay away from her.’
Jerry’s face is serious.
It’s also red with anger.
What did Rowan do
to make good-natured Jerry hate her?
‘She’s a witch.’
Tom puts a protective arm
around Jerry’s sweaty shoulder.
‘You mean bitch?’
‘Witch, Tom. She’s a witch.’
Everyone leans in to hear the story.
‘She goes around school with a winged donkey,
‘Like, the real life donkey—not a toy.
‘The teachers tell her it’s not allowed on campus,
‘But she ignored them.’
‘How did she manage that, sia?’
Kumar crushes his empty Red Bull can.
‘Can’t someone just get the zoo to
‘catch it or something?’
‘I dunno. But after that,
‘she came looking for me.
‘And said I have to break up with Tom.’
even though he’s probably
heard this story before.
‘I told her nicely it’s none of her business.’
Then, Jerry’s face twitches.
He makes a funny expression.
‘She said she the donkey won’t leave until I break up with him.’
An explosion of reactions.
‘What the #*%&?’
‘Why isn’t she in IMH?’
I find myself frowning without realising.
Jerry turns to me.
‘How did you get involved with her?’
Before I can reply,
Kumar says, ‘He kissed her to break up with Ria.’
Tom: Damn! I’m shookt!
Jerry’s jaw dropped.
I grab a new can of Red Bull.
It opens with a
‘And then what happened?’
It turns out,
the day just before Rowan transferred,
he was at home with Tom.
Just the two of them.
Somehow Rowan found her way to his bungalow
and rang his doorbell.
How she got past the locked gate,
Jerry has no idea.
He opened the door
to tell her to piss off,
and found the damned donkey there.
‘Do you know what it said to me?’
We don’t reply him.
‘It said, “if you really love him,
‘”break up with him as soon as possible.”‘
His face flushed red
and he spat onto the asphalt.
‘Hang on, how does Rowan know about Tom?
‘He’s working. Doesn’t go to school, what,’
Pretti pointed out.
‘That’s why I said she’s a witch.’
‘So, what did you do?’
leans into Tom’s chest.
‘I told it to go #*%& itself.
‘and I slammed the door.’