Dear Singapore,

You terrified me. I remember nervously tugging at my dress and fiddling with the hem of my jacket waiting for when you’d arrive. So many things were raised in my head, was what I’m wearing good enough, was I good enough? It was agonizing, all of the nerves in my body were on fire, my fingertips tingled and my ears perked up the moment I heard your footsteps. I’ve been waiting for this moment without even knowing I was and there you were.

You were perfect. You knew your goals and how to get there, you followed the rules but broke the right ones to keep me interested, to keep me falling. You were everything a girl could want, late nights, bright lights and fast cars. You took my breath away in ways no one else ever has.

Truly, in our time together, I considered having a future with you. Every new adventure we went on, every kiss under the moonlight and bus rides to the unknown. You took me on dates I would’ve never gone on if we hadn’t met, late-night conversations till the sun rose, artsy restaurants with bills I struggled to pay and views of the Marina Bay Sands wondering who on earth from school would be up there, partying at ce-la-vie.

We read books together by Raffles place, watched movies at Shaw Cinemas at Orchard Road and went on late McDonald runs when my brain couldn’t take school anymore. You picked me up in your car and gave me the ride of my life.

I experienced things I thought only existed in movies. We closed down Orchard road to see it go dark, from high fashion stores and crowded sidewalks to smokers and hookers. We got lost on the bus, realized it midway and chose not to care because we knew we’d get there anyway. You took me out to try charcoal ice cream, get my first henna and taste my first real alcoholic cocktail. My first year in college wouldn’t have been the same if I hadn’t met you.

Though our time together wasn’t all about adventure. There were nights you had to witness some of my most distasteful moments where I cried and cried on the floor of my first apartment. There were also those moments where you had to hold my hand through anxiety attacks, anxious moments where I thought I wouldn’t make it out alive. You were there for all of it and each moment spent with you, good, amazing, bad and horrible changed who I was.

Singapore, I fell in love with you ever since our first date, that time I found myself lost at Raffles place. You are truly every little girl’s dream out there but sometimes when we experience our dreams first hand, we realize that maybe they weren’t meant for us. I loved you but maybe, as of right now your tall skyscrapers that produced restless souls rushing to the bus stop at 5 PM is something I still don’t quite understand. I still don’t understand why you ooze discontent with your beauty though all of us see it.

I would love to stay but I guess like every love story I have had so far, we weren’t meant to last. Maybe one day when life says I am cut out for everything you have to offer when I am grown enough to have the vigour, ambition and reached the level of excellence it takes to fall in love with you again, I’ll come back. For now, thank you for showing me that I have the potential to get there. Thank you, Singapore for the 8 months of falling in love with you, discovering who I am and being home.

Sincerely, A Broke College Girl,

Written in April 2020

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