A Short Love Story That Shouldn’t Be Missed

by Patrick Liew on June 18, 2011

After years of famine, Ah Seng finally turned to his newly-wedded wife and said, “Let’s sell everything we have and sail to Nanyang and start a new life.”

Ah Seng and Siew Lian travelled in a Chinese Junk with barely enough food and only seating room space. They battered stormy weather and giant waves with no inkling about their future.

Ah Seng could have died in the journey; having caught a severe case of typhoid. Siew Lian lovingly nursed him back to health.

One early morning, they were awoken by shouts of joy. Land sprouting with coconut trees on sandy beach was spotted.

Unfortunately, their happiness was short-lived. Gunshots were heard and soldiers started to appear from different parts of the land.

In the furore, Siew Lian was shot in the leg. Ah Seng carried her on his back and dashed into the jungle, running like a mad man until they reached a mangrove swamp. The sound of running steps forced them to jump into the murky water to swim across the strait to an island.

Little did they know that island was known as Singapura, the lion city.

Halfway through, they were almost swallowed by the open sea. Some local fishermen not only saved them but also brought them back to their homes. The Village Head even arranged for proper documentation so that they can settle down in the new land of freedom.

Ah Seng held on to three jobs as a coolie, plantation worker, and door-to-door peddler – all at the same time. Siew Lian who never quite recovered from the gunshot wound sold vegetables at the wet market.

Everything went well until the local university was started. They quarreled for many days and nights.

Siew Lian pleaded with Ah Seng, “Let me work to support you to complete your education. It’s our only ticket to a better life. “

It was in this way Siew Lian took on a heavier workload and worked very long hours, hawking her wares at Sungei Road, amidst the thieves market. Ah Seng studied under the street lamp beside her.

Many people were moved when they saw him massaging her back with such loving gratefulness.

Soon, Ah Seng graduated and became an accomplished doctor. Together with Siew Lian, they ran a clinic to serve the community that gave them their new lease of life.

They moved into an old colonial bungalow along Bukit Timah Road together with their cute and chubby eight pounder, the fruit of their touching love story.

Shortly after, tragedy struck. Ah Seng was diagnosed with terminal leukemia.

The love that grew with and sustain them through every challenge in the past could not pull them away from the cruel fate of death.

Within less than a month, Ah Seng died. Siew Lian was not only heartbroken, she had no means to keep herself and her son alive because of her deteriorating health.

Siew Lian had no choice but to sell the matrimonial home, Ah Seng’s final gift of love to her. She had promised Ah Seng she will it keep it in memory of him. She engaged many agents but they were not able to sell the house at the price she wanted.

That year, on the first day of the seventh lunar month, Siew Lian burned incense and offered animal sacrifices to appease the hungry ghosts that were released from the gates of Hades.

Through the ashes floating in the air, Siew Lian had a shock when she saw Ah Seng standing in the middle of the garden.

With a sad look on his face, he said to her, “Don’t you know why you can’t sell the house?”

With great fear, Siew Lian replied, “No. Why? What went wrong?”

Ah Seng stared at her with sorrowful eyes and in a booming voice, he said, “Because you did not use HSR Real Estate Advisors. Don’t you know they get the best results?!”


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