Singaporean Short Story
By Catherine Lim
He dreamt about it, he hankered after it like an addict after his opiate. When it came to his mind the idea of big and beautiful house, Tay Soon always think of it until it become his insanity in his life. A house. A house of his dream, just like what his family see every time they pass by in their street behind the elegant subdivision and in pages of Homes and Modern living Magazines. He knows every detail of his dream house from the aluminum sliding door, the perfect color of the carpet in dining room and also the kidney-shaped swimming pool. Yes, kidney-shaped. That is what he likes. Yee Lian, the wife would talk about it for hours to her sister Yee Yeng and their kids would tell their cousins and friends all about it as well. “My dad said if our house is already finished…” Tay Soon nurtured the idea until it becomes a consuming passion of his and his family’s lives. It had become a reality stronger than the reality of the terrace house, which they live and own by mother of Tay Soon who has a small business by selling a bottled curry viand and vegetable pickles. She shakes his head after hearing what the kid of Tay Soon telling to his cousins and friends and about over ambition of youth nowadays. “What’s wrong with our house?” she asked with disgust. “Are we not comfortable with it?”
No, until the ugly altar of our descendants is there, and the badness of colors is such- the kitchen wall was painted in radiant pink. But Yee Lian maintains good relation in her Mother-in-law she does not said it with her instead she just said it to her sister Yee Yeng; if not, her mother-in-law will know that and sure it’s sharp tongue will function endlessly.
The house-the dream house-it’s far from their small terrace house they are living now, and Tay Soon and Yee Lian talk the house so much and it become more elegant in their imagination. A ceiling with thick woods, walls with fine woods; a circle arrangement of living set that submerge in the center of the living room with gold carpet. It’s not just a dream since they have lots of money in the bank. They have forty-thousand dollar savings, not enough for their dream house. But they can afford it since Tay Soon and Yee Lian have high salary. Once they give the down payment, they can install for the remaining balance monthly maybe at ten, fifteen, or twenty years. It’s not important how lengthy as long as they already own their dream house. It became the symbol of their great accomplishment here on earth, and for achieving it, Tay soon give all his strength and suffering. “You’re arrogant, what’s elegant in marble floors and swimming pool? Why don’t you spend your money wisely?” Mother of Tay Soon said. But the forty-thousand savings increase in forty-eight thousand when Tay Soon and Yee Lian put their year bonus. The couple smile with each other for their plan is working. That is the time when people get interest to stock market. At the same time, the interest rate on the stocks went up, the quotation of stocks and shares were climbing up the charts. Yee Lian asks his husband, “Do you know that Dr. Soo bought Rustan banking for four dollars and now, every share is seven dollars?” the temptation is great and the reward is almost immediate. So he invested thirty-thousand dollars at risk in share market. Fortunately, he was able to make fifty-five thousand overnight. The couple shouted in delight. They put eighteen-thousand in Far East Mart. After three days, it twice the price of the shares. Nothing expects them to stop. Tay Soon borrowed money in bank and put twenty thousand in OHTC. This is the luckiest share it fourth-times the price in just three days.
“This is enough, enough,” shouted Yee Lian in delight. The newspaper is occupied about it, it has been the subject of several people, and it has been on the air exactly. They see the rate go up and think of all the money they can make which would make them rich overnight. Yee...