This was two weeks ago.
Two weeks before that, LCY went to Poland to play in some bridge tournament. He had sent me his itinerary; I was to go to the airport on Saturday in the afternoon to receive him, following which we would return to his house.
Calls had been intermittent for the past two weeks, depending on the schedule of his matches, my knock-off time, and whether he had deposited his phone at the counter, since he could not bring his phone into the venue. In fact, the first time I received a call from him, I had just sat down with my Yoshinoya dinner, and had answered with a “What happened?”, a testament to how unexpected his call was. Usually, if there were calls, it would be at my dinner time, which would be during his lunch break.
This night, Thursday night, which was also Mid-Autumn Festival, I was on the MRT on the way home when he called.
“I was bored last night, so I downloaded Time Traveler’s Wife and watched it,” he said.
Time Traveler’s Wife is one of my absolute favourite books, so that got me quite excited, even as I had forgotten most of the details.
“I found it quite pedophilic…” he commented.
“No, he met her as an adult in his timeline. But I guess that’s true for her timeline.”
“Yeah it’s like sexual grooming isn’t it?”
“Welllll I guess that’s kinda true. Although she was the one who wanted to have sex first, and he wouldn’t do it until she turned… was it 18?”
“Oh is it?”
“Yeah… they had so much sex in the book.”
“That’s why you liked it right?”
“Hahaha well partly. They had so much sex she complained it hurt down there.”
I had reached the interchange, and one of the buses I could take was right there, so I boarded it.
“How did it end in the book?”
“I don’t quite remember…”
“In the movie he got shot by his father-in-law.”
“Oh, that sounds familiar. Damn, that was sad.”
“Did it end there?”
“Hmm… oh, I remember this. He wrote a letter to Claire, saying that he time travelled to the future once and saw her old self… That would be the last time she sees him. Oh man, I cried so hard. In fact right now I am feeling that teary sensation in my nose.”
“Awwww. Wouldn’t it be cool if the me from two weeks later time-travelled back now?”
(After coming home on Saturday, he would fly off on Sunday night to Australia for a work trip.)
“Hahaha sure. Like while you are outfield in the desert right?”
“I might disappear suddenly into a pile of clothes, and then you will see the present me, on Saturday.”
“Did I guess correctly just now, that you would get on bus 105?”
“Nah, I got on 183.” I alighted, eyes peeled on my phone as usual, reading everything on my Facebook feed.
Suddenly, I felt my hand being grabbed. I turned, knowing the only person who would do that was him, but not even fathoming how it was possible. It was him.
“I’m the me from Australia!”
“YAH RIGHT, WHAT? HOW???”
That was basically the only thing I managed to say for the next five minutes. Turns out, after not getting a position in the top half, he decided to change his flight to return earlier instead of playing the consolation matches. He successfully kept it from me for those few days, reached Singapore a couple of hours before, and was waiting at the bus stop for me as I was idly updating him about my journey’s progress, that sneaky bastard.
I can’t even imagine how he managed to pull it off. If it were me I would have discussed with him the pros and cons of changing a flight, or actually more likely I wouldn’t even think of changing flights because I’m just so inflexible when it comes to pre-arranged stuff. It was glorious. It was amazing.
It was the best Mid-Autumn Festival I’ve had.