The ceremony was getting boring. There she was, squirming uncomfortably in the stiff and stuffy gown, itching to just get the whole thing over and done with. All these make believe grandeur supposedly to crown off her four years of hard work!
Lai Shan contemplated her Uni life for a moment. No there’s nothing to shout about. Happy times, yes. Sad times, yes. But no intense life changing moment worth remembering. Uni was dull. And lonely.
Her mind shifted to the time she won the public speaking competition last year. It was a moment of joy and elation. All her friends came and mobbed her. But it was short lived. She caught sight of the boyfriend of the runner up hugging and wiping off tears from her face. Like being pricked by a pin, Lai Shan knew all these achievements are no substitute for a lonely heart. There’s no one for her to share her joy with, to chatter and gloat over the win again and again.
Likewise, when she lost the competition this year, there’s no one to comfort her, no one to cling to and she ended up crying into her pillow until it was all wet and soggy and her eyes all puffy and red.
Every time she saw a couple holding hands while walking towards the lecture hall, her heartache increase a single notch. Every time her friends managed to find someone to call their special half, she puts her best smile up and congratulate them. But deep down, emptiness added with a twinge of jealousy reigned. “When will be my time to be lucky?” She always wondered. The nights she spent in front of the full length mirror at her home staring back at the girl in front of her had been countless. . Not bad looking at all. The skin is smooth, the face flawless. Eyes big enough, nose straight. But still single.
“What is wrong with me?” she wanted to scream and yell. She was socially competent, has lots of friends who seem to enjoy her company. She was bubbly and fun to be with. But there was no one inviting her to the prom night. No one sending her flowers on Valentine’s day. No one whom she can smile and say proudly to her friends “he’s my boy”.
Jayeire Lim. Every girl either envies or despises her. It seems that the whole male population of the school swarms around like she is the queen bee. It may be stretching the truth to the limit, but in the eyes of countless girls thirsting for attention, the above statement is very true.
Jayeire is the most popular in Uni by everyone’s perception. In lectures, there are always some boys sitting on both of her sides. In the canteen during lunch, ninety nine times out of a hundred she will be the only girl sitting in the whole table. In the library, she was always seen studying with boys. Or on the grass on the front lawn of the Uni. Or next to the basketball court. Well, anywhere.
She is by everyone standard, a pretty girl. She is accomplished too. Representing the Uni in various competitions and won a couple of them. Dux of the class, with results that never cease to amaze people. She oozes confidence when she sashayed her way to the lecture theatre, she exudes charm when she went on stage to promote the latest club activity. She is nice too. Friendly and humble, funny and helpful. Deep down in their heart, every girl admired and wants to be Jayeire Lim. And she is every boy's wet dream.
No one remembers the last time in Uni that Jayeire can’t be found without at least two guys by her side.
The usher summoned everyone to be ready to go on stage. Straightening her graduation gown, Lai Shan walked slowly to the side of the hall. One by one, she watched her peers went on stage to receive their scroll. At last it was her turn.
“Bachelor of Engineering, First Class Honours – Lai Shan Jayeire Lim.” She went up the stage, and received the scroll with a bright smile, accompanied by the most thunderous applause of the night.
The boys witnessing it all have the same thought “Ah, I wish she was mine. If only she was not that perfect - then perhaps I will have a chance…”