=239= Stories to Tell: Playground

After a long day of work, Jason took a break and walked to the pantry. He took a styrofoam cup, a pre-mixed coffee packet and a pack of sugar to make some coffee for himself. The way Jason liked to have his coffee made was to first put half a pack of sugar into the cup. Pour the water in. Put the coffee mix last. He claimed that this method of making the coffee allows the coffee to retain its taste longer.

Jason walked back to his little cramped space that people call a “cubicle”. He sat down on his uncomfortable chair and took a look at the clock. It reads “5:05PM”. 55 minutes more till the end of work. Jason then took up his phone and connect the phone to the office’s Wifi. Once he did, a flood of whatsapp messages came in. He opened the application and read the messages that was received. Turns out that his university school friends just arranged for an impromptu meeting at their usual hang out in an hour’s time. Jason was delighted when he saw the group conversation and replied that he would be there!

Hence, Jason packed up his table, cleared all wrappers of the snacks he ate, log off his computer and left the office early.

Jason took the bus there and when he reached the restaurant he was about 30 minutes early. He reprimanded himself for not leaving the office at a later time and getting more work done, but he realized that he finally has some alone time to himself right now, so he decided to walk around the mall.

While walking around, he began thinking of the old friends that he would meet.

Joseph. An extremely close friend of Jason’s. They can talk for hours about almost any topic. Joseph has an ability to make everyone comfortable in class. Probably the MVP of his class. He is always cheerful and would rub his joy off his classmates! Jason has never saw Joseph angry before. Joseph went on to be a real estate agent after university. 

Phillip. Phillip is a very direct person. He would say whatever was on this mind. However, he was a very gentle guy beneath the loud personality. He was also extremely talented. He plays the guitar and sings really well. Joseph, Phillip and Jason used to play music together and they were a great team! After university, Phillip decided to be a professional musician, from what Jason has heard, he wasn’t doing very well.

Kelly. Kelly is one of the few people that is super easy to talk to. She had been a very good friend to everyone in this clique. She was someone anyone could confide in. Gentle and patient, she went on to be a social worker for the youth after university; a job well suited for her.

Last of all, Sandra. “Oh man…” Jason thought. Sandra and Jason were the best of friends in this clique back in university. Jason thought that Sandra was the prettiest girl in class. On top of that, Sandra, though quiet, she was the most fun person to hang out with once you get to know her. At least that was what Jason thought. Both Jason and Sandra don’t have much skills and abilities. While Joseph has great people skills, Phillip with the musical talent and Kelly with her gentle heart, Jason and Sandra didn’t think that they have much talents or abilities. Perhaps that was what drew them closer together. Back in university, because of how slow both of them were, both of them would stay in school after there lectures so as to revise and do projects together. This lead to them spending much time together. Not only that, they lived a block away from each other, so they would have conversations with each other on the way back home.

However, it did not end up well in this relationship. After they collected their degrees during their graduation, Jason pulled Sandra aside to confess his feelings to her. Jason has been thinking a lot about his own feelings. He knows that he had feelings for her and he really did not want to lose her as a friend after they part their ways. Therefore, he decided to tell her about his feelings.

“Hey Sandra” Said Jason.

“Hey Jas! Happy graduation!” Sandra replied.

“Happy graduation!” 

“Why do you looks so serious?”

“Erm, I have something to tell you…”

“Yeah, what is it?”

“I… I…” Stuttered Jason. “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I am doing this!” He said while laughing a bit.

“What? Haha!”

“Erm, I like you…. Will you be my girlfriend?”

Sandra’s expression changed. She now had a confused look. The conversation paused for what seemed like an eternity to Jason. “Oh, wow. Erm Jason, will you give me some time to think about it?”

“Sure! Sure! Think about it as long as you want!”

They had a gathering after the graduation and Jason found it to be the most awkward period of his life. A few days later, Sandra called up Jason and she rejected him. Reason being that she had only been treating him like a brother. Ever since then, whenever there was a gathering with the clique, Sandra wouldn’t turn up. Jason heard from Kelly that she had found a job in quite a prestigious company.

It has been slightly more than a year since the confession! So though Jason wants to see Sandra, he doesn’t know if Sandra would turn up at all. Without Jason noticing, he had already been walking around for 30 minutes. So he rushed back to the restaurant. 

He entered the restaurant and he saw his clique again. Kelly and Phillip were sitting together, with Joseph in front of them, they were chatting and laughing really hard! Jason wondered what was so funny, so he went up and said, “Wah Wah Wah! What is going on?!”

“Jason! You are here! Oh my gosh, you need to listen to this” said Joseph. “Phillip and Kelly are together!”

“WHAT?!” Jason exclaimed.

Jason always thought that Sandra and him would be the first couple of the clique, who knew Phillip and Kelly would be the first? Jason congratulated them then said, “I know that opposites attract, but I never knew you guys had a thing going on! How did you guys even get together?”

Turns out that Phillip had a crush on Kelly since the first year of university, but dared not to chase after her! Kelly on the other hand admired Phillip’s blatant personality and talent. They only got together after hanging out one to one often at where Phillip does his gigs. Kelly heard that Phillip wasn’t doing very well, so she went there often to support him. Phillip wanted to show his gratitude and so he bought her dinner one night and he confessed. They have been going out for almost two weeks!

“Sorry I am late!” Jason heard and noticed the familiar voice. It was Sandra.

Sandra was wearing a raven black dress with a simple rose gold necklace.  Her chestnut hair was in a more sophisticated hairstyle than back in university; it was curled and it looked so good on her. She was carrying a nice brown handbag and wore a simple bracelet. The face however was what made Jason’s heart skipped a beat. He could finally see the familiar face that he used to see everyday and what a face to see.

Jason made eye contact with Sandra and they both made a slight smile to acknowledge each other but said nothing. Sandra took a seat and received the news that two of her best friends were going out. The night went on and for the clique it was the meal of the year! It was the first time everyone was present since that awkward graduation meal! The friends talked through the night. Phillip seems to be doing better in music; getting scouted by a record label. Joseph doesn’t seem to be doing too well for the sales of apartments. Kelly told us of an autistic kid finally being able to speak. Sandra told us of her workplace and how much she doesn’t enjoy working there, but she enjoys her pay and hours. Jason shared about a possibility of getting a promotion.

After the meal, the group went to the supermarket on the basement floor and bought ice cream. They brought the ice cream up to the sky park of the mall. The sky park had a playground. The playground was really colorful and had many different things! From the usual See-Saw and slide to the unusual looking rotating thingy! The group left their bags and ice cream on the ground and just went and played in the playground. There is something about a playground that really brings out the kid in an adult. Jason and Joseph were on a see-saw with Phillip on top of it, in the center, trying to keep his balance. Kelly and Sandra were trying out the slide! The guys then tried to show off their manliness by doing pull ups! Joseph who used to be the most for of the group, could no longer do a pull up!

After playing for an hour, the group finally sat down and opened their ice cream. By then, the ice cream had already melted quite a bit. Thank goodness that the night was cool, so it did not melt further.

It was then that it rained. The group wasn’t affected though, the playground had a canvas roof and it sheltered them quite well. The rain was just what the group needed to cool down. The pleasure of having the temperature of the stuffy roof cooled down was simply delightful. Eating ice cream in such a weather was also a joy. However, the most important of all, is the company.


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