I felt like I was still crying. I felt like I was still waving goodbye. I could still hear my mom’s voice in my last call before boarding. I could still feel the last hugs from my friends. I could still taste the last siu mai I ate at Jalan Ipoh. Kuala Lumpur was still in my veins 13 hours later. It won’t let go. I could not either.
“What are you going to do here?” He was stern.
“Work. I mean, I got transferred from our office in Malaysia.”
“Good for you. You’re lucky.” I heard a definite stamp kissing a flimsy page of my passport.
I made it past the immigration officer. I finally crossed the last gate to my Point B.
“Well, hello London.” It was dark. It was raining. It was five in the morning.
Minutes later I was in a “so London” black cab. The driver was as cold as the breeze. I kept on re-reading the address. I should know how the place would look like. I saw it on Google Maps.
West London. Grey door. Three heavy and intimidating luggage bags. I dragged each of them up the narrow stairway. I sprained my right hand in the process. I was thinking how easy my life was in Asia where labor is cheap.
“This is your life now.”, I muttered.
I felt both the present and the future unfold right before me as I entered my Lilliputian bedsit. How I love small spaces. I stepped out of the balcony and finally sulked in my new reality brimming with opportunities, uncertainties, and maybe-i-will-start-dating thoughts.
After five solid minutes of self-awareness, I retreated inside. I unloaded letters from friends- words so heavy my eyes welled up. I read each message aloud.
I will be alright. More than alright. I believe in me but they believe in me more.
22nd June — Day One.