02 | TOOL



last edited on ZLT: 31.01.20


Date: 2009.3.3

48 hours after the surgery, I was looking after prof Lin so I hadn’t slept. His forehead was scrunched up, and he was quiet. I could only infer from his twitching eyelids how he was doing, until he pinched my finger, and huffed: “It hurts.”

After the anaesthetic had worn off, my heart finally cooled down. I kissed his forehead: “It’ll go away really soon.”

Our prof Lin sure was fortunate.

He grew up on-base, in a military housing. Though his parents were busy, his basic needs were orderly handled by  o he’d never had to worry about anything in life.

Even after leaving his family to study, he’d also been a pops guy with good looks. During the weekends, his bedsheets and pillow casings were all pulled off by the mercilessly virtuous female students who’d volunteered to wash ‘em for him, so he’s never needed to clean after himself much. In fact, he’s always been particularly gleeful and proud about such a history.

When he was working, he was assigned a twenty square metres apartment. Those that were single were assigned an apartment with another person, those who already had a family would move in with their family. In these kind of apartments, the type of people that came in the most abundance were the generous and kind but often lacked tact; these type of people were particularly naggy, but kind towards the youths and would often look after their daily lives. His suite-mate was a local, and his mother often brought food over for him. When the kind old lady saw prof Lin stick thin, she’d brought more food such that even prof Lin would be well-fed.

Later when he started dating my mom, and unfortunately my mom back then was a clean freak who’d insisted on plucking off the curtains to wash them at least once a week, prof Lin didn’t even need to wash his own bedsheets — my mom figured that he couldn’t get it clean even if he tried.

After marriage and moving in, they stayed in the same area as grandma and grandpa. The elderly couple saw that the newly weds were busy with work, and hence volunteered to undertake prepping for lunch and dinner; and so, all my parents had to do was to prepare breakfast in turns. ♢ THE OATH OF LOVE, CHAPTER 02 is hosted at ZHAN LANN♢

Subsequently after, they had me. Since young, I was exposed to her all-rounded and holistic education as well as prof Lin’s blind admiration. I took over the task of preparing his breakfast, matching his clothes, and even trivial things like pouring him water and tea. You can see how prof Lin had discarded his regard for all mortal matters for twenty-plus years.

Mom always said, she’d spent her entire lifetime of patience on prof Lin.

After saying so much, the one point I’d like to bring across is — we’ve spoilt prof Lin really badly, and this had become a habit for us.

After the surgery, we’ve distributed among the two of us all the things he needed help with — from getting off the bed to walk, wearing clothes to even brushing his teeth.

My first proper encounter with the doctor was on the third day after prof Lin’s surgery, I was trying to get prof Lin to go to sleep then. I’d been in the strangest of positions — squatting beside the bed, my right wrist was against the bed as a point of support, while I held his neck and back with my arm such that his head could rest in my elbow while I patted his back with my left hand.

Before that, prof Lin’s oxygen mask had been taken off. He still had four tube on him, gastric tube, nasogastric feeding tube, urinary catheter and drainage tube, so he could turn himself slightly. His wound was still hurting and he’d been feeling bloated so he’d been half-asleep even till deep into the night. Even while half-conscious, he could still accurately enter my embrace when I lifted his neck up to massage, and then fall asleep… it was incredibly awkward, yet I was optionless and gratified.

Just as I was wiggling around in such a strange position, the door opened. There would be checks on the patient every two hours for three days after the surgery. The doctor on night shift held a flashlight pen as he neared. When his light swept over my strange position, he evidently paused. I felt the need to explain myself so I said with gusto: “He couldn’t fall asleep, he said his wound hurt.”

The doctor smiled: “Do you need any help?”

“No, thank you.”

He nodded and left.

It’d been really dark, and all I had in my head was prof Lin and how he was doing. The only impression the doc left was the tall and thin silhouette of his back, and nothing else.


Doc’s notes: you’ve just ordered me around, how did you conveniently forget about what happened just a moment ago



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