ISSUE Magazine

Can We be Frank? – Lost Baggage by Raina Ng

Remember that lover, the one that left you standing to wait in the rain for hours before turning up, cigarette in mouth, Hermes trunk in hand, whispering, raspy voiced, “I will be leaving on the next train.” And you turn to walk away, leaving him standing in the rain, never turning back for fear of tearing.

Seeing that lost baggage again was very much like reconnecting with that lover. I am not being dramatic, not in the least! I was relieved! Some of the things in there I loved, and thought I would never see again; some irrelevant yet missed, some I just bought on my trip and then there were the souvenirs, mementos of the trip I just made. Things I would never want to lose, lest I forget.

But I also have to mention, I have never met that lover yet.

Heart thumping, we, Frank and I ran towards the baggage counter down at KLIA with the old boarding pass that had stuck on the back of it that sticker thing with the baggage code.

Then I saw it, and my palms got sweaty. Frank was nonchalant, like the ones who loved to play it cool. I always wished I could be Frank when on dates with the ones that I consider attractive. But I often act like a neurotic mess and make the dumbest jokes, and blushing to the colour of Chanel’s blush no. 72. That is way too pink for my skin tone.

They called me Tomato in high-school. Taunt. Taunt.

Now they call me Sham-Sham. Who knows what that means, that my life was a sham? Or I am so naive I believe in shams.

We got the baggage home and Frank sat on the couch, silent, having coffee while I sifted through the belongings I never thought I would ever see again. I was buzzing, for these things felt like new. It was like shopping and then going through the things you had bought, imagining all the things you could do with them.

But you never do.

The dress I wore to the wedding I thought I would finally meet my soulmate at. I just met someone I facebook-stalked for a while and had visualised, in my head, one of those love-at-first-sight moments. Yea, one of the shams I secretly believe to be true.

He looked at me from across the room, feeling romantic from the buzz that was oozing from the couple that had just publicly announced to the world they were spending their lives together. Forever. Until death do they part.

And then he smiles. Charming.

Fireworks. Literally there were fireworks. But that was the weekly fireworks that entertained Saturday night diners along the Darling Harbour in Sydney.

Then we danced. And he loved my writing, while I really respected how he left that five figure salary to help extinguish poverty.

And the rest, history.

Frank snorted. Yea right.

According to Frank that ain’t love. Of course I know that.

Did not happen anyway.

My toiletries, and the Elizabeth Arden green tea perfume my ex-boyfriend gave me. I recalled the time I dropped a bottle of it in the shower of a YWCA bathroom. And he replaced it. Sweet.

He was not the one. Or I was young. He never made enough time for me. We had a long-distance relationship and he would come down in the weekends, to play tennis with his friends. I think that was my worst complaint. That and the fact that he never told me I was beautiful.

My God what a selfabsorbed narcissistic creature.

His complaint was worse. I was flirtatious. Attention seeking. Non-committal.


Onto the next memory.

I pulled out the poem that is in my travel pouch; I keep in it an old wallet I use to keep foreign notes. And of course, old poems. Unwise to have put this in my check-in, I know. But it had no money in it.

The Sunflower – to my lady unreliable, whose mirth does bring much pleasure.

That is how it starts, the poem. And I still wonder what he meant by lady unreliable. He is quite the beautiful soul. But at that time, I was with numbnuts. And he went on to do awesome things. He is now the beau of some actress. Bless her, and him.

And then there was he who was too nice. Something about his niceness nauseated me. It was suffocating. And the last thing I want was to be trapped in a place that would make me feel out of breath, while wanting to vomit.

After that were the many who seemed to portray at first the ideals I have of the men I would love to marry. Funnily they all shed those facades very quickly to reveal underneath, forgive my language, assholes and fuckwits.

Their names? Stupid Fool, Arrogant Bastard and Self-Centred Dumbass.

So this leaves me with, Zero.

And I.

Yes, Zero and Frank.

Maybe I just have been too committed…

…to my lover…

…you know the one with the cigarette and the raspy voice (not Tom Waits)…

…the one I have not met. Yet.

Raina wants to see the world and fall in love and she fears losing baggages while Frank who fears crashes just tags along.

This entry was written by Raina and published on 04/10/2012 at 15:46. It’s filed under Fiction, ISSUE5, Musings, Raina Ng and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Can We be Frank? – Lost Baggage by Raina Ng

  1. Pingback: Sunday Postscripts: Commitments « writersclubkl

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