Authors: Catherine Lim
© 2011 Catherine Lim and Marshall Cavendish
International (Asia) Private Limited
The Serpent’s Tooth first published in
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Singapore!: Stories In Celebration first published in 1989;
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In the end, said Angela, and her voice
quavered in remembrance of all the pain and sadness – in the end, I was left
alone to pick up the pieces, to clear the mess.
The old one, as you know, I put in Mount St
Luke. No hospital in Singapore could offer better care (or charge higher fees).
But she died peacefully, at last, and her ashes lie in the temple at Tank Road,
as she wished.
The howling idiot foster-son who had been
such a burden, I returned to his mother. To the very end, she protested she did
not have the means to care for him – a troublesome hulk of an idiot,
30-years-old. She was leading up to it – I knew it all the time – we settled at
$3,000, and now I think she’s taken him to Lumut, to live with an old relative.
My poor little Michael – I don’t know how
long he’ll take to recover from the trauma. Can you imagine his sufferings
under the influence of the old demented one and the idiot foster-son? Dr Phua
is doing his best, and I pray to God every day that my son will be all right
My Mark and Michelle are my support in these
sad, sad days. I thank God again and again that the sufferings they went
through did not affect them too badly. Mark’s got the PROMSHO scholarship and
Michelle’s returned to her training sessions. Her coach tells me she will be in
top shape for the ASEAN swimming carnival in June.
And my Boon – what can I say? He’s gone
through so much, and been taken advantage of so shamelessly by others, from a
Minister to a servant girl. I pray people will recognise his real worth.
Sometimes people never see you for what you really are.
And what can I say of the family that was
supposed to stand together and help one another in times of trouble?