Writer . Editor . Author
Last night, I was pretty bored after dinner, partly because my laptop has broken and I was too full and sleepy to read a book. I even turned on the TV, which I hardly do on weekdays, so I asked God for a dream that night. When I woke up this morning, this is what I remembered:
I was heading towards an exam with a bunch of girls from my high school. We were living in a monastery which had many flights of steps. (I attended a Convent school in Penang, but it was nothing like a monastery and there were no nuns) It was a huge and spacious building, made out of cold hard stone. It felt like we were in Europe, but I know it was in Asia.
The exam hall was located in another building, and all the girls were to be ferried there by a shuttle bus. But because I needed to drop off a letter at the Post Office, I decided not to join the group. Outside, it was already dark. It had the mood atmosphere of 5-6am, just before the break of day. The streets in town were laid with cobblestones, and the landscape was steep and hilly.
I dropped my letter into a postbox outside the Post Office, which was not open, by the way. I then saw a Malaysian-Chinese couple drive past me in a car going downhill. I pondered for a moment if I should follow their route to the exam hall, which was actually on the opposite direction but I thought this could be a shortcut. I walked a few steps, then turned back to follow the route that I knew to be right.
I ended up going uphill instead of downhill, and found myself at the back of the exam hall, which was inside a church. The terrain beneath my feet were soft, dark and muddy, like fresh soil that have been dug up before flowers and vegetables could be planted. That was when I realised that I was walking on someone’s vegetable patch, located behind the high walls of a few medieval-looking buildings.
Two persons were on the farm – an Indian man sitting on the ground and an Indian lady standing a little way in the distance. I asked them both where the church was, and they pointed to the medieval building behind me. It was extremely dark and so I made my way slowly up the soft ground, approaching glass doors with warm yellow light inside.
I was already late for my exam, and as I saw a few well-suited ladies inside, I banged on the glass door and showed a piece of paper with the words “HOLY CHURCH” on them. I pointed to the paper and mouthed the words HOLY CHURCH in desperation that they would let me in quickly.
As I barged into the exam hall, I realised that I was about 40 minutes late, with only 20 minutes to go. The girls from my school were sat on the left hand corner together with boys and girls from other schools taking the same exam. One of my friends, Grace, turned around to look at me as everyone had their hands raised that they had not finished the paper.
I quickly took my seat at the front and flipped through the answers that I had already brought with me. There were written on light blue sheets of A4 paper that were folded into half. It was an Add Maths exam, and I thought to myself that because I wasn’t good in Math, I would probably fail it anyway.
There were 8 questions on the paper, and I saw that the second question was different from what I had on my answer sheets. It was as though I had done some predictions and work in advance, and was just waiting to copy out the solutions onto the exam paper.
The dream then ended there, just like that.