The large trunks of the trees twist and turn, forming a plethora of roots. Their autumn clothes litter the pavement. The luminous buildings pierce through the pitch-black, radiating a bright glow. The lone man stands completely still, his gaze fixed on the shimmering aqua. He is overlooked by the throng of commuters that fill the busting streets. The quay is as animated as before, yet brings a different vibe to it. The boy pulls out his flute. He is ready to play. A melodious golden serenade ripples through the wind. An old couple nearby hears the familiar tune, their hearts melt as their feelings stir, minds filled with nostalgia. A sudden clap crackles through the night, breaking the tranquility of the song. It seems a divine being had cursed the melody. Tears began falling from the sky. First, only small beats could be heard. Then, a torrential shower ensued. The song continued to play. "Is he crazy? With the rain, who is to hear him now?" a lady asked. "The dead can hear him." Everyone grew silent. They turned their attention to the boy, over the echos of the raindrops.
Joseph trudged along the old cobblestone path, looking depressed. New country, new school, new classmates-and no new friends. Moving can really a tough time for a boy. His parents were always working, and being the only child, it seems that today was going to be filled with solitude. He started pondering about the days events. Eventually, he found himself in the presence of a large canal. He started to make himself at home. After finding a comfortable spot, he pulled out his Chinese flute, the dizi. His parents had always wanted him to play the guzheng, another Chinese instrument which also produced beautiful song. However, he was adamant on playing his flute. He took in a deep breath. "Just play with your heart,Joseph, let all your emotions fly!" He remembers the wise advice of an old man he once knew. Right now, he wanted to do just that. He was ready to play. His slender fingers grasped the flute elegantly. He closed his eyes and played. By the time he opened his eyes, the song had ended. At the corner of his eye, he noticed he had a fan. Their eyes met. The girl turned away instantly, fleeing. Joseph started waving. "Hey! You like playing too? Come around the same time tomorrow!" It was a far stretch indeed, after all, it would be foolish to think anyone would take up that offer. But he was desperate.
The next day, Joseph came to the same place. Expecting to see someone there, his heart sank. Then he heard a voice cough behind him. His face light up like that of a Cheshire cat's. "That is a beautiful song. My mother used to play it all the time when i was little." She paused. Joseph could see how brightly her eyes glistened in the light. Her smooth treacle hair was truly a sight to behold. She continued. "How long have you been playing?" Joseph immediately responded, "Since i was 7 years old." She turned her attention to the flute. "Mind if i have a go?"Joseph grew arrogant. He doubted this pretty face.
"Are you sure? You don't look worthy of such a majestic piece of equipment."
"Just let me have a go."
"It's not as easy as it looks."
"Watch and see."
"It takes practice."
"Give it to me."
"You might get it dirty."
"Knock it off."
"Watch how a pro does it."
"Hmph!" the girl said. An evil idea popped into her head. "Are you sure your not just scared you'll lose to a girl?" She smiled cheekily. Joseph glared at her menacingly. Seeing that the girl was testing his natural male instincts, he gave her the flute.
The girl took in a deep breath and blew into the hole. On that Friday evening along the canal at Hougang street 20, one could hear the most majestic golden notes competing with the howling wind. The source of the song came from a little wooden flute held by a beautiful young lady, her hands like delicate petals grazing the wooden instrument. Beside her stood a young boy, who could only stare in awe with his mouth agape, the melodious golden music tickling the insides of his eardrums.
Months pasted. The duo continued having frequent meet-ups. They clicked together perfectly, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. They did not just stick to music, but their conversations often went outside the realm of art and more into their daily lives. Joseph was not sad anymore. This girl...was like a sister to him. Then, that day came. That one, faithful day. That day, Joseph had a hard time concentrating in class. Usually a very meticulous student, his behavior came as a total shock to his tutors at school. That day, he was looking at a photo. The picture was of a river. Not just any river. This was the most famous river in the entire country. He realized two things that day. Firstly, hat girl was his only friend in the world. Secondly, wanted to bring her there.
Joseph shot out of the school compound like a zebra being chased by a wild lioness. He could not wait to break the good news to his friend. Upon his arrival, he searched around frantically for the young lady. However, it was to no avail. Speculating she might be running late, Joseph sat down to play his flute. What hectic lives students must live. Just then, an old man tapped him on the shoulder. "Excuse me son, could you be by any chance, Joseph Lim?" The boy nodded his head. The man passed him a letter. "Its from a neighbour. They said you would be here." A note from her? A puzzled Joseph opened the letter and began to dissect it carefully, savouring every word of the hand-written text. The silence that followed was unbearable. A piece of him just died. How cruel did the world have to be? Joseph fought back tears. A swirl of emotions engulfed him. He was utterly flabbergasted. He opened his mouth to scream, but no words could describe how he felt. Suddenly, he remembered her. The way she talked and laughed. How she made him feel happy. Joseph suddenly realised he was in the same position he was many months ago, but he did not feel depressed. He could hear something. As if...notes could be heard in the breeze.....