"Mom, don't worry. I'll be fine. I'll see you again for Chinese New Year!"
"Haaii... how come this week flew by so fast?"
"Mom, it's okay. Time will fly again, and before long you'll be picking me up from the airport again."
"Yah! Bro will be fine! This isn't his first trip there, you know."
"Sigh... Darling, just be safe, and don't do anything stupid!"
"Alright, Mom. Dad, take care of the family, okay?"
"Haiyoh, why you suddenly sound so serious? You don't have to worry either! We can manage."
"...you're right. So... see you."
Just smile and wave... smile and wave.
Wait for it... Yup. She's taken out the tissue again. Geez, this is my seventh trip over there, and she's still this emotional.
All right, passport's been checked. She's still crying. Maybe I better wave one more time and walk a bit further. She'll keep bawling her eyes out if she can still see me over here. Dad and Sis are really trying hard to console her, huh...
Hold on, I better make a call quick while I still have service available...
"Hey, it's me, boss. I'm inside the airport with a couple of hours to spare."
"Oh hi! How's the week been?"
"Oh, it's nice to be back. Had good food, rest, entertainment..."
"That's nice. So, why did you call me? Can't be just to share your holiday experience."
"Just two things. You still free to pick me up and bring me back to my apartment?"
"Uh... sure. Don't have anything going on then."
"Thanks. And I probably won't come back to work until next Monday. You know how terribly I deal with jet lag."
"Ah, no problem. You have to make up for your absence with souvenirs though! Heh."
"Pfft, what's with you and souvenirs? Why not buy some for yourself on your own vacations?"
"Nah, I can hardly afford the time to go on an overseas trip. You're lucky your work doesn't suck out as much free time out of your life as mine does!"
"Yeah, sorry about that. I promise there are no Merlion-related things this time."
"There are orchids and durians involved though."
"Ehh... that's fine. At least I don't have as many of those as that weird lion-fish hybrid. So... I'll see you later?"
"Yup. Thanks for the lift. Bye."
"Will you eventually help Singapore? Maybe even come back for good?"
"There's always room for improvement and growth. For both you and this country."
"While you live out your aspirations, at least do some things to repay the favour. Then perhaps future generations won't complain as much about being constrained in Singapore."
Maybe give me a few more years. I'm not quite ready yet.
But possibly in the future, Mom won't have to cry for me at the airport any more.
See you soon, Singapore.