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At the time, we had no idea that would be the last Fourth of July we’d spend in the United States. My husband was laid off from his job in late 2009. We’d always considered living abroad, so it seemed like a good time to do so. In April 2010, we moved to Singapore, a tiny city-state in Southeast Asia.
I spent the first few months in Singapore too busy to be homesick. I had to find an apartment, figure out the public transit system, wait for our container of belongings to arrive from the United States, find the nearest grocery store, and so forth. After the whirlwind of those first few months, though, the homesickness hit me hard, triggered by a number of things, but among them the impending Fourth of July.
A fellow expat told me that the American Association of Singapore sponsored a Fourth of July event every year. We looked up the details and took a taxi to the small event. American BBQ food was being served, a military band played rock-n-roll, and we met up with a number of online friends. The ambassador spoke, followed by the girl scouts troop singing Majulah Singapura (the Singapore National Anthem) followed by The Star Spangled Banner. The fireworks were nothing impressive when held up against Boston’s (or Singapore’s National Day fireworks a month later) but they were balm for my soul.
The first year in Singapore was difficult. I spent the second year feeling more at home in Singapore, but mostly bedridden with a difficult pregnancy. After my younger daughter R was born, though, I burst out of my shell. I made many friends, both expat and local. Singapore became our second home.
Today, E is seven and is in second grade at a Singapore Public School. She code switches between a Singaporean accent at school and a more Americanized one at home. She is fluent in Mandarin, as her school requires she study a second language. R is four, in pre-school, and following in E’s footsteps.
On July 2, 2016, ten thousand miles away from Boston, at the Singapore American School, we will celebrate America’s birthday. Our daughters will sing Majulah Singapura flawlessly in Malay, and then switch to English for The Star Spangled Banner. We sit on a blanket and watch the fireworks. And I’ll tell the story of how baby E ignored her first fireworks in favor of a silly light-up ball from a gift shop.
You never forget your first love…
Meg and RJ were passionately in love. But that was six years and a broken engagement ago.
Meg has only one day in Siem Reap, Cambodia, before she must leave for her sister’s wedding in Bali. She fulfills her dream of taking a photograph of the sun rising behind Angkor Wat, one of the oldest temples in the world. But her joy is short-lived when she turns around to see RJ standing behind her.
RJ threw himself into work after Meg ended their relationship. He’s built a successful business, but it’s a hollow victory. He’s come to Siem Reap to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving. But first he has to convince her to spend the day with him.
Meg is as physically attracted to RJ as she ever was. Maybe the secret to finally getting over him is a one day only, no strings attached fling.
Can RJ win Meg back, or will she love him and leave him?
About the Author: After thirty years of snowy New England winters, Delilah Night moved to steamy southeast Asia. While she doesn’t miss shovelling snow, she does miss shopping for bargains at Target.
In 2014, Delilah visited Cambodia for the first time and fell in love with Siem Reap. Many of her misadventures from that vacation (including the one with the monkey) made their way into this story.
Buy the book at Amazon.