updated 20 Jul 2013, 06:29
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Fri, Apr 12, 2013
Her World
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Introduced to his shady world
by Jeanne Tai

That night, we visited four nightclubs. They were dodgy and packed with hostesses in skimpy attire. I felt like an outsider in my T-shirt and jeans, and sensed the male patrons staring at me.

In each club, Eric left me in a corner while he met with his "associates".

He would confer with them over his laptop, and they seemed to be discussing various transactions. Despite my best efforts to quiz them, and even sneak a peek at his laptop (unsuccessfully), they were evasive. "We're just trading some stuff lah!" one said, brushing me off.

At one of the clubs, I was joined by a young hostess, 19, who injected ketamine into her arm, before my eyes.

Eric later told me that she was his girlfriend. They'd hooked up just after he returned to Malaysia. He claimed to feel sorry for her, and was trying to "save" her from drugs.

I wasn't happy, but kept my emotions in check. New squeeze aside, I was more disturbed by Eric's lifestyle. We returned to his home at 7am. It had been a traumatic night.

I was upset at how low Eric had sunk. I asked him if this was the kind of life he wanted, and pleaded with him to find a proper job. I was so emotional that I cried for 15 minutes. All the while, he didn't say a word.

I left for Singapore the next day. When my parents quizzed me, I said Eric was depressed and had lost the motivation to find proper work - I didn't tell them about his new girlfriend and how he was working as an illegal runner.

Still determined to help, I texted Eric a week later, and he asked if he could borrow $12,000 to settle his debts. He promised to repay me.

I agreed and wired over the cash - most of my work savings of the last one and a half years. After hearing about Eric's plight, my mother had warned me not to lend him any money but I reasoned that if money could help, I would gladly offer it.

Barely a week later, he told me he'd found a job in a factory. He also asked for $5,000 more as the initial loan wasn't enough. Encouraged that he was finding his feet, I sent over more money.

The following month, I went back to Malaysia to return some of Eric's belongings. He wasn't in, but his mum was. I casually asked about Eric's work. She told me there was no new "factory job", and that he was doing the same shady work as before.

I was horrified that he'd lied to me. After all the help I'd offered, he still wasn't picking himself up.

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