Category Archives: Short Stories

This Is What’s It’s Really Like To Fall In Love.

One Step At A Time – sang by Jordin Sparks

Hurry up and wait
So close, but so far away
Everything that you’ve always dreamed of
Close enough for you to taste
But you just can’t touch

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you’re gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming
Now you’re feeling more and more frustrated
And you’re getting all kind of impatient waiting

We live and we learn to take
One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen and we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

You believe and you doubt
You’re confused, you got it all figured out
Everything that you always wished for
Could be yours, should be yours, would be yours
If they only knew

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you’re gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming
Now you’re feeling more and more frustrated
And you’re getting all kind of impatient waiting

We live and we learn to take
One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen and we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

When you can’t wait any longer
But there’s no end in sight
when you need to find the strength
It’s your faith that makes you stronger
The only way you get there
Is one step at a time

Take one step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen and we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen and we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

I never believed in love at first sight. How do you love someone whom you have never spoken with? It just baffled me. Until that day when I saw you.

You walked past me towards our professor’s office. I caught a glance of you but for some reason I only remembered the back of your head. You were the typical tall, dark handsome guy written in the romance novels. The problem was I was never a fan of the romance novel, so no tall, dark handsome dude was going to make me swoon, that was, until you walked past me. You caught my glance but since we did not know each other, we never gave each other any kind of acknowledgement. However, somehow, I could feel a connection – an unspoken, indescribable feeling that this is the person that is supposed to be in my life. I could almost hear this whispered into my ears. My entire body was telling me, like it was connected to a magnet, that I would talk to this person, get to know him, and have him in my life in some sort of capacity. It felt so sure, so strong, I thought I was hallucinating. How could it be possible? A complete stranger? Are you sure?  I asked myself then, brushed it aside and continued on my way.

The next day I had arranged to meet some friends for lunch, so I turned up at our usual time. This time, their another friend was joining us. And it turned out to be you. I almost froze to the ground. I tried my best not to choke on my lunch that day, lest embarrassing myself. It turned out that we were going to be classmates and since we took the same classes that semester, we had plenty of chances to get to know each other.

I hated homework so we made a pact to do the dirty work for each other once a fortnight, meaning I would complete your homework for this week and you would do mine for the next. The arrangement suited me well, and you were all too happy to comply.

One day our friends were going ice-skating. I was skeptical. You see, I didn’t know how to ice-skate. But you nudged me along. Come, I can teach you, you promised. And you did. When you held my hand, I felt so light I thought I could fly. It’s like I was learning to fly.

You loved to write, so sometimes you shared with me your writings. It was good. In fact, you could be a wonderful writer. I encouraged you, you beamed with pride. In between classes, under that big oak tree, we found ourselves on the grass. There, I would read your stories while you laid down on the grass, enjoying the spring breeze. Being with you gave me a warm feeling. Even with you sitting there besides me, just barely touching each other, I could feel my heart leap. I didn’t know then I was falling in love. How could it be? Is this love?

That afternoon, you gave me a piece for me to read but you had to be somewhere that day, so you made me promised to read it by myself. So under the oak tree, I found myself a spot and this was what you wrote:

*******************************************************************************

To fall in love with someone is the most magical, mystical and indescribable feeling in the world. It happens, suddenly and without hesitation.

To fall in love takes more than ”just love”. It takes more than just ”chemistry”. It takes patience, it takes acceptance, and it takes all of you, but in the most natural way.

To fall in love is to want to put in the effort. It’s knowing that, this is where you want to be, and who you want to be with, and being willing to do anything to nurture that love.

To fall in love means embracing their idiosyncrasies and difference, because to you, they’re enduring quirks.

It means not only supporting them, but admiring them.

Falling in love is a genuine, pure, natural look between two people.

It’s going out of your way for that person, not because you feel forced to, but because you want to. You want to do anything for that person.

Falling in love with someone isn’t just about listening to someone’s passion and dreams; it’s finding ways to help them accomplish all of their dreams.

Falling in love is not just butterflies in your stomach. It’s an innate feeling that this person was made for you. You know that, before them, you were incomplete.

Falling in love is not relying on someone else for your happiness and confidence. It’s being happy and confident, and having that person add to your happiness.

Falling in love is having similarities that no one has shared with you. It’s being passionate about the same things, while also embracing one another’s differences.

Falling in love is missing them, but feeling secure enough to be apart.

To fall in love with someone is like having the best kept secret all to you.

There are many different kinds of love out there, with all of them being significant and moving. But, true love, being in love, that’s the one we all want. It’s the story of the couple that dies within hours of each other because their heart is so broken without the other.

Falling in love is a choice, but not the choice you think. It’s the choice to allow yourself not to be scared. It’s the choice of letting go of your own guard. That choice we make when we fall in love, and it’s the hardest one to decide. But, once we do, we are in for the ride of a lifetime.

******************************************************************************

As Jordin Sparks sang it so well,

We live and we learn to take
One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen and we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

When you can’t wait any longer
But there’s no end in sight
when you need to find the strength
It’s your faith that makes you stronger
The only way you get there
Is one step at a time

Perhaps I was already falling in love. Anticipation is immensely frustrating but deliciously sweet. I couldn’t wait to see you and yet I had to learn to take one step at a time. There is always tomorrow. Tomorrow I will fall in love with you more.

*A friend remarked that my stories has been sad lately, so I figured I will try to capture the feeling of falling in love in this story. I have been feeling the blue lately, partly because I am currently under the weather (I had caught the flu bug) and partly because Chinese New Year is coming but I am not going home. Online, my clients are excited over the holidays but because I am living in Turkey, I couldn’t feel the festive mood in my office despite the fact that, I could feel that festive mood emanating from my laptop. I must be living inside my laptop too long to be able to feel this way. And it sucks. Holidays are a time for gathering, to meet people you haven’t met for a long time, yet I am stuck here with people whom I am not sure if I would be missed. Still it’s no reason not to throw myself a little party at the office, by turning up the music and recapturing the magic of falling in love in my head and finally projecting it onto this story. Maybe, just maybe, if I remembered how it feels like, I might one day fall in love myself.

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Take Time To Realize What I’ve Realized

Realize – sang by Colbie Caillat

Take time to realize,
That your warmth is crashing down on in.
Take time to realize,
That I’m on your side.
Didn’t I, didn’t I tell you?

But I can’t spell it out for you.
No, it’s never gonna be that simple.
No, I can’t spell it out for you.

If you just realize what I’ve just realized,
Then we’d be perfect for each other,
And we’ll never find another.
Just realize what I’ve just realized,
We’d never have to wonder if
We missed out on each other now.

Take time to realize,
Oh-oh, I’m on your side.
Didn’t I, didn’t I tell you?
Take time to realize,
Oh-oh, I’m on your side.
Oh-oh-oh.

But I can’t spell it out for you.
No, it’s never gonna be that simple.
No, I can’t spell it out for you.

If you just realize what I’ve just realized,
Then we’d be perfect for each other,
And we’ll never find another.
Just realize what I’ve just realized.
We’d never have to wonder if
We missed out each other but..

It’s not the same.
No, it’s never the same
If you don’t feel it too.
If you meet me halfway,
If you would meet me halfway,
It could be the same for you.

If you just realized what I’ve just realized,
Then we’d be perfect for each other,
And we’ll never find another.
Just realize what I’ve just realized.
We’d never have to wonder
If we’d just missed out on each other.

Just realize what I’ve just realized.
Then we’d be prefect for each other,
And we’ll never find another.
Just realized what I’ve just realized.
We’d never have to wonder
If we’d just missed out on each other now.

Missed out on each other now.
Missed out on each other now.
We missed out on each other now, yeah.

You were the tall, handsome basketball player in our school team. My friend was totally smitten by you. She couldn’t stop talking about you and I could only listen quietly. No one ever knew I was falling for you. No one. Not even my friend. And yet I had to endure her talking about you everyday. She would pull me along, trying to get a chance to chat up with you. I was supposed to be her wing-woman. But I couldn’t speak in front of you. I couldn’t. I was so afraid I might stammer and all the secrets I kept so close to my heart would come tumbling out like a the raging sea. No, I could not risk that chance. So I kept quiet and stood beside my friend, while she gushed on, trying to make small talks with you. However, you seemed distracted. You didn’t seem to be look at her. You looked like you were looking at…….me. I blushed even more. I needed to get out of there.

Weeks passed. My friend was still trying to chat you up. You answered politely. You didn’t want to get into her bad books. But you kept your gaze at me. The longer you looked at me, the hotter I felt in my face. Am I blushing? Oh God, please don’t let me blush. It was so embarrassing.

Finally, you found me alone in the hallway. My friend was not around. You mustered up all your courage and walked up to me. You tried to chat me up. I stole glaces at you, but most of the time I kept my gaze low on the ground. I was afraid you would look into my eyes. My eyes might betray my secrets. No, no, I could not let anyone know. It was not fair to my friend. She was so smitten by you. And yet, your responses were only lukewarm towards her. You kept trying to catch my gaze but I still kept looking on the ground.

What was it that you wanted from me? A date? Did I hear it wrong? You wanted to ask me out? Are you sure? Are you out of your mind? I was a simple, plain girl. I didn’t have fancy clothes. On top of it, I was wearing glasses. And I had big, wavy 60’s hair. In short, I looked awful. Why would you be interested in asking me out? And I agreed to your date. My friend never spoke to me since that day.

We dated 10 years before we got married. Times passed by and we expanded our family with 3 lovely children. You were never demonstrative. I quit my job to join you run the company. Business was going bad. Debts mounted. Stress piled up high. Tensions frayed our nerves. Times passed. I was started to doubt your love still exist for me. And yet, we carried on our marriage, talking to each other less and less, unless it was because of the kids or the business. There exist no more us.

I wasn’t happy with our marriage. But I had to keep it going. For the sake of our kids, for the sake of our business, that was what I always tell myself. You avoided coming home. I was constantly angry at you, for not coming home, for not talking to me, for not helping around the house. Most importantly, I was angry at you for neglecting me. We fought, sometimes in front of our kids. It was not one of the proudest moment of my life. Life went on.

Finally our children were grown and left the nest. Our business turned around and expanded, and now we hired staffs to run our business. You asked me if I was willing to go travel with you. But I was attached to my work. I could not bear to leave the office even for a few days. My work had became my first love, and so you went off alone.

One day you came home from your travels, feeling under the weather. So you went to see the doctor and came home grim faced. You were dying. The doctor said you only had 6 months left. What? Why? How did we miss that? The cancer was far too advanced and your body was too weak for chemotherapy. No, no, no. We still had a small chance to fight it, right?  I put on my brave face. I never showed any emotions. There were so many things to settle, hospitals, doctor appointments, work at the office, business as usual. I should start calling the kids to come home.

Two months passed, I could only see you growing weaker by the day, until you needed tubes to breathe. You could not breathe on your own anymore. Finally, you told me you were ready to go home. But I was not ready to let you go. Where had the days gone? Who was going to care for you at home? I could not do this alone. No, don’t give up on me. 

But it was time for you to go. I held onto your hand as you struggled to breathe. Where had the time gone?

Take time to realize,
That your warmth is crashing down on in.
Take time to realize,
That I’m on your side.
Didn’t I, didn’t I tell you?

But I can’t spell it out for you.
No, it’s never gonna be that simple.
No, I can’t spell it out for you.

If you just realize what I’ve just realized,
Then we’d be perfect for each other,
And we’ll never find another.
Just realize what I’ve just realized,
We’d never have to wonder if
We missed out on each other now.

It was then I realized that we are perfect for each other, it’s just that I never realize what you had realized. You came home at the end of the day. You wanted to make amendments for the lost time we had wasted arguing when we were raising our kids. There were simply too much resentment for me to let go to see clearly. Not until today. We missed out on each other. You were fading fast. Now I was crying. After so many years, I could finally cry. All the regrets, all the anger, washed away by my tears. Now, all I could hope is the day when I pass, I want to see you waiting for me on that side. Would you?

*All characters are fictions, but inspired by a true event. When my father passed, I watched him go and that was the first time I actually saw my mother cry. That was the hardest day of my life. Not breakups, not divorce, not rejections ever come close to it. Never in my own life had I seen her cry. This is the third year since his passing, and yet I still would cry thinking of my father, wondering if he would be there waiting for me when it is time for me to go. Sometimes, the urge to want to see my father is very strong, sometimes I feel there is nothing for me to look forward to but I know my journey here is still not complete yet, that’s why I stayed on. At least a beautiful thing came out of my tragedies – because I could understand loss, both my father and divorce in the same year, I helped saved my best friend’s marriage. Last month, she sent a text thanking me, that’s how I know she would be alright. Take time to realize the love around you, and hug them close to your heart.

The Fault Always Lies In Our Stars

Boom Clap, sang by Charli XCX

Boom Boom Boom Clap

You’re picture perfect blue
Sunbathing on the moon
Stars shining as your bones illuminate
First kiss just like a drug
Under your influence
You take me over
You’re the magic in my veins
This must be love

Boom clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now
Boom clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now

No silver or no gold
Could dress me up so good
You’re the glitter in the darkness of my world
Just tell me what to do
I’ll fall right into you
Going under cast a spell just say the word
I feel your love

Boom clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now
Boom clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now

You are the light and I will follow
You let me lose my shadow
You are the sun the glowing halo
And you keep burning me up with all of your love

Boom clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now
Boom clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now
Boom clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now 

You sat opposite me in school. I was extremely shy, most of the time keeping to myself, only opening my mouth when the spiky haired boy sitting next to me asked me questions. I rarely spoke to anyone. I was that shy. It didn’t help that I was sporting thick glasses and was wearing a page-boy hair style. My mother decided that I should have short hair since she figured I may not know how to look after long hair, so I was left looking more like a nerdy boy than a girl. You, on the other hand, wore your hair gel up neatly to your left side. It was so slick the spiky haired boy joked that a mosquito could have a hell of its time, sliding down his hair like a child playing on the slide. Moreover, you were taller than most boys in our class. You could easily ask any hot girls in our class for a date. And yet, I caught you staring at me. Why? Do I look so alien to you? Are you trying to figure out if I was a real girl? I could not figure out why. Still, you stared at me, only looking away when I caught your stare.

You finally broke the ice the day when you suggested we exchange our potatoes print during Art Class. I nodded and went on printing my work with our potatoes quietly. We produced an identical art piece together. The spiky haired boy now stared at us, jaws wide open. Our teacher was pleased with our work and so she put both our work up on board for everyone to admire. It was then the spiky haired boy turned to me.

Spiky haired boy: He is famous for being selfish. In the years I have known him, he had never ever loan anything to anyone, not even a pencil. We all joked it’s because he “sells fish” (selfish). Why would he exchange his potato print with you? 

I shrugged it off. He was baffled.

In the next year, you loved to crack jokes with me. When I smiled, only then you were satisfied. I started to tell you more of my life, you were there listening to me, encouraging me on. You became my cheerleader when my world was bleak. You celebrated with me when I was happy. We laughed at the same jokes, even though the people around us could not get it. You sang for me when I was angry with you. I could never stay forever angry with you. People even started asking if we were dating. But we did not reply.

Boom clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now

You are the light and I will follow
You let me lose my shadow
You are the sun the glowing halo
And you keep burning me up with all of your love

This was the sound of my heart, boom clap, whenever I saw you. You made me feel good. You’re the magic in my veins. This must be love.

However, you disappeared the day of graduation. You just left without a word. No goodbyes. No congratulations. I didn’t know where you were posted. I could not ask anyone. Nobody knew. I just stood there in the middle of the hall, searching for that familiar face, searching for that slick hair. Everything around me turned into a sea of blur. I could feel my heart falling down to the pits of my stomach. I stood there as people trickled me by. Outside, the once bright sky was turning grey. Then I heard that first raindrop falling onto the hard concrete floor. Warm misty breeze whooshed into the hall, bringing in that familiar smell of fresh rain. Outside, the rain came down harder and faster. If my heart could cry, it would pour just like the rain outside. But my face did not betray my heart. I just stood there, stoned face, while the people trickled me by.

15 years passed. There was never a day I would not be searching for that familiar face among the sea of faces. But I did not see you. Until that day I saw you walked in the company I was working for. My heart stopped the moment you walked into the office. You did not see me initially but I was staring at you, wondering where you had been. Then you turned around and met my gaze, a flicker of recognition flashed in your eyes. And you broke into a grin before walking away. However, you never initiate contact with me after that.

Two weeks later, you came to my cubicle and asked to talk to me in private.

You: Maybe you have heard, I went overseas after our graduation and now I am back to takeover this company. Now that I am your boss, we cannot be friends as before.

Me: What do you propose to do? How would you like to be? Should I resign?

You: I don’t know.

I left his office, heavy-hearted, unsure what to expect. It was already night. I had to go, so I packed up my things. Packing up my stuff into my bag, I also packed up the memories we used to share. You had decided our fate, so now we were strangers once more. I walked out of the office, wishing to disappear into the night forever. You hurried behind me and walked me to the train station. That the least you could do, you hoped.

I looked up the sky, the stars were out that night. We went back to the days 15 years earlier, when we were carefree then. We laughed at the same jokes. You made me smile when I was down. You sang when I was angry.

I looked up the sky and saw the stars. It was then I knew our fates are already written in the stars and the fault is always in our stars. I could only frame that night in my heart. For when tomorrow comes, you have to cease to exist in my world. When tomorrow comes, if we pass each other, we won’t even need to acknowledge each other. That was your wish. I will forever be that girl who stood in the hall, scanning the sea of faces for that familiar face. Outside it was raining heavily, as heavy as my crying heart.

This Is How Your Heart Breaks Little By Little, Every Day

Heaven bend to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight

Truth be told I’ve tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
But the cost was so much more than I could bear

Though I’ve tried, I’ve fallen
I had sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come ’round here
And tell me I told you so

We all begin with good intent
When love was raw and young
We believe that we can change ourselves
The past can be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
In the lonely light of morning
In the wound that would not heal
It’s the bitter taste of losing everything
That I’ve held so dear

I’ve fallen
I had sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come ’round here
And tell me I told you so

Oh,

Heaven bend to take my hand
I’ve nowhere left to turn
I’m lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turn their heads, embarrassed
Pretend that they don’t see
That it’s one miss step
One slip, before you know it
And there doesn’t seem a way to be redeemed

Though I’ve tried, I’ve fallen
I had sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come ’round here
And tell me I told you so

Oh, I messed up
Better I should know
Don’t come ’round here
And tell me I told you so  – Fallen, sang by Sarah McLachlan

Humans, no matter how much we had achieved throughout the years, our hearts are still vulnerable. Time and time again, we are taught not to wear our hearts on our sleeves, lest we get hurt – we still do it anyway. Or rather she does. She does it for the sole purpose of experiencing some form of human connection. She had just gotten out of a long relationship. In fact, out of the few long relationships she had with people who never bothered to connect with her. Never took the time to know who she is. She knew if she were to disappear, they would never look for her. That’s how much she was missed. No one ever misses her. But she never had the guts to leave. They just came to a natural end for each one of them.

He was just a mere stranger when they first met, who became an acquaintance, then a trusty confidante. Maybe it was curiosity. Maybe it was pity. She was so quiet in her corner, so calm and yet she had such thick walls around her. He somehow managed to reach out to her, even when she seemed to be running away. What is she running away from?

But they had such amazing connection. She got curious and came out of her shell bit by bit. Stop it. You don’t belong to his league. You used to be in that circle but now you are no more. That was in the past when your family was around. Now you have nobody left and you don’t belong here. Not in this world. Stay where you are and distance yourself before you get hurt. Her head was basically shouting at her. Should she follow her head or follow her heart? However such connections don’t come often. Maybe it’s because of hope. Maybe because of loneliness. She returned his reach. That little fire burned just a little more with each conversation.

She told herself, it’s fine, that she is not that emotionally invested. Nothing bad could come out of it since she knew what she was getting into. That, at the end of the day, it’s stupid, maybe even possible, to fall for someone again. She was totally convinced her heart was dead and walled herself up so tight. But that fire burns on within. With each conversation they had, the butterflies grew in her stomach and yet in that same pit of the stomach, sadness grew. She knew she was falling for someone she could never be with. She knew what she was getting into. She played with fire. Yet in the end, that very fire is what will kill her, emotionally that is.

Even though her heart was fluttering towards him, she encouraged him to find someone else. Date more, you will find out more about yourself when connected with people. Yet she was yearning for that same connection but he never reach out. Not in the way she had hoped.

And so one day he did find himself someone else. But he still looks out for her. Maybe it was pity. Maybe it was her quiet strength that binds him to her. She had fallen, sunk so low but it was too late. She messed up but she could never tell, embarrassed by how she was feeling.

We all begin with good intent
When love was raw and young
We believe that we can change ourselves
The past can be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
In the lonely light of morning
In the wound that would not heal
It’s the bitter taste of losing everything
That I’ve held so dear

You can never have control over someone’s emotions, no matter how much you’ve given them. He never knew and she could never tell. At least, he is now happy. That’s how she comforted herself. But her heart breaks, every single day. Little by little until it’s completely shattered, crumbled into a million pieces. He never knew. He never will.

It was then she knew it’s time to go. So she packed up her bags and resigned from her job. Sitting there in the dark, she contemplated calling him, just to tell him goodbye. But she never did call. She did not know what to tell him nor could she tell him why.

Morning breaks. It’s time to go. She picks up her bags, walks out of the door, closes it quietly behind her. She decided to simply disappear without saying goodbye. It’s for the best. And she steps into the light. For every ending is always a new beginning.

The invisible girl verses cool kid

The invisible girl woke up this morning with this song in her head;

Cool Kids – Echosmith

She sees them walking in a straight line, that’s not really her style.
And they all got the same heartbeat, but hers is falling behind.
Nothing in this world could ever bring them down.
Yeah, they’re invincible, and she’s just in the background.
And she says,

“I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.”

He sees them talking with a big smile, but they haven’t got a clue.
Yeah, they’re living the good life, can’t see what he is going through.
They’re driving fast cars, but they don’t know where they’re going.
In the fast lane, living life without knowing.
And he says,

“I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to get it.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.”

And they said,
“I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to get it.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.”

The invisible girl has always been around. She may have attended school with you, somehow managed to tough out college together with you. You might not have noticed her, but she was always there. You don’t even know her name because it didn’t occurred to you to even remember who she was. You never noticed that quiet girl in the background, because the invisible girl always excelled in her role. She blends into the background very well. Too well.

She is always the observer, watching people and the world go by. Often, she stands with one foot out the door, ready to escape without much notice when the chance is there. She’s the girl who feels broken, cries herself to sleep at night, tries to hide parts of herself from the public eye – hiding the depression and anxiety that she has been fighting since she was a child. Ironically, she is also the girl who spent her life waiting to be noticed, maybe – just maybe – for once, she wants in.

However, she maintains her role throughout school, college and at work when she blossoms into a pretty little adult-girl. Because she is the invisible girl, no one notices her, no one believes in her, eventually she moved away, searching for a place to belong. Perhaps she is tired of being invisible and she just wants in, for once. She now lives in a sea of strangers, she is no longer invisible as she had hoped.

Eventually she got noticed and finally married. Ironically, she still continues to be the invisible girl. At home, at work, in marriage, she excels too well in her role. As usual no one notices her, no one believes in her. She is never welcomed in. Not once. Ultimately, she walks out. Out of her marriage, out of her workplace, out of everyone’s life, in search of a new life for herself. She doesn’t want to be forever known as the invisible girl. She chooses to be seen. Perhaps one day.

As the invisible girl expands her social circle, she discovered a particular phenomenon among men: she does not exist. For most part of their lives, she will be invisible. As the rejections from other women start pouring in, when the men start to scrape the bottom of the barrel, she will then be found. Only then these guys will come to her. Generally they will make a comment how they are sick of dating from the same pool, how they want something different. Occasionally they will make a comment about her breasts or some other overtly sexualized part of the anatomy like her eyes or her lips. Sometimes they would ask her if any of her friends are single before making another attempt at engaging her (lest they miss out on the ”hot exotic girl”). The invisible girl will remain invisible as you talk about your future with some other girl and as she walks behind you, she will occasionally throw balled-up gum wrapper in your shirt collar (don’t worry, you will never noticed). One guy even offered, come meet me in Paris. I will show you around in my car. Just ditch your son and come. 

You see, the invisible girl is not stupid. She may be quiet and observant among the sea of strangers, and she knows you’re being an asshole. The invisible girl is smarter than you are. She knows she’s your last ditch effort at not going home alone but then, the invisible girl is going to let you go home alone. You see, she is also going home alone too. She finally realizes that no men will stay behind with her, no men will notice her for who she is.

She always goes home alone. The invisible girl tries to accept her loneliness and stopped expecting more from anyone. The invisible girl will continue to care for others above herself to the point of neglecting key aspects of her life in order to serve others. The invisible girl travelled far and wide, searching for a way out of her invisibility. Eventually, a fortune teller told her, you are born under the lone star, so you always feel lonely and invisible throughout your life. Dejected with her head hung low, she returned home once again to resume her invisible self. There is no use fighting destiny. As the song Cool Kids plays on and on in the background, once again she wishes she was one of the cool kids, cursing destiny under the very same breathe.

One day, the invisible girl chose to be seen. She struggled a long time on how to best explore this. She tried clearing her throat and declared her existence but her voice sounded shaky and her declaration uncertain. She backed down again when someone approached and congratulated her – finally her visibility is confirmed. Once again she retreats back into her shell and wishes she could be invisible again, and for the phone to stop ringing.

In her efforts to retreat, she realized that her former shell is no longer the comfortable place she called home. She needs more space and more light into her shell. The former shell is far darker than she remembers. Soon, the invisible girl begins to make a new life for herself. She stops assuming the worst and starts expecting to be treated with some resemblance of respect she knows she deserves. She will stumble often, sometimes she will cry to sleep at night. But eventually she will find a new home and create it on her own.

Things will be different this time because she is not making herself small anymore. She is not focusing exclusively on the needs of others and her relationships will change accordingly. She will work on not apologizing continuously for her opinions and feelings, and to disregard those who put her down. She can choose not to be in any kind of relationship with those who doesn’t want her in their lives, be it professional or personal. This time round, she won’t feel a lingering of sadness when she goes home alone without any hope of rectifying her single life. She also stops wishing to be like one of the cool kids.

The invisible girl will sometimes feel invisible because, frankly speaking, old habits die hard. She will have rough nights that will feel overwhelming lonely, that she will cry herself to sleep but she will move through it by sharing with another person instead of pretending that everything is fine. Even if just to say that life sucks and have someone to throw shit at. The former invisible girl will live her life regardless of the anxiety and fear telling her to stay where she is: Don’t go. Don’t change your home. Don’t quit your job. Don’t change from where you are. Don’t even move away from here. She may even be brave enough to show the broken pieces she has always been afraid to show. One day, she will move on to higher grounds.

It will be some time before she feels truly brave enough to let someone into her life, to let the person sees her as who she truly is. She even begins to put faith in the idea that maybe someday she will fall into arms of the man who sees and accepts her as she is – broken parts and all- always, who can expand her life even farther beyond her old former shell. At least, the invisible girl is making that monumental first step out of her shell.

The invisible girl has stopped being invisible. Even though she may stumble often, she usually gets back up, laughs it off, sometimes cries her way through, and she continues working on creating the life that makes her happy. She is braver than you think, more than you are willing to give her credits for.

This is just the beginning. The former invisible girl is now getting started.

The love story of a pencil

The people who are meant to be in your life will always gravitate back towards you, no matter how far they wander.

This is a simple story of a pencil I loved so much but upon reflection, it can be said of the people in my life.

I fell in love the moment I laid eyes upon this Parker pencil. I was 12 then and discovered it one day in my mother’s drawer. There it was sitting pretty in my mother’s drawer. She kept it hidden, obviously she loved this pencil too. What made this pencil even more precious was the fact that the boy sitting opposite me in school was also using the exact same pencil. I begged my mother to let me use the pencil, I promised I would keep it safe in my pencil box and never lose it. I begged and pestered her so much that she finally caved in to me. It was the most treasured thing in my bag, precisely because I had a major crush on this particular boy. Somehow using this pencil made me feel even more closer to him.

I sat across him everyday. It didn’t feel special until the day he spoke harshly to me over some assignment. I hung my head and continued doing my work, tears rolling down my cheeks, without ever making a sound. I was hurt by his stinging words but at the same time, I was too ashamed to show him that I was upset. It was until the boy who sat beside me peered under to see why I had hung my head so low that he noticed I was crying. He chided that boy and this apparently made him felt so guilty we never utter a single word for the rest of the day.

The next day, he tried to crack jokes with me that I finally had to laugh because he was terrible at making jokes and I could see him trying to hard that he almost turned blue. When I finally smiled, he sighed, All is forgiven. It was his way of saying apologies and it was sweet. We were 12.

Over the next few weeks, he would sing Miss You Like Crazy and my classmates would teased him singing to me. I was so shy then I couldn’t say a thing. We would share stationery to the surprise of his friends because he was known to be a miser who never share things, we even shared our potatoes during our art lessons and made similar printings. Our printings are hang up on the board for all to see and this time, the whole class teased us even more. He would not deny neither would he admit how he felt about me. I had a super big crush on him but I was too terrified to tell him so. As for me, holding onto this pencil was enough for me to feel close to him. It was the most silly thing I had ever felt.

Upon graduation, we were posted to different schools. I got into a special stream while he could not qualify for it. The humiliation was too great for him, he ran away, refusing to talk to me when we got our postings. I thought I would never see him again.

Over the next 10 years, I moved onto the street that he was living in and saw him three times. Three times he refused to acknowledge my presence. Subsequently I came to ignore him if I ever saw him again. Until a sudden gathering brought all of us together again. During the gathering, I had made sure to sit far away from him. He would sit one end of the long table and I would take the further opposite end. I had a crush on him and yet I couldn’t accept him snubbing me. So I avoided him, even to the point of not taking the same bus we had to take going home. I chose to walk. He followed behind. After some distance, I decided to chat with him since I could see him making some efforts in connecting with me. 10 long years you had ignored me and now what do you want from me! It was at that walk, he confessed he too had a major crush on me. Everyone could see we had fallen for each other, except us. It took him 10 long years to walk back into my life.

We dated for the next three and half years. During that time, my pencil had broken down and I thought it was the end of it. The pencil had been with me for 10 long years, I was sad to see it go. Plus Parker probably stopped manufacturing that particular pencil.

Few weeks later, he gave me the exact same pencil. Apparently, he had found and picked it up in his university. It was too good to be true. My Parker pencil came back to me! Things that are meant to be in your life will always gravitate back towards you, no matter how far they wander. We were back to using the exact pair of Parker pencils together again.

Alas, the story didn’t end well. One day he just told me God said that he had to marry someone from a Christian family and that’s it. He walked out of my life permanently. The last I heard was that he married the Pastor’s daughter, while I chose to move half a world away. If there’s someone you cannot get out of your mind, whisper a prayer for them. That’s how God moves. I whispered a prayer and God decided to move me half a world away to a country I never thought would have ever come to. Till this day, I am still not any closer to answering the question why.

This is my first love.

This is my first love.

Today the pencil had moved together to Turkey with me. I had moved on with my life, and I had a few crushes along the way. Some I would never admit to having in my life while others became people I would never ever want again in my life. No matter what I still believe in this: The people who are meant to be in your life will always gravitate back towards you, no matter how far they wander.

Today I am back to square one: single. But then if there’s someone you (again) cannot get out of your mind, whisper a prayer for them. That’s how God moves. I wonder would I move again?

Wide Awake: another break up story

I was listening to Katy Perry’s song, Wide Awake, somewhere over the radio in public. The tune was catchy but what struck me was the lyrics. Intrigue, I searched the internet for the song and found it meaningful, at least to me.

When I first packed my bags and left the house with my son 7 months ago, it was exhilarating because I am starting a new life together with my son, by myself. It was also exhilarating because I finally got the guts to stand up for myself and walk away from a violent man. 7 months later, I am finding new strengths to get myself together and going because it is extremely tough handling the guilt of depriving my son of a father, the constant struggle of loneliness due to lack of social life and support living in a foreign country with no deep roots, friends or family, and stress of working full-time with no extra help anywhere. Thankfully my son doesn’t pester me on wanting to see his dad. In fact, he never even ask to see him. I am the one who arrange to see his dad once a week or two so my son won’t feel left out without a father figure. In fact, I am a mom, dad and maid, all rolled into one and it is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. Many times, I am on the verge of giving up, on life and on my son, wanting to send him away for I am on the end of my nerves. It was like I woke up from a horrible nightmare.

I’m wide awake (x3)
Yeah, I was in the dark
I was falling hard
With an open heart
I’m wide awake
How did I read the stars so wrong

I knew he would be the one I would marry the day he kissed me. In fact, I had the notion of leaving him early in the relationship but a dream kept me back. I saw an old man telling me my time with him is not over yet but will one day have to leave him. I married him two years after that and had a son the year after our marriage. 4 years afterwards, I walked out. How did I read the stars so wrong?

I’m wide awake
And now it’s clear to me
That everything you see
Ain’t always what it seems
I’m wide awake
Yeah, I was dreaming for so long

He seemed like the prefect gentleman and the perfect match, who shared my pain of a childhood raised by our grandmothers, only to be forced back to our parents’ home and yet treated as if we are outcast under the same roof.  I thought he would pull through the horrors of our childhood memories as we started to build our lives together, start anew.  My friends envied me married to the handsome Turkish hunk while I was the plain asian girl. Alas, it was never meant to be.

I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
Till I woke up on
On the concrete

Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
I’m letting go tonight
(Yeah I’m) Falling from cloud 9

If I knew the future now, I would never, ever allow myself to get into this relationship this deep.  It was sweet then till I woke up to the fact that a person with drunken violent tendencies will never change and the cycle will keep repeating itself until one of us gives up. I couldn’t help him when he refused to even help himself. In a way, he was blind to himself and his glaring flaws. I had no choice but to break the cycle and treat myself better than I am giving myself credit for. I am letting him and my past go from the moment I walk away.

I’m wide awake
Not losing any sleep
I picked up every piece
And landed on my feet
I’m wide awake
Need nothing to complete myself – nooohooo

I was utterly broken before I met this husband. Being rejected from church and friends when my last boyfriend broke up with me as he thinks I don’t believe to the world of Christianity nor his world, I walked around with a gaping hole in my inner self with no way to heal until I moved half a world away from my country. When I moved to Turkey and met my husband 6 months after, consequently married him 2 years later and had a son, I thought I had complete myself with a new family, a new start in a new country. Now I realized that I need nothing to complete myself. I am who I am and I am not as bad as my old boyfriend thought previously. I picked up every pieces of myself and my clothes from our broken home and from among the broken china left on the floor the night my husband was locked up in the temporary cell at the police station. I started to see myself in a new light. I am good as a person, good enough to complete myself.

I’m wide awake
Yeah, I am born again
Outta the lion’s den
I don’t have to pretend
And it’s too late
The story’s over now, the end

Our love story has come to the end and I am living my life all over again at the age of 33. I feel like I am born again at 33. A month later, I will be coming to 34. I am just grateful to be out of the lion’s den, unhurt. I can finally be who I am. For the time being now as I wish to get this separation permanent.

I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
Till I woke up on
On the concrete

Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
I’m letting go tonight
I’m Falling from cloud 9

Thunder rumbling
Castles crumbling
I am trying to hold on
God knows that I tried
Seeing the bright side
I’m not blind anymore

In my previous church, the pastor preached that marriage is a lifetime commitment and to seek a divorce is an utterly evil sin in which you can never remarry unless the partner pass away. I rather take my chance then and risk the warth of God. I still believe that marriage IS a lifetime commitment, not to be taken lightly, but I also believe that violence IS NOT a lifetime commitment that I should risk putting my son on, so I walked. My son still have a future which he can mold himself but I should be the parent to give him a good and proper fresh start since no one can help. I guess my being rejected from the church was a good thing if this is the path that I must walk. At least, God knows that I tried. A LOT. And I believe He is forgiving.

Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
(Ya’ know) I’m letting go tonight
I’m falling from cloud 9

I’m wide awake

I am indeed wide awake now and it’s time to pick up my son from nursery.