Category Archives: narrative

The Story of Us

1:40 am

You were only slightly more than a stranger to me- someone I occasionally glanced at in the hallways, a smile on the way to my next class. Although you had never formally introduced yourself, I only knew of you by name. I had heard it in passing, nothing more than empty gossip- what had you done this time? You broke it off with her after she had given you the only thing you were after her for? The longest amount of time I had spent with you was with a large group of friends at a dodgy bar near school, but we hadn’t talked. All I remember about you that day was the wisps of smoke surrounding us, and the lack of enthusiasm in your voice when I asked you if you did it often.

I still liked to smile at you. Your smile was sunshine to me. You know those clichés you hear in every pathetic romance novel? That was how I felt when I saw you smile. It was like sinking into a hot tub on a cold day- the feeling of being enveloped with warmth, a cacoon of comfort and safety. I liked the way your cheeks would turn slightly red when you smiled at me. You looked like a flushed little boy who had been out in the sun for too long. Soon, I realized that I looked forward to seeing that smile every day.

I remember what I was wearing the first time you talked to me, how I did my hair- black and white, a skirt speckled with hearts, hair tossed messily over one shoulder. I was studying on the table to the right, slightly behind the rest. I usually studied here alone. I remember seeing you approaching, and I smiled at you. I waited for the smile back, the rays of sun, the gold-infused warmth to flood over me. Instead, you slid into the chair on my right. I had always preferred being on the right of other people, but I didn’t tell you to move. Perhaps that moment, although it sounds stupid, should’ve told me that you were not made for me. I remember our conversation flowing as effortlessly as the waves in the deep sea. Okay, there were some awkward pauses, scattered eye contact, self-conscious giggles- but even waves tumble over one another sometimes. I remember putting lip gloss on the toilet after our first conversation. “That was weird,” I had said to my best friend. “I just talked to him for an hour.”

I could tell from that very first conversation that I was in trouble.

Our first conversation was the start of many. The table to the right, slightly behind the rest, was no longer was my study table, but ours. Every day we pretended to be surprised every time we saw each other, but I made sure I sat in that same spot every damn day, and you took the long way on the way to the bathroom just so you could feign a casual ‘bump’ into me. We messaged each other twenty four seven. I couldn’t listen to the bing of my phone without thinking of you. I stayed up typing to you, head under the covers, my thumbs tapping at speed time on the surface of my screen until the lazy sun peeking through the window told me that dawn was upon me. You continued to be my ocean, and I rode out the wave beneath me every time you talked to me, the wind roaring in my ears and brushing against my skin. I guess what I didn’t realize was that waves all have to crash at some point.

The first time I held your hand was a week before my finals. I was scribbling something about Sigmund Freud on a piece of paper when I felt your arm snake around me, carefully, slowly, like a viper within long grass approaching its prey. My heart was pounding against my chest and I hoped you couldn’t hear it. It was so innocent. I had never let a boy so close to me before. Your hand gently nudged my shoulder, pulled me closer towards you. Like a timid rabbit,  I made no eye-contact as I reached up ever-so-slightly to interlace my fingers with yours. Just like that, you had caught me.

I knew “are you still up for watching that movie?” was an invitation for me to kiss you, yet I could have never been fully prepared for that moment. I had always been afraid of the cold, and damn, was it cold- but I’m very certain that the goosebumps rising up on my skin wasn’t purely from the air-conditioning in the cinema. I was so scared. I had never done it before, and I didn’t know how to. It took me almost one hour to pep talk myself into it.  You started off rubbing your thumb against mine, then it moved to my shoulder. Every touch had electricity surging through my body. The moment your thumb moved to my lip was the moment I decided to do it. Come on. What’s there to lose? So I lifted my head from your shoulder, turned it to the left. 10 degrees. That was it, and I was kissing you, and it was twenty seconds of too much tongue and teeth crashing and our noses bumping. I pulled away. No more for you that night.

Once I had learnt how to do it, you kissed me everywhere- on the escalators in busy shopping malls, standing one step below me. You kissed me on the railing of the closed playground, mumbling that you didn’t care that there was a security guard watching us. You kissed me in multiple cinema seats, even in the scariest most climatic part of the movies. You kissed me in stairways, the pavement outside my house, the backseat of your car. The backseat of your car was your favourite. You would play your favourite playlist, then pull me into you. Then, after five minutes, when cuddling got too boring for you, you would slowly tilt my head towards yours. One time we hung up your sweaty football kit in front of your windows so no one could see inside, and kissed for so long your playlist had started to repeat. You pulled me on top of you and kissed my neck. Your hands were all over me that night.

I remember when you gradually started talking to me less. I was confused- you showed all the right signs of wanting me when I was with you- thumb always stroking my hip, arm always around me- you were physically close, yet you were so, so far. What used to be “I miss you” and “I wish I could hold you” and “I like you so, so much” turned into half-assed messages at midnight, “sorry, I was with my friends”. I started to attach myself to you. I knew I was I was suffocating you but sometimes being in the ocean made it hard for me to breathe. The more I clung on, the more I felt you slipping through my fingers.

I remember the first time you made me cry. The tears had slipped from my eyes to my white pillowcase, forming a small, circular patch of grey that gradually grew bigger and bigger. I remember thinking to myself that I had never cried over a guy before.

I remember the first time you didn’t speak to me for a day. I waited and waited for the bing! of my phone, one I had heard so many times before. One I had smiled at so many times before. It didn’t come. I went to sleep for the first time without a goodnight message from you.

I remember when you told me the reason why you were so distant was because you had some problems of your own. You felt useless, like you didn’t deserve to live. I had cried over you plenty of times by then, and as you told me this the familiar feeling of a tear slipping down my face repeated itself once again. I knew I couldn’t fix you, no matter how hard I tried. Everything will be okay. I’m always here for you.

“Do you think it would be better if we were friends for the moment?”

“Yeah, I think it would. I’m sorry, things are just really busy right now.”

“It’s okay, I’m always here for you.”

“Me too. Whenever you need me.”

I remember crying myself to sleep every night for three weeks on end. I remember watching you slowly fade away. I remember feeling like I was the only one who cared.

“So, why aren’t you two together anymore?”

“I just couldn’t deal with her anymore.”

How painful it was, to hear that. How mortifying it was to have defended you to everyone, thinking you were different. .

“Are you over me?”

“Yeah, I am.”

Humiliation. Absolute humiliation.

I remember how you made me feel. Ambivalence- happiness and sadness all at once. We were both waves but we just never rolled in at the same time. I tell myself I don’t need you, and that I don’t miss you. But I do, every single day.  I remember how you feel against me, how you smell, even how you drive with only one hand on the wheel. remember it all. I just hope that one day I am able to say that I remember the day I got over you.

3:22 am.

 

 

 

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Young again

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Something I wrote at 7 pm, after a day at home doing nothing but studying. My thoughts on childhood:

Sometimes memories from my childhood trickle from my preconscious to the front of my mind, waving at me as if to say, “hey remember me?”

and I do, for my mind may be as large as the universe but I will never forget how I’ve always liked the smell of morning dew on freshly cut grass ever since I was a little girl, and how I opened the balcony door in my parents room on a Monday morning  just so I could smell it. I was too young to worry about what time it was, whether I’d be late for school. There were no “hurry up, you’re going to be late!”‘s and I didn’t sit down in front of my mirror, concealer in one hand and eyebrow pencil in the other, rushing my make-up as quickly as I possibly could. Instead, I opened the door quietly, so to not wake my parents, and padded my small feet down the stairs. Some things you just remember, and I will always remember finding comfort in the red candle on the Buddhist shrine table my grandma always lit as soon as she awoke. The flickering of scarlet on the walls in the dining room beckoned me downstairs, and I greeted my grandma before opening the front door of my house.

My garden was just a garden to the ordinary eye- grass and gravel and pebbles and stones- but to me it was a jungle. I remember running up and down through the trees and canopies. My dogs were lions and tigers and I was a brave adventurer, foraging for food and shelter, and when it finally got too hot and I got too sweaty, I would wave goodbye to the forest and make it back to the safety and comfort of my big home.

When I  was little I would spend hours reading, sprawled out on the sofa of my living room. I remember stealing my sister’s books about teenage romances and A-list celebrities that were much too mature for me, folding them so no one could see the cover. I’m going to die if anybody catches me reading this. When I got hungry or thirsty I would go to the kitchen, pile too much peanut butter messily on two pieces of white bread and smash it together so it was completely flat and there were imprints on the two slices. I found joy in licking the leftovers on the knife. I would scoop hot chocolate into a big white mug and fill it to the brim and balance my meal on the way back to the couch where I would get lost in the pages of my book once again.

My childhood mind was innocent- who’s wasn’t? I was gullible and impressionable, and when my auntie told me that the specks of glitter on my hand were messages from my guardian angels I believed it. To this day I will never know why every time I looked down at my tiny palms I saw silver and gold, but maybe one day I’ll find out. Even so, I painted girls with golden hair and halos above their heads, their wings widespread- an oath to my sparkle covered fingers.

This may be strange but I remember the first time I was allowed to shower on my own. I had just gotten back from a swimming lesson, my fingers wrinkly, hair drenched, school uniform sticking to the skin of my wet back. I don’t think I have felt excitement like I did that day, climbing clumsily into my parents bathtub and feeling the warm water on me, slathering shampoo into my scalp and floral scented soap onto my body. When I was out I blow-dried my hair for so long I’m surprised the strands didn’t burn off.

When I was three years old I cried in the middle of a shopping mall parking lot because my parents referred to me as a little girl, but I wasn’t, I wasn’t. I was a big girl, old enough to camp in the study room of my house with my cousin, just the two of us, to feast on noodles and steamed buns and chocolate milk. When we finally settled down to go to sleep in the dark of that rainy night, our imaginations betrayed us and we ran back up to our parents, shaking and afraid. We never tried it again. On Christmas we made up a dance to an old Hilary Duff cover of Last Christmas and performed it to our whole family, laughing the whole way.

I remember waking up in hotel rooms on family holidays and seeing the window still condensed from the rain the night before and sitting cross legged on the carpet, eating pancakes with butter but no maple syrup because I was a picky kid. I remember cuddling up in old bread and breakfasts, feeling the warmth of a nearby fire, watching Narnia on the old television and wanting so badly to try Turkish Delight that I could almost taste it on my tongue. I remember clutching a green toy dinosaur in my arms so I would never lose it.

When you’re little you want to grow up. You think of becoming an adult, cool and mature. I don’t think  I’ve ever met a little girl who’s never cried”I’m not a baby anymore!”. I’m seventeen now, nowhere near grown up, nowhere near independent. Yet I still know I’m in no rush to grow up. Time goes by too quickly and often I find myself clutching onto memories of the past, wishing I could relive them, wishing each second lasted longer. Because childhood was imagination, dreams, colorful crayons. Childhood was Mary Kate and Ashley movies at midnight and reruns of America’s next top model. Now I think of sluggish days spent at home and car rides to school, due dates and assignments. I think of girls and pettiness, boys with minds constantly in the gutter, university applications and swimming in the ever-flowing river of responsibilities, and can’t help but wish that I was young again.

 

 

The World is Magic | Repost

10518054_640781076018576_2004304497_n1.jpgMagic is everywhere.

It’s in the postcards covering the walls of my room, with their blu-tacked corners and their torn edges and their faded pictures. It’s in the scrawled writing on the back and in all the swirled i’s and y’s. I’ve always wondered the journey of my postcards, how they got to me. They’ve seen more of the world than I have, even through dirty white envelopes with my name scrawled on the front that eventually found their way to the trash. It’s magic in the form of ink stains and smudged black pen and the masking tape attempting to hold it to the wall. Lots of love, you wonderful person.

Magic is in the polaroids stashed at the bottom of my memory box, the photos I only got one chance to take. It’s in the outstretched hands and the city lights behind me, captured perfectly in the 3 by 4 inch shiny piece of paper. I’ve written the date of when the picture was taken at the small white space at the bottom, but that is unnecessary. I’ll always remember the day I took them.

Magic is in the arena of a concert, sprinting to the front row and knowing all the words to every single song. It’s in the drums, the guitar, the bass, the microphones. It’s in dancing non-stop until my legs hurt and singing out of tune until my throat is raw and I’ve lost my voice completely. The moments before they appear on stage, magic flows through my blood, pumps through my heart, runs through my veins. Magic’s in my fingers and my palms as they hold my best friend’s. It’s even in the annoying people that push past me, desperate to get closer, the “we love you”signs that block my view. Magic is everyone’s heartbeats, the feeling of being alive. Magic is losing yourself in it all, not overthinking, not stressing, just living in the present moment.

Magic is in the smooth purple stone I won at a lucky draw when I was five in a secret fairy store with low ceilings and purple walls. The room smelt like jasmine and roses and lavender all at once, and I remember breathing it in as I reached inside the newspaper covered box. Magic was unwrapping the crinkly paper and seeing the indigo glimmering beneath it, it was in clasping the stone to my chest and placing it on the top shelf of my bedroom. I’ve lost the stone now but I’m sure the magic’s still in it, holding onto innocence and excitement and that cold winter day.

Magic’s in old photo albums and last-minute english essays and Enid Blyton books.  It’s in the water at the bottom of the pool that swirls around you, the rush you hear in your ears as you touch the swimming pool floor. It’s in your baby cousin’s tiny fingers as they grab onto yours. It’s in your favourite adventures and your worst memories. Magic is in everything, if you just allow yourself to see it.

What’s magic to you? Leave a comment, I’d love love love to read them❤ sorry for this being an extremely messy, not focused post. Its 2:38 in the morning, and I’m sleepy