Dec 29, 2011

saga seeds

The idea of you leaving doesn't seem real until you take out your passport. Until a female voice reads out a string of words and numbers that ring like warning bells through the air and you mumble 'that's my flight'. Only then does it hit me that after you pass that border, I'll be walking back to the car alone. The seat beside me will be empty. There'll be no one to pop in for dinner with the most beautiful song that is your voice. And the emptiness will linger for years - the ache of my arms when I've no one to wrap them round, the iciness of my hands when you aren't there to warm them. Years, until you came back again.

You reach into your haversack and carefully extract a translucent pink glass box. I know that box: it's my princess box, your mother's Christmas present to me when we were six. It has a crown ornament on the top and glitter all around and I used to to keep my most precious possessions in it. A rose petal from Mum's bath stuff, a small crystal keychain in the shape of an angel, a metallic red rock I found on the ground. When I was seventeen I emptied the box and gave it to you because you were too big to fit in it.

I open it: it's filled with saga seeds, tiny red hearts, whispers of childhood memories and of love. "They're all from Corie," you say awkwardly, your eyes glued to my hands, to the box. Corie. Even the way you it takes me years back. Corie was the tree we found at the end of the street where we lived; one Saturday when we were seven, you burst into my room saying 'Hey Dee, I found little hearts." Subsequent afternoons were spent underneath the little hearts tree, scouting for the red seeds and comparing whose were more heart-shaped, or lying in the shade waiting for one to drop on our faces. Soon we decided it needed a name: Corazone, Spanish for 'heart', but it didn't sound right for the tiny seeds it produced, so we called it Corie.

I put a few fingers into the box, feel the little hard hearts against them. Excess. "I've been collecting them since last year, when I got the letter." If you knew at age eight that you were capable of collecting these many seeds when you were older, you wouldn't have bragged about your find of five new ones every other week. You used to clench your right fist tightly as you walked up to me, the seeds carefully nestled in the middle, protected, the little hearts. Then you'd uncurl your fingers and reveal the bright red hearts, strikingly bold against your pale white palm. That was how you confessed to me, too, when we were sixteen; in the park a few streets away, you reached into your pocket and pulled out a closed fist and opened it to reveal a single saga seed: "that's my heart and I'm giving it to you."

As I slowly pull my fingers out one drops to the floor. You bend down, reach for it, offer it back to me: it's in your white palm, just like it was that day. I look into your eyes and I know you're recalling that day too, how I took the seed smiling and cautiously leaned into your embrace. How I said 'My heart's yours, too.'

'So I guess this is it,' I say. I close the pink box, slip it into my shoulder bag and manage a smile. Suddenly you're all around me and I let my breath be taken with your grip. The smell of you and the detergent your mum uses. It brings me back again. Me sleeping on your bed - at seven, and at seventeen. I feel a tear on your cheek - wait, it's mine. I let my arms soak you in one last time. Your soft cotton tee and the warm comfort of your skin.

You walk through the gates and all I can do is to stand and watch from the other side. The glass wall deceives: it makes me think I'm still within reach of you, before the cold hard truth hits me again, again. I sit on the short metal railings and watch you disappear. Then I take out the box again. The red seeds, fire, warmth, love, little whispers of love.


Dec 28, 2011

que sera, sera

I've been spending the entire day on the computer researching universities and courses and wondering how I'm going to start my uni application essay all over again and I walk out to look for my specs because I'm getting a headache and he calls me over.

She's twenty five and a dentist and her dad proudly shows me pictures of her dog, her friends, her boyfriend, her life in Melbourne. Fragments of memories stir inside me - of me in her bedroom once upon a time, watching the dog curl up inside the closet. Everyone said we looked alike when we were younger. She even went to AC for a while, even though she knew she was going away.

Back in my room I stare at the pages of university rankings and the dilemma that's screaming at me in the face: law or literature? law or literature? and my incomplete uni applications and the decisions I have to make right now, right now, that will determine the whole life's path ahead. Time's running out two more days to the US universities' application deadline and I'm far, far from done, not much longer till UK's applications are due and I'm considering a whole course change, gotta rewrite my essay, talk to people who know better, pray like mad, pray like mad, make the decisions now

que sera, sera

Dec 24, 2011

something about lonely nights and my lipstick on your face

I don’t know this place and they’re going wild. A little too much vodka and they’re still not quitting so I say I’m out and leave the red room into the night. Josh follows me, takes my hand, stops me at the brick walls. His hand is on my waist and suddenly it’s you touching me, you saying my name, your hand on my neck your energy.

New place, new language, new identity. She puts down her luggage. Lies down on the off-white sheets, flips the channels – they’re all either French or tasteless – then gives up turns off the telly and stares at the grey ceiling.

Her mind floats back to that autumn night he forced sugar-coated strawberries down the back of her hoodie in Shilin and she made him reach inside to get them out. They laughed and held hands and took a random bus to a random stop just to get lost. Three stops after the museum and they were effectively in the middle of nowhere. They hopped off, it was chilly – it’s only chilly in Taiwan, never freezing cold – and quiet and dark. She would’ve been freaked out if she was alone, but his laughter lit up the night. He was fearless, and so became she. They walked aimlessly just talking and he stopped at a random alley. Reddish-brown bricks; no stale smell, but the air felt damp and creepers grew along the walls. A single dim streetlamp flickered at the other end. He sat on the floor with his legs straight, had his hands on his lap and his eyes on her, a request. She sat on his lap, her legs crossed around him, there in that damp alley in the dim flickering light. His faded jeans and her fruity scent. She looked into his hazel eyes and they ignited her soul. They sat there for almost twenty minutes just looking at each other and smiling, then he said “so are you going to kiss me?” and she said “do you want to?” and that was the first time they kissed. Gently at first, cautiously, then he pressed his lips harder against hers and they were in sugar-coated heaven.

Now we’re a few thousand miles and a time zone away, boy, and a gulf that surpasses all these – do you still remember all that I do? Do you still remember how you listened to my heartbeat, how our faces came so close, how all we needed was a long look into each other’s eyes for the whole world to disappear? Do you remember how it was like when I was yours and you could hug me whenever you wanted, like in the bus when I was sleeping and our stop was here but you wrapped your arms around my waist and said you didn’t want to get off? Or when we were in the lift, or when we snuck into the cinema? Do you remember the staircase hours when everything came so naturally? Do you think of me too, like how I’m thinking about you now, the tears forming a puddle on the hard pillow? When have you cried for me? – I forgot to ask you that before we parted – and do I seem like a dream to you now, the way our days feel unreal to me, like I can’t believe they ever happened? Do you feel a pang when you see people kissing on TV or couples on the street? Do you feel lonely too?

Dec 21, 2011


To anyone who happens to be reading this post: I really need information about Royal Holloway University of London, University of East Anglia and Lancaster University! Maybe University of Manchester. I'm looking to do English Lit with Creative Writing. And US universities that are good for those kinds of courses? Desperately looking for universities that will suit me! I've applied for University of Warwick, Nottingham and Exeter so far in the UK, and Washington University in St. Louis in the US. I took the SAT once and scored 2170; really regret not doing it another time because my essay component killed my writing score. Maybe I'll take two subject tests in Jan, if it makes a difference to the unis I'm trying for.


Dec 16, 2011

MRT Breakdown - lessons to be learnt:

1. How about an easier way to get people out? Like a non-electricity-operated way of opening the train doors. Like a lever system or something. Even if only for a few doors per train.

2. Or a safer way to break certain windows meant to be broken in case of an emergency if that's possible. Like buses have it! That thing that's supposed to be a hammer to break the window but is so small and harmless-looking.

3. Even when you think a message is kind-of-private, the public eye is always ready to devour and criticise, especially if you're a big company that represents the government and take the people's money (and raise fares). Especially if you represent the government.

4. My brother offered a much more reasonable explanation for that 'income opportunity' alert to taxi drivers. See, taxi drivers would avoid a place that's said to be crowded, because there's bound to be a traffic jam, so 'income opportunity' is a way to bring them over, or any phrase that focuses more on the money than on the potential congestion. After all, they're at work; they're looking for business, not inconvenience.

5. Making the top person step down might not even make any difference really aiyoh it's such a huge company, the top person isn't always at fault with every single detail. And the person responsible for whatever there is to be responsible for (that 'income opportunity' message, I guess) has probably already learnt his/her lesson well from this incident.
And how is stepping down taking responsibility!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! That's AVOIDING responsibility!!!!! The right thing to do would be to wipe away the tears and get down to work resolving all the problems and ensuring minimal chance of these happening again, not step down, so people should stop unnecessarily suggesting that top people 'step down'. In fact, not stepping down is harder, because it's facing up to the mistakes and the humiliation and criticism and taking it in your stride. Yes, they have a huge pay and yes there's a mistake that they need to account for, but that phrase gets annoying when it's used unnecessarily.

Dec 15, 2011

anesthesia and gold medicine

True friends are like surgeons. When you find yourself on the brink of death, when your entire being seems to have fallen apart and you don’t know if you’ll be able to get out of this mess alive, they come ready to receive your shattered soul. They know exactly what to do to piece your heart back together again, and slowly, they’ll help you find your way back to the life you once lived. With reassurances and promises and embraces, they’ll stem the flow of pain; they’ll stitch up your wounds and make you believe you’ll be better again.

Dec 9, 2011

'i just wanna stay here forever'

your words
your arms
your hands
your smile
your kiss

my hopes and plans with you after the a levels, the phrase i chanted again and again: 'everything's going to be amazing just hang on', my daily indulgence in the memories, our message log,
your words, i remember them all

'you're sweet as heaven'

mutual acceptance, thank you for tolerating my temper and waiting it out and bringing me through and holding back for me.

Dec 8, 2011

I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity

Prom was fun, a celebration of friendships. Spending it with the 35ths made me realise how much I missed and will miss their company. Had a great time, even when I was crying in the room.

I'm tired and my eyes hurt too much to cry anymore but fresh rounds of pain never seem to stop coming. No girl should bring herself down this low, chaining herself to someone else and willing herself to be dragged on the floor, so one day I'll find the strength to believe I'm worth something more. Until then, I'll be waiting for you to prove me wrong.

Did you forget everything we ever had?
Did you forget what we were feeling inside?
Now I'm left to forget about us
Did you regret ever holding my hand?
Never again, please don't forget, don't forget

We had it all, we were just about to fall
Even more in love than we were before
I won't forget, I won't forget about us

But somewhere we went wrong
Our love is like a song
But you won't sing along
You've forgotten about us
(don't forget)

Dec 6, 2011

The weaning-off period

Suddenly I don't feel like going out to town to get my nails done anymore, don't feel like trying on my prom dress to see if I can do that rose knot, don't feel like getting my hair done, makeup, don't feel like going into that room, don't feel like walking in heels, don't want to try to put on that mask of cheerfulness, don't want to try to be pretty, don't feel like spending the night with y-

So I'll change out of that dress - that I put on to try to look pretty for you but it doesn't matter anymore - and sit in front of a laptop to type, and then retreat to my bedroom where I'll curl up into a ball. I've cried too much in the past few months, and therefore I forbid grief. No need to cry anymore, you said. It was my fault really, I shouldn't have asked when I already knew the answer. I knew what it was inevitably coming to - an end. Didn't expect it to come so soon, maybe, before anything had the room to blossom again, take away the pain of months of silence. It wouldn't be half as bad if we tried to seize each day left now.

During that time I just kept thinking, if all it was coming to was an end anyway, we might as well cut the line now.

Pain is to be cut short, not prolonged.

So I'll focus on those who bring me up, who can't stand to see me push myself down into a pit of pain. Who put a stopper to the tears and stay with me till I laugh again.

Dec 2, 2011

Repel darkness

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.

With all I am and with all He is, He takes me into his angel arms and there is love. Teach me what love is, dear God; your version of love, not the kind that drags me down into the pit of darkness, not anymore. Teach me what it is to live in Your light, love me with the love of Paul, of Mary, of any servant...of any sinner. I won't write about the dark. I'll write about You and Your embrace. Keep my tears for the things that break Your heart, not the useless things that break mine. Teach me to see beyond these days, months, years, into eternity, into the heavens. Take me into Your light and teach me to love without getting hurt. Let me be a lamp atop a hill; use me, fill me, fill my heart so much with light that it overflows. This darkness I plunge into is not of You. You can bring me to safe ground. I don't have to fall to feel, all I need is You and Your love of light. I don't need to fall.

I'm sick of the pain, sick of trying to convince myself, sick of trying to build this unstable wall. Oh God come. I know what it's like to be filled by You and disregard the world. Help me make my decisions because I seem to make all the wrong ones. Teach me how to expect nothing from this world but everything from You. Batter my heart...restore Your image in me.

Sick of wondering what's real anymore. Isn't it ironic that the only thing that's real is intangible?

Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

(John Donne; Holy Sonnet 14)

when you lose something you can't replace
lights will guide you home
and i will try to fix you

Nov 28, 2011

Twelve hours from now, twelve years of education

will come to a conclusion.

Farewell, English Language & Linguistics. I'll miss studying Singlish (optional marking for plurality, optional tense marking, omission of articles and 'be', the passive 'kena', the perfective 'already', discourse particles at the end of sentences...) and Afro-American Vernacular English (invariant form of 'be', [d] voiced stop in place of initial [ð], non-standard subject-verb agreement) (oh the opacity of the language of linguistics with all its technical jargon) and my favourite, Inglan Is A Bitch. (CHECK OUT THE LYRICS. IT'S ENGLISH. REALLY.) Descriptivism desrciptivism. And watching a video about the study of swearing in British schools. And Ted & Ralph.

95% of New Zealanders are monolingual in English. China introduced compulsory English lessons for all students starting from third grade, but a few poorly-resourced, mostly rural schools were exempted. David Deterding has written extensively on the various linguistic features of Singlish. (poor guy.) BBC introduced an audio- and SMS-based English learning program called Janala in Bangladesh at just 4 US cents per lesson to help reduce inequality and help make up for the shortage of English teachers. South Korean parents fight to get their children places in English-speaking kindergarten centres even though they cost twice as much, and wealthy parents send their children overseas to learn English. (Seokhoon, Hyun and Park, HAHAHA)

Crap why am I online?

Nov 26, 2011


In love

I'm not the person I know myself to be. I am a lonely person with love's happiness in my head, who hopes, dreams - that's what keeps me alive. That longing and the pain becomes a part of me, such that when the dream comes true - warped still with other forms of pain, but love nonetheless - it doesn't feel real, just feels like another one of my dreams. That's why I always say it feels unreal.
So why should I feel sad when it goes away? It was just a dream afterall; we all have to wake up someday, remember who we really are. It doesn't feel like anything more than a fantasy, too; I tell myself a lot that I was so lucky it ever happened to begin with, and even that was too unreal, too dreamlike - so in line with my hopes that it couldn't be real, couldn't ever feel like the life I was entitled to live.

Yet, of course, maybe it was, since it was (and is, and will continue to be) so riddled with pain. Most relationships have honeymoon periods and they're "honeymoons" because they're sweet, amazing, worry-free...not laden with tears and doubts and "I really think you'll get tired of me someday"s and "my eyes are too red to go out"s and apologies. That's not a honeymoon, so I guess it's reality. So even when my hopes from the world of fantasy come into reality the pain is the price I have to pay.

Nov 25, 2011

Of all the things to misplace


When someone brings up an old blog post of mine I realise I NEED TO FIND A WAY TO DELETE THEM OR SOMETHING NOW. SUPER EMBARRASSING

Nov 24, 2011

Random: The Impact of Fairy-Tale Language

The stereotypes. Only beautiful princesses / damsels have brave handsome men who would die for them; a witch is an unattractive woman in black with a protruding chin, ugly nose and a huge pot of boiling stuff; damsels in distress are attractive; stepmothers are wicked.

Even now, everytime I see/hear the word "stepmother" I think it weird that they use a word associated with evil before I realise it never really had a real negative connotation attached to it, it's just what we were fed with in fairytales as a child, and things ingrained into you as a child with repetition and emotional attachment (who doesn't love fairytales?) can and do spill over into teenagehood and adult life as subconscious thoughts / associations.

Nov 22, 2011

When the time comes,

you'll say, it's over, so it can begin. You'll bring me close, tight; I won't have the strength to reciprocate the tightness, and your unspoken words will wrap around my heart like sweet iron bars, like a silver-coated prison cell, that will cue tears and pain, the pain of being chained again. Sometimes I wish I never gave my heart up because it never made me feel free, only more imprisoned. You say loosen those chains, let yourself run freer, but you don't understand. I am either bound by tough metal with no ability to loosen itself, or not bound at all. There's no in-between. A lot of times I wish I had a definite answer. Either bring me back to safe ground, or cut the thread and let me fall so that I can heal. It sucks to be left hanging by a worn-out thread, so breakable, yet not fully broken yet, not just yet, just left willing for the fall, the end of this suspense.

You'll say don't cry any more, there's no need to cry any more. It's over. It began, it ended, now it's over so it can begin again. But it never ended, so it isn't a new beginning - just a prolonging. And I'll cry for what has already begun and ended a couple thousand times in my heart, the times you didn't notice; I'll cry for the many more beginnings and endings to come, for my inability to loosen the chains - or free myself ever again, because that very day I'd have fastened the locks back on.

guitar love

he makes it so beautiful, how can anything be so beautiful

Jerry can't make it for his concert on 3 Dec so he gave me his ticket!!!!!!!! I'll be leaving the auditorium in tears.

Wow. Sungha's channel is the most subscribed of all time in Korea. SM Entertainment comes after him, then 2NE1, then YG Entertainment, then Big Bang, then SM Town (Wait isn't that the same as SM Entertainment?). Wow, Sungha's subscription numbers beat them all.

Nov 11, 2011

It's sad to know I'll never be a scientist,

getting to study the stars, huge, beautiful, thousands of light years away - or the tiniest of cells, where life is being formed, how they magically divide to multiply, life exposed and raw.

I've always been really fascinated by astronomy; I remember being nine and playing with that NASA space shuttle model we had at home, complete with seats and tiny astronauts, watching documentaries about space exploration and lift-offs and imagining myself being one of the people in that dark room with countless computers, all working frantically to make sure everything was working fine. Being an astronomer was a cool dream, until I got to secondary school and realised math and physics were the two things I couldn't do to save my life.

Biology was something I loved throughout my schooling life. My primary school held a life sciences workshop where I got to cut up a squid with a partner (Zu Hui or Evelyn?) - and we found a fish inside its stomach! Tried to dissect that too but it was too...digested. We also cracked open eggs that had chicks inside them and were about to hatch. Felt quite sad that we were wasting the life of a cute chick just like that. You could see something in the cup of blood move -that was its heartbeat. And the teacher dissected a frog - I remember the intestines and the liver and the heart, all of different colours. And its heartbeat began to slow down. In secondary school we had a sheep's heart and my teacher was encouraging us to put our fingers down the four blood vessels to see where they'd end up.

I remember looking into a microscope at plant cells in one of the first few lessons in Sec 3. This was what we had been drawing in diagrams, finally coming to life. I remember the green chloroplasts moving around in the cytoplasm, busily busily, like there was somewhere to rush to, something to do. It was fascinating.

Schools kill biology when it becomes dead, diagrams and mega-long terms, black ink on white paper. Biology is the study of life. I really wanted to do it in JC but replaced it with Math/Econs instead. Oh why. Why.

Science fascinates me. Biology fascinates me. You're working with life. Living things, crawling on your skin or inside you or just beginning to form. It's this miracle you see every day. From plants to viruses to your average human, we're all these crazy wired-up bodies of tiny stuff that, by the grace of God, continue to function perfectly despite its intricacies day after day. And we're all linked by a common instinct: to survive.


The whole ecosystem, or the whole world with its billions of life-forms and how everything is so intricately linked, is just amazing. A wonderful creation and a web of chains we'll never fully understand - because we're also destroying it.

It's too bad I wasn't really made for math, and therefore, science. I'll never get to work with amazing faraway bodies of unimaginable mass and power, or tiny things in your blood that, just like us, are alive. I'll never get to study the behaviour of penguins or the emotions of elephants. Discovery Channel documentaries will be the closest I'll ever get to the beauty of life and the wonder of things beyond. My mum did Bio and Chem in university and once worked in Science Park II, where she worked with chemicals "like a real scientist"; my dad's a really devoted Physics teacher. Sometimes I wish I could work with the life sciences and just... marvel at the way we do all we can to survive, marvel at how animals feel, too - we really aren't that different, are we?

"A 3 year old leopard cuddles a baby baboon whose mother she has just killed."

The study of life.

Nov 8, 2011

One down

For our ELL adaptive writing section we were supposed to write a story about a visit to the dentist, to be read by children under the age of 10. Had fun doing it, did it in fifteen minutes which made up for the two hours I spent on Section A (because forty-five minutes into the paper I hadn't even finished my first point about contact, and at the 1.5-hour mark I was still at my second point about power. Fatal!!). If I were my ten-year-old self reading my adaptive text, though, I'd probably laugh at it - or be disgusted at how lowly they think of ten-year-olds - and then write something like 'oral hygiene is important because nobody wants to kiss a girl with bad breath'. Ah, the ten-year-old me.

Was just reading the GP Package on Education since tomorrow's the GP paper and if I don't get an A I'm gonna bash myself up for not bothering to memorize examples and all. There was this one article about the failures of the current Asian education system, on how its 'rote-based curricula and examcentric systems' aren't suitable for the new and challenging information economy and whatever, and how East Asian students top worldwide academic tests but retain the information for the least amount of time because they believe there is little utility in what they've learnt in classrooms. And how Asian students were placed first in their understanding of Math and Science but also scored second lowest in their enjoyment of these subjects. And how the failures of the current Asian system of education has led to high dropout and suicide rates especially in Japan, and even parents seeking to put their children in a Western-style education with less information-cramming and more creativity-infusing instead.

And I'm just like, dang, this is so not the thing to read on Day One of my A Levels.

And right now I'm blogging.

Oct 29, 2011

so wipe those tears away you aren't alone

“It is really hard to be lonely very long in a world of words. Even if you don't have friends somewhere, you still have language, and it will find you and wrap its little syllables around you and suddenly there will be a story to live in."
- Naomi Shihab Nye

you take my hand and drive me head first, fearless

The fearlessness of love belongs to people who know the pain is as much of a guarantee as the happiness but blindly dive into love anyway, embracing life, daring Death.

Don't seek to take so much control over your life, all that predictability, over-discipline, not daring yourself to hurt. Life is the beginning of death, but that doesn't mean we don't give it a shot. Dare, dare to fall head-first, knowing you'll reach the bottom where your brain and guts and heart will splatter on the earth, because all that matters is that you'll know what it's like to fly.

He said 'Then don't make me your world. Make me something smaller, until you're sure."

But I remember she once said just let go. Love is beautiful when you let go and live it like you'll never get hurt.

Amazing music video.

Oct 26, 2011

Oct 25, 2011

valentine's day on loveless lane

(for e)

On the way home you take the long route, through loveless lane. It was Love Lane once - Lester-Laura Love Lane, as the both of you used to say, with your arabian coffee and aunty may's scones - but now it's only loveless.

On the other side of the street you see a girl with a bunch of roses, red like a beautiful blood stain on her cream dress. The boy whose arms are around her waist whispers love in her ear, and they smile in giddy glee as they turn their backs to you and walk into the coffee house, leaving behind a trail of sweet pure honeymoon milk that all too soon turns into yellow sour staleness in your heart. You remember how that felt, the honeymoon phase of overpowering sweetness sprinkled with pretty phrases and forevers.

(what you don't see is that thirteen days later she says look nick i'm sorry but actually, i just got dumped by bryan and needed a rebound and a date for valentine's day. but you do know that i'm not the kind who's serious about things like that, right? so i hope you don't feel too bad about this. i just needed someone for a while, but i'm okay now, so yeah thanks. and nick watches her walk away in the same cream dress, and wonders if she remembers the night they made love in the park. if nothing was real about this then what on earth was she thinking then?)

You pass by the Italian restaurant and your sixteen-year-old junior walks out, with her boyfriend number three hundred and seventy-something and that chanel bag and the lovely killer heels. Pretty Boy kisses her porcelain cheek and she laughs her flirty laugh and as they wait for a taxi their flirting verges on obnoxious. They're both very good-looking, dripping with cash, a little flushed from that good wine, both not serious but looking for a pretty thrill.

(what you don't see is the steak she forced back up her throat in the toilet and her obsession with make-up, because she knows it's her face and her figure that gets the expensive boys, that gets the cash and the expensive gifts, that gets the expensive boys... and nobody will ever recognise her when she works at taka on saturdays, because she's got no make-up on then, and beneath the slabs of foundation and concealer and eyeliner is a dry pimply small-eyed plea.)

You make yourself walk past that shady alley, because you just have to, even though you know you'll see things you don't want to see. There, there's a couple making out like there's no tomorrow. Hands tugging at hair and jeans. Almost violent, those wild mouths, sucking teasing moaning. All that passion in a dirty alley. All you couples, get a room for goodness' sake.

(what you don't know is that they aren't a couple - just two broken-hearted friends, losing themselves in an attempt to satisfy their thirst for lips and legs and of overwhelming lust, and a hunger that reaches deeper into the soul - for love, acceptance, a hunger to know they mean something in this world. twenty minutes later they break away and break apart, because their thirst is satisfied but the hunger pangs scream out in longing; they get what they want but not what they need.)

You reach home, where all the single kids are hiding. Mum and Dad are out and you don't want to think about your sister and her candlelight dinner. You go onto Facebook. Someone you once knew just posted a picture of herself in her boyfriend's college tee holding a bunny soft toy. She's in her boyfriend's room. And he's right behind her in a singlet making the heart sign with his hands.

You've had enough of this lovey-dovey overload.

(what you don't know is that she's been living with him for the past three weeks. her house is a hell-hole, dad's always either drunk and shouting or asleep if he's ever home at all. and when he comes back she can tell because the shouts - slurry dad, exasperated mum - continue for at least half an hour, before something shatters and mum storms out. three weeks ago she decided this was not the way any child should live. she ran while mum was out to escape the hell-hole herself and dad was in his slurry drunken stupor.)

You go to bed in tears of loneliness and think, it's always me. Everyone's so blissful and happy and the world forgot about me. Why am I the only one who gets misery.

Oct 24, 2011

the result of heavy distractions + running on empty

It's like before the O's when I started failing my English essays. I started freaking out. I'm not freaking out yet (although I actually need to start panicking really), but my essay skills are going down the drain. A month ago my fellow JC2s were already busy rushing out essays like a photocopier, reading the syllabus for the thousandth time - or at least not sleeping the days away like I was, trying to escape from the arrows that pierced my mind while I was awake, doing at most a quarter of an essay a day.

Been trying to speed things up. I did four essays today, none of which were of a satisfactory standard. I've lost all ability to formulate a good essay. Not that I really had it in the first place, but now my essays are getting even worse. I've been getting Cs all along. I really do need my 18/25 to come along sometime soon, but it just isn't happening. It isn't happening, and the Cs and Ds I got at Prelims, pre-moderation, were what I got when I was working at my hardest. Not that that was much at all, as compared to what the others are doing. My mind takes a zero-tolerance approach to studying, I'm really really really not the mugger type. I lost what little I had gained after the Prelims and it's all gone now. I'm really not meant for this. I'm still blogging for goodness' sake.

Maybe for Econs I can pin my hopes on the bell curve, but the only other students that take the Renaissance Lit paper are from - wait for it - RJ and Hwa Chong. Okay seriously. My class, 2AH, is competing against the cream of the crop. I'm a tiny unnoticeable sad grain of wheat barely out of the soil....or whatever. I was at the 28th percentile in my cohort for Lit for both the Term and H2 exams. Of course, now I've got amazing seniors to inject doses of genius into my bloodstream, but my essays just aren't working out. I've lost what little I had. I need to start getting more than 14/25.

Are there other JCs that offer ELL other than AC, RJ, CJ and Hwa Chong? I'm competing against people with amazing skill, with insane drive. The competition is far too strong. I'm losing what little essay-writing skills I had. I'm trying to do more essays now, but I realise I've also lost my content knowledge in all my subjects. I need to go back to my notes again. No time no time no time fourteen more days and I'm trying to get the drive to study but I don't know. I've never been a mugger. Time to start running, zooming, full-speed to try and regain what I lost at Prelims and work towards 16, then 18, then 19/25 essays.


Calm the heart calm the heart calm the heart
with God's reassurance
and leehom ballads and slow quiet songs

Oct 22, 2011

Our warped definition of love

(partly to Tim)

I always used to think, you know how the Bible and everyone always tell us to love God, love God, love God, but how can you force a feeling? Love is a feeling and you can't make yourself feel something.

But love isn't just a feeling. It's a behaviour. It's about doing things in people's best interests, wanting the best for them, sacrificing, giving. That's loving.
Loving with actions even when you don't feel like it is the highest form of love.

Offering to come all the way to my house far far away to help me out with something small because he knows I need it. Going all the way to the other end of Singapore to hear a crying friend out. A whole cell group's collective effort to help her retrieve her phone and get compensation for the broken SIM card. Texting me every day to make sure I'm okay, help me heal. Sacrificing a forty-minute break to hold me while I cry. Willingly rejecting a free lunch to talk me out of my pain.

Much more than a feeling, love is a behaviour. That's why we can choose to love. That's why the Bible can command us to love. You can't force a feeling but you can choose to carry out acts of love. You can choose to give thanks to the One whom you know has given you the strength and peace you needed when you asked for it. You can choose to give in love.

Something really interesting:
1 Corinthians 13, we all know, is all about love.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud...
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Etc etc etc. It all sounds like a crazy, far-fetched, unattainable form of love.

But in the King James Version of the Bible, which is the first English-translated version of the Bible during the reign of James I (yup Renaissance stuff, this all started when I was looking through the Lit Compendium), all the instances of the word 'love' you find in today's Bible versions was in fact 'charity'.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth(wants) not itself, is not puffed up...
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The Bible was translated from Greek, and apparently 'agape' is translated into both 'charity' and 'love' in the KJV Bible. So it's so evident that charity and love are very closely linked. In today's definition of the two words, they're less similar: charity is giving, and love is...loving. You can do one without the other.

But the concept here is sacrificial love, love beyond self, love beyond passionate feeling. Giving out of love - giving because you love. Love for the poor, the homeless, people you don't know and people most of us don't want to have to deal with. It's not just about giving out of pity.

Pretty interesting.

Oct 20, 2011

Shooting Stars - Carol Ann Duffy

After I no longer speak they break our fingers
to salvage my wedding ring. Rebecca Rachel Ruth
Aaron Emmanuel David, stars on all our brows
Beneath the gaze of men with guns. Mourn for our daughters,

upright as statues, brave. You would not look at me.
You waited for the bullet. Fell. I say, Remember.
Remember those appalling days which make the world
forever bad. One saw I was alive. Loosened

his belt. My bowels opened in a ragged gape of fear.
Between the gap of corpses I could see a child.
The soldiers laughed. Only a matter of days separate
this from acts of torture now. They shot her in the eye.

How would you prepare to die, on a perfect April evening
with young men gossiping and smoking by the graves?
My bare feet felt the earth and urine trickled
down my legs. I heard the click. Not yet. A trick.

After immense suffering someone takes tea on the lawn.
After the terrible moans a boy washes his uniform.
After the history lesson children run to their toys the world
turns in its sleep the spades shovel soil Sara Ezra…

Sister, if seas part us, do you not consider me?
Tell them I sang the ancient psalms at dusk
inside the wire and strong men wept. Turn thee
unto me with mercy, for I am desolate and lost.

You - Carol Ann Duffy

Uninvited, the thought of you stayed too late in my head,
so I went to bed, dreaming you hard, hard, woke with your name,
like tears, soft, salt, on my lips, the sound of its bright syllables
like a charm, like a spell.

Falling in love
is glamorous hell; the crouched, parched heart
like a tiger ready to kill; a flame's fierce licks under the skin.
Into my life, larger than life, beautiful, you strolled in.
I hid in my ordinary days, in the long grass of routine,
in my camouflage rooms. You sprawled in my gaze,
staring back from anyone's face, from the shape of a cloud,
from the pining, earth-struck moon which gapes at me

and I open the bedroom door. The curtains stir. There you are
on the bed, like a gift, like a touchable dream.

Oct 18, 2011

can i hold you again tomorrow?

Sometimes when the other person smothers you with love, your capacity to receive love becomes satiated and you have so much love from the other side that there's no space left for you to love. It's like creamer in a bitter cup of coffee. A little bit is good, more is great, but then it becomes too much it overpowers the taste of the coffee itself and then it becomes too grossly sweet, undesirable. You forget the initial bitterness of the coffee; in fact, you can't even believe it was ever bitter to begin with because all you're tasting now is excessive sweetness, so sweet it makes you cringe. From bitter to good to awesome, but beyond that it's too much.

You don't even have the chance to worry or wonder or miss. It's like force-feeding you with chocolate. Chocolate's great, but it's too much, the sweetness is so excessive that it becomes sickening and you forget what it's like to actually want chocolate because you really just need to get away from it now.

Not going to admit to that ruined side of me anymore. No more stupid frail dependency, apologies and tears running over. It's gross how low I bring myself. My life means more than this.

On a side note, check this out: The Rape Of Men
pretty thought-provoking, these gender expectations that we will always hold.

Oct 15, 2011

girls sing about love guys sing about sex

too often it was either hot or cold when i really just needed warmth

but i remember you talking about your first memory and primary school and you happily showing me your secondary school photos and 'what if you meet someone like me?' and the way you looked at me with such a comfortable gaze and 'were you gonna let go?' and 'i can see my reflection in your eye' and the first hug and your super-cute nervousness and 'you're pretty in your own ways' and your regret and apology that night
and 'can i tickle you for five minutes? please?'
and 'i don't care if you look unglam...i think you'll look cute'

and i know it was more than that, something sincere, something 'serious', as you used to say.


The eighth came and went and I didn't realise.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to feel free around you again. Will I be able to let go of my insecurity and trust you with myself again, as completely as I had managed to do not too long ago; finally fully give my glass soul to you only to have it dropped the next day? Because through the countless times you've set my heart aflame before unintentionally stamping out the fire of joy again, I've learnt to take guard; when I let go of my insecurity and dare to be free is when you take it away from me.

I've actually been feeling pretty fine recently, I don't think I've cried since the day I told you I wouldn't anymore. These things just come back once in a while and I guess there's the need for the occasional bout of emo. I mean, the memories come back every day, but I usually don't feel sad about them anymore. After the A's everything will be okay. Whatever's meant to happen will happen, things will work out on their own, I might resolve to let myself be taken again, knowing full well the crash will come soon enough. But it won't be fatal this time, armed with the knowledge that God's my priority and He's the one that has all of me; that as long as I put Him first, He'll guide my path - He'll let me fall but not too hard.

Mark 2:15-17
Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, 'Why does he eat with such scum?
When Jesus heard this, he told them, 'Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.'

I love how my church is one that really reaches out to people from all walks of life, and how so many of those who are really strong members of the church were once...pretty messed up. Gang leaders, drug addicts at sixteen? Loan sharks? Fourteen-year-old gang members? Victims of emotional and physical abuse at childhood? These stories seem almost fictitious to me, but these people are very real, and they do exist, and I love the fact that my church is one that reaches out to people who aren't the kind you'd associate with things good and holy, because God transforms these people and uses them for His purpose. Through God, even the darkest of lives can be transformed to become beacons of light.

God can't bring someone up if they haven't fallen. We can't know light if we haven't experienced darkness. His strength is made perfect in weakness. Yeah, they seem like duh-what's-new sayings, but the message felt so real today. When I say something like 'Yes, God, give me your strength' I know full well that I'm indirectly asking for trials. How else can I truly experience his strength? How can he reach down to me and pick me up if I haven't fallen? Jesus' healing miracles could only be performed on those who were sick and needed healing; how could He perform a miracle on someone who didn't see a need for it?
He freed the man from the legion of demons that took control of his life, making him roam a graveyard and cut himself with stones for years. He freed the woman who had been made crippled by an evil spirit for eighteen years. He let the blind see, he brought the dead back to life. These people got to experience God personally in an amazing way. Would they have gotten to if they hadn't been struck by soul-tormenting evil spirits / disabilities / death?

The price to pay.
I ask for trials, but only because I know I'm armed with the shield of the Holy Spirit, and I know He'll carry me through and I'll ultimately emerge a stronger warrior for Him.

Oct 2, 2011

Skyscraper - Demi Lovato

Skies are crying, I am watching, catching teardrops in my hands. Only silence as it's ending, like we never had a chance.

Do you have to make me feel like there’s nothing left of me?

You can take everything I have, you can break everything I am, like I’m made of glass, like I’m made of paper -

Go on and try to tear me down; I will be rising from the ground like a skyscraper.

As the smoke clears, I awaken and untangle you from me. Would it make you feel better to watch me while I bleed? All my windows still are broken but I’m standing on my feet.

You can take everything I have, you can break everything I am;

Go on and try to tear me down; I will be rising from the ground.

"It's like the body has a self-defence mechanism. Now, whenever a negative what-if pops up, it's like I'm walking through a forest in my mind and suddenly I nearly step into a trap. And then my mind's defence mechanism makes me run away from the trap and towards safe happy ground. I'll be like, no no no don't think about that and immediately happy past memories will reassure me."
"That a sweet self-defence mechanism. It's amazing how your thoughts are so vivid and clear. I'd like to take a walk in your head."
"You wouldn't. It's a beautiful tragedy."

I give my life to honour You

In times like these we choose to praise You.
For it's You, it's You who really matters; You are worthy of our praise.

Pastor Kong talked today about the months where he went into depression during the time our church was a very dark state: persecution. The source for his depression was a feeling of abandonment by God. He had given so much to God - been in the ministry for 25 years and he's always been busy doing God's work, saving souls, preaching powerful messages, and he felt like he had been used by God. Taken by God to do so much and get so little rest - and then discarded when He was done with him.

Much later on, after he finally had an encounter with God again after months, he was preaching again, in Sumatra, and he was talking about the crucifixion of Christ.

It was a really dark period, wasn't it, Jesus Christ hanging on the cross, abused and afflicted, a crown of thorns adorning his head. And in Matthew 27:46 (and Mark 15:34) it says: Around the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, saying "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?" which is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

He was in the movement of the Spirit as he was preaching this in Sumatra; it wasn't in his prepared notes, his speech was just flowing, he was overflowing with passion, energy, punching at the air, kicking at the ground, in a passionate flow of words. I know what that's like, he's like that when he's preaching sometimes.

And he continued preaching: But in the pain and cries of his Son, God Himself knew: if only you could see - you need to go through this so that you can become the Saviour of the world.

As Pastor Kong preached this, he froze. And then he wept. He realised that the words that God had put into his mouth was in fact His message to him. 'My God, why have you abandoned me?' he often questioned in his depression, and the answer was that he had to go through this affliction before he could truly become His powerful servant.

The anguish before the breakthrough. The trial before the triumph. I always love hearing Pastor Kong preach and it's always a blessing to all our lives, and it's great that he'll be preaching for the whole of this month. It's great having him back again.

When my heart is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

You know, up to this point I kept thinking, when you start talking to me again, when you want me back again, you'd better be really sorry, and a simple apologetic text isn't going to work. You'll pay me in happiness for all the tears you've been bringing me the past week. You will make me feel really wanted, and I will feel loved. I'll get myself some self-respect, some dignity.

But then I was just thinking about it, and I thought about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The son demanded his share of his inheritance, went away and spent it all in wild living. Yet when he came back, poor and undeserving, his father didn't have any resentment towards him; he ran to his son and kissed him and called for a feast in celebration of his return.

And that's how God is, that's how he forgives - he forgets, and the angels celebrate upon the true repentance of a sinner. No grudges, just love and forgiveness awaiting. And I know, too, that when things are okay again, I won't even care about the apology, because I'm just waiting, and when you want it back, even if I want you to be sorry and try to make up for the hurt you've caused, I'd have forgiven and forgotten everything already. Instantly. That's the way love works.

I've resolved to put God first in my life. I really mean it - I always mean it, but I never really fulfill it. This time I really want to make things work. I know that in all the tumult of life, He is the only one being that stays constant. Our church is going to be reading the New Testament together: 4 chapters every day and we'll all finish in time for Candlelight Service, 16 Dec. I do hope I keep to this plan. I'm not sure about sticking to it during the A Levels, but I'll make up for it if I don't. I've learnt through painful lessons that when I want something that might not be what God knows is best for me, it turns out badly. I want to lift up my life to God now, that whatever I do is what He wants for me, so that they will prosper in His name and He will use me as a beacon of light to shine upon His name.

Sep 27, 2011

say it like you're screaming at me

I want to make people feel like I'm talking about their lives, to see all their dark emotions on print right in front of them, because I completely understand how it feels. I want people to be able to relate their experiences to mine, experiences that seem so personal, the kind that you swear no one else understands. I want them to look at the words and say 'that's exactly what I'm feeling right now'. I want them to realise that they aren't alone in feeling this way.


I'm pretty sure you've lost everything you once used to feel, but I don't understand how you lost it so fast, two days right after...that. And I should have never let you get that close, both ways. But really, after everything seemed to be going very well on Monday, and Tuesday, why the sudden drastic complete change on Wednesday? And how did it completely erase all the memories? Yeah, the memories aren't a lot in terms of quantity, but seriously? Common sense tells me I should throw this back at you and walk away get on with life. But I can't do it, not yet. Maybe things will be better after, like, the second of december. And I would like to wait till then, if I can. Even if I know this hardly means anything to you, since you let everything crumble because of something like that - even friends know it shouldn't affect a friendship. Even if I know I hardly mean anything to you. Even if I know I can't take being in something like that for long, that pulls me down into darkness more than it makes me smile. Even if I know you can't give me what I need so badly. Reassurance. Unity. I need to feel like I'm a part of you, but you refuse to let me in and you refuse to let yourself be a part of me, either. I want you to know everything there is to know about me, but you don't want to know. So different, so different, and I know someday I won't be able to take this much longer, but I'd still like to hold on and give this yet another chance, anyway, just to see what happens after the second of december. And while you let this take over us and continue being like this, I'll try and find some self-love, some dignity, some self-respect. An hour ago I was crying my eyes out when I was seriously considering walking away from this. I don't see why I should be taking all this crap. And I am pretty sure you've lost all you've felt for me. When/if you come to your senses again, I do hope I play really, really hard to get, at the very least. You were right when you said I should have said no to you, because you don't deserve it. You don't. And if you're going to let something like that ruin it all, you'd better be freaking sorry. I'm pretty sure not many girls would let themselves be trampled on again and again like that, and for the stupidest reasons.
On another note, if you've simply lost everything you once felt for me and you're simply using this stupid thing as a cover-up, just tell me. With an explanation please I'd like to know why. Why you could do all that you did on Monday and still reply with smilies on Tuesday and suddenly cut me off completely the next day. Today I resolve to stop being the pathetic dog with no dignity. I'll leave you be. Of course, a few days later might change this resolve. But seriously, if you could see the person that you're being right now, you'd be wondering why I bother taking all this crap from you too.

You don't know how lucky you are. On the other hand, if you're actually just waiting for the second of december so that you can say bye, then I guess you'd be pretty unlucky to have a girl that loves you so freaking much.

if i were a pheonix i'd be saving lives daily


Sep 26, 2011

raw and uninhibited, in full catastrophic splendor

And if unfit for tombs and hearse
Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
- John Donne (The Canonization)

"Why am I so emotionally bound to someone who just can't give me what I need so badly?"
"You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not. - Jodi Picoult. I was saving it for a time like this."

Because I told him I aspire to be like Jodi Picoult. Where else do you get friends who look up quotes by your idol to drop on you when you need them.

(As soon as forever is through, I'll be over you)
Awwman sweet friends who mend my heart with quotes because they know I'm a sucker for them.

Hello lexy hello timo :)

This girl radiates beauty. I'd love to hear her love story.

Don't forget to look before you fall

(she gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind)

In loneliness the insulating walls give way again; the little candle I keep in my heart in the day spreads its fire to the rest of my body to burn.

Why did we let this happen? I was on my way to healing just fine; my friends helped me stitch up my wounds and the marks were on their way to fading. You didn't have to tear them open again and expose my raw flesh. Blood. You did give me the option of walking away, you did say I had the right to say no because you didn't deserve this after all my pain. I said I wasn't strong enough to walk away from something I had wanted all along. 

All these wonderful memories and you chuck them out the window with a two-word phrase. I don't know how you do it, but I sure hope you're studying really, really, really hard, because I'm not studying at all. I've lost any ounce of drive.

Being in school hurts too much; I return home as soon as I can, loneliness brings hurt too but it's better than school. So I sleep. I've been sleeping a lot. Before I sleep I recall happy memories and pretend I still feel secure.

Baby what happened? Please tell me, 'cause one second it was perfect now you're halfway out the door -

And I stare at the phone and he still hasn't called, and then you feel so low you can't feel nothing at all

And it rains in your bedroom, everything is wrong; it rains when you're here and it rains when you're gone

Was I out of line? Did I way something way too honest that made you run and hide, like a scared little boy? I looked into your eyes, thought I knew you for a minute, now I'm not so sure

So here's to everything, coming down to nothing; here's to silence that cuts me to the core. Where is this going? Thought I knew for a minute but I don't anymore

Back up, baby, back up, did you forget everything?

Sep 25, 2011

a group of eight i've come to love.

When these walls crumble yet again,

friends help me mend my heart. Friends who text me the next day with syringefuls of encouragement, love, happiness, strength - a mixture of gold. This group of eight, brought together by nothing but passion, its individual members take turns to heal me every time the walls crumble. Which is very frequently.

Taking things one day at a time is how I've managed to get through the past eighteen years, and now it's about getting by an hour at a time, and it's working. I'm not strong yet, still weak, but becoming numb, sometimes even happily numb, which is amazing. No sadness, just sleep and chocolate and the occasional wandering of the mind into the happy bits of the recent past - and boundless fantasies: of arms and laps and lips and heartbeats.

I can't imagine what life will be like the day I find strength. Maybe life will become boring and I'll no longer find the pain in me to write, or the strength will prevent myself from stirring up the memories and pain that I need to write.

What is strength like? I envision strength to be knowing I'm worth something more and being able to say I've had enough and walking away with my head held high knowing it's for the better. I was talking about God's strength with Abi and she said 'Perhaps it's not so much about acquiring God's strength but relying on His strength to get you by.'

I'm getting by now, through the slightly-happy-numbness of my heart and the weird ability to get by without texting you, and even being able to reread your texts and revisit memories fondly. And friends, friends. The different pals in this group of eight, as well as a couple of others in the larger group of forty-two, have seen me through the different periods of time, the different chapters of this story (but through the one same theme that runs through them all) and it's just amazing how they help stem the flow of negativity.

To the one who keeps telling me that any guy of mine is a lucky guy, who texts me just to make sure my mind is constantly distracted from the painful thoughts, who gets me talking about the happier memories and helps me realise I'm smiling again.
To the one who sends me "a lot a lot of hearts" to make me heal faster, even though you don't really know what's making me break apart.
To the one who reassures me of God's presence in me, even though you don't know the exact reason for my pain either, and choose not to probe.

Turn back time three or four weeks and it would've been a different set of pals from this group holding these syringes of love. It's interesting to know. Not that they don't hold them anymore, but it's interesting that you three should be the ones to send me these little messages of strength now. Maybe God's coming to me through every single member of this group of eight, like an invisible thread of strength, tightening the bonds between us.

By the way, I'm really okay. I wonder how you're feeling.

your hands on my waist

1st floor: "See, I'm actually a lot taller than you, you still need a stool to kiss me." You straighten your back, I try to tiptoe. The lift comes. It's just you and me at first, and then a delivery man rushes in. Awkward. We move to the back of the lift.
2nd floor: Delivery man walks out. As soon as the lift doors close I feel a pair of arms wrap around me tight from behind. You squeeze tighter; my heart soars higher.
3rd floor: The lift doors open. I attempt to take a step forward - "No, don't go." You don't loosen your hold. And we stay like that for a few seconds longer while the door stays open.

(And I wonder if I ever cross your mind / For me it happens all the time)

Sep 24, 2011

No more running wild; I'm Yours for life

2 Chronicles 7:14
If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

This past few weeks I've come to realise: human love is so unstable, so unpredictable, a roller-coaster. Feelings can fluctuate so much.

But God's love stays unshakeable and true. It's something we can all rely on, always call upon. We can pray and ask for His peace and genuinely have faith in it and it does come. His reassurance comes.

Saviour of my soul, I confide in you through all my darkest moments. In You I find my peace, my comfort when I'm weak; I trust in you through storm and raging seas.
Faithful, You're my God; You're the Glory and the Lifter of my head. Your light it fills my days; it leads me in Your ways. Forever I surrender all to You -

And I live to worship You; My Jesus, You're the only one for me. Nothing will ever take Your place, my precious Saviour; who can stand between my Lord and me?
Lord I live to honour You, and I long to bring my life an offering -
take me higher, draw me deeper - I give all to be with You.

(Be With You) (It was written by Sendy!!!! How coincidental)

We sang this song at church today. I was crying on my way to church. I didn't cry the whole day, and I told myself I wouldn't, but on my way up to church I saw a couple being sweet on the escalator and the tears just came. I arrived a little late and the first two lines that they were singing after I had taken my seat was

'Today, I'm leaving all my troubles behind
I'm letting go I'll follow the line
I'm holding on with all of my life'

and it was screaming out to me.
Yes God, I'm in church now. I'm going to abandon all that's weighing my heart down and just look to You.

'No more running wild
I'm yours for life'

And then it was that song, Be With You, and it reminded me to
confide in Him through all my darkest moments.
In Him I find my peace, my comfort when I'm weak; I trust in Him through storm and raging seas, and I live to worship Him. I long to bring my life an offering.

And the last song did it for me. All that I was feeling about all this fluctuation of feelings, all this insecurity in this stupid thing we like to call love, human love -

So faithful, so constant. So loving and so true, so powerful in all You do -
You fill me, You see me, You know my every move, and You love for me to sing to you.

I know that You are for me, I know that You are for me,
I know that You will never forsake me in my weakness.
I know that You have come now, even if to write upon my heart,
to remind me of who You are.

Come and remind me, come and remind me,
Come and remind me
of who You are

Thought I'd have the strength not to cry today

Once upon a time there was this someone who would text me every morning with 'Good morning baby <3'. Every day, he'd come from his school in Bishan down to my school in Redhill to pick me up, and we'd go to random places and then he'd take the train with me all the way to Jurong, take the lift with me up to my floor and then go all the way back to Bishan again and reach home late at night. On days I had Dance practice after school, he'd come and see me during the one hour I had free after class ended; I'd see him waiting for me outside my school and we'd go to the park nearby and he'd bring me food he'd cooked in a tupperware and a bottle of green tea and I'd feel loved. On days I was sick he'd come all the way from Bishan to Jurong to spend a few hours with me in my room and watch me sleep. I remember one day I had cramps and he came with Panadol and sat at the edge of my bed and cried while I slept.

People mocked us a lot; our relationship was food for gossip, for slander. But we didn't care.

Even friends have the common sense to know that something like that shouldn't affect a friendship, let alone feelings that are supposed to run much deeper. I've had enough of all this, of pouring out so much out of my heart for you only to have you absorb it all without giving much in return. I get these occasional teaspoonfuls of sugar. Sugar, yes, but teaspoonfuls. I pour out my heart.

I don't know what shaky ground you built your idea of love (or like) upon, but I should have realised. I should have realised. I give it all to you so easily. Unprotected, raw. All you have to do is develop a bit of non-serious feelings, two short weeks, and I'm helplessly yours again. All you have to do is want me to get me, because I'm hopelessly weak. And then whenever something comes that hurts you, whether it has to do with me or not, you take it all back, draw it all back. I have, I have revealed some things about me that hurt you a lot, because you realise I'm not the girl you thought you knew, and you don't know how much I regret the things I did before, it's just that things are different now and I had to let you know anyway. But while you're hurting and you withdraw yourself from me, you still know I'm there, with my stupid tears and apologies. But I don't have that kind of security because you take it all away when you leave.

You can't expect me to attach and detach myself at will. I'm not a machine you turn on and off whenever you want. With things like love, life isn't just about yourself anymore. Love - or like, of any kind, is a unity of souls,. The questions you ask me, I'm afraid to ask in return - I'm afraid of your answers, I don't even have enough hope of a positive answer to ask them. I'm afraid of your silence, your careful deliberation, an uncertain or negative response. I'm so insecure because you don't give me the reassurance I need so badly. You said you need proof. And I said proof? while you're smiling with your pals I'm crying in my seat and looking back at you every three minutes. every second of the fifteen minutes you take to reply each text, I'm staring at my phone waiting. how much proof do you want? I need proof too.

I know you need to get away from this and I'm okay with that. But I need you to realise that when it comes to things like this, there's one more person you have to take into consideration. I have feelings too, and I hope one day I'll become a part of you, because your life isn't just about you anymore. Things aren't just about you anymore. Love doesn't work this way.

You're just lucky I'm so weak, weak enough to let you take my heart and drop it again and again and again, fifteen months and you still haven't stopped dropping it. One day I'll have the strength to say this is enough. One day I'll be stronger, one day I won't be a desperate running dog.

I'm not going to be a desperate dog this time, I hope. I'll try, very hard, not to come crying and running again. I'm not going to let you have the privilege of having me be so dependent on you - or have the privilege of seeing that dependence and rejecting it, anyway. Try. Try to hold me again, try to break this wall I'm trying to build up around my heart, try to break it with a tender word and I'll scream. I'll scream and cry and turn away, but I know I'll be waiting for you to say you're sorry and hold me closer and tell me you're not going to let go.

But of course I'm dreaming. You'll never do that.

I don't know what shaky ground you're building your feelings upon, but it's not working. I can't live like this. But I'm not going to be a desperate running dog anymore. I'll try very very hard and get some friggin' self-respect.

Claire: You're the reason she's up there right now! You have no idea what she needs. You don't know her! She's my sister. You mathematicians: You don't think. You don't know what you're doing. You stagger around creating these catastrophes and it's people like me who end up flying in to clear them up.
(Proof, David Auburn)

A friend of mine has been helping to heal the heart you've been crushing, slowly, slowly. It's unfair that all along - for the longest time - you tear my heart apart more than you mend it, and it's my friends who do the sewing - a slow process that requires so much attention and care.

He happened to mention JK Rowling, and I told him that JK Rowling was from Exeter, but really, my ultimate dream - faraway, childlike, like my ambition of being an astronaut when I was in primary school - was to be like Jodi Picoult. And I realised you don't know all this, because you never asked.

Four days before the Prelims you started giving me drugs. Horrifying things but the colour of purity, and they're really, really destructive, but they make a person really, really happy, although there's the drying of the mouth, the occasional shrivelling up of the soul into darkness before you inject the stuff into my blood again.
Now fifty days before the A's you do away with the drugs and bring the knife out. It's a faster way to kill.

No. I'm going to be stronger than this.

(Wow, an extended metaphor. I'm on my way to using conceits hahaha)

Sep 21, 2011

you don't know the power that you have

Only the moon's watching as he kisses her. His hands run down her back, she nibbles at his ear, he whispers sweet things in hers: why're you so cute huh, why're you so cute
She buries her face in his chest, the music of his heartbeat's all she needs. He presses her head closer to imprint the scent of her shampoo on his shirt.
She feels so lucky. She forgets their daytime tension, the hesitant words that come in sputters, all the uncertainties, wondering what he's keeping to himself when he doesn't say he loves her back. Maybe this is the end of all that unnecessary tumult called insecurity. She knows he needs her too. She hugs him tighter. She knows, and with that knowledge things are going to be okay.

A day and a night later and she's waiting. Waiting.

She realises things haven't changed. Why should they?

She's sick of this roller coaster - it's been a year of his roller coasters and it's about time the carriage stopped making sudden horrible drops ever so often. When the carriage slowed to a halt she thought she'd finally be able to hop off, but it suddenly jerked alive again, going up, up, up, up
so high she nearly forgot that the down always follows

Sep 18, 2011

I reach forward slowly; how you would reach cautiously to a snake – except she is not dangerous, just broken

Even as I sit here, contrite and waiting, you do not come. I wonder why I seem to hear, within every heartbeat, your footfalls on the carpet, the door creaking open. I don’t dare to look up because I know my imagination is playing tricks on me, so when you finally come to me I am shaking and have almost given up hope.

You cradle my face in your hands and my heart runs a marathon. You whisper my name. I melt into your arms, thinking all the while of how insecure I feel – and if it is really supposed to be this way. I wonder if you know that hours before, someone else called me on the phone and asked me why I am still with you. I want to tell you this to illicit a response from you – I want you to be jealous, but your lips ghost over my skin and all thought is lost.

You kiss me softly and gently and I wonder if love is supposed to be careful – so cautious – or raw and uninhibited. As though I have conjured that notion into your mind as well, you draw me closer and your touches border on brutal – fuelled, I suppose, by passion and – I hope – love.

Your eyes dance alight with something akin to fury and my heart beats faster – I am not sure if I am scared or if this is just because of passion again. I cling to you tighter, tighter, and you fill me and take from me. Why does it not feel like you are giving?

I give myself to you and arch into you; this is a ballet of submission and of giving. Your teeth against my neck and then sinking into the skin covering my clavicles, your body pressed against mine, slick fire a line between us that we cannot quite cross – is this your fault or mine?

When you’ve been satiated you lie beside me and your breathing evens to slow, soft puffs that completely contrast the ragged, desperate breaths you made earlier. Silent, I start to cry. There is a distance between us now that is almost tangible. The sheet starts to itch beneath my bare skin and I turn, afraid to wake you even as I press myself against your back. You stir in your sleep and move away, murmuring something I cannot quite hear – or do not want to hear.

Terrified by this separation, I curl into myself and start to weep, pressing a corner of the sheet into my mouth because I am afraid that you will hear. I do not want you to think I am unhappy with you. I do not know if I am.


“Hey,” he whispers, his voice curling into my ear like a smoke signal.

I jump at the sound, as though you have caught me red-handed, doing something I should not be even thinking of.

“Hi,” I greet anxiously, but I don’t know why – I am not expecting you to come around the door any moment. You have been gone for days. You talk to girls as easily as I would, and it seems to me that the distance between us is a bridge on fire.

“How have you been?” He asks gently, touching my arm. There is a warmth that spreads, comforting and reassuring. It makes me think of a glow that will light you up from the inside. I nod tersely, still tense. He smiles back at me, loose and casual – the kind of smile that makes me feel at ease at once. I smile back.

You come then, and I do not have to turn around to know that it is you. The way the room is suddenly charged with energy, and the way everything bristles around you – that is how I know. I do not have to speak to you, either, to know what you want.

I follow you out silently, and you take me back to my house where you take me again. I am crying the whole time, and I do not know if you are aware.

I do not feel beautiful.

You say I belong to you, but if that is supposed to make one feel warm and fuzzy – there is none of that. All I feel is insecurity, inferiority, and the beginnings of a hurt that just will not go away.

Jollin, the twin I never had, she's the most talented writer I know. No one else's prose makes me cry. All the time. My aim is to be like that someday.

Sep 15, 2011

a nine-year-old girl who's kidnapped,

her hands tied behind her back, knees and ankles bound, a tape over her mouth. The man removes her blindfold so she gets to see him stab her mother. A knife in her abdomen. Out. Clean. Her eyes are still open when she slumps to the floor. She could simply be in a daze, if you ignore the pool of red growing on her white dress.

Mummy. She screams. All she wants to do is run up to mummy, stop the blood, hug her tight, nudge her, maybe she'll wake up. She screams, but it's muffled by the tape, it hardly does her heart any justice. Her body yearns to tear open, tear open, to expose the flesh and heart. But she's bound. This rope holds her body together but her soul falls apart. Her body is no longer a part of her. It's a prison. She's wailing inside this prison, pounding at its concrete walls. Her shackled body is a confine, her soul struggles to burst out. She just witnessed a man stab her mother. She can't even scream.

(That must be how it feels like to be paralysed, too. Just saying.)

Sep 14, 2011

A kiss speaks more than words can express

so if you've got too much to say, remember to relax: the hearer needs to breathe too

how many mistakes does it take to learn

Some things are beautiful when they come at the right time.
When they come at the wrong time things can fall apart.

like a repeat of my birthday, only now the stakes are far too high
i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry

don't let this fall apart

Sep 7, 2011

"do i really make you that happy?"

"Would it be okay if he came over for the day?"

But of course your mum would never allow that. She wouldn't even allow your tutor to come over if no one else is home, let alone your boyfriend. You know that nothing close to what your mum fears will ever happen, really. You've only barely hugged him once. He's a shy guy, and you're a shy girl, and all you're seeking is a sanctuary -

Some couples, they're okay with all that PDA, but the both of you just aren't like that. To people like you and him, the air is acid, the eyes that pass you by are daggers. The walls have ears that distort and echo, you've come to learn in your painful preteen years. Now all the two of you are seeking is a refuge, an escape from the scary outside world where you can be free. The closest you can get to this sanctuary? A musky stairway, the back seat of an empty bus, a lonely park at night, where he dares to hold your hand, touch your face, where you whisper i-love-yous that no one else will hear.

All you want is a place where the both of you can feel free. You want to show him around your place and the bed in which you lie every night to think about him. You want to show him your childhood photos and the diaries you kept in primary school, and maybe have a little fun cooking. You want to be able to talk openly about feelings without having to whisper, or having to check if anyone else might be around. You want to feel like it isn't wrong for you and him to be in love.

You have every right to feel so.

Held back, by all these restrictions you impose on yourselves. You imagine an enemy and end up suffocating yourselves. So because mum will never let him in, on his birthday the two of you look up some budget hotel, the kind that reeks of one-night stands, because a sixty-dollar room's all a couple of kids can afford. And five beautiful hours the two of you sit at the edge of the bed and talk and laugh and look into each other's eyes without having to worry about anyone else noticing. You walk out to the balcony, boldly hand-in-hand in bright daylight for the first time, and for the first time he says it out loud, those three words, for the first time it's more than a shy whisper. Here you find your sanctuary. Here you're free.

Five hours later the sheets remain creaseless, the bed untouched. Maybe they would have charged less if you told them all you wanted was a room with a bench. You walk through the glass doors onto the street, back into the big world. The calm of the evening air. For the first time he dares to hold your hand in the open. Maybe he's learning to let go of unnecessary mind-barriers and love like he wants to. There's nothing wrong with it, is there?

And a step too early, a wrong turn of the head; you see a pair of dagger eyes staring, a hand covering a mouth that's waiting to spill over with gossip. I just saw them walking hand in hand out of that sixty-dollar hotel.

Nobody will believe you.

Sep 4, 2011

2am and I'm watching Rachel Berry sing

Oh my man I love him so; he'll never know
All my life is just despair
but I don't care
when he takes me in his arms, the world is bright, all right

What's the difference if I say
I'll go away
when I know I'll come back on my knees someday
Oh whatever my man is, I am his forever more

It cost me a lot but that's the one thing that I've got; it's my man
Cold and wet, tired you bet, but all that I soon forget
with my man

He's not much for looks and no hero out of books;
he's my man
Two or three girls had he, that he liked as well as me, but I love him

Oh my man I love him so
he'll never know
all my life is just despair; but I don't care.
When he takes me in his arms, the world is bright
all right

What's the difference if I say I'll go away when I know I'll come back on my knees someday
Oh whatever my man is, I am his forever more

My Man (Billie Holiday)

"I like the way you dream so big. I don't know how to do that. You look so pretty tonight. Rachel, I have something to say to you -"

AWWWWW FINN :(((((((((((

I think I'm gonna stay up watching all the Glee episodes, crap. FINN :((((

when the rain washes you clean you'll know

"You're the hottest girl in the school and I...[have] legs that don't work. This shouldn't be happening, not because I'm on a wheelchair but because I'm obsessed with Angry Birds and my mum cuts my hair."
"I like your haircut."
"It's hard for me to believe that this is real. If I know that you spent even a little time sharing yourself with someone else, then there's one other person in your life that can provide for you things that I'm supposed to provide. That's just too much for me to take."

Every person's circumstances are different but these emotions, these emotions are the same.
These insecurities are universal. On both sides, hers and his.

And there's one more thing that you've got, whether you want it or not. You've got me. It's not up to you, or me either, really. I would help it if I could. I'd have said no, walked away, hold back tears and praise my strength if I could. But I don't have that kind of strength.

Yes you do.

I don't. You don't know me. You have no idea.

At church, the incident was a cloud growing in my head and I couldn't get rid of it. Revolting. Asked for His forgiveness. Asked for cleansing. To be clean. For His snow-white rain to wash over my blood-red slate. Then I realised it was I who couldn't let go of it. Then I realised it was you.

He's written it off, forgiven me, forgotten about it like He said He would.

Hope one day you'll find the strength to too

and I wish you could read my mind just to realise what I don't know how else to prove

Sep 1, 2011

remedy for heartache

at assembly
at the bleachers
let the tears flow
break down when you try to say something
cry all you can
until you've no more strength in your wrenching heart to squeeze out those drops of fire

then wash them away
(the fire, the pain)
decide that
if he isn't crying for you you shan't cry too
get some dignity get some self-love
and quit acting like a desperate shameless dog

clean up the mess

retie your hair
change into a nice new oversized comfy top that reads 'I <3 ME'
be so, so grateful for the sister you never had
who helps you dry your tears
and forgoes a free lunch for you

go shopping for a birthday gift with your pals
be thankful, again, that she reminds you to be happy

get some time alone
call up a smurf and say
'i wanna go somewhere and lie down in grass and not say a word
and forget about everything'

so while you're waiting half an hour
go get some fresh air and call up the chinaman and talk about nothing, everything
and repeat the phrase 'life is good' until you start believing it

then spot the short smurf in his untucked tee
let him insist on carrying your bag for you
walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk in the darn hot sun
to nowhere. tire yourself out
cross a road, a bridge, take the longest detour to a
turn on some music and don't say a word and let your mind go blank
the person lying on the bench on the other end of the hut, he's guarding your thoughts
because even in silence, a friend's company is all the assurance you need

when the weather is cooler, go to that pretty grass patch like you wanted to
it's a beautiful day, the clouds so pretty, the sky so blue
get a full view of the sunset right in front of you

unfortunately, you don't get to witness the brilliance of the sunset when
the sun hides behind impenetrable dark clouds -
a reminder: happiness can't come into your life
when you envelop it with darkness

talk about kindergarten and crying as a child
to take your mind off the troubles of teenagehood
on the way home, alone, drown yourself in party rock anthem & just dance
drown yourself in the beats, can't think about anything else

go home and
let the morning tears translate into midnight words
and sleep as soon as possible

and be so thankful for the Council and every single person you've met there

and take comfort
in the knowledge
of written, but never spoken, words of a few days ago

and hope they still hold true