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