At First Sight

Sitting on a table for two just beside the cafe’s window was a guy.

I didn’t know him yet, I couldn’t stop staring at him, he had glanced at me a few times as is asking me, “Are you looking at me?” or perhaps with his eyes squinting to small lines behind his black rimmed glasses.

I was of course behind the counter serving up drinks and coffee for the customers and other regulars who frequent the cafe. I steal a glance at him a few times and noticed that he had the habit of blowing air to his short fringe in frustration to the book he was reading, one moment I even caught him staring out the window and I felt like he was looking at a certain point trying to figure out how things worked.

Finally, getting the courage to leave the counter and bus some tables, I came up to him and notice and Arabic tattoo on his lower right thumb, he kept on rubbing it with his left thumb while holding his mug of strong black coffee which had been his usual for the past couple of days.

He straightened up on his chair when I approached holding the refill of coffee, “Would you like more coffee, sir?” I asked trying to make eye contact but I sensed his tensed poise, he looked at the tattoo and rubbed it again and blew out his fringe as if to say that he was tried of the way he act when people come up to him.

He said yes to the coffee and I went back to cleaning tables and I noticed that he was writing rather fast on his black moleskin, he had this frustrated look on his face and his eyebrows arched in such a way that it may seem that he was very angry, I stood there watching him write on his notebook and more often than not touch the tattoo on the lower part of his thumb.

After awhile, he might’ve felt that he was being watched and caught my eye, I tried to smile at him and he responded with a curt nod and a small smile, he then approached me and handed me a note which he slowly tore from his moleskin notebook. He placed the folded paper in my hands and looked me straight in the eye and he managed a small smile, he let go of the paper and rubbed the tattoo, he looked back at the table and then turned his back on me and walked out of the cafe.

I opened the paper and it was a poem clearly written in a hurry but was well thought of,

Looking from the outside in

I can never be the man you need

I wish that your glances may save me

But only I can save myself

I didn’t know what to make of what he wrote, but one thing is for sure. He got me curious and intrigued.

Walk, Talk, and Think

She talks, walks and think.

Not looking back on anything she passes through, she talks, walks and think.

Talks to herself about the things that have been happening, having an internal dialogue with her inner self that is not new to her but is new to the world and she is nervous.

Walks through the city with no destination in mind just her two feet going forward in the direction that they head her to. She might’ve preferred to drive but she didn’t have a car or a driver’s licence for that matter.

Thinks, she thinks of the things that had happened in the last couple of years, how her life was turned inside out by people she thought she could trust whole heartedly but came it came to a point where she couldn’t even trust herself with anything.

She thinks about her past, present, and future. How she was back then, how she is now and how she will be.

She’s confused and lonely, sad and alone, depressed and deprived of the explanation she knows she deserved.

She cries all of a sudden in the middle of the street, “Why the hell is this happening to me?”, as if waiting for someone to say something or some sign to fall to ground and answer her whims.

She talks, walks and think.

She knew that who she had become was a long way from the person she was before. She was different now, more cautious and scared. Because of the scars that were left on her life, the scars that are permanently etched on her skin, the scars that reminded her of how from the top she fell and no one was there to catch her, even the person she thought would catch her.

You can never know anyone fully even yourself, so you talk, walk and think.

Everyday.

Every night.

Every single second.

Walk.

Talk.

Think.

Death by Falling

Death by falling.

It would be so amazing to die of falling in love but this death is not about love, it is about loss.

Loss, in a sense that you just lost the ability to have emotions and the drive to go on.

I am Alice, who fell in the hole and discovered a new world, but instead of seeing possibilities and weird happiness, what I saw was darkness and negativity that swallowed me from head to toe.

Pushing away everything that was near and dear to me.

Pushing away every opportunity to be better.

That day, I didn’t lose anybody but myself.

Everybody dies. John Green said in The Fault In Our Stars that “the world is not a wish granting factory”

Indeed it is not because we choose the people we spend our lives with but we don’t choose the time that they get to leave us.

I always say that my brain left for vacation and took my personality with it.

Do I still lack that personality or am I just me?

Trick Questions and Guilt Trips

I’ve been wondering about “what ifs” and “maybes’

Wondering if they ever make sense or they just fuck me up more

Like the sun getting frisky with the moon

Or the stars being used as a metaphor for my sparkling eyes

 

I used to be happy and content with what I had

But seeing as how I manage to give myself crap over the littlest of things

Cry when I least expect it

Will I ever be whole again?

Or am I just going to be broken the whole time

But can manage to function like a normal person

 

I am not who I used to be

Tricking myself into hurting myself

Feeling guilty of the mistakes in the past that should be buried

I was never whole to begin with

I am just more broken now than I was when I was younger

 

What if I give myself a chance this time?

Maybe I can get back to being happy?

What if I do something out of the ordinary?

Maybe I can shock myself into being adventurous.

 

Telling me not to be scared is the understatement of the year

Because trick questions and guilt trips are my thing

 

We Can’t Turn Back Time

“Wake up every morning and tell yourself that you’re a badass bitch from hell and that no one can fuck with you and then don’t let anybody fuck with you.”

Three years have gone and I feel like I’ve moved on. If I were to be that same eighteen year old girl who cried and cried and then got depressed because she got screwed over by her friends and boyfriend now, I wouldn’t be able to last a day.

I’m still me, I’m still going through the painful process that is called moving on, but I’ve gotten better. It doesn’t have to better in just a snap of a finger but starting over is a long and also painful process to be able to know that the time you got with people before will never be the same in the present.

I sit here, writing and thinking about how I’ve changed over the last few years. I still have panic attacks and anxiety but they don’t control me anymore.

I told myself that I will never change for anyone as long as I don’t step on anyone.

“Aly.” Luke, my boyfriend kissed the top of my head and I smiled at him, the sun touching my skin and it felt warm.

“Hey, hun. How are you?” I asked him and closed my notebook and took a sip of my caramel macchiatto.

“I missed you.” He laid back on the chair and soaked in the summer sun.

“You’re so clingy!” I threw a crumpled tissue paper at him and it landed on the side of the table and laughed.

He smiled at me. It’s been a year since we met and our relationship have been a big help in my recovery. He was there when I fell apart and brokedown and held me a number of time when bursts of panic and anxiety have bothered me, be it about school or just memories and triggers.

“I ran into Jenna last week.” He eyed me seriously, looking for signs of anxiety or something. “She asked about you.” he continued.

“Hmm…”

“She said she wanted to contact you and talk about things.” he said, his eyes full of concern and right then I realized that I could never find anybody else to love me like he does.

“Really?” I asked sarcastically, he laughed and touched my right hand that was resting on the red moleskin notebook I closed.

“It’s been three years, Aleisha. I think this will so you good to fully recover from what happened and move on.” he thumbed my knuckles and I made a face at him.

“Game.” I smiled at him genuinely.

 

I was to meet Jenna in the very same cafe that we met in years ago and I was there early. I was anxious and nervous and everything that could trigger and attack was present but I needed to be calm and Luke has been texting me non stop consoling me and calming me down. He even sent a voice note singing my favorite song to calm my nerves.

I ordered Chamomile Tea, because coffee can make me a jitterry bitch.

I was reading a paper for university when she approached me, I didn’t even noticed her enter the cafe.

“Hi, Aly.” Jenna greeted me nervously. I went right back to the time when we first met and instantly clicked because out personalities and our sarcasm. We were just in the same wavelength that we became close fast.

She sat down, hesitant to speak so I spoke first.

“How are you?” I asked, but in my head, my inner bitch was having a raging fit of anger and wanted me to be the bitch I was itching to be for three whole years.

“I’m fine. How are you?” she asked with a little smile.

“I’m good, doing better than I did three years ago.” I couldn’t help myself.

“I’m so sorry about what happened.” she looked genuinely hurt, like she had the balls to be hurt from what she did but I needed to be the bigger person because I know myself better and I’m stonger.

“I know.”

“I heard that you’ve been back in university and shifted to another program.” she informed me hesitantly, Luke told her, I knew it. He really wanted us to be okay.

“Yeah, I came back. I can’t really stay hidden under a rock and cry. That’s just not me.” I told her with a deadpan voice. I looked outside and saw Luke’s car pass by. I look back at her and kind of felt a pang of guilt when I said that, but snapped out it when I remember what she did to me.

We sat there quietly for a moment and my mind went back to the time when we started hanging out in this very cafe to study and talk about university and our lives that one day we’ll be opening a shop just like this, but time is irreversible and things that happened in the past can never can change the plans that people had back then and might never come true.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/writing-challenge-time-machine/

Leap of Faith

It was the last day of auditions I still wasn’t sure if I was going to join the production or not. I’ve weighed out the pros and cons of this decision and I can still be a part of the production behind the scenes since I’m part of the organization that’s hosting the play but I want to perform so bad I practiced three weeks before the said audition. I’m so scared of this thing because it’s my favorite musical and my best friend is the director.

A part of me doesn’t want to audition because he doesn’t know that I want the lead role so bad. He knows that my dream role is to play Natalie Goodman in a production of Next to Normal even if it’s just in the university. She wants it so bad because in a way she is Natalie and some ways she is also Gabe.

“Chels!” someone behind me screamed and I turned to see Jules running towards me, he’s directing the play.

“Hey.” I tried to act normal, as if I can do that.

“Hey, where are you going? Aren’t your classes that way?” he asked pointing to the other direction.

“Yeah, but my professor texted the class rep that she won’t be having the lecture and rescheduled it next week, so I might hang out in the org office for a while then go home. Why?”

“I was wondering why you aren’t auditioning for Natalie?” he asked eyeing me suspiciously.

“Nothing. I just have a load of things to do and a paper due next week but I’d be helping with the production team, I’m one of the production heads remember?” I poked him.

“In that case, Ms. Production head for something, come with me to the auditions. I need your opinion with the auditionees because you know Natalie’s character inside out.” He smirked and dragged me to the auditorium.

For the past two hours I watched audition after audition for the cast and chorus. I know that Jules is looking for that right amount of crazy to play cast and the right amount of normal for the chorus. This show is going to be fabulous!

The door opened and a girl introduced herself as Aimee, she was auditioning for the role of Natalie. She looked studious and in my judgmental brain, kind of weirdly nerdy with a small voice and glasses.

“Hi, you can start with the song from the play. Any song.” Jules smiled at her.

“Uhh. I’m going to sing Super Boy and the Invisible Girl, if that’s okay.” She said quietly.

How can this girl play Natalie if her speaking voice is so quiet? Natalie’s supposed to be paranoid and cynical and stuff. I didn’t like this girl because she kind of looked like Jules’ peg for Natalie. I doodled on the paper he gave me to write comments about the auditions.

She started sing the first verse and to my surprise, she had an amazing voice and it scared the hell out of me. I was so scared that I watched her with eyes bulged and I felt that the shock on my face concerned Jules because he stopped the singing girl and touch my arm. I turned to him.

“Are you okay, Chelsea?” he asked still holding my arm.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I need to take a break; I’ll call Ashton to stay here with you. I’ll come back in a few minutes.” I told him as I gathered myself from the floor.

“Okay.” He said as I stood up and left the auditorium.

I went to the quad to clear my head of my negativity and bitchiness and the apparent shock that I felt a few seconds ago. I put on my earphones and started playing music. I shuffled my songs and Superboy and the Invisible Girl played.

I was singing along to the song when I felt someone sat beside but I didn’t look at him or her because I was still clearing my head.

“You know, you could be Natalie.” It was guy’s voice. I had to take off my earphone to look at him and tell him to beat it. I was that shocked.

“Excuse me?” I asked him. It was Jules, I eyed him menacingly and he knows why I did that.

“You can be Natalie if you want.” He smiled at me smugly and looked at the students playing Frisbee.

“Why are you out here? There are still people waiting to audition.” I pointed at the auditorium.

“I’m dragging you in there and you’re going to audition for Natalie.” He turned to me seriously.

“What the hell are you talking about? You’re my best friend and everyone will think that the auditions got rigged because I got Natalie.” I screamed at him, my arms flailing and landing on his shoulders.

“That’s why you are not going to audition to me.” He said trying to hold his laugh because I became a screaming loony in his presence.

“Wait, what?” I asked cautiously.

“Mr. Galvez is going to be the one watching you audition.” He smiled.

“Why are you telling me this now?” I raised my voice.

“Because I know you are prepared and I already have a Gabe and he agreed to sing Superboy with you.” He replied.

“I hate you so much.” I looked away.

“I know you do, now let’s go back to the auditorium. They’re already there.” He yanked me out of the bench and dragged me back to the auditorium.

“I can’t do this, Jules. You know how I always screw up an audition that’s why I prefer the chaos of the backstage. I’m so scared.” I pulled the back of his shirt before he opened the door.

“You can do this. This is your dream role remember? Remember when you passed the chance to audition for Mimi in the adaptation of RENT two years ago?” he was holding my shoulders because I was beginning to shake.

I did remember that time I wanted to be Mimi in the play but I chickened out and said yes to the stage manager gig. I did perform Out Tonight but I was a back up dancer not Mimi. Before I could even respond to him, he pushed the door opened and everyone’s head turned to us expectantly.

“She’s here don’t worry. You won’t be disappointed.” He said out loud.

He pushed me on stage and handed me a script.

“What am I going to do with this?” I whispered to him.

“Francis? Come here, man.” He called Francis on stage. I hate him right now. Francis is my crush in one of my classes.

“Francis here is going to be our Gabe.” He presented Francis to the small audience consisting of Mr. Galvez and the other production heads. I so hate him right now. I don’t even know if he knows that I have a crush on Francis.

The confusion on my face must be apparent because Jules leaned over to me and said, “I know you like him, but be professional and act like he is your brother because I want you to play Natalie.

“Now you are going to sing Superboy and the Invisible girl, Chelsea. Okay? The whole song with Francis.” He smiled at me and I knew that there was a vicious meaning behind that stupid smirk.

I took a deep breath and started sing the first line “Superboy and the invisible girl, son of steel and daughter of air/ he’s a hero a lover a prince she’s not there/ Superboy and the invisible girl, everything a kid ought to be/ he’s immortal forever alive then there’s me.”

I exhaled and looked at Francis who was smiling triumphantly beside me and at Jules who was sitting beside Mr. Galvez whispering about something. In the corner of my eye I saw Ellie doing thumbs up and a smile was plastered on her face from ear to ear.

“Okay, Chelsea. Thanks. We’ll contact you soon if you got in or not. Thanks.” He said, with no emotion in his voice. I knew I shouldn’t have agreed on auditioning. Jules is such a manipulative jerk; I don’t know why he is my best friend.

I went home that day feeling mentally and physically exhausted. I needed to finish my paper for a major class tomorrow and all I was thinking about was the stupid production! I’m so uncomfortable because I didn’t know what to expect and I don’t think that they’d be getting me, because clearly that Aimee girl was a better fit for Natalie’s character but what the hell, I already took the leap of death and my afterlife is in Mr. Galvez’s hands or Jules’.

Jules texted me a week after that the audition results will be announced during the General Assembly of the production and obviously, I need to be there because I was on the production team.

The day of the General Assembly, I was so anxious about the results and other things because I will be hosting the assembly and I didn’t even know who got the other parts except for Francis who got the role of Gabe.

As I was announcing who got Diana, Dan and Gabe’s roles, I was cautiously looking at Jules to get an idea whether I got it or not. When they clicked on the next slide, I thought it was the revelation of who got Natalie but to my surprise it was the list of chorus members and I was reeling with nervousness and anxiety. Jules stood up and borrowed the mic from me to announce who Natalie was; I scanned the room and saw Aimee there. “Oh my god, she’s going to get freakin’ Natalie, her name wasn’t on the list of chorus members so that’s why she was here.” I thought to myself.

“Chelsea Gomez!” Jules said into the microphone and turned toward my confused face.

“What?” I asked not having the slightest clue as to what was going on.

“You got Natalie, you freak.” He whispered in my ear and hugged me. “Congrats” he said.

Everyone applauded and cheered for me. I was still speechless when he handed me the mic to say a something.

“Okay, apparently, my best friend did something for me to get this part —“

“No, he didn’t have anything to do with it. He actually made us watch a video of you singing Natalie’s song in your bedroom yesterday that’s why we chose you as Natalie, it was not Jules. It was everybody who’s part of this production.” Mr. Galvez cut me off before I finished my sentence.

“You filmed me while I was in my room?!” I stared daggers into Jules’ eyes.

“You didn’t even notice me and that audition yesterday was just a formality so you can play the part. Aaaaaand Aimee will be your understudy.” He said proudly.

That happened two years ago and the clincher of it all was that I didn’t get to play the part when it was shown in the university. I got sick and was not allowed to perform because of my condition. It sucks that I can’t do anything about it but I took the leap of faith and got the part even though I doubted myself, I still wanted to do it.

Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/daily-prompt-moon-walking/

I Hate You Very Much (A Valentine Story)

It’s Valentine’s today. I am standing outside his coffee shop thinking if I’ll bury myself in the morning rush of the coffee buyers with their cupholders and flowers and phones glued to their ears or if I’ll walk straight to work and avoid him. It’s been awhile since we’ve had the chance to talk.

I came to work and started writing an e-mail for him. I’m not exactly sure of what I wanted to say but I need to write them down for me to fully understand the wiring in my brain.

He texted me a few nights back asking if I was planning anything on Valentine’s, I said I’ll be working through it. It’s been very awkward between the two of us especially when we were out with friends and we kind of avoid each other.

A white rose fell on my lap while I was staring at my computer’s monitor. I just looked at it and thought of his face. I was wondering why I didn’t give him the manuscript earlier in the coffee shop. I was hesitant to do so because we were meeting anyway after work to eat dinner which we usually do on Fridays.

“I’m not sure if I can do this. I’m so scared I might break. I promised to give him the manuscript once I finished writing the whole story but I think I’ve gone too far with making it real.” I thought to myself while we were waiting for our table in the bustling restaurant. He was beside me, pushing buttons on his smartphone busying himself with work since we weren’t talking. I tried taking my brain out of my ass and say something coherent but my mind stayed there and on the manuscript burning a hole in my bag.

“You’re table’s ready.” The waitress told us and escorted us to a booth near a couple who was clearly having a small fight. I laughed a little to myself and you looked at me and I moved my head to the side pointing to the couple, you chuckled and helped me to my seat. I hope you don’t hate me when you read it.

“So, how’s the writing going?” You asked smiling and your laugh lines showed. You werelooking more mature by the hour.

“Oh, it’s going.” I fumbled inside my bag and thumbed through the pages. I wasn’t sure if I need to take it out right then and there or wait for later.

We ordered our food and we joked about us and our miserable love lives and how you confessed to me 10 years ago that same day.

“Oh my god! I completely forgot about that!” I laughed and found myself wanting to smack myself in the head when I remembered the singing telegram you sent me in college then confessing your feelings for me. I didn’t know what to do at that time so I laughed at you while  you were raising your eyebrows clearly confused as to why I was laughing.

“You should’ve seen your face when I stepped out behind that pink fluffy stuffed toy that I was holding. I thought you were going to throw your shoe bag at me!” You remebered it correctly. I was holding on to my stuff tightly not wanting to show any reaction to what was happening.

“That wasn’t fair of you though. I never thought that in a million years you were going to do that to me.” I said and smiled. You need to read the manuscript which I eyed longingly inside my bag.

“It was a surprise and your best friend connived with me to make everything the way that I wanted it to be.”  You said proudly, with your eyes squinting when you smiled at me and then took a bite of your dessert.

“You were lucky I didn’t punch because of that joke.” I told you smugly.

“It wasn’t a joke and you know it, Candice.” You said taking a drink of wine. I took mine and took a long swig of it thinking, “Oh, I know, Matt, believe me I know and it’s all written in that damned manuscript.” I put the wine glass down and wiped my mouth with the napkin. I smiled.

“I’m done with it.” I took the manuscript out and smoothed the cover with my hand and handed it to you.

“I know that you’ve been wanting to publish some of your stuff a long time ago but I didn’t realize that you needed me nagging on you for 5 years to finally give me a manuscript.” You held the book in your hand and leafed through the pages with your eyes quickly looking over the words.

“It took awhile to finish the story.” I told you quitely, smoothing the back of my hair.

“What’s it about?” You asked.

“Us.” I thought but instead I said, “Two people looking for something they thought they didn’t want.”

“Hmmm…” you hummed while reading the first few lines of the story.

“It was the day you gave me hope but it was also the day you broke my heart.

“Nice dedication, Cands. Where’d you get it?” You asked looking strangely at me with your right eyebrow raised, like you’re challenging me to tell you the story behind the dedication.

“It came here.” I tapped my head twice. “And here.” I put my hand over my chest and smiled blissfully remembering the reason why I started to write that book.

“Good.” You said flipping to the last page to find out how it ends but I reached out my hand and slapped it away from the page.

“Ow” you yelped and pulled back with shock registering on your face.

“You have to read through the whole story and no cheating!” I pointed at you.

We left the restaurant and you took me home. We were silent on the way back to my apartment and you asked if you should walk me up the door but I declined and hugged you and greeted you a happy valentine’s day and stepped out of the car and into the building.
I was sitting on my couch in my pajamas and hair in a messy bun watching A Walk To Remember when my phone buzzed, I looked at it and you were calling.

“What? You’re interrupting Jaime and Landon!” I snipped at you.

“Who?” You asked.

“Shane West amd Mandy Moore from A Walk To Remember, stupid.”

“Oh.” You said, finally getting why I was starting to get irritated.

“It’s about us.” you said deadpanned.

I froze.

“What about us, Matthew?” I asked dumbly.

“The book. It’s about us.”

“Wha–“

“Don’t worry. I didn’t skip to the ending I was only starting when I realized how much of a wuss I was ten years ago, trying to impress you and trying to be better for you but I realized I failed.” He paused and I held the phone tightly to my ears trying to stop the tears from coming down on my cheeks.

When I didn’t say anything, you continued, “I didn’t know how to treat you. I’ve known you from a far but we just started to get close that year and I was scared. I knew you were never sure of your feelings for me but I should’ve tried harder. Everyone was rooting for us the way we never did. We both thought it was a long shot, a relationship between two different minds and completely different personalities. But, I loved you.” A tear fell down my cheek while on the television screen Landon kissed Jaime for the first time. “And I still do.” You said.

You hanged up and I shut off the television and stared at the television screen with tears streaming down my face, when the doorbell rang and I jumped and cursed loudly. I quickly wiped my face with the back of my hand and jumped up and went to the intercom.

“Who’s there?” I sniffled a sob.

“It’s me. Buzz me in, it’s pouring like hell.” You chuckled.

“Shit.” I thought.

“Go away, Matthew. I can’t talk to you right now.” A sob escaped from my lips.

“Don’t cry, Candice. I need to talk to you now. Please, let me in.” I heard the strain in your voice and the noise of the rain in the background.

“Not now, Matthew.” I released the talk button and colapsed on the floor crying.

“I am not leaving your doorstep even if I get pnuemonia!” You screamed into the intercom. I was trying to hold myself and not let you in anymore because my heart won’t be able to take the pain the second time.

For a while it got quiet and when I knew that you were gone I went to the window and looked down at the pavement and saw that you weren’t there, I wiped my tears with my sweater and my hands.

I jumped at the sound of the knock on my door. I was scared because I knew you left and there was nobody else downstairs. I opened the door and saw you drenched from the rain.

“I love you.” You said. “Always have and always will.”

“I hate you.” I said and closed my eyes as tears escaped my lids down on my cheeks.

I felt you step towards me and envelope me in an embrace. “I know you do.”

“I really, really, really, fucking hate you, Matthew.” I said while holding on tightly to your wet jacket.

“I know you do.” You laughed and loosened the embrace and looked me straight into the eyes and said, “I know you really do.” And then you kissed me lightly on the lips.

“I love you, Candice. For the last ten years. I always have and always will love you, even if you say you hate me.” You whispered and hugged me tightly, never wanting to let me go and I never wanting to let you go ever again.