Tuesday, June 30. 2015
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Ghost of a Good Thing
There was a time when I was afraid of monsters under the bed and ghosts
in the dark. I remember the kites and the band-aids. I remember the good
and the bad; the nights spent crying in my mother’s lap‒ she was my everything.
Maybe one day I’ll go back and revisit all of the things
that I was, that I still am. Because underneath every new identity, there is a ghost
trying to break free from its chains, trying to do some good.
Some day, but not today. For now, I’ll have to be content with the empty chairs, a good
reminder of all the things, all the people I have lost. Memories fade, and some things
will never go back to the way they were before. Close my eyes so I can block out the ghosts.
Close my eyes so I can’t see that ghost of a good thing. Close my eyes so the ghosts never find me.
In the Lost and Found
In a corner of a classroom,
Where no one often looks,
Sit items lost or unwanted
Each with a story to divulge.
Once beloved by their owners,
These items wait patiently
In a dirty cardboard box
Labeled the Lost and Found.
A threadbare old gray sweater
Filled with rips and tears;
A thin purple jacket, brand new,
That had never been worn;
A single yellow running shoe,
Left by an aspiring athlete;
A baseball cap, once a young boy’s,
All in the Lost and Found.
A basketball, covered with dust,
That had been a birthday present;
A little red toy pick up truck,
Broken by clumsy hands;
A plastic headless Barbie doll
Once spoiled and petted with care;
A jump rope and a hula hoop
Ended up in the Lost and Found.
An old history textbook
That had passed from hand to hand;
A book just for extra reading
About a king and his handsome heir;
A green spiral math notebook
Full of answers to the test;
A folder with one’s English homework,
Now in the Lost and Found.
A yellow No.2 pencil,
Its tip broken and unsharpened;
Two small deformed erasers,
That had faithfully done their job;
A fancy 0.5 lead pencil
That had been shown off at one time
A box of colored pencils
Were seen in the Lost and Found
In the corner of the classroom,
These forgotten items wait
To be picked up by their owners
At the end of a long day.
Dumped carelessly, without a thought,
In a ragged cardboard box
They may remain forever
In the Lost and Found
Keep the Car Running
From the Journals of N. Felix
June 27, 2015
As far as I know, Dad has always planned to make me a doctor.
¨It’s a fine profession, son,¨ he used to always tell me. But I could tell what he was doing. He was trying to turn me into him. Let me just make it clear that I have nothing against doctors, so please don’t get offended if doctoring is your life’s ambition. I won’t hold that against you. There’s nothing wrong with being a doctor, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t make a doctor out of me.
It hasn’t exactly been a secret that I can’t stand the sight of blood. When we dissected a pig heart in the seventh grade, I was the only one who threw up all over the floor. The middle school has been making seventh graders dissect pig hearts for decades now, and so far I’m the only kid who has ever thrown up. Everyone thinks they’re going to throw up, but I’m the only one who actually did it.
Of course, when Dad had to pick me up early from school that day, he told me to ¨man up.¨ Typical Dad. ¨What kind of guy even keeps a journal?¨ he demanded when he saw me writing in this thing.
I had to remind him that the journal was Mom’s idea.
“Write down your thoughts,” she told me. “It’ll keep you from going crazy in this house.” She told me to hang in there and to remember that no matter what my father does or says to me, there is love underneath. Mom says that the stress from work makes him drink, and it’s the alcohol speaking, not him. Mom says that Dad’s just not good at expressing his love, but I know better. Even when he’s sober, I’ve never once seen Dad apologize for his actions.
Poor Mom. I’ve noticed that lately, all she does is cry. I overheard her telling her friend, Mrs. Cheng that she feels powerless in her own house. She told me once that she wanted to be a nurse when she was a little girl, but when I was born she became a home mom so that she could take care of me. So now, she’s stuck at home carrying out Dad’s biddings. She blames Dad for not letting her go to school when she had the chance.
Maybe I should have just kept that last tidbit to myself, but I couldn’t stop myself from confronting Dad about it.
His face turned the color of a tomato. “Shut your mouth kid, if you know what’s good for you.”
Dad thinks he gives the best advice in the world, but anyone who has ever heard him knows that he’s just kidding himself.
June 28, 2015
There’s this girl, Julie, who’s always at Starbucks in the mornings. Julie’s pretty enough, but everyone thinks she’s some kind of joke because she dropped out of college a few years ago, and rumor has it that she’s been living on the streets ever since. I was just sitting by myself in Starbucks today, when Julie just came up to me and went, ¨Weren’t you at that art show the other day?¨
I looked up in surprise. “You were there?”
Julie slid into the seat next to me. “Of course I was. You painted the Man in the Mask, right?”
They have a local art show every year at the community center. It’s the one thing I can look forward to. The colors turn an ordinary white canvas into something special, something worthwhile. And for once, I’m the one in control; I decide where the paint goes.
(I used to look forward to my birthday too, but that was before Dad started taking the punching thing seriously. You know, like how a ten year old gets ten punches and a fifteen year old gets fifteen punches? Except you’re not supposed to punch so hard that you injure the birthday boy or girl. Dad likes to ignore that rule. Nowadays, every time my birthday rolls around, I become Dad’s punching bag.)
Julie looked impressed. “You’re a really good artist. That man in the painting looked so determined, and yet there was sorrow at the same time.”
“Yeah.” I didn’t know what else to say. What could I say?
“Was that you?” she asked, catching me off guard.
“It’s a simple question. Were you the man in the mask?” Julie pressed on.
I couldn’t believe that I was having this conversation with the infamous Julie. I didn’t say anything.
Julie laughed. “Nevermind. Look, how old are you kid?”
“Seventeen,” I told her.
“So, I assume you’re applying to an art school?”
I shrugged. “No. My dad wants me to be a doctor.”
“What about you? Do you want to be a doctor?”
I regarded her strangely. “What kind of question is that?” Julie seemed to embody Socrates. Nearly everything she’d said to me so far was in the form of a question.
Julie shook her head. “Why are you wasting your time, kid? Why are you trying to make your father happy when you’re the one who has to live your life?”
“Why did you drop out of college?” I countered. I couldn’t stop myself from asking.
Julie calmly sipped her drink. “I knew you would ask me that. You see my friend, college is nothing but a place where everyone sits in a room trying to figure out what they’re going to do with their lives. I figured, why not do that in the real world, and without that expensive tuition fee, I might add.”
“So you gave up college for a life on the streets?” I blurted out.
I thought Julie would be offended, but instead, she laughed. “I can’t believe you actually believe that. No, I’m not homeless. I rent a room from a landlady down the street. I know it’s not the best life in the world. I know I’m lost. But at least I’m lost on my own terms.” She considered me for a moment. “I thought the painter of the Man in the Mask would be different. I thought he would have some interesting backstory. I’m really sorry. I don’t know why I thought you would understand me. You’re just like everyone else‒ trying to fit into clothes that are two sizes too small. I could never do that. I have to follow my own path. ”
I barely know her, and yet I’m disappointed that I let her down.
June 29, 2015
I’ve decided that there’s nothing left for me here anymore. Dad has officially crossed the line.
He knows I’m bad at math. I don’t know what he was expecting from me.
“Are you [stupid]?” he exploded when he saw my math grade. “How do you expect to become a doctor when you can’t even pass a high school math test?”
That was funny, because I don’t remember ever wanting to be a doctor. “No, I never wanted to be a doctor. You want me to be a doctor.”
Dad laughed. ¨You’re my son. I decide what you want to do, not you.¨
Then, he started spewing out things that I would rather not repeat, not even for this journal. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he turned to Mom.
“It’s because of you our son is [stupid],” he yelled as Mom cowered in the corner. “All you do is whine about your dream to become a nurse. I’d rather have you clean the house than suck up this family’s precious resources to go to school.”
There is something rotten brewing in this house, and if I don’t do anything about it, I’m going to go rotten with it.
I’m getting out of this place. I’m going to follow my own path. When I have enough money, I’ll come back for Mom. I’m getting both of us out of here.
Keep the car running.
Run until you’re out of gas.
Run until you can touch the stars.
Surfing on a Rocket
It is the year 2098. They are sending trained astronauts to explore the new black hole PX-15. This is the International Aeronautics and Space Administration’s largest discovery. They are hoping for an astronaut to go forward in time and see what happens in the future using the great powers of the black hole. Three of the best astronauts were chosen: Alastair Bellamy, Porter Gatsby, and me, Logan Twain. I was the youngest of the group, which meant I was the most agile. Which meant I was the one who would hopefully be ‘time-traveling.’ Hopefully.
On June 13th 2098, the day of the launch, I said my farewells to my beloved family and I drove silently to the launching base, saying my prayers and contemplating about the mission. There it was, the colossal white rocket. I parked my car and strolled to the launch base. Palms sweating, heart racing, I walk over to the other astronauts. They both look anxious and afraid. “Ready, boys?” asks the director of IASA. We nod our heads as we tread along the ramp leading to the entry way. “Get ready for countdown. Five…four… three… two… one… blast off!” The spaceship blasts into the vast galaxy of glittering stars. It’s such a picturesque scene as the moon is shooting it’s moonbeams. Oh, the sun! The sun was such an amazing sight. We drift towards our target: PX-15. It takes us approximately one year to reach the new discovery. We just hope we succeed this mission.
It is August 23rd 2099. We have been surviving on freeze-dried meals and recycled sweat water. As we zoom through the vast galaxy, I start to see a large black space cyclone. We had to be very cautious around the black hole. Since it was so dense, nothing could escape the black grasp, even light. I open the shuttle door as I step out into the glimmering space. I attach my tether to my spacesuit. Saying a quick little prayer, I hop out, slowly nearing what could be success or death.
As I near the black hole, my watch is going slower and slower. Though it felt like mere seconds to me, the astronauts on board were waiting a month on the spaceship. I did it! I really time-traveled! Caught up in my excitement, I did not notice how I’ve been drifting. Finally, I realized the dangerous situation I was in. I spoke into my walkie-talkie yelling, “SOS!” I could see the center of the black hole. I knew I was dead. I remembered all the great memories I had on Earth and my wonderful family. I felt a tug at my tether as I was dragged through the vast space back to the rocket ship. Luckily, I was at the point where you could get pulled back or ultimate death. I arrived at the door of the spaceship. I pulled the door to enter. It was jammed. Jammed. Now I was stuck outside of the shuttle without another way of entry. My tether had been caught in the door and had gotten stuck. I heard in my walkie-talkie, “ Here’s what you’re gonna have to do. Get on top of the rocket and hold on tight. We mean really tight.” I reply, “ Wish me luck, boys.” I hold onto a little handle on the cold surface of the rocket. The rocket slowly speeds up towards our final destination.
I stand up on the rocket. It was like I was surfing on invisible space wave. This whole trip has been an adventure of a lifetime. From a near-death experience to space surfing, I am so delighted I was chosen. From the walkie-talkie, I hear, “We’re gonna cut your tether, son.” I sit down as I hear the snap of the tether as it was broken. I’m free. I’m finally free.
I head into the shuttle as I ride back to Earth. We blast through the atmosphere and descend into the huge Gulf Coast near Florida. I see the beautiful turquoise water as we descend. Alastair says, “ We are home. We are finally home, boys.”
Stay Together for the Kids
Sarah and John, John and Sarah, they were happy once. Once upon a time, they loved each other, cared for each other, would do anything for each other. This was true love. And so they were married. Sarah and John were sure of this decision. This was the partner they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with. They understood each other and accepted one another despite the flaws each knew the other possessed. They would do anything for the other. They lived very happily until two years after their marriage, they were gifted with their first child.
He was a strong boy, and two years after him followed a smart girl. The parents were extremely proud of their children. They loved them dearly and cared for them more than anything else in the world, but when they looked inside themselves, they found that they were not happy. Both realized this, but kept his and her opinion from the other, fearing the other’s reaction. Neither Sarah nor John did not express their feelings lest the family break apart.
Sarah and John decided to keep their thoughts to themselves and the family lived on. But the feeling never left them. The overhanging guilt and shame that they were not fully satisfied always hovered in the back of their minds. It manifested itself in small things at first. Letting the other do the dishes alone. Refusing to take the trash out. Small, minute details that neither of them cared much for. But these small things led to small conflicts. John and Sarah would find themselves arguing about trivial things: what they had for dinner, when the other would turn off the lights and go to sleep, things that they never would have minded, things that they had once loved the other for.
Soon it became clear to both that neither was happy. But they had no reason not to be. Their children were smart, doing well in school, and healthy. The son was heading off to college soon and in two years the daughter would follow. The children were happy. The parents made sure of this. Then what was it in their lives they were wanting?
Years passed in this manner. The arguments got bigger and louder, but it was always about an insignificant subject that simply seemed so important at the time. Sarah and John refused to think about a divorce. After all, what would that do for the children? It would devastate them, and that was unthinkable for John and Sarah. The parents had to stay together, whether they liked it or not, to weave the illusion that nothing was wrong, that this was a perfect family. The kids would continue to study, fully believing the illusion fed to them.
The conflicts were subtly hidden, and in time, the daughter too moved away to college. John and Sarah were left at home alone. They kept up their deception, out of habit rather than anything else. But now, they had no more children to worry about. They had more time left for each other, and could no longer ignore or forget each other. So they took care of each other instead, as a replacement for their empty nest. In doing so, John and Sarah, Sarah and John, began to remember. It was slow, this remembering. They remembered the times past, when they loved each other. And gradually, they remembered why they loved each other. They remembered the small things they once treasured. In the absence of their children, they remembered how to love each other once again.
Diamond on a Landmine
Shimmering, glimmering, embedded in the soil
From a miner who really had to toil
A beautiful diamond, the prize
But it’s above a landmine
You feel the flawless surface
You know you deserve it
But it explodes in a flash
Your heart stops beating, your head is bashed.
Crystalline fragments rain
onto your dead remains
Your face is blood-stained
Your whole body is in pain.
There are many obstacles in life, it seems
You can’t always take the easy path
To get to your dreams
Just know that you can take the diamond in your life
There may be some bombs in your way
It might be a strife
But at the end of the tunnel, you’ll see the rays.
When It All Goes Wrong Again
Watch, double knotted shoelaces, hair tied back, hot weather, water, bib. I am all set for my first 5k. We waited for the gun to fire. It was dead silent, you could have heard a pin drop.
It was a cloudless, scorching Saturday afternoon at College of the Canyons. A fierce crowd gathered around the football field, hoping. Some hoped for new PRs. Some hoped for states. Others hoped for enjoyment. I hoped for achievement.
“Runners gather around. The first 5k is starting in a few,” a man in a black suit screeched from the distant.
I was nervous. Scared even. But I knew I had it in me.
I got into ready position.
The gun went off swiftly.
It took me a few curbs before I had spotted Coach Feraco. Seconds before I got to him, he had announced my first 1600 time, “6:50.” 6 minutes and 50 seconds???!! The corners of my lips curved up into an enormous smile. I was overjoyed with my time, that is until I got to the second mile. It was uphill. I was out of breath. A burning sensation filled up my throat. My legs are dead.
Oh, no. I did it again.
I had burned out my energy.
Now there’s only one solution left……...I sat down on the hill.
Walking on a Wire
The chill of the evening runs shivers down my spine as the wind whips between each strand of my inky hair. The dead silence thrills my nerves as adrenaline kicks in. I peer over the side of the skyscraper and observe the miles I stand above the ground. Tied around the edge rests a rusty coil attached from where I stand to another skyscraper, as it sways slowly with the brisk breeze. Sweat soaks my body as my hands tremble in fear and exhaustion. The stars decorate the gloomy sky with tiny dabs of hope. Hope that lies too far out of reach.
I see across, above, left, right, below, all around me, people. People from all different walks of life. Different ages, contrasting intelligence and experiences, various emotional stability, distinct personalities, peculiar lifestyles, diverse motives, altered genders and races, and individual beliefs.
All on the wire of life like me.
Balance must be maintained and controlled in order to survive. The wind can carry them away at any moment. One slight breath in the wrong direction will throw them off balance. The black empty pit down at the bottom welcomes all who fail.
Some fall, but catch hold of the wire. Holding on for their life, their fingers burning from friction. If they don’t find enough strength in time to pull themselves back up and above the coil, their fingers will rip off from the weight it can only hold for so long.
Some fall, but they hit and bounce off of another’s cable. This introduces the domino effect. These people bring others down with them. People tied together with trust, passion, love, and loyalty can not undo these knots fast enough. So they fall like a wave; ending their fate altogether. Ripples of death echo throughout each loss of balance.
Some fall on purpose. They lose motivation to survive. The bottom lures them in as if it will end all the pain, but it will only make it stronger. Jumping seems to them as escape. But what is down there? What is death? The mystery still lingers and people dive to find out.
Some fall and reach the bottom. They shriek for help as gravity pulls them in. Wailing for anyone who will offer a hand. But who could possibly lend a hand, when they are risking their own lives approaching death’s door? No one dares to listen to those cries. So they fall to the deep dark pits where hope flees and faith dissolves. They have nothing to lose anymore. Once they fall, climbing back up becomes a struggle.
Some do not fall, but stay in place. They hold perfect balance and position when the wind attacks. Full concentration on every movement they present. Yet, their feet are frozen to move any further or even back. They lack the courage and determination to fight against the current. Fear dashes in on their every blink, as they stand still on the wire, not wanting to both live or die.
Some reach the other side. These situations are rather rare, but not impossible. Their luck granted or their tactics succeeded. However, not all who successfully reach the end come in one piece. Many lose limbs along the journey. Cuts and bruises clothe them with layers of agony, but the excruciating pain do not stop or slow them down. Their determination is glorified at the end of the war.
I calmly breathe in the bloody atmosphere. My tense legs now hover behind the start of the coil. The wind gushes around me even stronger as I hear dozens of shrieks reaching the ground below. Fear crawls along my wire. I softly place my right foot on the start and wait patiently for the wind to subside. After a few moments, I lift my left foot above the ground onto the fragile thin wire.
The wind charges in. The battle begins.
The Truth About Heaven
I went to Heaven once. It’s a nice place. But there’s a lot of things about Heaven that no one tells you about.
When my grandfather passed away, my mom said he went to Heaven. This greatly confused me, as we weren’t Christians nor were we religious in any way. When I questioned her about this, she merely brushed away her tears and led me away by hand.
I always had this preconceived notion that Heaven was the place you went if you were a good person and believed in God. In elementary school, my Christian friends would always scream at me about “not going to heaven” every time I took a squirrel and pummeled it to death with my fists. They said I could only get to Heaven if someone else physically announced that I was going. So I was relieved when they told me that I would go to Heaven.
The only thing my grandfather left me in his will was his cat, Turtle. She was an old and frail little feline, but still rubbed against my leg like any newborn kitten would do.
When my dad passed away, I overheard the people in the coroner’s office say he went to heaven. I was hiding in there because I wanted to see what my dad’s dead body looked like.
“Must’ve been a homicide.”
“Hm, how else do you think he got these stab marks, genius?”
“Whatever. But did you see this little bits of glass in the wounds?”
“Yeah, yeah, it was probably from the bottle he knocked over and shattered. Will you hurry up? We’re going to be late for lunch.” The coroner said, beckoning his assistant over to the door. “Heh, it’s a good thing he went to heaven, right?” He snickered, shutting the door with a bang.
Now I was really intrigued. What was this Heaven? I had thought that only good people went to Heaven, and it was then I realized I was wrong. Why else had my dad gone there? I thought about this as I uncovered the sack my dad had buried. Turtle licked at the dusty burlap as I tossed in the remaining shards of bloody glass. My finger brushed against another broken bottle, which broke the skin. Turtle strode over and swiftly lapped up the crimson that was dripping onto the burlap bag. A little bit of blood got onto her face, and I told her to stop, but she wouldn’t. I hate when people don’t listen to me, so I kicked her to the side.
When my mom died, I cried. I didn’t cry because she was dead, but because no one said she was going to Heaven. I hadn’t cried since I was little, so I was extremely surprised when my eyes started to water. I knew my mom was a good person, but I didn’t know if she was going to Heaven or not. So I said it myself. I stood in the same spot the burlap bag was and yelled and screamed and my mom went to Heaven. Because I said she did.
I started singing the song my mom sang me when I was little, because I missed her. Turtle came by, and rubbed against me. Then I had an idea. I knew good people went to Heaven, but what about good cats? I decided to try it and I played with Turtle until he fell to the ground. I felt a little unhappy because she stopped purring. But when I told God that Turtle was going to Heaven, it started raining. Which means she did go to Heaven because Turtle was a good cat.
Suddenly, there was a horde policeman at my door with handcuffs, and they took me away. This greatly confused me. I had done nothing wrong. I told them I didn’t belong here in jail, I belonged up there in Heaven. I didn’t do anything wrong. The guard who was standing outside my cell heard my yelps and opened the door for some reason. And I ran.
How did that guard know that I needed to escape? Perhaps he was God and knew that I was supposed to go to Heaven.
I ran across the street with the policemen trailing after me, I saw a car and realized maybe I didn’t have to wait to get to Heaven. I could finally get to see my family again. I hurriedly dashed in front of the car and I fell asleep, right there on the street.
When I died, nobody said I went to Heaven. But somehow, I still ended up in Heaven. When I finally woke up, I looked around and all I could see was white. The floor was white, the walls were white, my blankets were white, everything was white. There were angels with masks on their faces that were running around with weird equipment and clipboards. There were a lot more doctors in Heaven than I imagined, though.
One of the angels came up to me and asked how I felt. I said I felt fine, now that I had arrived in Heaven. I told her to go to God and thank him for me, and to also tell my mom and dad and grandpa and Turtle that I was safe in Heaven now, and that they didn’t need to worry about me. She smiled with no teeth and told me that this wasn’t Heaven, this was a hospital. Then, one of the doctors came in, and I asked where Heaven was. He snorted, and told me that “Heaven doesn’t exist, son.”
And then I realized that the angels were actually nurses, and the doctors were just human doctors, and the people that were connected to the tubes around me were probably just as human as I was. I realized that maybe I wasn’t destined to see my family.
The truth about Heaven is that it doesn’t exist.
Something to Believe In
Something to believe in,
Sizable yet possible,
To surpass capability.
Living up to dreams,
Virtual yet reachable,
Creating goals and challenges,
Striving for triumph,
To attain ambitions.
Increasing intriguing insights,
Luminous yet obscure,
Times turn arduous,
Risking ominous dangers,
Overcoming ghastly fears.
Balancing and enhancing,
To find competence from within.
Rising above endless roads,
Filled with competitive traffic,
With bumps along the way,
Accelerating from successes,
Decelerating from struggles,
Or maintaining constant speeds.
So broad yet so delicate,
Utilizing a GPS,
Choosing effective routes,
Utilizing perilous shortcuts,
Taking safe detours,
To assertively drive through destinies,
With futures ever so bright.
The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot
We all have choices, chances, opportunities
Sometimes we seize them
Frequently we don’t
Now and then we fail
But occasionally, we succeed
Risks You Have to Take
We are motivated, inspired
Given Confidence and Courage
Unfortunately, we all face defeats
Think we’re built to fail
To never succeed
To be the lowest of the low.
We face defeats but aren’t defeated
For the only way to be be finished is not to be defeated but to quit
To take an opportunity is a choice we make
A chance we take
Only you can block your own shot
The only one stopping you is you
Your own worst enemy is yourself
This Conversation is Over
Andrea Scarz. Drea, as many people had called her, was my next door neighbor. She was my age. She was benevolent. She was compassionate. Though, she was not someone you would want to be friends with. For she had jagged lines running down her scrawny body, bruises that managed to swallow her whole, and blood that trickled down her cheeks. But she was my best friend, the only friend I had.
If I remember correctly, it was on a Saturday, November 5th, 2009, when I found Drea on my door-step, unconscious. Strips of purple wrapped around her legs, gashes appeared upon her bare stomach, the tip of her right index finger was missing, and there was blood, everywhere. I could not take it anymore. So, I dialed.
It had been ages, before the cops arrived. Soon, the ambulances followed.
4 A.M. I made my way to see her. She glanced at me for a few seconds, then turned her head away.
“Leave,” she wailed angrily.
Tears filled up my eyes. My nose ran.
“I was trying to help…” my voice trembled.
“NO, you let them take my father away,” Drea cried.
I had nothing left to say.
“This conversation is over. Don’t come back,” she seethed with anger.
Today is November 5th, 2015.
6 years had passed, and I still miss her.
If You Fail We All fail
All our hopes rest upon you. One single mistake and we all lose. If you don’t succeed none of us do. If you fail, we all fail.
There were 2 second left on the clock. It was the league championship game and our team was down by 1. I had 2 free throws to shoot. If I made them our team would win, if i missed then we would lose. All their hopes rested upon me. Our hours of training and hard work would amount to nothing if I didn’t succeed. It was all up to me to determine what we would be known as, champions or failures.
The referee passed me the ball. The crowd silenced, and all eyes focused on me. I composed myself and got into position. I fixated on the rim and shot. The ball flew threw the air and dove right into the basket. The crowd roared in approval and words of encouragement were yelled from my family. The referee passed me the ball and once again I was the center of attention. I focused solely on the basket. Time froze as I prepared my next shot. The ball floated from my fingertips, arching towards the basket. The crowd sat on the edge of their seats, silenced as they watched the ball land and circulate inside the rim. Anxiety rose as the ball slowed, teetering in and out of the basket. It fell in and the crowd exploded. My teammates swarmed me screaming in delight, I had done it, we had become the champions.
2,000 Light Years Away
Above the tiny flowers,
the heads of billions,
the sprouting trees,
the tall and strong built houses,
the massive high towers,
the vast valleys,
the frosty mountains,
the planes in action,
the major pollution,
the misty fog,
the fluffy clouds,
and the Earth’s atmosphere,
lies an incredible beauty of its own.
Stars that shimmer the darkness.
Exotic nature of the universe.
Dimensions with complex structures.
Floating matter in outer space.
Extreme weather conditions.
Harmony of electromagnetic vibrations.
Breathtaking showers of asteroids.
Specific orbits with the exact gravitational pull.
Peculiar alignment of the planets.
Glowing towers of comet dust.
Occasional meteor showers.
Forbidden black holes.
Burning sensation of the Sun.
Awes of an Asteroid belt.
One hundred billion galaxies scattered all across the world.
Limitations yet not found.
Deadly beauty that dazzles our eyes.
A magnificent universe above us,
out of our reach,
2,000 light years away..
Everything We Want to Be
January 19, 2001
I love you. Your infectious smile, your charming looks, your kind, quiet voice. Everything about you is more than I deserve.
You made me fall in love.
Everytime I saw you in class, I couldn’t work up enough courage to talk to you. I was quiet, but you were quieter. I was afraid that you might die of embarrassment if I tried to speak to you, so I didn’t.
The day I finally met you was the day of my dreams. You quickly became my close companion. Our quiet, playful banter and our talks have charmed me to the core. I’m convinced you’re the one for me, and I hope you can say the same.
You radiate of beauty. Your flowing brown hair provides you a shield from the rest of the world. Are you trying to create a barrier between us? I would hope not.
You’ve caught my attention since the fifth grade. Now that we’re seniors, I should hope I gave you enough time to warm up to me.
I constantly see couples showing their affection in the hallways, kissing, cuddling, smooching, even doing some things that I shall not speak of here because this is my love letter, not theirs. I hope that can be us someday. Those couples are everything I want us to be.
I hope you return my feelings,
January 19, 2011
My Dearest Anna,
These past ten years with you have been unbelievably amazing. You are so much more than I deserve. But the fact is inevitable: I am in love with you.
I brought you here today because this forest has been a reminder of our first day together. The thick, lush trees and the soft cooing of the animals and the slight breeze in the air all remind me of the day you became mine. I remember you laughing so viciously at me when I dropped the sandwiches that you nearly choked. If you had, I wouldn’t have been able to look at anyone in the eye properly again.
I hope you realize that you’ve changed my life for the better. Your heart of gold has been combined with mine of simple flesh. I truly believe that you’ve changed me in ways that I couldn’t have even dreamed of.
I hope we become everything we ever wanted to be. None of those couples back from high school lasted, and no one thought we would last either. But we did.
So, I will ask this with high hopes that you won’t reject me. I may not be able to afford a lavish ring right now, but this simple one will have to do.
Anna, will you please marry me?
February 14, 2012
As you lie in bed on our honeymoon night, I am up writing this letter. I just want you to have something that you can look back at to remember these past few days. Even though my bank account is rapidly depleting, it’s all worth it because I am finally, finally wed to you. Finally!
I hope you like this vacation. It’s the best I could afford. Even though the hotel is a little ratty, I can still see your face being illuminated by the moonlight, which is good enough for me.
I saw you in your dress, and the tears nearly escaped my eyelids. The beautiful shimmery ivory of the dress against your pale skin illuminated the entire church. The ornate panes of stained glass were nothing compared to your radiating beauty. You could barely notice the little baby bump under all those sequins. I couldn’t have been more proud to call you my wife.
We’ve become everything we wanted to be. Two happy newlyweds, (plus one!) who are eager to spend the rest of their lives together.
I love you, my dearest wife.
Your loving husband,
P.S. I am out getting us breakfast, so don’t bother to wake up. I hope you still like your eggs poached!
October 23, 2012
Today I saw you suffer so painfully. However, it wasn’t a bad suffering, as you have finally given birth to our child!
When first I saw little Theodore, I instantly fell in love. Our little boy is amazing. He may have your eyes, but he definitely has the looks of his handsome father.
I am so so sorry to leave you alone in the hospital. My boss nearly strangled me when I asked him for a few hours to aid my wife in labor. I had to rush back down there. You know times are tough and we really, really do need the money. I hope you can forgive me.
I know you’re sleeping right now, but please tell Theodore that his daddy loved him and misses him very much and wishes that he could be there with him right now.
I hope he becomes everything we want him to be.
I’m sorry. What I did today was unforgivable. I don’t expect you to understand what I did, but please don’t hate me in front of Theo. We need to stay together, and I hope you understand why.
We’ve had a fair share of our differences these past few years. After Theo’s birth, you were tired and worn from childbirth, and I was stressed under the pressure of my job. But honestly, i’m not the only one to blame. I thought we would become the family that was everything they wanted to be, but I guess we’re pretty far from it. I always knew you were too good for me anyway.
By the way, happy anniversary.
Buy milk and pay taxes. We’re behind again.
Wish Theo happy birthday for me. Tell him daddy misses him.
January 19, 2015
I’m sorry, but I’ve had enough.
These past few years of spiteful glances have worn me down. I’m tired of fighting after Theodore’s gone to sleep. I’m tired of coming home to you and another man. I’m tired of supporting my family when we really aren’t even a family anymore.
Do you remember those board games with the cheesy pictures of joyful families having fun on the front of the box? No family really looks like that. All families are a bit battered, a little worn down. Our family is just little more worn than others.
Everything we wanted to be was a cardboard family. To be content with life and each other, to love each other eternally and to always be happy together. But no family is a perfect, cardboard family, and we were silly to think that we could achieve that.
Anna, we’re really hanging on by that last thread. I realized long ago that this family isn’t going to survive. I think we should both just let go.
I’ve left the divorce papers for you to sign. I’ll come visit Theo every weekend, because he is my son and I love him. But let me be clear, I do not hate you. We simply fell apart, and decided not to love each other anymore.
I hope you find someone that will love you as much as I did, and for a much longer time.
It’s been nice loving you.
When I see you smile
Alarm was silent,
Bedhead out of control,
Shirt is inside out,
Tardy to class,
It’s raining, but no one told me,
across the room, I see you
Calm, brilliant, adventurous, yet reassuring and hopeful.
I tie my hair up,
I fix my shirt,
I talk to my teacher,
I look over at your smile,
Now I am smiling.
The trick is to keep breathing
At 8:15 pm my brother suffered a seizure. An epileptic episode. On his side, lying on the floor- motionless-, lied my unconscious brother. Eyes wide open as if sucking in years worth of information in a split second, saliva slowly drooling out of his mouth, going down his neck, and, inevitably, falling onto the white carpet. Everything seemed to happen all at once, yet it seemed like it was in slow-motion. The thump of his body hitting the ground, the jerk of my head to look, the shriek coming from my mother’s mouth, my family running to his SOS. Almost systematically my father scooped my brother into her arms, while my mother grabbed the car keys, and we piled into her minivan. This was the only time I had ever seen my mom break the law. She sped. She swerved between the traffic. She SPED. This is where it becomes fuzzy. My brother’s body sat on my father’s lap. He reminded me of a baby, unable to connect its mind with its body. His head yanking back at the slightest movement, slavia constantly dripping onto my father’s shoulder, and, later, vomit spilling over my dad and the car seat. I felt powerless. My brother could potentially die and what I felt was selfish. Instead of sending prayers, I riticulde myself for not being able to make a difference or not helping him, as if I was at fault for his epilepsy. I remember sitting in that tacky, powdered blue hospital chair in the ER, my face flushed, on the verge of crying, when my mother came up to me. She looked more distraught than me, but she bent down, rubbed my back, and told me sometimes the only trick is to keep breathing.
We were sad but now we’re rebuilding
It is the year, 2017. MetLife Building, NYC.
Strolling calmly to his compact yet comfy office on the 54th floor, the new chief financial officer, Ace Jones's phone started vibrating abruptly, disordering his khaki pants of serenity. Seizing the device out of its smooth black sheath tied to his leather belt, a message stimulatingly flashes “Earthquake Alert!” in vibrant red, emitting an abnormal warning. Presuming that it’s some sort of prank, Mr. Jones eventually perceives that the vicinity around his office was eerily quiet as his heart throbbed uncontrollably. “My colleagues have probably gone preparing a promotion surprise and celebration for me,” pondered Ace, as he peered up and down the aisle and around the floor to only discern vacant cubicles, conference rooms, and other offices. As he searched through his keys to unlock his office door, the polished marble floor began to tremble, gaining momentum. The shaking started to escalate exponentially with occasional fluctuations, causing the shock to be more unpredictable. Maintaining composure, Ace discerned he couldn’t utilize the elevator or climb down 54 sets of stairs before the MetLife building collapsed.
I’m going to die! I don’t get to have my promotion party and even get the chance to relish some sweet soothing coffee.
A sudden noise disturbed the immense tremor, which made Ace perturbed and optimistic less than an instant. Peculiarly, his employees and close friends stampeded out of his workplace full of decorations and a sense of joy that was enclosed within this tremendous catastrophe.
Inside the crowd, the lazy and rotund chief executive officer, Dan Marshall, briskly stammers, “Ace, congratulations on your new title but we --” From a mighty quiver, a broad and dreadful bookshelf full of monetary and economic volumes toppled over, flattening the boss as the others stumbled onto the slippery flooring, finding themselves in odd orientations. Gasping with eyes wide in severe terror, Ace’s co-workers stood up and witnessed the blood trickling out beneath the appalling heap, brimming of knowledge and information pertaining to financial business.
Shoot! I’m totally going to get demoted or even fired.
Immediately, everybody egocentrically staggered fearfully out of the office with a grave comprised of books toward the stairway, as overhead sirens wailed annoyingly with distinctive warning. A great idea sparked Mr. Jones's mind.
Wait. There is a helicopter on top of the building. If only I could operate and fly that thing.
The daring prospect sounded hopeless, but Ace compassionately bellowed to his employees.
Too late. Leading downward, the stair entryway was barricaded with steel debris from the building composition, sprinkled with sharp shards from the glass exterior, expanding the intimidation.
Confined on the 54th floor in the MetLife Building, the new chief financial officer aspiringly hastened up the stairs with toil in order to pursue his objective of getting to the top of the building where the helicopter lie, deliberating how he could fly and manipulate it, where he was going to land, and what would he do then. These perplexing propositions fought against his essence of peacefulness as Ace gazed with his jaw snapped open at the turbulence and chaos that was spread rapidly throughout the calamitous city with unimaginable ocean tides preparing to feast on the their breakfast, about to engulf harbors and devour helpless treats dashing crazily about.
Between stair levels 56 and 57, the stairs powerfully shuddered, flipping his lower legs into the glass pane, striking his sweaty visage onto the base of the stairs. Blood splattered out of his mouth when suddenly, a distinctive droning noise grew more audible while a propelling object became clearer each second towards the glass surface.
Beating the air into submission, a familiar helicopter rescue team came into action. Ace used his willpower to situate his shattered body away from the glass before the helicopter pounded a series of bullets, shattering the windowpane reflecting a group of saviors as keen glass fragments plummeted into the rubble below.
Aden, you son of a gun! Come on, I could do this, and I will do this. 1, 2, 3!
With suspense rising, Ace sprinted and leaped crazily, yet tenaciously, clutching the rope from the helicopter in hopes of rebuilding the past in the years to come by ultimately redeveloping his tranquility and well-being that would lead to a bright future, despite the sorrow, as his past and the MetLife Building crumbled down in havoc along with the entire city as well as his friends, his family, and the people.
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