Tag Archives: stories

120 minutes

She was always told to never run away from problems, that brave hearts are never afraid of the challenges life randomly presents.

But not right now.

Her heart was not a courageous shield today. It had started running long before her limbs. Beating at an inconsistent rate, increasing its drumming with every passing second. A panic attack was starting to creep, making it difficult to swallow. The tremble running through her fingers was getting harder to control so she did exactly what her heart did, she ran.

The cry from her muscles being waken up from disuse was completely ignored as she pushed forward, trying her hardest to not bump into rigid shoulders. The last thing she wanted today was people giving her angry glances, generously throwing curse words at her.

She ran till she was out of breath. She ran because she needed some air. She ran till she could not recall why she was doing so and was one breathe away from falling over as her mind starts to cloud over. That was when she stopped and dropped herself on the vivid green expanse of the park, completely ignoring how the fresh dew is making her skin shiver, goosebumps starting to cover her tan body.

She shut her eyes for a long time, at least that was what she thought. She could not care less if it was a couple of seconds or if it had been hours. She had no space whatsoever in her mind to think about time.

The chirping of birds, casually resting on the crooked branch calmed her down. The music a pleasurable distraction and she opened her eyes to a couple of grey sparrows. If the sparrows could sense feelings, they would probably fly away as far as they could. Nothing that resonated from her presence was pleasant. Her aura emanated extreme fear, sparks of confusion and even the silent pain of not knowing how to feel. The ends of the grass were starting to make her ankle itch and the hem of trousers are slightly mudied as she continued to stare at the birds.

‘How.’ she whispered to herself. Should she see a doctor and seek help? Could she possibly be experiencing a mental disorder? Who could possibly help her now? How could she make sense of all of this?

Maybe it was just a one time thing. Maybe it will not happen again. Maybe there was just no explanation for it just like most things in this world. Like how babies knew that they had to breathe as soon as they were delivered or how the planets’ orbits are circular and not angular.

She played with her hands just so that she had something to do.

‘How’

Her skin feels rough and she skims over the small scar she had on the side of her right pinkie from when she was 10 and adventurous.

‘How’

With her eyes still closed, she thought of the classes she missed today. Maths.

‘How’

She thought about her flat at the corner of the main street. How the shower would never work seamlessly and the old washing machine placed at a very odd place in the kitchen. Pictures upon pictures of her dearest ones all over her wall in her room and the thought of that brought a smile as she slowly tried to compose herself and continue her day like it was just any other day of the semester.

‘Hey?’

A voice panted from a close range on her left. It was not a familiar voice, so she passed it off as a stranger passing by and continued thinking of her warm duvet and how it would feel good to get back home and be in her teal covered sheets.

‘Hey.’

The male came closer, a step away from invading her personal space and she was getting a little scared and annoyed at the same time. Involuntarily she furrowed her brows and stopped playing with her fingers.

‘You there’ he pants. ‘Lying on the ground’ he had to stop to take a breath and she guessed that he must have been running.

Her eyes opened abruptly and she sat up as swift as she could, turning to the source of the disturbance, giving him a not-so-friendly glare.

‘You should be less careless next time’ he pointed with one hand as the other one rested on his knees. His head slung down, a black cap covering his face.

‘What?’

‘Try not to leave things behind’ he raised his head up and she recalled the face she was looking -now staring- at. Same bronze skin with eyes that crinkled at the sides, she recognised the barista from previously.

He pulls out a dark blue purse from his pocket and hands it over. ‘Especially not something as important as this at least’

He chuckled while looking down at his jet black trainers. His fingers were still curled around the purse, hand stretching out but she was not showing any signs that she was going to take the purse from him.

‘How did you…’

‘You took off all of a sudden like you just saw a ghost or you were possessed and I saw you sprinting towards the park…’

He should probably stop and notice the half annoyed, half confused look plastered on her face while she attempted to cover her expressions hoping she would not come off as rude.

‘But obviously not being a mind reader, it took me quite a while to locate where exactly you are in this massive area. God knows what my manager would say now when I get back.’ He continued to ramble, arms resting on his hips, purse still in hand. Beads of sweat were starting to form on his forehead but he did not bother wiping them away, the sight of a little boy chasing his golden retriever as if he would lose him otherwise kept him distracted.

‘I mean, it’s not as if we’re all that busy. We have new workers coming in recently and they have been keeping up quite well to my surprise.’

She wondered for a second if she had even asked anything related to his job but she had not and so her mind took her back trying to remember what exactly she had said to cause this peculiar stranger to start telling her things she could not care to know.

‘I could not just leave your stuff in the cafe and wait for you to come back. Honestly, it seemed as if you weren’t going to come back and if you really didn’t, I’d have to send this off to the police station and make a report which isn’t necessarily what I would like to use my time out of work for. All those forms and having to talk to people in uniforms’

‘You are in one.’ She interrupted, out of a sudden.

‘In what?’

‘A uniform.’ She pointed at the dark green apron he was wearing, that covered his entire front with an intricate logo in white. He looked good in it, well as good as anyone could ever be in an apron that is.

‘You know it’s different.’

She did not bother to answer.

‘You can take your purse anytime now’ Hand outstretched, waiting for her to take the goddamn purse from him.

‘Thanks, you didn’t have to.’ She took it from him and started to
pick on the lose thread along the zipper. ‘It’s not like it’s important when I can’t even remember my days anymore.’ She mumbled under her breath, looking away.

‘I’m sorry, what?’

‘I didn’t say anything.’ She lied just so that he would go away. ‘I said thanks. That’s all I said.’

‘Yeah, don’t worry about it. I guess i’ll head back now and and hope I don’t get my pay cut from being out too long.’

She had stopped paying attention to him by now. Buds are starting to grow from the bald trees around her. It is already spring based on the calendar but this year, the trees are taking their own sweet time to adjust and transform the the town into a romantic shade of pink.

‘See you next time you drop by then. Maybe I could give you free coffee if I’m around and yeah, just say hi.’

The boy from earlier have caught up to his dog and is currently hugging him with all his might to stop the dog from running away again. His parents a distance away, laughing at his futile efforts.

She could not exactly remember the moment he left or when she started being alone again but it made no difference. She was doomed anyways.

She fell back, hitting her head hard on the ground and closed her eyes. She grunted at the pain and wished everything would just disappear and this day would just end and her mind would just start working again and her memories would come back to her. And everything, everything will be okay again.

The cold wind blew her hair away, strands covering her face leaving her looking almost ethereal.

The same gush took her consciousness away.

Her time was up.

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This

“This is the hardest.” I say to my side, as I turn my head to look diagonally to the guy staring straight at me. I get ready myself to serve this time. A doubles game currently taking place, our eyes locked to each other. Taking a deep breath, I continue for our team.

Serve, run, smash, distract myself.

I lose the point.

“No. This, is the hardest.” He whispers to me as I walk towards the other square. Again, the guy on the other side of the net stood diagonally from me, waiting for me to be ready before he swings his racket. His look is similarly intense, focused on the game, focused on me.

He is right. This is harder, not the previous. Not having to force myself to focus on him, locking my target as I prepare myself to play, but him looking at me, in the most serious kind of ways. There is no possible way for me to escape his gaze, as if there is no net separating us, as if he is not standing halfway across the court.

I am glad that half the court away, he stands, completely oblivious to this small conversation happening. There is nothing left in me except the feeling of longing and the memories of spontaneity, fearless decisions and persistent actions.

But the worst is none of the above.

It is the fact that I am easily readable by this guy on my side, no context needed to understand the subject of my sudden comment. As close as we can be, we can never be close enough in the ways that I would have desired.

The one that got away is the one in my present, who’s standing next to me, not the guy of my past. Yet, I know for certain that it is my present who will haunt my late night thoughts years from now.

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There isn’t a title to this.

Disclaimer: To those uninterested in spending your time reading my attempt at ‘proper’ writing, please proceed to the end of this entry where I happily provide you with a direct summary of what this post should be about.

I’m forcing myself to write. Every word that comes out is deliberately squeezed out of my unwilling brain, fingers involuntarily pressing each key with much more force than necessary. A sudden pause. A rebellion of the mind as vocabularies are stopped from entering my consciousness leaving the tips of my calloused fingers hanging approximately an inch from the keys. I need to do this, I coax myself. Like the common phrase ‘there are things you don’t like that are good for you but you do not know’, this is one of them. But this time I know, I know that this is necessary, pivotal even for me to not have any regrets.

You see for once, I know what I want to do. Whether I can, whether it is even in my reach, we shall leave that to the higher hand to decide. But this desire to paint a picture without paint, to draw vivid imageries with only the monochromatic shades of white and black -although paper is now ‘buff’, not white and the black hue of ink is always debatable- is so potent in me it is beyond the angry, aggresive shade of red. It is the deepest, calmest shade of blue that should not be overlooked. It holds authority and is unambiguous. Never once does it flicker, remaining constant almost knowing that it will never be forgotten even if it’s ignored.

And I am not even close to revealing what it actually is but my heart has calmed in gratitude, a sigh of relief in between the never ending beats of life it drums every second. This is it, a story without a plot, just words thrown here and there with the aim to sound pretty in the heads of those who reads it -or to the ears if one prefers to read out loud-. This is what I’m good at, never finishing a well thought project, or rather focusing too much on the unnecessary that the centre which it’s supposed to be revolved around is lost. Please, view me as one who is intuitive rather than the true unorganised person that I constantly am.

An expected blankness blinds my usually adept thought process. It is often this way whenever I try to write conclusions because the only thing that truly matters from you reading this is not the temporal joy -or misery- this short entry brings but the message that I would like you to ponder on after the wasteful minutes you carelessly spend on me. If the writing does not last beyond the pages it lays stoically, the writer is not doing it right. And that is the thing about literature, it is the art of those who finds bliss in the darkness of their closed eye lids with letters and words -even non words sometimes- as their palette as they dance to the rhythm of their own voice silently echoing from the corners of the almost spherical mind. There is never really a right or wrong in literature but one.

It’s 1.30am and i’m sleepy but I pushed myself to write this post because I’ve been dreading to write something. I think after trying many things, I have decided that writing is what I’d like to do for a living (most probably as a side income because writing alone is not sufficient to sustain my material wants). And I didnt really get to explain that I just need to channel all my thoughts onto something. About the ending, well, I really did have nothing to say to sum up the whole post. Basically, this post is just fragments of thoughts that I pulled out from the train rounding my head. 

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