astern.

He’s slumbering on his bed shirtless

I made a sound to wake him up

He sluggishly opened his eyes

And saw me behind the window

He smiled and got up to let me in

I scanned the room to admire his airplane collection

To divert myself from the heavenly physique in front of me

A trick I mastered since last summer

I know I’ve fallen for my best friend

And he’ll never see through me

Because I’m just a man on the other side of the glass

 

Photo not mine. Credits to owner.
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Posted in charles dickens

Me Vs. The World

Nobody showed up. It’s my 36th birthday, and nobody cares to come here and celebrate it with me.

LYbnKeHB1R-10

I’m definitely going to die alone. Which I honestly don’t mind. I’ve been by myself for as long as I can remember.

I was the valedictorian of my high school class. I received three medals during the graduation, but my parents didn’t make it. They didn’t get to see me up on the stage while the rest of my classmates applaud to my accomplishments.

I had an appendectomy five years ago. I went in and out of the hospital unaccompanied. I had no visitors, no flowers by my bed.

It wasn’t always awful. I was married for almost a year to a flight attendant named Mary. She’s pretty and smart. We tied the knot after only a week of dating. We thought it was love at first sight. Everything was going really well until she got promoted and transferred to Hawaii. I promised her I will follow after I finish Law School. The day of my flight to see her, I received a package at my doorstep. It was from her, a copy of our divorce papers. She’s still living by the shore in a beautiful house with a tall guy and two little girls.

I guess this is how my life is planned out. Me versus the World. Me alone.

I paid for the untouched food for fifteen people and went out of the restaurant. The disappointment and dismay decided to walk me home.

I passed by my old high school. It looks the same as if I never left. The signage which says “Children Crossing” is still bent. I did that when I was practicing my driving. I crossed the street and saw someone familiar sitting on the bench by the bus stop. Her black hair turned gray, and she’s wearing thick glasses now. That’s Ms. Watson, my favorite teacher. I found myself walk a little faster towards her. She then noticed me. As I get closer to her, she turned her lips for a smirk. I smiled back. She recognized me. I sat beside her and we catch up until her bus came. She got on the bus and I waved as she goes. Just then did I recall that the last time I saw her was on my graduation. Since my parents didn’t show up, she’s the one who awarded and gave me my medals. I know I have a picture of me and her during that day. I looked doomed while she’s standing on my side beaming like a proud teacher that she is. I missed Ms. Watson.

I continued my way home. I was by the hospital where I had my operation. People come and go in that building as if chasing something. Everyone seemed so busy. I felt hungry when I saw the hotdog stand on the corner. I barely touched the food on the restaurant. I ordered two german franks. As I was reaching for the ketchup, I felt a pat on my arm. I turned my back and saw a girl in white uniform. She smiled, showing two deep dimples on her cheek. It’s Suzanne. I checked her nameplate just to be sure. And I was right. This is the nurse on duty who took care of me before, during and after my operation. I remember I was frightened that day. I’m really not fond of doctors and needles. She patiently explained to me the procedure and answered all my weird questions. We said our pleasantries and talked while we eat our hotdogs. She’s on her second and I was on my third when her phone rang. She said she’s needed back in there. I paid for our orders and left. Suzanne is such a sweet girl.

I felt so full as I pace on the last block going to my house. It’s already 1 P.M. I noticed the LED “Open” light of Joe’s is on. I decided to stop by and get a beer. I saw Joe on his usual spot, behind the counter wiping glasses. This is the only bar in my area which is open at this time. I used to come here often. I walked across the bar. Joe saw me and opened my beer before I even ask for it. I sat on my favorite stool. We said hi to each other. We didn’t really talk until he handed me my third bottle. He asked, “How are you doing?”. I was a bit taken aback. It wasn’t the question, but it’s his voice. He sounded genuinely concerned. I finished my last beer before I answered him. I told him I was doing well and that I am busy with work. He told me about this upcoming Trivia Night on his bar, and he invited me to join. I suggested that to him six months ago, and I was pleased he decided to push through with it. It’s 3P.M. when I left. I was taking the stairs up to my floor when I realized how nice Joe was to me since I got that mail from Mary. He patiently listened to my heartbreaking stories when I was drunk. There was a time when I was so wasted I puked on his shirt and he had to take me up to my apartment. I thought Joe is a good guy.

I opened the door. And there I saw on my living room a banner which reads “Happy 36th Birthday” painted in blue ink. People are smiling and clapping. There they are – my parents, my brothers and their wives, my nieces and nephews, Buddy our dog, and some of my friends.

I failed to send the invitations.

 

 

Photo not mine. Credits to owner.

 

 

Posted in charles dickens

Not Quite There Yet

I nervously took the last step and I was inside the room. I tilted my head in her direction. And there she was, sitting on her usual spot on the center aisle of the third row. She was wearing the old Star Wars shirt given by her Dad. She looked simply perfect in that picture. Her hair covering her face down while she was writing on her pink journal she had since two years ago. I gave her that journal. She’s biting her lip which means she’s into something serious. What is it this time? A poem, a song or just cartoon sketches. She’s the most talented girl I know. She writes, draws, cooks, and sings. And with her beauty and kind heart, she’s the real deal.  I regret letting her go.

 

He always gets in at 7:56 a.m. I rushed this morning so I can beat him and be at class before he gets here. It’s 7:53 a.m. on my watch which means he’ll be here soon. I synchronized our time, so none of us will be late for anything. But he was never late, I were. I stared at the door. I can’t believe I’m still waiting for him. My hands were sweating from below my desk. So I got my journal and pen out, just to make myself occupied. I turned to a clean sheet and just started writing the lyrics of my favorite song. I sang along with every stroke to distract myself.

 

She unconsciously raised her eyes towards the door with her lips slightly opened. He caught her gaze. They stared at each other long enough to recall the times they were together, holding each other right there. She held back her tear and returned to her writing. He walked inside, not on his usual seat on the third row. He went straight at the back where he can hide his broken heart. She just faced forward and never turned around.

Posted in charles dickens

Meeting the Boss (#4)

First Part: Three Bottles of Beer, Six Shots of Tequila (#1)

Second Part: The Yellow Umbrella (#2)

Third Part: Worst Hangover (#3)

Here’s the fourth part:

 

“You gotta be kidding me? Why is he here? Is he the owner? Is he my boss? Is this a dream? A hangover dream!”

 Dina shut her eyes real hard trying to wake up from what she thought was just a dream when his voice echoed in the office again.

“How is everybody?”, he still got his smile on.

This wakes Dina’s bewildered spirit. She walked towards him silently and abruptly.

“Apologies for my curtsy, Mr. Danny….”, There is an awkward long pause. “Oh my God! What’s his last name again? Maine? Sawyer?”

 “It’s Danny Mayer, actually. What’s up Dina? Why the sudden formality, and “curtsy”? Really?”, Danny laughed and Dina felt red and irritated. The other people in the room looked at each other wordlessly, then all eyes are pointed at Dina. Everyone is still puzzled, more than she is probably.

“I hate that he’s too confident! I’m still confused.”

 “Anyway, Mr. Mayer. I am Dina Curtis. I am the Project Manager for the rehabilitation of the restaurant. It’s very nice to have you today.”, she reached her hand for a shake.

He received her welcomingly. “I have to apologize if this seemed sudden to you and your team.”

“No worries, you can always come here. So, how can we help you?”

“I want to discuss to you about the timeline. I expected Chey to fill you in. I hope she did.”

“Of course, I spoke to her earlier. Do you mind taking this to my office?”

“Sure.”, Danny smiled and followed Dina to her office. Everybody else followed with their gaze.

 

She walked across the room and gestured Danny to his seat. When he was seated, she sat across from him. There is a table between them but it seems like he can feel how nervous she is.

Danny scanned the room. She looked at him intently. He has a suit on and his hair is fixed and not in a bad way. He looked like a real man and handsome, apart from earlier that morning. “Why does he serve as a waiter in the bar if he owns a restaurant? Why am I nervous now? I can’t believe that the guy who sees my worst drunken night is my boss.” She was distracted from her thoughts when she saw his lips moving, making a way to speak. But she barely heard him.

“Pardon me?”

“I said, you look well compared to this morning.”, smiling.

She blushed. Her silent prayer of this topic not to be brought up is shuttered.

“Okay, so we have to talk about that. If you don’t mind, Mr. Mayer, can we be professional here and talk about the project?”

“Danny. Just call me Danny.”

“Alright, Danny. Whatever happened last night, let’s leave it at the bar. And this morning, thank you for the umbrella. It was gentleman of you. I apologize if I was rude but you understand why I’m pissed, right?”

“Maybe.”, he smiled again teasingly.

“Can we move on now?”

“You seem to try.”

“Excuse me?”

“Nothing.”, he changed his mood from being foolish to business man real quick. “Anyway, about the project. I am disappointed with the delay based on your report as submitted to me through Chey. Two weeks behind is critical on this stage.”

“I know. That’s why we are working twice as hard for the past couple of days to keep up.”

“Forgive me but I have to ask.”, Danny said hesitantly.

“What?”

“Is your personal life affecting your work? If it does, please get yourself together. I want the restaurant operational in a month.”

For the nth time today Dina felt embarrassed. And now ashamed.

“Danny, if you reviewed my report you should have known that the project was delayed because the supplier of materials, which according to Chey was requested by the Owner, did not meet our agreed schedule of delivery. And just to inform you, I am 100% on board with this project regardless of whatever is happening in my personal life.”

“I officially hate this guy! He thinks that I cannot do my job just because he saw me in a bar drinking? That does not define me. And he acts like he knows everything about the construction when this is only the first time he ever visited the site! His arrogance will not be hidden by his fancy clothes, not as much as the gorgeous body peeking in there! Oooops. ”

“Good to know. So with the current standing, can we make it in a month?”

“Yes!”, she said sharply.

“Great! That’s what I need to confirm from you.”, he smiled again and looked at his wrist watch.

“Dina, I have to go now. I still have work to do. I’ll just see you tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow?”, she replied with her lips in a thin line.

“Yeah! I’ll be here. I want to look around, I just can’t today.”

“Sure. I’ll see you then.”

“Good. Unless I see you earlier?”

“What does he mean, earlier?” He seemed to have read her mind.

“Just in case you drop by at the bar.”, Danny said with a grin while standing up. “I really have to go. Thank you, Dina.”, he reached his hand.

She shook it, also standing up.

“I can show myself out. Bye.” Danny left the room.

“Why did I say yes to one month? I can’t do it, that’s impossible. And Danny is something else. I don’t know why he has this effect on me. He’s strange, and he’s the worst! I know he thinks less of me. I will prove to him that I am better than that. I am a great engineer! He’ll see it!”

 

Dina called every one of her staff to her office for an emergency meeting to strategize and create a catch-up plan for the project. In the middle of their heated discussion, a cellphone rang.

“Whose phone is that? You can answer it outside.”, Dina looked at them unhappily.

Jane, her secretary replied and raised the phone, “Ma’am, it’s coming from here.”. She reached the phone to Dina.

She looked at the screen, it reads that the call is from a certain “MOM”.

“Whose phone is this?”, nobody answered her so she pressed send.

“Hello?”

“Hi, Dina! It’s Danny. I left my phone in your office. Do you mind? Can you take it to the bar later? I am just so busy right now, I can’t manage to go back there. Please?”, there’re car noises on the background. It sounds like he’s walking on the street.

“Sure.”, she said shortly.

“Thank you very much. I owe you one. Bye.”, Danny hangs up.

Posted in charles dickens

Worst Hangover (#3)

First Part: Three Bottles of Beer, Six Shots of Tequila (#1)

Second Part: The Yellow Umbrella (#2)

And here is the Third Part:

 

 

Dina continued the remaining two blocks to her sister’s apartment. Her hair is dripping. She can feel her top getting tighter on her skin. A breeze blew on her direction which makes her shiver a bit. She gripped on the yellow umbrella and started thinking about Danny.

“How come I never noticed him before? He’s really nice to me. But I am still mad for what he did last night. And the guy is so arrogant! Is he crazy? Giving an umbrella to a stranger and just ran off like that?”

She remembered Jim.

“Oh my God! And Jim! This is so embarrassing! Should I answer his text? What would I say? Maybe he thinks I’m reckless and irresponsible! But to think of it… He came to my rescue. He took me home. It’s been three months. Maybe he love me still. Or not. Maybe he just felt obligated because of that conceited waiter!”

 

She rang the bell to her sister’s apartment. Tina answered then opened the door.

“Gosh! What happened to you? Why are you still wet when you have an umbrella? Come inside. You’ll be sick!”

“Oh now you’re concerned!”

Dina went inside while shrugging off her body from the chills outside. She put the umbrella on the side to let it dry.

“What are you talking about? Of course I care about my little sister. Wait, I’ll go get a towel.”

Tina came back immediately with a towel and some dry clothes.

“Change your clothes first before we eat. Alright?”

When she came back from the bathroom, the dining table is already set. She could smell roasted chicken and potatoes. Tina is now slicing the cake. Dina grabbed her and hugged her from behind.

“Thank you, Tins.”, and Dina is in her comfort zone again – beside her sister.

“Well, this is not for you. I thought Rob will come over for lunch. But he got an emergency on the clinic so he cancelled on me. Good thing you texted, at least there is someone who would eat all these!”, she was grinning.

“You know sometimes I think your kind but in a second you let me lose it.” She grabbed a chair and they sat down across each other to eat.

“What are sisters are for!”, Tina said while carefully arranging the cake on the side of her small dining table.

“Yeah right! Sisters never ditch each other!”, Dina said with her annoyed voice while picking up the chicken.

“Dina, are you mad at me? You said on your text that you’ll tell a story and that you are mad.”

“You did not come pick me up last night!”, she exclaimed feeling hurt.

“Pick you up where? I told you I have a meeting last night. I know I told you. What happened?”, Tina is now worried.

“Jim picked me up.” She whispered.

“Jim? As in your Jim? Your ex-boyfriend Jim?”

“Yes, the one and only.”

“Why did you call him? You could have called me still or Rob or better yet Mom! But to call Jim, that was pretty stupid you know.”

“Well. It was not my fault.”, she’s having her second wing now.

“What do you mean?”

“I was really drunk. So this arrogant waiter at the bar called him. He used my phone to call Jim. Actually, I am still having a hangover. My head hurts.”

“What waiter?”

“I do not know him. But he’s tall, dark skin, squared jaw and kinda cute.”

“Oh! Danny!”

“Yes, that’s the name. How did you know him?”

“You’ve been having this routine of getting drunk and careless for the past weeks. When I get to pick you up, he always helps me carry you to my car. He’s really nice you know. And hot!”

“How come I never noticed him before?”

“Maybe you were too occupied by yourself, Dina!” She laughed while giving her sister a slice of cake.

Dina took a bite. “You are the best cook in the world, Tins! Well, next to Mom.”

“What a compliment. Thank you. Eat some more.”

 

“Thanks for the lunch, Tins. I gotta go. I still have to go to work.”

“Yeah, but I suggest you go home first and make yourself presentable. Do you want me to drive you?”

“It’s okay. I’ll just walk. Anyway the raid stopped.”

“Okay. See you tomorrow?”

“Sure. Bye Tins.” She kissed her sister goodbye.

 

The sky is still gloomy. The wind is still cold. But it’s not pouring anymore so she just closed the umbrella that is now dry. She went home and changed to her usual work attire. She put on her old faded jeans and a plain white shirt. She also got her jacket and she put on her boots. Before she goes, she fixed her hair up on a ponytail.

Dina is an engineer. She is now working on this new project wherein she has to rehabilitate an old building to become a restaurant. She took her motorcycle from the condominium parking area and drove straight to the site.

She’s been driving this bike for two weeks now. And she’s finally getting the hang of it. She likes the air through her hair. And the rush she gets from the excitement of her new toy.

When she arrived, her staff was so busy. Everyone who sees her greets her. Everybody respects her.

She went to an old container van just near the entrance of the area which seems to be their site office. Her secretary immediately handed her a hard hat.

“Good afternoon, Ma’am. The lawyer called this morning asking for you. She said you should return her call as soon as possible.”

“What’s it about?”, Dina said while dropping her backpack and helmet on her table.

“She wants to get an update on the project. She’s not happy with our progress.”

“We are two weeks late from schedule. We could still keep up with the target deadline. Why does she keep over reacting. She’s more concerned that the owner of the restaurant.” She sounds exasperated.

She got her phone and called Chey.

 

“Good afternoon Attorney!”

“Hi Engineer. Where are you?”

“I’m here at the site. I’ve been here since this morning. I was just so busy that’s why I never got the chance to answer your call. What’s up?”

“The owner wants to get an update on the project. He wants to have it finished in a month.”

“One month? Is he crazy? We can’t do that. You are the lawyear, you should have told him that as per our contract, this project will be delivered in six months which gives me at least two more months to finish it.”

“Yes, but he needs it in a month. That is why he likes to talk to you.”

Dina is now frustrated. She got her hands clenched and brows crossed. She’s trying to keep her cool. She walks back and forth inside their small office. The other engineers stopped on their work and looked at each other, scared.

“Whatever. I’ll talk to him. When is he available? I still need to prepare and think about this.”

“He’s coming there. He wants to see what’s happening to his property.”

“He’s coming here now? Why?”

“It’s his restaurant. He can see it whenever he wants. Plus it’s about time you guys meet. Whatever you two agreed on, we will put it on paper. I’ll meet you there tomorrow. Dina, do not be mad at me. Both of us are working for him, me as his representative on his transactions and you to build him his restaurant. Bye.”, and she hang up.

 

Dina sat down on her chair. She’s nervous about the project. She knows she’s been out of her game lately, mainly because of her heartbreak. She’s not like this before. When she has something to do, she finishes it ahead of time. Now she’s facing a project which is delayed and with pushed down timeline.

“How can I finish this in one month when I am two weeks behind schedule? Is he crazy? Why is he suddenly changing the timeline? And what is the name of the owner? Gosh, I forgot. It was Chey who always talks to me on this stuff. Why is he interested now? He never comes here.”

Her secretary got her attention.

“Ma’am, Mr. Mayer is now approaching.”

“Mr. Who?”, she was still half focused from her own thoughts.

“The owner, Ma’am. His car is parked outside and will be here any minute now.”

“Oh. What’s his name again?”

And before the secretary could reply, a tall man with squared jaw opened the door.

“Good afternoon everyone.”, he greeted with a smile showing off his perfect set of white teeth.

 

“Oh my God. It’s him!”

Posted in charles dickens

The Yellow Umbrella (#2)

FIRST PART: Three Bottles of Beer, Six Shots of Tequila (#1)

Dina was shaken for a moment. Confused.

“Ummm. It’s Danny. Danny from the bar?”

Danny helped her figure it out while she’s still measuring him. Her stare shifted from wonder to disgust.

“Oh! DANNY! That’s the name that ruined my life!”

She looked at him sharply.

“Hey! What? I’m just sharing my umbrella!”

She pushed him on the shoulder. Danny took a step backwards. But hesitated and took that step forward so they can be both under the umbrella.

“WHY DID YOU CALL HIM?” She shouted at him.

“Hey Ms Lonely Costumer! I was just doing my job. I don’t know where you live or your sister’s that’s why I thought that calling your speed dial number 1 is the smartest thing to do.”

“You could just have left me there!”

“Right so I can get fired!”

“I thought you waiters just want your costumers to be happy. Well, I could have been happier with that!” Dina said with a smirk. He looked hurt and irritated.

“You know what Ms Lonely Costumer, I have somewhere else to be than be insulted in public. It’s raining and I don’t want to be late. Where are you headed by the way? Maybe I can just walk you there. It looks like the rain will not stop any minute now.”

“It’s none of your business. And who told you I need your umbrella? And don’t call me Ms Lonely Costumer!”

He sighed. “Fine. Take this!”

He handed over the umbrella but she did not receive. He is annoyed already by this stubborn girl. He grabbed her hand and forcefully give her the umbrella. Dina was shocked. She don’t have any other choice but to accept the offer.

She held unto the umbrella. She saw Danny ran and cross the street. He covers his head from the pouring rain with his arms.

“What a real jerk.” She whispered with a smile on her lips.

TO BE CONTINUED

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Way Home

He slammed the door to her face. She locked the door and started crying. She went to the bathroom and checked herself in the mirror. She could not recognize herself anymore. Her eye make-up were smudged all over her face from the crying. She cried some more and pitied herself. She got the towel and washed her face but the sobbing did not stop. She looks miserable.

He went to the kitchen counter and got the keys to his car. He rushed to the front door. He walked fast that he did not notice their neighbor waving his hand at him for attention. He got into the drive seat. He put his head in the steering wheel and shed a tear. He looks frustrated.

She got into bed without changing her clothes. He checked in into a hotel nearby. She cried. He cried. She slept and he slept with their hearts crushed.

He woke up and turned to the other side of the bed. He was shocked not to feel his wife’s soft hair on his arms. He got up immediately. He needs to see her and apologize. He did not shower or brush his teeth before going. He just got into his car and drove home. He stopped for three bagels and a cup of hot latte, his wife’s favorite.

She woke up and turned to the other side of the bed. She was shocked not to feel her husband’s chest on his head. She got up instantly. She needs to see him. She did not shower or brush her teeth before going. She just got his daily maintenance medicine from their bathroom and went straight for the door.

She turned the knob and was surprised to see him by the front door struggling between the foods he brought and finding their door key on his pocket. She opened the door wider and hugged her husband. She cried. He cried. They both smiled.

Relationships are difficult. Sometimes we might need a break for ourselves. But we will always go back home, to the person whom we will always belong.

Posted in charles dickens

Three Bottles of Beer, Six Shots of Tequila (#1)

She took another cigarette and lit it. She’s alone in a crowded bar drinking her beer which is overtasted by her own bitterness. She had three of them but it is not enough.

“Waiter, six shots of tequila please.”

“One shot, Ma’am?”

“I said six!!!”

The waiter looked at her and the three bottles of beer therein. There is no spirit of alcohol yet but she looks pretty messed up with her mascara smudged all over her face.

“Are you sure? Do you have company?”

“Damn sure. Your beer tastes like water, know that? No. Okay, give me my shots.”

“Coming right up.”

She finished the shots right after it was served. And she was crazy drunk in an instant. She opened her eyes. And closes them again. Her head hurts and feels like splitting in two.

When she recovered, she opened them up again and relieved seeing her own bedroom wall. She reviewed what happened last night. She has a blurred memory of drinking in a bar, scolding to one of the bartenders, and feeling sleepy and drunk. She looked for her cellphone on the sheets of her bed. She noticed she’s wearing the exact outfit she’s wearing last night – another relief, nothing stupid happened. She finally found her phone. When she clicked the home button, it lit up and showed a text message from someone she never want to talk to again.

“Take care Dina. Find another place……”

She dropped the phone.

“What the hell?!?!”

She kept on thinking but doesn’t actually know what to think about. For the hundredth time, she regretted drinking again, and smoking. Her hair smells awful. She tried to concentrate again and reached the phone from the floor. She opened the text message.

“Take care Dina. Find another place to hide your spare key. I told you, it is unsafe. -Jim”

She didn’t move for a long time. Then she sat at the edge of her bed. “Why in hell would he text me? And how did he know I’m keeping my key at the same place?” She browsed her phone. Her messages were clean, except for that morning message. She checked her calls. She drunk dialed him! “How stupid of me!!!!” She cried a bit for how careless she was last night. That was the last thing she wants, her ex-boyfriend picking her up in a bar wasted and drunk and ugly. She buried her face in a pillow just to cover up the shame and hurt she’s feeling. But that only caused her head to hurt even more. She thought of getting an aspirin from the bathroom. She got up and head towards the bathroom door. She got one and drank it. She looked herself up in the mirror. Her hair is scattered, her clothes is crumpled and her make up mixed with tears made her look like a witch character. She decided to take a bath.

When she was about to take off her pants, she notice a bulk on the back pocket. She got them. It was a pile of tissue papers. She was about to throw them to the trash can when she noticed there are writings on the paper. She arranged them at the bathroom floor and tried to make sense of it all.

“Ms Lonely Customer, you might not notice it but I have been serving your drinks for the last three months. You always get wasted. And as what our manager always remind us, take care of our customers and make them happy. You have your sister pick you up at the bar before but tonight no one was there until our closing so I called your speed dial one. Take care. And FYI, you’re the first person to have a bad comment on our beer. I told our manager and they’re gonna check on it. Tnx – Danny”

“What a jerk!!”

She threw them and continued to her shower.

“What a real jerk! How could he just invade and touch my things! What if he stole from me! Oh I better check my bag later. I will definitely report that guy to the manager! And to call Jim!!!! That is another thing! He said he served for me for three months. But I can’t even remember him. Ugh!”

She chose to wear a cute sleeveless top and skirt. It’s a saturday and it is supposed to be a warm day according to her weather update application. It is 11am. She feels thirsty and hungry. She got her phone and once again noticed the text message from Jim. She tried to ignore it. Dina texted her sister.

“Where are you? Feed me! Have story and I am mad @ U!”

“Home. Come, just cooked lunch.”

She got her bag and went out. She walked down the street. Her sister’s apartment is just four blocks away. And she wanted to calm her mind too, and she does that with long walks. After five minutes of walking, it rained. She ran. She noticed a man running behind her. She ran faster, and the man did too. She stopped and the man stopped. She faced him. He’s wearing a white plain shirt and black jeans. His muscles can be imagined through the fitted shirt. He’s cute but irritating. She gave him a bad look – confused.

“Are you following me?”

“You’re dressed like that? On a rainy day?”

She just realized he was carrying a big yellow umbrella.

“So what? Stop following me crazy!”

She continued running and again the man followed him. She stopped and faced him for the second time.

“Hey, I am just trying to share my umbrella. Where are you going anyway?”

“Who the hell are you?”

“It’s me, Danny!”

He smiled and reached for a handshake. TO BE CONTINUED

Posted in charles dickens

Having Breakfast and Sex

Daniel feels strange today. Something is definitely wrong. It is not his sleep orientation problem or the smell of their breakfast atmosphere (that he usually hates because of his dad’s awful cooking) or even his naturally frizzy hair. He put on his clothes and combed his ugly awkward hair. He got his phone from overcharging last night and texted his girlfriend.

“Good morning babe, see you later @ Joe’s?”

He got down and poured himself a coffee, he ignored the overcooked bacon and messed up pancake his dad carefully laid on his favorite square plate. He got himself a banana instead. After he emptied his cup, his phone beeped.

“Sure, but pick me up will you?”

“Alright, be there in one hour.”

“Thank you babe! See u”

His dad was already on the kitchen disappointed on his cooking for the hundredth time. More than Daniel, his dad suffers more and sadder not to feed his child right.

“Dad, I need to use the car today. I have to pick up Jane for Joe’s garage sale later. Where are the keys by the way?”

“I noticed you didn’t touch your food again?”

“Oh, yeah. So where are the keys?”

“Back at my office.”

Without saying a word or two, Daniel rushed to his dad’s office and got the keys. He climbed back to his room and crashed his bathroom. He bathed for fifteen minutes and put a nicer shirt and a new pair of clean pants. He fixed his hair with wax and put on his usual chucks.

“Later, Dad!”

He left the house and his dad frozen. He stopped by a Stop N Go to buy himself chips and soft drinks and he also bought Jane her favorite chocolate bar. He feels a little thoughtful today. He started the engine again and eats his “breakfast” on the road. Then he feels himself again. The strange feeling isn’t gone, it is still there. Daniel popped the thought of it and concentrated on the road. He couldn’t afford another driving penalty ticket. He arrived at Jane’s ten minutes early. He knocked on the door and Jane’s brother answered it.

“Jane the jerk is here!”

He noticed the deep voice on the word jerk. It was emphasized and that was unusual since Jane’s family has been always nice to him, except today. Jane came down fast with a blue dress on and the same doll shoes she wore yesterday at school. She kissed him on the cheek. He’s still outside the house.

“Hi babe. Sorry for that, you know how stupid Jerry is sometimes.”

“Yeah.”

But they both know it is lie.

“So should we get going? I’d like to invite you in and eat breakfast but I can smell barbecue all over your face so I guess you had eaten already?”

“Yeah, I’m good. But if you haven’t had anything I can wait for you. And oh, I have Snickers for you back in the car.”

“Sweet! I guess I’ll just have that. I’m not that hungry anyway. So, let’s go?”

“Come on!”

Back in the car and on the road, Jane got the chocolate and eat it. But after a bite she felt nauseated and kept and bar on her purse. Daniel didn’t missed it.

“What’s wrong, babe?”

Jane turned left and faced Daniel. She looked into his side.

“Daniel, I am pregnant.”

Daniel pushed the break pad hard abruptly that Jane caught her breath. He pulled the car over and turned off the engine. This will be one of the longest talks in his life, he assumed.

“What do you mean you’re pregnant?! Like pregnant I’m gonna be screwed or like your pregnant like really pregnant?”

“It is odd how you used the word pregnant and like in the same sentence more than twice.”

“What?”

“Yes, Daniel. I’m pregnant like really pregnant and we are screwed.”

“Oh shit!”

They are silent for a minute then Jane broke it and talked calmly.

“I’m sorry but I am not sorry. In fact I am happy to have this baby. I am just scared my parents would kill me. But Jerry knows.”

“That’s why he’s unwelcome earlier. How come he knows it before I do?”

“I don’t want to tell you unless I am 100% positive so I asked him to drive me to the clinic.”

“When did you knew?”

“Yesterday after school.”

“What are we gonna do?”

“I’d like to keep the baby. But don’t worry I am not gonna make you keep it too. I mean, you can just walk away from us. I know we’re not ready, I know you’re not. I’m not going to ruin your life. I don’t want that.”

There is a longer silence. No one dared to talk. Jane could hear her wrist watch. She started sobbing. With tears in her eyes, Daniel took her hand and wiped her cheeks with his other hand.

“We’re keeping the baby.”

She smiled and hugged the father of his child for the first time.

“You and our baby will be fine, Jane. I promise you. I love you.”

“I love you babe.”

The crying stopped. Daniel shifted and started the engine. He drove back to his house to tell his father. At the porch, he held Jane’s hand on the side and called out to his dad. His dad was on his office reading an old book.

“Dad, Jane is pregnant and we’re keeping the baby. I know you’ll be mad and I’ll be a disgrace but unless you support us then I’ll be out of here without hesitation. I decided to quit school and find a job to feed them and for the hospital care and all those shit.”

Jane squeezed his hand. She was shocked on how Daniel decided all these without even talking about it. He gave her a don’t-worry-about-it look. The room is quiet while his dad stared at them.

“Son, it is alright. I understand. You don’t have to drop off of school. You’ll finish high school in three months. I guess Jane could also handle it until graduation. We’re all on this together. I’ve been a bad parent to you and I think it will be the best time to be a good one. Don’t worry so much on the financial stuff. I could help you out while you’re still studying. I could lend you money then you can pay me after you had a stable work. You both can stay here at our house if Jane’s parents permit but I doubt they would want that until you guys got married or something. I learned how conservative they are. By the way, have you told them about it?”

It was silent again. Then Daniel came to his dad and cried. He hugged him and he stayed there long enough to make him struggle for breath. He let him go with a little crying still.

“Thank you Dad. I’m sorry for being a jerk to you since Mom left. Sorry for blaming it all on you. And sorry for not eating breakfast. It is awful though.”

“That awful? Really? Didn’t realize it.”

The three of them laughed with pure joy.

Pregnancy at young age is not always this prefect. Things don’t usually get this easy. That’s why some are tempted and do abortion, the immoral killing of a child. There are instances when parents kick their children out or when the father of the baby broke up with the mother and forget about them entirely. There are also some people who give birth then give up the baby for adoption. I am not going go tell you how bad it could get when you engage in premarital sex. That’s boring and I bet you already know about it through books and movies and also on life stories your parents used to scare you with. I just offered an ideal story of it and everything else is up to you and your partner. Anyway, have a safe sex!

Posted in charles dickens

The People on Your Funeral

Dave is the type of person that everyone loves. He’s good with talking and talking himself out of trouble. He’s friends with everybody, he could just fit in to any kind of group. Though he’s a people person he sometimes feel alone. But he never shows it, he always has a smiling face and a great story to share.

He’s the funny one. He’s the clown of the crowd. Even if the joke is on him, he’s foolish enough to make fun of himself and carry on. You can never feel dull and bored when Dave is present. He’s also a sweet guy. He’s the friend who would randomly texts morning greetings and hugs you when it’s been a week since you last saw each other. When you need someone to lean on, Dave will be there. He listens to you then talk afterwards to slap you with the truth and then you’ll be fine afterwards. More than his great advices, he is comfort. He is fair and goes with what is right, for the benefit of yourself. He is never selfish, he gives even the last gulp on his favorite drink.

Yesterday, Dave took his own life. It was a shock. Dave is always there for everyone else, but no one is there for him. Once he said, “Now I know why some people say it’s hard to be the cream of the group.” And we just laughed because he said the wrong quote and though it makes sense, we also laughed on how sick and true its meaning is. I now understand what he means. But it’s too late. He’s been a good friend to me but I was never a friend to him. And it feels like I’m the one who gave him pills he overdosed with. I’m his secret killer.

Don’t kill your Dave. Friends are special, they are the family you chose and the blessing you accepted. I know you have a lot of friends, but are you a friend to them? Maybe this time is the right moment for checking and reviewing back on your relationships. Maybe you’ve lost some, why not reconnect with them. Post something nice on their facebook wall or surprise them with a cupcake later at school. And if you have the best of friends in your life right now, never lose them. Never let them feel taken for granted. Listen to their sentiments and give time to them. Invite them over tonight for pizza, ice cream and a 2008 movie.

We all have different kinds of friends. Some friends from high school, from work or from our neighborhood. There are ones we love and ones we hated a bit. But no matter how the table turned, there is a time you needed them and been happy with one another. It is just right to check up on them once a while and remember them. Nurture your friends. They are the extensions of what you were, what you are now and what you could be in the future.

Never lose your Dave’s, your Mary’s or your Harry’s or whatever their name is. Unless you don’t want anybody on your funeral.