this is what it is

this is what it is
they expect us to deal with it
and so we did and we still do
but they look at us weirdly
thinking we don’t seem right

this is what it is
a badly destroyed childhood
with a glimpse of terror too soon
even when we struggled growing up
we are still frowned upon

this is what it is
bottled up thoughts and feelings
excessive crying at twelve a.m.
making everything seem okay
because we hate being pitied

this is what it is
with never a clear understanding
about love, happiness, and family
we stopped believing in fairy tales
at such an early age

this is what it is
forced to answer such questions
when reminiscing brings such pain
being the ‘it’ subject of whispers
we just act like it doesn’t hurt

this is what it is
we are simply innocent victims
expected to blend into the rest
despite reoccurring nightmares
and the everlasting emptiness
but this is what it is

flight

She did not ask to be introduced to this world, but here she is, full of hopes to achieve dreams and live an almost-contented life (because nobody can ever be truly content). Her first few years of her life were mainly about her following orders. Sleep at eight. No telly after six. Study hard.

Occasionally she found some joy in her home, but most of the time she was in pure delight among her friends. They were the ones that pushed her on, believed in her that she could do it -when nobody in her home can.

At that stage of her life, she is given the question that gave a little spark to her eyes. “What do you want to do later on in life?” Finally, with a little taste of freedom at the tip of her tongue, she spills her plans for building her own future. The response to her enthusiastic speech is unfortunate, however. Step by step, with more rebukes and opposing comments from the Backbone, she falls into despair.

There was the saying that goes “home is where the heart is” but she doesn’t believe it. Jealousy boils in her blood every time she sees the parents of her peers supporting what they wanted to do. How old is she now? Already reaching adulthood. She has her own life too, but home does not see it that way.

Stubborn Backbone does not understand, does not even want to step into her shoes. Hard-headed Backbone, cutting off her speech midway, saying things like “you will regret” “you think it’s so easy?” “people who do that won’t succeed”. She’s tired of fighting and exhausted from trying to justify herself.

That night is one of those nights where she hopes nobody hears the echoes of her cries from the bathroom. She hopes the soaked pillow will be dry when she wakes up, and that no one will notice her red swollen eyelids.

People her age are now enjoying herself. Some take their freedom to the fullest and she vows that she will never be like them -even when she has been living in a cage all this while. She will be moderate, she knows she can control herself for she has learned from the disasters her peers faced. She knows what to do, but she was never given a chance to manage her own life by her own self.

She is a child, not a pet dog. Sometimes even dogs were let loose so they can explore, so perhaps she is worse than a dog.

Don’t get her wrong. She doesn’t see “elders know best” as some bull manure. Nonetheless these elders should know that young ones are not as stupid as they think they are. Young ones might be impressionable, but if they were given a moderate radius to explore, they will learn what the world actually tastes like. These experiences able them to adapt.

If elders know best, elders won’t even shelter their children from such one-in-a-lifetime occasions. It turns into a cycle; the children will never grow up, and elders will never see such potential in their offsprings because these poor young ones were never given a chance.

And if Backbone thinks he’s sustaining, maintaining, saving this bond, he’s wrong. She has read one of Shakespeare’s classic, learning that Jessica had even left Shylock in the midst of all anguish.

That night is the night of her breaking point. The warm summer breeze from the window invites her and incites her to flee. If she survives, she runs away to pursue life, lead solely by herself and undriven by nobody else.

And if she doesn’t outlast the fall, the long deep sleep seems exiting enough.

word barf #6: drive

today i realised the true reason why i am a slytherin

my classmates once teased me that i’m more of a hufflepuff. very loving, caring, kind? idk but that’s the stereotype of a hufflepuff

sometimes i doubt the sorting quiz on pottermore is right, and occasionally i get afraid mentioning my house, because i seem like i am not the type for it: the ambitious and cunning type

but maybe, ever since these past few days, i think i found the reason(s) why i am

my final exam has been bothering me, and i get so afraid -too afraid- that i get crappy results. i can’t see myself getting bad results, and i don’t know what i would do if it actually happens. i would probably end up in a mental home, being one of those kids who cannot accept failure. i am not joking

furthermore i get horribly envious and bitter when a person can live out my ambition instead of me. i always feel that i deserve it, not them (unless they’re just super good then i’ll really admire them instead). i hate to see how people can get things so easily without putting much effort. it is unfair, but the world works that way

referring to the paragraph above, this only occurs to things that i am interested in. i deserve to replace people who do not know basic grammar in a workplace

and finally i think that at the end of it all, beneath the facades and what-i-thought-they-were-true intentions, i learn that the strive to go catch the stars is the one that truly fuels me.

word barf #5: by leaps and bounds

Sometimes the first flower that blooms is the first to die. Too early. Too young. Too vulnerable.

Yet things play differently to the brighter creatures in this planet. Perhaps it is alright to charge head on to the years beyond the present. Maybe it is okay to strip off everything and turn an almost 180 degrees.

Write a new chapter, not a new book which has no relation to the first. Chase for the things you’re meant to chase, not the things you will chase years ahead from now. Growing up is involuntary, but why are we volunteering to be much older than we currently are?

The world is now moulded into something much more, and more does not simply means good. Society has set the bar much higher, and we have to reach those standards. Look at those trembling young fingers holding a makeup brush. See that fifteen-year-old spending all his savings just for the shoes currently in ‘style’.

They blossom too soon. Too influenced by the unconscious rules the globe has set. Too unmellow to think of the long term. That money can be saved for something much better. That ‘priority’ should be replaced with a responsibility much greater.

And when we grow up faster than we should, we think we gain. True, but it is not as much as how much we will lose. We say that we do not want to grow up, but ironically we indulge ourselves into more responsibilities which we should face when we are older. Perhaps by this we lose will our old friends and definitely we will lose our time. Nonetheless, the crucial thing of all is that we will lose ourselves.

Us in five years’ time will not be the same us we aspire to be in five years’ time.

Who are we to fiddle the clock? Let time take its course.

unsteady

ten years back she didn’t notice
the cracks which had formed on
walls where the paint peeled

a home unusual from her peers’
welcoming yet a little empty
maybe it’s the rusty door hinge
or the two shattered windows
perhaps it’s the missing figure
with a heart that never returned

the six-year-old was oblivious
and like that she was brought up
only to realise along the years
that broken beams supported
her unsteady home


a/n: never have i thought that songs can give me inspiration. i was listening to Unsteady and decided to check out the deeper meaning behind the lyrics, only to realise that it was something close to home.

word barf #4: dear long old friend

you are not alone.

i believe that this is a phase which everyone has went through. but you’re growing up, juggling jobs and earning the money which you deserve with your hard work you have put through. it’s hard to see our own flaws and we get hurt when people point it out. trying to change ourselves is a whole another level. it’s difficult. i know. i’ve been there.

we are quite similar after all.

our selfish desires. our views of the world. how we felt when people leave us and treat us in such ways. maybe these similarities are the cause of resentment for each other. i do not know for sure. the most i can do is to assume.

i assume that you lose in one thing: authentic love. bona fide.

for that’s where we are parallel. you can have more than a handful of friends to go out with every day and every night. you can have different pairs of ears to listen to your heartfelt problems. there can be more than three people sending messages to you right now, way more likes and comments on your photos than mine, way more views on your daily routine you uploaded on social media. people know you and you’re a star -well i like to think that you are.

despite the many faces you know, i presume that you’re never satisfied. you cannot express your deepest, darkest thoughts because simply it isn’t right. you don’t know them enough. they don’t know you enough. this authenticity in these many friendships is not there.

acceptance is the social drug which we think that is harmless. we unconsciously seek and repressively strive to belong to a place. we feel good when we’re there, and sometimes, we want more. perhaps it’s greed. perhaps we are addicted. obtaining a green card from everyone becomes a new goal.

i stopped what i was doing when i realised the growing monster in me. it was partly the reason why i left the place that has made me that way. i slipped into a rural site and adjusted my life. around three years has passed, and i’ve grown a little older to go deeper beyond the facade:

acceptance isn’t everything but we make is seem like it is. you and i are insecure, just like many, many other people.

your bitterness towards me hurts, i wanted you to be happy for these stages i’ve reached in life. however i wasn’t happy at your achievements either. the both of us desire what each other has as an individual. being known by many is something i secretly hunger for, but i remind myself that i need to appreciate all i have.

i shouldn’t overlook the love my small circle of friends have given me. i’m thankful for the love showered upon me. at the end of the day, quality is truly better than quantity.

despite where we are now -living as though we are non-existent to each other- i’m here when you’re down. i’ll help break down the barriers that hinder you away. and even if you decide to stay this way, i want you to know that i’ve forgiven you and that i am still here when you need a hand.

i wish you best of luck.

meetings are better with mee rojak

a/n: LOL SO CRINGEY THIS IS SO MALAYSIAN THERE’S A HIGH CHANCE NOBODY WOULD GET IT AND ALSO I AM PROCRASTINATING AGAIN

mee rojak and char kuey teow are noodle dishes! google to find out how it looks like. come to malaysia to know how it tastes like


“Mee rojak sudah habis, dik.”

She didn’t even mention what she wanted for lunch, but the food vendor knew her usual order. She felt envious of whoever at the front line since they got to place their orders, and possibly snatch the last plate of her favourite noodle dish. Glancing at her watch, she frowned at the two hands which were almost indicating twelve noon.

Mee rojak usually wouldn’t sell out this fast.

The packed food court was a familiar sight to her on that Saturday afternoon. She went to the other stall, ordering the alternative which she was starting to get tired of (she had eaten char kuey teow twice this week). Quickly she found an empty table and bless! It’s clean.

“Mind if I sit here?”

She looked up from her phone, seeing a boy around the the same age. Hair shaved at the sides, clad in a pastel plain t-shirt, and is that…flippers? He’s definitely not from around here.

“Um.” He sounded skeptical. “Is that a yes?”

Immediately she recoiled. “Oh, yeah sure.” She laughed gave a small chuckle partly because she she was embarrassed of what she did. “You can sit here.”

The table they sat by was not the ordinary round ones situated in the middle of the area. It was the small rectangular one just enough for two (or perhaps three if you can magically manage to not block the way) propped by the halfway tiled wall of the building.

Like proper millennials they were, their hands were on their gadgets -and like the proper things millennials face, one’s gadget had ran out of juice. It was easy to notice. Phone involuntary making a not-so-loud-but-obvious ‘thunk’ was indicator number one. The words “you got powerbank” forming in a question-like structure was indicator number two.

She handed the portable battery charger to the boy across her.

“Sorry,” he apologised. “My friend is having mine right now, and Waze takes up a lot of battery.”

His last sentence confirmed her assumption that he was not from around here. She smiled assuring him that it was alright and not smiling would make her appear as rude.

The familiar food vendor arrived to their table, serving the plate of aromatic, heavenly mee rojak which was sadly not hers. It suddenly just occurred to her that this boy in front of her was the one able to place his last order -no wait- orders. 

More mee rojak in plastic packages flooded the small table of theirs. She looked at the boy across her in disbelief. How dare did he do such a thing, ordering so many packets of mee rojak like that. She might or might not have seen the vendor giving her an apologetic smile as he distributed the change to the boy.

“Is this good?” he asked her after keeping his change. “It was recommended on TripAdvisor.”

“TripAdvisor?” She turned to the stall, looking at the bright green sticker plastered beside the pricing menu. Unconsciously she sighed, making him a little worried for this stranger.

She turned to face him again, wishing the plate was hers. “It is good. It has always been.” She then eyed at him, wanting to see his expression when he takes his first bite.

“Spicy.”

“It’s supposed to be.”

She didn’t mean the hint of annoyance in her tone of speech. It was just -that plate or one of those packets of mee rojak could be hers. Nonetheless, God forbid her to have her desired food to be on her taste buds that day. Her char kuey teow arrived seconds later. The overly-familiar brown sight was starting to make her feel sick.

It was a funny sight to see the both of them dealing with their meals. His face was getting redder by the minute, and hers was going green. Never in her life she had eaten three plates of char kuey teow in that same whole week and never in his life he tried food this spicy. They made it nevertheless if we close one eye and ignore the little bits of leftovers which they could not consume.

“At least my friends can handle the spice,” he said, wiping his sweat with his shirt sleeve.

“That’s nice.” She tried to spit out the words politely. “Where are they?”

“They went to eat something spicier; laksa. We’re going to have this tapau-ed mee rojak for tea.”

She nodded. She was pretty used to the typical eat-all-day tourist scheme. There was no surprise that Malacca is one of the top food destinations in Malaysia.

His phone resurrected all of a sudden, vibrating on the plastic surface. She took it as her call to leave. After one more smile and a small wave signalling goodbye, she got up and walked out. The rice noodles churned in her stomach, giving her every reason to regret ordering char kuey teow for Saturday’s lunch.

“Hey, hold up.” She felt a brush on her shoulder. It was the boy from somewhere; shaved sides, pastel plain T-shirt, flippers, and currently with packets of mee rojak hanging from one hand. His other hand returned her the grey portable charger, and surprisingly, something better.

“You don’t want this?” she asked. Her face lit up without her knowledge as she felt warmth radiating from the plastic packaging.

“I’m not a fan of spicy food anyway,” he brushed it off. “Thank you for lending me your powerbank.”

She flashed another smile, a genuine one this time. “And thank you for the mee rojak.”

“It was nice meeting you.”

“Me too.” She laughed at the hidden pun. “It was nice meeting you too.”